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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

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Forum rules and no-advertising policy

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First endurance ride - comfort measures for me

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  • First endurance ride - comfort measures for me

    I am planning on doing a LD with my horse in October. He has been getting back into shape after a year of pasture turnout/rest and I have decided I hate showing and all that goes along with that. So we are making a career change. While I know he enjoys trail riding and should be plenty fit by then, I do not know if he will enjoy the camping aspect of it (or behave for that matter). I don't want to invest a ton of $$$ into stuff until I make sure he is going to cooperate! I have a portable corral which we will be trialing at home before we go!! What comfort measures for myself should I invest in? Boots/shoes (for me), stirrups, fleece seat saver (best brands helpful). I will be riding in his dressage saddle with regular cotton pad and thinline 1/2 pad and his leather bridle sans nose band. I am hopeful that he enjoys this because while I like riding at home and on local trails, I am ready to start venturing out in to the world a bit and this is the horse I have to do that on.

  • #2
    I love your attitude - this is the horse I have and I'd like to do endurance with him! He will probably do best within sight of other horses when you camp. A Lady Godiva full seat cover is very nice. I use a hay net kept full as I can all night as well as plenty of water. Enjoy ridecamp and all the sounds. It might take a few times for him to learn to chill in camp. Have fun!!


    • #3
      Originally posted by silverdog View Post
      I am planning on doing a LD with my horse in October. He has been getting back into shape after a year of pasture turnout/rest and I have decided I hate showing and all that goes along with that. So we are making a career change. While I know he enjoys trail riding and should be plenty fit by then, I do not know if he will enjoy the camping aspect of it (or behave for that matter). I don't want to invest a ton of $$$ into stuff until I make sure he is going to cooperate! I have a portable corral which we will be trialing at home before we go!! What comfort measures for myself should I invest in? Boots/shoes (for me), stirrups, fleece seat saver (best brands helpful). I will be riding in his dressage saddle with regular cotton pad and thinline 1/2 pad and his leather bridle sans nose band. I am hopeful that he enjoys this because while I like riding at home and on local trails, I am ready to start venturing out in to the world a bit and this is the horse I have to do that on.
      What do you expect the Temperature to be during the day? At night? Is Oct usually rainy or buggy? Are you doing Mountains, rocky ground, or flat and sandy? Crossing deep water, or riding on the salty beach?

      From what you've said so far, I would add a bit hobble to the snaffle bit.

      I would have extra dry clean saddle pads to swap for sweaty ones along the way at stops. Ditto a dry clean girth cover.

      Do you have a sponge on a leash?

      Do you have a mentor experienced in LD riding to ride with?

      Be sure you and horse test out any new tack, new clothes, new feed/hay/supplements, well before the LD ride.


      • Original Poster

        Thank you Prudence. This is a wonderful horse. Great attitude but a bit of a good ball. When I say misbehave, I mean be a little destructive of his portable pen. We will be practicing at home. I am not worried about his behavior on the trail - he is very workmanlike undersaddle. Will be riding in a snaffle and will bring a little more bit just in case I need to swap out. Ride is East Texas, October, probably sweaty, soft piney woods footing. I am a runner so have appropriate clothing for myself. Will bring extra saddle pads. Foot wear is my biggest thing. Currently riding in Ariat paddock boots and half chaps. I am considering some sturdy trail shoes/light trail boots that would be more comfortable to walk, jog in. And yes, I have a friend who is a very accomplished endurance rider I am going with. She will school me about what to expect before I get there. I am doing 30. She is doing 100! Just looking for experiences with definite does and don'ts. My goal is to finish with a happy sound horse!!


        • #5
          I would try to get some mileage on ME as well as the horse before doing 30 miles in X hours. Don't drink anything with caffeine before you start. (I have never done 30 miles in one ride, so don't know what people do about "nature calls".) Also, IF your horse already understands a hot wire, you could put a battery-operated controller around the the portable corral to help prevent break-outs. (Or if your trailer is a stock trailer or slant load, with room to lie down, you could let him spend the night inside.)


          • #6
            Shoes - I ride in Ariat terrains but in my younger days wore tennis shoes which made for easier running. If you go with tennis shoes be sure and use some sort of wide (tread) caged stirrup such as these ones: http://orders.easycareinc.com/other_..._Stirrups.aspx


            • #7
              Another vote for Ariat Terrain. They give good ankle support if you have to walk on uneven ground, and the tread does not pick up pebbles or mud like hiking boots do.

