Ponies and Endurance
I was wondering why I never see ponies in endurance competitions? Is there a reason for this or am I just missing them?
I should be getting a 13hh pony soon, and am interested in doing endurance.
Just wondering what your thoughts on them were.
If you want to do endurance get an arabian. Anything else is wishful thinking. I am finding that out myself. If you already have a horse get it in shape and start riding. Sure there are some examples of other breeds that have been successful, but generally they are not competitive. 14 hand arabians can do quite well.
I already have the pony picked out, and if she turns out to be what I want I'm getting her this weekend.
I'm not looking for anything really competitive, just for fun, I was just wondering if it was their size that made them less desirable for endurance.
Try competitive trail riding ! Like NATRC and ACTHA . Maybe Brighteyes will chime in on this thread .
A pony just won the LD I was at yesterday, and there were 2 maybe 3 ponies in all! All ridden by juniors, though. The pony that won yesterday could have gotten best condition as well, but the rider was only 89 lbs lol. The rider that took best condition, who does very well in ALL her rides doesn't even ride an arabian, but rather a very large grade QH. She won best condition easily in both her rides - however, her total weight is also 215-225 depending on the scale. Not even chance for the tiny little junior on her pony! Oh, and did I mention that pony was ridden barback and in a halter for all 25 miles? They were quite the pair!
BTW, these particular ponies are regulars at EVERY ride in my area. They're so cute together!
*adds to todo list*
There are a handful of ponies who compete in my region, mostly ridden by juniors, but there is at least one woman I have seen riding one as well.
I think their stride length would have a lot to do with their ability on trail. A really small, short-strided pony would have to take twice as many strides on trail as a bigger animal, so would be working much harder. Doesn't mean they couldn't do it, just another thing to keep in mind while training.
But considering a lot of arabs are pony-sized (a friend who has won several rides this year, including the OD 50, rides an arab who is 14.1 with shoes), there is certainly no reason a pony can't do endurance and do it well!
Phantom: Thats pretty much the only thing I could come up with to why they aren't used as much, the shorter strides.
I looked into the competitive trail riding, which looks interesting. Thanks!
Gonna depend on what breed of pony. Pony is a pretty generic term. Basically just a short horse. Many of which could be moatly arabian. The traditional pony breeds though have shorter strides, deeper blood vessels, greater muscle mass, of stocky northern european breeds bred in cold climates. They just dont handle heat as well. Shedding heat seems to be a limiting factor in many cases. Ever notice how many people complain about thin skinned arabians ? and all the issues with girth sores ? Its real. They are known for thinner skin with more blood vessels closer to the surface. Also look head on a running arab and see how wide their nostrils are. These are traits that evolved in hot climates that enable them to better shed heat. Lower body temp meant less demand for water, less stress on the heart, better vet checks.
I see Idaho mentioned in the pony endorsements. SHort horses seem to do well in rough mountain terrain, Tall horses do better in the flats. Analyzing Tevis cup results sees the long legged horses really loosing ground on the steep portions of the course.
Like I said if your plan is to do endurance buy an arabian or arabian cross. If you already own a horse and enjoy and want to do something with it like me and my TWH's have at it and enjoy get it in shape and go for it.
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