Beginner Rider Doing Endurance? - The Horse Forum
  • 5 Post By phantomhorse13
  • 1 Post By BarrelRacerHeart
  • 4 Post By boots
  • 2 Post By Dustbunny
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-13-2014, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Beginner Rider Doing Endurance?

Hey :) I'm a beginner rider, as I've only been regularly riding and taking lessons for a few months. I'm taking english lessons for jumping currently, and I'm currently working on cantering.

I was on a few trail rides over the past few days, away from my trainer and barn at a summer camp, and I became interested in endurance riding. Right now I'm reading about it and I'm becoming very interested.

My questions will be concerning the future, as I don't have a horse, and I'm trying to save my money to lease a horse (I probably won't be able to for a few months at least, I'm trying to plan ahead and not get my hopes up). Is is uncommon for people to participate in endurance riding a leased horse? Is it best to be more experienced in the saddle before trying to get into endurance riding?

Sorry if these are "dumb" questions. I hardly know anything at the moment about endurance - I'm reading about it right now. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-13-2014, 08:48 PM
Green Broke
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I think a lot of how endurance would go for a beginner rider would be about the horse.. a trail-savvy, beginner-friendly mount would work great. A speed demon, spooky, or bossy personality would not work so well!

You will see all kinds of people riding endurance: people who have natural talent or have taken lots of lessons.. and people who have obviously never had a lesson in their lives. Biggest thing is does your riding skill (or lack thereof) impact the horse? Nobody is going to critique your poked out toes or flapping elbows, but if you can't stay balanced and help vs hinder the horse, miles on the trail are going to be taxing to your horse (and to you).

There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-13-2014, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! My balance is alright, I guess, but definitely needs some work. :)
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"Practice like you've never won. Perform like you've never lost." ~unknown

"Every achievement starts with the decision to try." ~unknown
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-14-2014, 03:36 PM
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I met a couple people who rode endurance races on leased horses when I lived in So. Dakota. They had a blast. They did know the owner well and were highly trusted by him.

As far as being a beginner, it depends on your muscle endurance and like PhantomHorse said, whether you can have the least amount of impact on the horse.

Not an endurance race, but my (big) little brother came west and wanted to see what I do during the day. I had a large circle to ride 25 or 30 miles. I cautioned him against it and he laughed at me. I figured I'd be dropping him at some point and going back with a truck and trailer to get him.

He did great! And then, just to be the brat that he is, when we got back, he went for a run of several miles. BTW: We were both in our 40s, so that sibling rivalry stuff sometimes never ends. :)

He is unusual. As a teen he came to visit and hopped on a horse I had tied to the barn. It was one we used for saddle bronc practice. He rode him and found me. Commented that the horse was a little "goofy" and "Why doesn't this saddle have that horn thingy?" Gads.

Whatever you do, have fun!
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-14-2014, 11:39 PM
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The thing I would be concerned about a beginner rider doing endurance is the lack of experience as far as being able to "read" the horse. There are vet checks but the rider needs to be able to tell if there are any signs of the horse being stressed or in trouble. If the horse starts slowing down, a new rider might think he is just being lazy when, in fact, he could be in trouble.
Read up on it, get involved with other endurance riders and start out riding with a buddy who will travel at the same pace you do. And always put your horse before yourself. It's a great sport but it is not just a trail ride.
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If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-15-2014, 11:45 PM
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I've only done a couple of 15 LDs as I'm in barrel horse country but it is nothing like a normal trail ride. I love the challenge of LD riding and once I move back to horse civilization next spring, I'm going full into training for LDs.

If we were friends my advice would be to continue lessons until you can balance without using your hands as stabilizing devices. Once you develop these independent hands vs legs vs body then I would say you are ready to start conditioning for LDs to start.

Leasing a horse is a good option, finding an older endurance mount to lease or even 1/2 lease would be a perfect scenario. Also, looking at gaited horses is not bad for an alternative.

I would also highly recommend connecting with your local endurance/LD clubs and start volunteering at rides. It is a fantastic way of leaning distance without the commitment plus as an added bonus, people will help you locate a suitable mount.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-16-2014, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice! :) I'm totally aware it's nothing like a normal trail ride. I don't think I use my hands for balance. I've been meaning to look up things to improve my balance.

"Practice like you've never won. Perform like you've never lost." ~unknown

"Every achievement starts with the decision to try." ~unknown
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