              And Smart Wool summer weight socks.


              • #8
                Try riding in your running shoes. It's what I do. Mine have an arch on the bottom so I don't worry about my foot going through the stirrup. Make sure you have two drinks. You might not drink both but will be glad if you do need it. Will you have crew? If not, set things up before you ride out so it's quick to feed your horse. Get mash going before you ride out but don't leave it out in case another horse finds it!

                I like my sheepskin seat cover. You can get English style.

                If your horse ties well, consider keeping him tied the first night. I've tied for entire weekends and my horses were fine.



                • #9
                  You can also look for some intro to endurance rides which are generally 10 - 15 miles and get you used to the start line and vetting in and out.


                  • #10
                    So, food for everyone is different and you won't know till you try. As a runner, I have found that food that works well for me running also works well for me riding I personally live off of coffee, particularly doubleshots (starbucks ) and hammer gels. Clothing for you : layers are your friend. Make sure you have spots to tie them too on your saddle (even if you just loop a few spare shoelaces through the d rings). I personally ride in running shoes- much more comfortable. Consider getting a caged pair of wide footbed endurance stirrups. I'd also strongly recommend the sheepskin covers- JMS is a good brand.


                    • #11
                      When my friend and I did 250 miles in 14 days (not exactly an endurance ride --no trophies, not organized, just did it to do it), we LIVED on military MREs ---we planned to cook --but honestly, after riding 5-6 hours a day, neither of us had the energy. We just ripped open a package, added water to the heating chemical, then waited 7 min and ate. Main course, side dish, dessert, snack, crackers,spoon, napkin, all balanced and nutritional --although we would have preferred more dessert and less protein! Each mean designed for an active man on military duty, so some times we split one meal, and sometimes we combined two (spaghetti with chili was great!) --you can buy a box of 12 for about $50 --nothing went to waste. I think each is about 2000 calories --so we'd split meals so that there was something for breakfast, lunch, and dinner . I actually lost 7% of my body weight, even though it felt like I was eating a lot. No refrigeration needed. And though it might have been we were starving, we both thought they tasted good. Look on-line for what's in each box, and how to know the dates --lots of good information --oh, and YouTube does reviews of each meal so you know what you are getting. But as I said, it worked for us.

                      Also, we switched saddles back and forth --dressage and forward seat --just seemed to make it easier on butts. Horses did great tied to a highline.


                      • #12
                        I suggest seeing what you can borrow/try before the ride to find out what you like. I have a fleece seat cover, fleece stirrup leather covers and the EasyCare cage stirrups. I ride either in Ariat Terrains or a pair of Columbia hiking sneakers- mostly in the sneakers and I add gel insoles to both of them. I also always take 2 drinks out with me, especially because I get overheated pretty easily- for the drinks, I try to get bottles with the pull up top so you can just grab and drink rather than mess with bottle caps. A friend of mine likes a camelback for water rather than bottles but for me that's uncomfortable. I also usually take a preventative ibuprofen dose with my breakfast and then every 6 hours throughout the day- I've had an awful lot of injuries in my life and it helps to keep me from getting stiff and unbalanced in the saddle.

                        The other big comfort thing for me, because I am a huge worrier, is to have everything really organized. I have a big rubbermaid trunk that lives in my horse trailer with all of my hold stuff in it- buckets, sweat scrapers, sponges, feed pan, handheld HRM, extra halter & lead, etc. It never comes out of the trailer other than to clean stuff after a ride, so I know everything is there and ready to go. I also have a small one that contains all of my electrolyte mixing paraphernalia and type lists for any crew of how to mix up doses and what feed etc to have ready when I come in to holds. A small wagon or wheel barrow is also nice to take if you have holds in camp so that you can cart all of your stuff without a dozen trips of carrying it. A saddle stand, small cooler with stuff for yourself and pop-up canopy are also really nice to have for holds.
                        "You'll never see yourself in the mirror with your eyes closed"


                        • #13
                          Great question and interesting answers! There's a web-based course for folks getting into endurance/distance riding called Endurance Essentials at horselearningonline.com

                          I wish I'd gotten here before you entered your first LD ride. How did it go?