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Endurance Riding in Kentucky
I have always been interested in endurance racing, but I have never had a horse that would be anywhere near being able to do something like that. I have always wanted a Arabian cross to do endurance with, and I just bought one. He is older and hasn't been trained in endurance, so I'm sure he wouldn't be too much of a competitor, but I am still interested... Does anyone know of any endurance races in Kentucky? Where can I go, or who can I talk to to find out where they are etc? And who here rides endurance in KY? Any nice stories you would like to share? And my Arabian cross is 7 yr old. Is he too old for being training for endurance? If he isn't too old, what all would I need to do to build him up for endurance racing?
I know that is a lot of questions, so don't feel like you have to answer them all. I am just curious about what everyone here thinks. I really enjoy hearing from everyone and I really appreciate any and all answers everyone gives! Thanks.
Here are a couple pictures. He needs to gain some weight, I know.Attachment 122542
Well 7 is definitely not older it is the perfect age to start training. Just start slowly building him up lots and lots of trotting.
The ranch i was at had early 20 yr old arabs/ tbs doing shorter endurance rides no problem. The arab i used to ride was 15 and excelled at endurance even with little training.
My friend just retired her gelding from endurance and he is 23, though she still rides him regularly. He's definatley not too old!
I would suggest working up the distance that you ride within a number of months up to half a year or more, depending on what distance you want to compete in.
The important part is getting his heart and breathing rate down within a certain amount of time after he stops and rests (can't remember off the top of my head, maybe somebody else will chime in) so you'll need to learn how to do that. There are plenty of devices that will record his heart rate for you.
Good luck! He's a cutie. (:
Where in KY are you? I'm NE of Louisville, and just started endurance myself last year. It is fun!
Check out Daniel Boone Distance Riders club - based in KY
There are several endurance rides in and near KY.
As for your horse, 7 is a great age to get started. Much better than starting too young! Getting started involves lots and lots of long slow distance. Be careful not to overdo it, especially in the beginning. Using a GPS will help you track mileage/speed and make training plans/goals. I use my Droid phone GPS app. I don't have a heart rate monitor- just learn how to check it manually yourself- but don't get too wrapped up in worrying about heart rate in the beginning anyway- you shouldn't be working your horse that hard until he has spent a long time on easy slower conditioning. Most horses get cardio fit much faster than their legs (tendons, ligaments, bone) get conditioned. Doing too much too fast is a good way to end up with a serious injury. That applies to all horses- not just endurance- but especially equine athletes.
There's a huge amount of info on the internet to read. Also a new book called Endurance 101 might be worth a read: Endurance 101 | a gentle guide to the sport of long-distance riding
www.aerc.org has a whole section about education.
Hope to see you at some rides next year!
I knew you have to get their heart rate down but I still don't know much about that. I look forward to earning!
Yeah, he is a beautiful color. I have always wanted a grey horse, I always wanted a Arabian cross, and I always wanted a gelding (I have only had mares before), and I got it all in one try!! :)
I was going to get the gps app on my phone that way I could record our miles through the year, so I will kill two birds with one stone! That's a great idea!
My boy has only been rode on small trail rides, ones that lasted maybe an hour -4 hours at a slow walk through flat land and woods (I'm not sure how many miles that it...) What would you recommend beginning his 'mileage goal' at? And Is it going to be harmful to him to being working him in the winter, or should I wait until spring to start working him a lot? I would start out slow, mind you, either way.
Thanks again for such a good reply, and Hopefully I will see you at the races too!! :)
I would definitely start riding him this winter- regular arena work training of course, and lots of long slow trail rides. If you have access to hills ride on them, hill work is great for building strength and fitness. As his fitness increases you can increase your speed or distance gradually.
Another great source of info is Karen Chaton's blog. She is a very successful endurance rider who knows how to keep horses sound and going for LOTS of miles... tons of old blog entries with lots of great info:
I do have a few hills around my house, which is where I do most of my riding, but there is a place down the road that has mapped out trails to ride on that has plenty of hilly areas. That sounds like a good idea, and I will keep the hill idea in mind!
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