Originally Posted by HarleyWood
Im looking at a saddlebreed and believe he could do it. He would need conditioning and a few more miles put on him. I was wondering how to start endurance riding, what I would need for one? (i would only be doing one or two a year.) and my mom wants to bring her little horse in it as well. He's a good little boy and needs more miles but he can go for long rides.
What tack is needed? What to bring along? Would a barrel saddle be fine for a 16.3hh horse to carry plus me? Any other advice?
I am of the mind that the horse you have in your pasture and your current tack are perfectly adequate to start endurance, and that is what you should start with. You can do long, slow distance rides to condition, and prepare yourself for a slow/moderate LD in 2-3 months, depending on your horse's level of fitness. Once you get in and 'learn the ropes' so to speak, you can then decide to change your tack, or your horse, or whatever as you develop goals - maybe you will want to be a 100 rider, or maybe you will want to do only LD. But go to a few rides, check it out, make friends, have FUN, and you will learn a lot. I would not make a huge investment until you get in and decide how you want to ride. I wouldn't put the proverbial 'cart before the horse' and spend a lot of money on new tack until you find out.
And heck, yeah! Bring your mom!! That would be awesome! I wish my mom liked horses.
A good place to get information is the AERC website at www.aerc.org
or if you are on Facebook there are a few groups to join, like AERC and also Green Bean Endurance, which is for new endurance riders to ask questions and find mentors. AERC is coming out with a video series on common questions such as Vet Check procedures and such, and I think they will link it to the website (they have been talking about it a bit on the FB group page). Also, there are regional conferences that have a lot of information, like in the Southeast we have SERA, and they have a website with all sorts of information.
There are also books out there, like Endurance 101, that you can get on Kindle.