endurance/competative trail riding

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endurance/competative trail riding

This is a discussion on endurance/competative trail riding within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    03-08-2011, 06:55 PM
endurance/competative trail riding

I have an anglo arab mare that I've been considering looking into doing endurance or competative trail riding with but I don't even know where to start asking questions! How do you get into something like this, I don't know anyone that has done it before. I'm currently taking dressage lessons on her and I enjoy eventing but I don't think this mare is enjoying all the ring work and want to see if she might suit something else better but I'm a bit nervous about changing disciplines. If anyone could give me some information on what to expect, how I would get started or just your opinion on endurance it would be very appreciated. I'm mostly in the curious stage right now but we'll see where it gets us!
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    03-08-2011, 08:50 PM
Check out the trail riding section of the forum for some great stuff!
    03-08-2011, 09:38 PM
UGH...I just typed a long response to you and it all disappeared...

Anyway, it all starts with regular trail riding. So start with that, start taking longer trail rides, start slow and go from there...try to find people/clubs in your area to trail ride with and talk to them about competitive trail. If you have any specific questions or pieces you need clarified feel free to PM me or respond on this thread, don't feel like another long-winded response. Also, if you go to the Search tab at the top of the page and type "competitive trail" or "endurance" into the box you may be able to find one of the other threads started on this topic, some of those threads have some really good information in there. Good luck!
    03-08-2011, 11:26 PM
Green Broke
If you have particular questions, fire away. I don't know what to type when I don't know how much you know already. I love answering questions, so maybe ask a few just because I like to hear myself talk. I think (THINK) Amlalriiee and I are the only CT riders who hang around these forums... And I think we have a few endurance riders... Errr, who are they...

Anyway, looky here. NATRC CTR is FUN!!! This is the association I ride with. The site has a good introduction and information in the FAQ section.
    03-09-2011, 10:34 AM
Subscribing to this thread cause i'm in the same boat as you Rosie =) I've done the reining, team penning, sorting and working cow but now I'm ready to try competitive trail (the thing i've actually always wanted to do with Fuzz but never had access to trails before now).
    03-09-2011, 04:10 PM
Thanks guys! Brighteyes that link was very helpful seeing as I knew next to nothing about competitive trail. It sounds like a lot of fun! Approximitely what is the cost of these events and how often do you find yourself alone on the trails (I'm sure this varies), and how friendly are the people who enter on average? If I decide to do this I would be going it alone so it would sure be nice to meet some people while I'm there and not be stuck hacking it out alone the whole time!
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    03-09-2011, 04:15 PM

Do lots (and Lots and lots) of trail riding, you have to get the tendons an muscles conditioned right. Then start with a couple limited distance rides (25-30 miles).
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    03-09-2011, 06:45 PM
It's definitely fun, though a lot of work too, you'll want to over-condition your horse...as in, train more than you think you need to because it does take more out of them than you'll expect. It's a good idea to start out with someone to guide you because there's a lot to it. I pay between $50 and $100 usually for the rides that I've done. They ARE expensive, which is why most people train a TON but don't actually compete all that often.

I have never been alone on the trail in competition. Now, partly this is because I always have a "riding buddy" who I ask to be placed with in starting order. (yes you usually get to pick someone to start with, at least through ECTRA-the local org. For me) If you stay with that person you'll not be alone on the trail, I think if you go it alone they assign you someone to start with-but that person may or may not stay with you.

As far as friendliness....I have met a TON of wonderful, friendly, helpful people through competitive trail--and most people who do this tend to be that way. You will of course get your snobby rich crowd as well who won't want anything to do with you...and you'll get some crabby poor-sports, it's just like any other discipline that way....but MOST people are great in my experience.

As for conditioning, do lots of longer walk/trot distances, hill training(walk them rather than trotting/cantering, that actually builds more muscle), some speed work, ride in groups to make sure that others passing or riding nearby won't be a bother. Practice things like dropping a sponge off the saddle into a bucket, taking pulse with a stethoscope, trying to count respiration(P+Rs), opening her mouth to look in at her gums, all things she'll have to allow being done to her at a CTR. I recommend a watch or gadget for training that will tell you your pace, distance, and total time at the least. Overall a CTR is going to be around a 5/6 mph pace. You don't have to go that speed the whole time, walk breaks are good, but you do have to average around there overall to complete it within your time frame. When you get closer to competition time there will be a lot to learn about what to do at a CTR...I won't go into that yet though.

See, I was in a more typing mood today! Haha let me know if you are wondering anything else...there are so many tricks to the trade, It's impossible to name them all at once.
    03-09-2011, 07:22 PM
Thank you for all the info this is very helpful! I can't think of anymore specific questions but I'm sure ill keep asking as they come :)
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    03-10-2011, 10:26 AM
Very helpful Amlalriiee! I had a quick question, how would you go about accessing where a horse is in terms of fitness in order to form a training schedule for him? I've never done the trails with Fuzz, but I know (from having tried it) that he can do a good paced trot for about twenty to thirty minutes but it takes him about 10-15 minutes of walking for his pulse to go back to normal. Is there any test or specific way to go about determining how fit the horse is?

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