Yes I know, truthfully I try to educate her as much as possible, she has admitted to me that she doesnt know to much, but she knows enough but she is a 'show off'.
I personally don't want to attempt it, and I don't encourage her to either. If she wants to come out here for a ride with her horse, than I insist that when we get a trailer that we pick her up and we goto Sandylands for a week or weekend or something.
I would like to try some Endurance Trail rides too this year or the next, when me and my horse are fit lol, I found a club for it, maybe you and shay-la and ashley might be interested eventually ?
Oh wow, RiosDad, your description of 50 and 60 mile trail rides has made me NEVER want to try it! XD lol. Sounds extremely painful.
No don't be discouraged. I found them easy, my daughter found them easy but some have problems. The girl/lady that I held her hand throughout the rides got her 1000 mile award but yes she seemed to hit a wall at 40 miles. Me I never hit a wall. I did not compete in the 100's but ran up to 65 miles.
Start with the 25's mileage rides and work up, do a few 35 competitive and before you know it you will be doing 50's.
Depending on the trial, it's difficulty one 65 took about 11 or 12 hours but it involed some of the worst trail you could imagine. The horse right behind me died with it's intestines riped out.
Don't be afraid to try a 25 and see how you like it.If you have someone to help you it will really help.
You just gotta get Indigo out on the trails...yes, you can get him used to certain sights, sounds, and objects that you might encounter on the trail, in your own yard, but as far as getting him used to trails themselves, you just have to bite the bullet and do it; riding with another horse and rider can be very helpful, especially if the other horse is calmer and more experienced. I normally just hit the trails myself, to be honest, because I know that the horse will eventually have to go alone, so why not start that way, and eliminate him being too attached to his buddy? I always carry a cell phone, and other 'emergency' stuff, just in case.
I've been planning and preparing for a cross country ride for 5 years. I've always wanted to do it, and I will do it someday. When I say cross country, I literally mean from Wisconsin to Florida and back. Crazy? Yes.
In my research and study, I've learned that to do this, I'll ride 15-20 miles a day. This means, it could take well over 6 months to ride one way. Am I still going to do it? Hell yes. I've done my research, and I'm confident about it.
BUT, I've read the horror stories, the bad luck, the stories of when the rider had to shoot their horse because it spooked at something random and got hit by a car, etc. If your horse spooked and the two of you got hit by a car, and you were bareback, you would have very little chance of living, let alone your horse. It would be tragically terrible. If your horse isn't conditioned for this ride, and isn't conditioned for trails, please, please, please no. Show your friend this thread, I really hope she doesn't attempt it.
Also--- a horse can fluctuate 50 lbs on any given day. What if it gets dehydrated? How will she feed him/her? What if he colics? Does the horse have shoes/boots so his feet don't grind off to the coffin bone? How fit is her horse? Her horse could lost a lot of weight, especially if it is a particularly hot day.
Your other question... to get the horse used to the trails, the best thing you can do is practice. Start by walking around the farm. Go a little farther each session. Let him take it all in, teach him to walk through water, brush, mud, fields, tall grass, etc. Take it slowly.
Desensitize him at home first, to plastic bags, etc. You can find a lot of random things on the trail. Teach him to spook in place. There is no harm in going for walks in hand through the neighborhood, my horse and I do it a lot.
And omg Riosdad did that seriously happen !?
I have been interested in doing endurance trail rides competitively, but that's kind of scary !
Don't let that turn you off. The trail was extemely difficult with lots of swamp crossings and at time they used BEaver DAms and we actually walk on the dam. One crossing was used too often and the center broke out so we had to lead and jump across the open section. We are jumping from tricky footing, landing on tricky footing and I made the jump but the horse right behind me sank into the dam and impaled itself on a sharp stick.
The horse died from the inpailment. That was a rare occurance and I was riding the organizers horse. If it has been my own I would have pulled him out of the race. It was just too tricky.
Many many a time we dropped into water, water with submerged tree stumps and had to feel our way across.
Again that was just the ride. Most rides are good footing, no dangerous spots.
If you take your time, have a descently conditioned horse, helps to have a mentor to guide you along it is fun, new trails, lots of other riders, lots of people catering to you.
Go enter a mileage ride, 25 miler which should be run in about 4 hours and have fun. Again you don't need a particularly fit horse to run the 25.
Do them for a season and then you might be ready to move to the 50.
My daughter didn't train but she was a runner and she could just hop on my horse and run a 50. But she was in shape, slim and the horse I gave her was a runner, conditioned and tough.
I agree that the only way you can get your horse used to the trails is just by getting out there and riding them. If you can get someone to go with you that has an experienced, calm trail horse, so much the better. When I was first riding Spike down the roads, he was quite nervous with cars and went ballistic whenever a tractor or school bus went by. I had no one nearby to ride with, so I actually moved him for a few months to be close to other riders. After only 3 or 4 rides with someone who owned a big, calm steady TB, he saw that vehicles are not a threat. Now he doesnt bat an eye going over highway overpasses with transport trucks rumbling beneath us. Exposure. Just gotta do it. Good luck!