I would love to try it as well. Pro was an endurance horse since they started riding him (before I got him). The only thing I dislike about it, is Pro was VERY competitive when I first got him and had a HUGE lack of patients because of the endurance riding. He is better now, but If I were you I would make sure you keep your horse patient and let him know every ride is not a race and shouldn't rush if you do try it. After about a year and a half Pro started to realize riding is just for pleasure and you don't have to always race. He just didn't know anything else, even if he was really tired.
I am also intrested to hear what people say about this. We call my mare, Gypsy, "the energizer pony" because we can go on long, hard trail rides when she is in horrible condition and when we are done and the other horse is lathered, she is ready to go again. Plus she is very fast, even if she is fairly short.
I suggest you volunteer at a CTR or endurance ride. Look at what the vet and judges are looking at. Learn to read your horses vitals.
Then maybe do some CTR's before you do the endurance. They are 25 mile rides ( not races) See how your horse's P&Rs are at the CTR. If he does OK with this then you can try an Endurance, Probably the limited first and then a 50.
I want to get into endurance at some time in the future. How do I go about it? What advice do you endurance riders out there have?
I don't think I can't get into it with my current horse, he has a mild heart murmur.
I competed in 50's for years on a horse that had a heart mumur. I just didn't tell him about his condition. He never seemed to tire and almost always got straight A's
I would try to get someone with experience to take me through a few 25 mile rides. I baby sat alot of new people over the years and enjoyed showing them the ropes.
Yes, conditioning! It's very similar to conditioning a human to run a long distance. You have to mix distance days with speed work days. You have to condition using hills....and of course, you need days off as well to recover.
...and I agree about CTRs! Especially since they take into account the condition your horse is in at the finish, so people are discouraged from all out killing their horses...and they are shorter...so a good place to start.
You start doing the distance rides, the mileage rides of 25 miles and you will find that nearly any horse that is not too fat and has a little work on it can do it. I wouldn't worry too much about it and just go out and do trotting for a few hours a couple of times a week. You don't need loping, just a nice jog, one that the horse is comfortable with and you will have no problems.
Again if you can find someone who has done them before it really helps.
If you want to really practice just spend 3 hours walking through the bush alternating with jogging thrown in and you will get yourself in shape.
The addreniline, the new trail, the excitement will pull you through.