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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
He is 19 has completed several endurance rides back in 2014-2015 and won a couple hundred thousand on the track.
He hasn't been in shape for several years. Is it unwise to put a couple of years worth of conditioning on him again to get ready for Tevis? By the vets he is 100% sound.
I just don't know if I should give in and use him for 25s and 50s. Or just retire him and focus on my coming 4 year old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response. He is currently not in shape- I am sending him to someone who will be able to take the time to condition him properly (riding a few days a week). Where he is now has nowhere to ride.
 

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I would like to do a 100 next year (although a flat, MN one) with my Arab gelding who will be 20 by then. (I was hoping for this year but COVID changed my plans). He did 3 50's last year though and will hopefully get a few in the fall this year but he wasn't even broke to ride 4 years ago so as long as he stays sound I see no reason he can't do it. We have a couple of 28 year old horses around here doing 50's+ still and Merc finished it 13th place in 2018 at 27.5 years old (He also did Old Dominion 100 and the AERC National Championship 100 in the same year as well as 4 50's!

I have a 5 year old too who I'm hoping to get one or two LD's on this year but my older guy is still my main horse and will continue to be until he tells me otherwise! He would never forgive me if I left for a ride and didn't bring him, he holds a grudge if I take my other horse's out for the day without him!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for responding @QueenofFrance08

I was wondering if I was being too ambitious! That is very promising! And yes! I remember Merc finishing almost in the top 10!
I appreciate your feedback and wish you the best of luck this year!
 

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I would say if he is conditioned properly why not? I just started doing endurance last year on my 21 year old gelding. He placed 2nd in our first ever 25 miler. I have no ambitions to do anything longer than a 25 mile ride, but I was going to ride him again this year. I am not conditioning as much as I should b/c of COVID and b/c all of our rides have been cancelled. But if one gets a green light you bet I will be working on it and hope to use him again.
 

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I don't know anything about endurance, but I have a 21 year old Arab who is still doing low hunters and dressage with my daughter.

I have no doubt what you're proposing is possible, but the big question for me would be the time investment to condition this horse properly, and the possibility that you discover along the way that it's just too much for him. Are you willing to risk investing in this horse knowing that you may hit a wall? Our Arab used to jump and do very well at dressage, and he can still do those things, but he'll never compete at top levels because of arthritis in his hocks. We only discovered this issue when we started working him harder and harder. Horses are stoic, and they won't show pain sometimes. Our horse was still able to jump, but would pick up the wrong lead on the same side frequently and this was new so we had him Xrayed and sure enough, both hocks were pretty well fused. We have put him on Previcox and he's doing better, but we do find that he gets tired after a few classes at shows, so we take it easy on him. My daughter adores him, and won't hear of another horse, and as long as she's ok with just doing low-level shows, it's fine with me, but he would not be able to compete at higher levels.

Your horse may be just fine for endurance, but you may find that after some long rides, he is showing signs of fatigue. This is something you probably won't know until it happens, so if you go ahead with this project, keep in mind that you may have to call it quits at any time and maybe consider having a back-up plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you <3 It has been a really long journey to get going. My other mare tore her gaskin and we never knew until we had her come up slightly lame at vet checks. Which was heartbreaking as it was around the same time my bones were broken in half from another riding accident. I have had a lot of setbacks and it can be so frustrating because I have been wanting to be an active part of the endurance community for 12+ years. And every year there is another setback divorce, injury (mine or my horse), sickness, lack of funds. Things are finally working out in my favor but now my best horses are 17 & 19 and my up and coming is only 3 as of this year. I just need to be patient- but it is so hard when all I can do is think of how badly I want to be riding.

Thanks for reading if you got this far. And I hope to see you at rides in the future! I am wanting to attend a few before this year is over!

I just have to get myself back in shape as well now haha ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for posting this! This was one of the reasons I thought it might be possible! Merc is an amazing horse with a very talented rider!
 
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