04-12-2012, 12:15 PM
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I've owned several TWH's and TWH crosses. They all eat up the trail, so to speak, so I can see why you'd want to compete with one in endurance. I guess it depends upon how many miles you will travel. Pretty much Arabs win the 100 miler's, but many of us have gone 25 miles on a trail ride on whatever we ride, so I'm sure that wouldn't tax your horse.
If you are competing with people warming up to the 100 milers I have a few suggestions.
1) Get yourself super fit, so that you can save your horse and dismount and lead..a LOT. Especially up hills.
2) Pare down all of your tack, weightwise. Apalachian trail hikers drill holes in their toothbrushes and other such things to "lighten the load."
3) Strengthen your horse by
(a) Dressaging, for flexibility
(b) Plateauing. Work your horse to reach a certain endurance goal. Then, back off for a week to train for a LOWER goal. Set a higher goal to reach. REPEAT.
(c) Spend some time working on hard dirt, instead of the arena. It takes time to create bone density, which will prevent fractures, and it's hard to do so on the soft sand/surface in an arena.
(d) Train your horse to cavaletti and jumps on the ground. Your horse is doing enough hard work, but he needs to know how to get over and around obstacles, and if you're aboard you will wear him out more and get in the way of his learning.
Hope this helps! =D