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post #11 of 17 Old 01-17-2013, 08:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Originally Posted by mls View Post
Absolutely true. Just because a horse is bred and built to do a specific discipline does not mean they will excel or even enjoy doing it. I competed thousands of miles on a 14.2 black quarter horse. He did very well. My little 100% arab mare - too excitable to settle in to the vets checks.

There was one horse in our club that the vets were amazed the horse was pasture sound, much less able to handle the rigors of distance. They swore her legs were put together by a committee that didn't communicate.

The biggest thing is the relationship between you and that horse. You have to trust and depend on each other. Lots of miles and lots of potential 'situations'.

I second what mls has said, the biggest thing is the relationship between horse and rider. I have done endurance rides with my quarter horse gelding and he is wonderful at it.
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 10:35 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Surry, Va
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you need to define "well". To some finishing is well, to others not so much. Horse emotion and attitude can play a part, but your better off starting with a horse with the physical ability to do "well" by your standards. Also need to look at where you are going to ride. As all rides arnt created equal, temperature and terrain make a huge difference. I really do need to find a couple WTC horses to see if I can trot or not. Feel like I am being held back by my walkers and want to move to a more competitive horse.
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post #13 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 332
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I guess "well" for me would be one that finishes in a good time while passing the vet checks with flying colors. I don't really care about coming in first (although I wouldn't complain), but I would like to place in the higher rankings. Honestly, I just like the long rides but I like a little competition as well every now and then.
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 10:30 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Pacific NW
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I'm assuming you haven't done endurance yet? Just to caution you, a new rider or even an experienced rider with a new horse needs to be conservative in their riding and then build. I'd even hesitate riding any horse that I'm new to, no mater how much experience either of us has had, at anything more than mid-pace, simply because it's SO important to get to know the horse individually in order to know whether anything out of the ordinary is happening. If I was riding with someone who knew the horse well, then I'd do what they said. If not, it's a nice, mid-pace for us, no matter whether it places us in first or last.

Here's an excellent quote from the AERC website on their decade team page, which I aspire to join in 9 years:

I believe in the "2 years or 1,000 miles of competition before going fast" theory. I stuck to that with Shayne and again on the horse I'm bringing along now and it seems to work well for my horses and me. When I started endurance riding I heard that phrase (2 years or 1000 miles) allot and many people were pretty religious about it when bringing up a new horse. It has really stuck with me even though I don't hear it much anymore. I need/want/like my horses to last a long time and I believe that this is one way of stacking the cards in my favor to make that happen. I don't creep along the trail by any means, and I do spend a great deal of time conditioning my horses for the rides. But, I try to be conservative/middle of the pack"ish", for the first 2 years or approximately 1000 miles. I have also learned to be focused but flexible; that competition is not only about coming in first, and that nothing lasts forever.
Don't let your competitiveness carry you away. Put the horse's well being before your own. If you think your horse is off...he is. And, realize that at this time next year (or possibly even next month) no one is likely to remember, or care, where you placed at this ride or any other ride. So, take advantage of opportunities as they come but don't spend your time worrying over placings at a ride or push too hard to try to make something happen. The things that people will remember are how you treat others and how you treat your horse. Suzanne Pindar
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 11:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Obviously, the horse's mind is paramount. Make sure the horse likes to move out. Not stupid crazy move out or you will find yourself fighting for completions (and maybe to stay on!), but willingness to hit the trail and go to work. I have seen some horses that seem like they'd be awesome at endurance, but they were a psychotic and ended up getting pulled a lot. Check out Arab crosses, too (like an Arab/Appy or Arab/QH or Arab/Mustang). Sometimes the cross will bring something really amazing to the gene pool (I have an Arab/Welsh cross and she's wonderful, but the friend I ride with has a very amazing purebred Arab that is rock solid in the brain).

A horse that has decent athletic ability and an amazing mind is WAY better than the horse that has incredible athletic ability and is totally cuckoo-pants. It is easier to get a horse conditioned if s/he isn't wacko, and, IMHO, it's easier to get a sane horse into the top ten than the one that is fast but nuttier than squirrel poo.
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-26-2013, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Burlington, North Carolina
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I second what 2SCHorses said about the horse's mind. I became interested in endurance riding last year and actually went out and purchased a Mustang gelding who had amazing gaits and great natural endurance. BUT, he turned out to be SUPER lazy and it was exhausting just keeping him moving (unless he was following another horse but I ride alone 90% of the time). I leased him out earlier this year to a wonderful lady and am now focusing on my grade pony gelding (because he is NOT herd bound, loves to go and is just FUN to ride!). At first glance he's not your typical endurance horse but since I have started conditioning him he is doing awesome and I am hoping to enter our first LD this year!:)
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-27-2013, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 332
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I absolutely agree with the horse's mind as well. I have two Arabians currently, but neither are suitable because of their attitude. One sounds like yours, prairiewindlady. He's so lazy. Sometimes it's a pain to get him into a good trot. My other one is too high strung. Everything is scary, monsters everywhere! She's controllable, but it's like she's on the lookout for something to spook at. I have tried to work with her over the years and get her used to scary stuff outside of the pasture, but I've pretty much just accepted her as she is at this point.
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