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hisangelonly 10-10-2013 08:46 PM

No riding buddies
I'm looking at riding the 25 miler in Athens, tx on November 9. I have a TWH I got in August and he's looking good so far. I have been riding as much as I can but it's difficult when there's nobody to ride with. Especially since my horse is still a bit green, I don't feel safe riding alone. I have emailed the mentor for my area, sue burkheart, and asked her if there are any group conditioning rides around or if anyone needs a trail buddy. No response just yet. Where do you guys find endurance conditioning buddies? I know a lot of the trails (us army corps) are closed (grrr). The trails around here are mainly army corps!!!! But is there anyone on here in the Fort Worth, Texas area that would like to condition together? Or does anyone have tips on meeting people?
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Horsesaplenty 10-10-2013 09:07 PM

Honestly going out alone is good, but not always as fun. I have to go alone alot, but my horse is learning to rely on me :) . I wanted to ride that ride too...I still might.
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hisangelonly 10-10-2013 09:11 PM

Yes but see my problem lies in that I have a horse that is still a little green. :/. I just don't feel comfortable enough with him yet to go out alone except down the road lol. Guess I'm afraid nobody's going to find my body :p. what area are you in?
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Horsesaplenty 10-11-2013 10:22 PM

I'm out in Louisiana :) Keep a cell phone on you and tell someone where you'll be and what time to expect you back. I ride out alone more often than not. It's just the way it is for me. Work on flexing that neck and a one rein stop. Do it frequently at random times and on both sides. Hopefully you will never need to shut a horse down with it, but most likely you may need to calm one and bring it back to you. Flexing is a good tool and keeps that hindquarter disengaged.

I hope you find someone to ride with. We were thinking about doing that same ride :) We might see you there!

Faustinblack 10-12-2013 11:00 AM

I actually met my riding buddy on Craigslist of all places. But you are in our area. We have been either riding at the trails out on white chapel road in southlake, or the trails out at old Alton bridge in argyle, since the park shut down thing. PM me and we can see I we can get something set up
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Dustbunny 10-12-2013 12:41 PM

In all honesty, if you are not comfortable going out alone on your horse, then I would say neither of you are ready for an endurance (even limited distance) ride. It's been years since I have ridden endurance but I never found it to be a group activity. I would see a parent and child team ride together but out on the trail I found it to be an activity for the horse/rider team.
Your horse needs to be responsive to what you are asking. You are going to have horses passing you at speed so you need to know that your horse isn't going to flip out and take off.
Seriously, I think you need to give yourself another year to train and condition. Endurance is a competitive sport. But you and your horse need to be ready for it. Even if you think you will just go out there and take it slow on a limited distance, it can still be a danger to yourself and others if you are not ready. And at this point, if you are nervous your horse will pick up on that.

See if you can find a local saddle club in your area. Join Back Country Horseman. Check in with local feed and tack stores to see if they have information about local clubs in the area. Having someone to ride with is a good thing, especially for you right now. I hope you can locate a group that works for you. Wishing you the best and stay safe.

Sharpie 10-27-2013 10:05 PM

I hope you've found some riding buddies in the past couple of weeks!

I don't know if endurance is really a 'competitive sport.' It certainly can be, at all levels from LD right up to 100's, but if it is, that is a personal choice (that a lot people make). It can also be a 'go out and enjoy yourself and your horse and some good trail with other slightly nutty horse people' activity, if that is what you want too. There's room for everyone. :) What I do agree whole-heartedly is that it is or can be a somewhat solo activity- there is zero guarantee you will be riding with a trail buddy during a ride, and as the Army says, train as you fight. Keep ID and cell phone on your person, not the horse.

I rode a 30 last weekend, my first completion, and I think, over the entire trail, I was with company for MAYBE 2 miles. The other 28 were just me and my horse. If that idea is something you're not ready for, both horse and rider, I would keep working closer to home for a while. Are there any 'normal' trail riders around you? In terms of training a greenie, even a slower-paced ride can be a great experience and a good chance to get the horse exposed to new and scary things. Maybe start out with normal trail rides out with others, but do lots of close-to-home/barn loops for conditioning in the meanwhile?

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