Originally Posted by NittanyEquestrian
To the OP I would listen to RiosDad, he's one of the resident endurance gurus =)
If I am the resident anything then LISTEN to me.
ALL of you can do it. This is a fun ride and 25 miles will slip behind you so quickly you won't believe you did it. Nearly any horse can do it will little conditioning.
The ride is broken down into 2 12 mile legs. The first leg your addreline is pumping and you want to burn up the trail..DON'T You have lots of time.
At the start everyone starts from a field, you don't need to be there. You can sit at the trailer and once everyone tears out of there mount up and head out with you group at a much slower pace. Just enjoy the new trail, the pampering from the people working the ride and the vets.
A easy trot will get you through in plenty of time. Loping is not necessary
Water will be every 6 miles so use it. At 12 miles there will be another camp set up. This is a hold, you can not leave here before 30 minutes. At this hold you can eat, graze the horse, relax, pee break and a VET check to make sure the horse is ok.. These vets are for you, not against you and will help you.
If you or your horse is too tired to continue they will provide a ride home.
After the 30 minute hold you are going home. A new different trail but home is 12 miles down that trail.
Again don't run, a nice working trot is enough.
The ride home will go quickly. Lots of people around, lots of other horses makes for a fun ride.
Back home you will unsaddle the horse, feed him, maybe bath him but again the vet must check to make sure he is not in pain or lame.
If he finds the horse fine you pass and get credit for a successful ride.
A lunch follows with various prizes for all sorts of things.
It is a nice day, a FUN day, a new place to ride.
Go out, don't overtrain, don't overthink it. Just get out , enjoy the trial, don't burn up your horse thinking it is a race, it is not, it is an outing along a new trail with people showering attention on you.
You are among friends even it you don't know them.
AGain all of you can do it.
Go out and have fun.
The guru has spoken
Barefoot or shod is up to you. If you ride barefoot then run barefoot. This is not a test that will affect you tomorrow, complete the ride or give up half way doesn't change your life, although a finish puts you in a high but if you have a problem at the half way point then take the ride home and think about what went wrong.
Again go out and have fun, You can do it