I started dabbling in the sport of endurance this year with novice distance rides. My gelding and I just LOVE it. I would love to see us work our way up to a 25/30 LD ride this late summer/early fall if possible. He is an 18 year old Quarab, no health issues (other than being a hard keeper in the summer time) and in great shape.
Here is where I need some advice.
Endurance isn't my only event or love and I like to ride a lot. We enjoy team penning and ranch sorting leagues, take lessons, trail ride with friends, obstacles, and a not-so-serious game show here and there for something to do (I'm not a gamer, but he is.) I enjoy working on new skills with him (I request homework from my trainer after every lesson) and I have so much to learn as well.
So I am trying to put together a training plan for distance riding, but I am afraid of wearing or burning this boy out. When we do lessons or work on our skills needed for working cows, it's hard work. When we train for distance, it's hard work. 5 days of week of hard work...I think that may be too much, though he seems fine right now, and if I go out and DON'T ride him, he stands at the gate like, "HEY! We're not done yet."
Does anyone else distance ride, that also does multiple other things with their endurance horse? Should I just plan to stick to novice competitive rides (10-15 miles) to make sure I can enjoy my other activities with him? Would a 25LD be too much based on the amount of work we do if we took it long and slow?
I appreciate any wisdom, opinions or advice.