Can Drafts Do Endurance Rides? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 10-04-2009, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Question Can Drafts Do Endurance Rides?

Just wondering, because they are very sturdy and strong and I would imagine they have great stamina to do endurance rides? Am I right? I would like to do endurance rides on a beautiful Draft Horse... But most people use Arabians, and I might be embarrassed... So share your opinion, and thanks!

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post #2 of 23 Old 10-04-2009, 05:47 PM
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The problem with drafts is that they have very thick muscles and that makes cooling down at the check points very hard to almost impossible in the time frame allowed. They also can't keep up speed for long distances. They are built more for pulling and slow work rather than fast.

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post #3 of 23 Old 10-04-2009, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, but endurance isn't about speed, it's about endurence no offense... Would 'lighter' or drafts crossed with another breed be a better option than a pure breed draft?

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post #4 of 23 Old 10-04-2009, 06:20 PM
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Endurance riding is a race. A long distance race. So there is a combination of both speed and endurance together that both factor in. If you want the distance without so much focus on the speed, then you might want to look at competitive trail riding.

Yes, a cross would be a bit better, but you will still most likely have the bulky muscle issue. The cooling down of those muscles is not quick or easy compared to the leaner muscles of the lighter breeds like Arabians.

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post #5 of 23 Old 10-04-2009, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Guess you have a point there, Cat. I'll have a look on competitive trail riding after this and I'm sure to like it.

What breed (of any kind of horse) is good at endurance riding? Besides Arabians.

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post #6 of 23 Old 10-04-2009, 07:00 PM
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Drafts weren't built for speed nor stamina, so they're one of the most unlikely types of horse to ever be successful at endurance. As was stated, endurance is about long distance stamina. In order to have a chance at endurance, you must be on a horse that can trot the entire day without getting tired. On top of that, for longer rides, you really want a horse that not only can trot an entire 50 miles without even flagging, they must be able to lope short distances as well. It's all about strategy, and the right amount of speed you need to be a contender.

Obviously, Arabians dominate endurance completely, at least in the upper levels. At lower levels such as 15 mile pleasure or even 25 mile limited distance, most breeds can compete and have a good shot at winning. Half-Arabs are obviously the next best choice, but Mustangs are also making a name for themselves as good strong endurance horses. I've seen a decent amount of winning on stock horses as well.

An odder breed that most people don't own or even know of is the Akhal-Teke. They can pretty much equal the endurance of an Arabian, but just aren't used a lot. We had the chance to meet two young ones from Ontario at an endurance race last year. They're an extremely athletic and sporty breed with extreme stamina.

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post #7 of 23 Old 10-04-2009, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacabreMikolaj View Post
Drafts weren't built for speed nor stamina, so they're one of the most unlikely types of horse to ever be successful at endurance. As was stated, endurance is about long distance stamina. In order to have a chance at endurance, you must be on a horse that can trot the entire day without getting tired. On top of that, for longer rides, you really want a horse that not only can trot an entire 50 miles without even flagging, they must be able to lope short distances as well. It's all about strategy, and the right amount of speed you need to be a contender.

Obviously, Arabians dominate endurance completely, at least in the upper levels. At lower levels such as 15 mile pleasure or even 25 mile limited distance, most breeds can compete and have a good shot at winning. Half-Arabs are obviously the next best choice, but Mustangs are also making a name for themselves as good strong endurance horses. I've seen a decent amount of winning on stock horses as well.

An odder breed that most people don't own or even know of is the Akhal-Teke. They can pretty much equal the endurance of an Arabian, but just aren't used a lot. We had the chance to meet two young ones from Ontario at an endurance race last year. They're an extremely athletic and sporty breed with extreme stamina.
Thank - You, I have learned a-lot today! But, one more question, would Morgans be good? Maybe not... ?

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post #8 of 23 Old 10-04-2009, 07:20 PM
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Could you use a mule? I don't mean to hijack you thread or anything, HorsePride, just wondering...
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post #9 of 23 Old 10-04-2009, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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No, I actually rode a Mule once, but they are very cranky and don't usually do what your told. Apparently all Mules are like that... Pity, they would be good if it wasn't for there crankiness streak! Plus, they are only basically used for pack trips.

I looked up 'competitive trail riding' it looks great, so might give it a try...

What about Morgan's anyone? Maybe I should just settle for an Arab or another breed...

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post #10 of 23 Old 10-04-2009, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by HorsePride View Post
No, I actually rode a Mule once, but they are very cranky and don't usually do what your told. Apparently all Mules are like that... Pity, they would be good if it wasn't for there crankiness streak! Plus, they are only basically used for pack trips.

I definitely wouldn't go as far as to say that.

I've ridden lots of mules (just not in endurance) and they are GREAT. Best "horses" I've ever ridden. They get sour because, I hate to say it, most people don't have any idea how to train them. They use them like horses, which you can't do. And they defiantly aren't just for pack trips.

Oh, and I've been on a few competitive trail rides. Actually, I saw a lot of morgans there. (Well, not a lot... four or five...) And they did really great. I don't know if that has anything to do with endurance potential though.
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