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Yes... I know... a pitiful question. But I never hear about endurance much except on this forum. How does it work? I have a very vague idea, but if someone could perhaps give an explanation of what would happen if one were to go to an endurance competition I think I might understand it better. It might be nice if anyone knows any unedited helmet cam style YouTube videos of an endurance competition too, though I don’t know how long they last so maybe too long for Youtube. If that does exist though I think that that would be helpful for me to conceptualize what it actually is; that’s what helped me actually understand what in the world eventing is, too, so it might be helpful. I know this is a silly question.
Also, just for fun, if you’re answering this and you do endurance, what breed (if you know) is your horse? :)
 

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We have a sanctioned endurance races at my 'home turf' every year. I help marking and unmarking the trails, since I know the trails pretty well. But I have never participated in an actual race. The races are normally 15, 25, 50 and 100 miles. Everyone is racing against the clock. So you're not directly racing against each other, as you would in the Kentucky Derby. The average pace in my 'home turf' is around 6 mph (10 kmph). Every so many miles there's a vet station. You will have to stop there and have your horse checked to see if he's fit to go on. They'll check his pulse, dehydration and lameness. He'll will not be allowed to continue until it is safe for him to do so. At the end of the race, he'll even be checked for back soreness. This is the part where I'm not sure how it works. If a horse scores very high on his final check, does that influence his total time? There is a section in Horse Forum for Endurance Riding. They can be much more helpful than I. Good luck. BTW, if endurance doesn't work out, look into competitive trail riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Interesting! I do have to admit that I look at it and think it might could be fun for my little guy Pistol if I could get him conditioned for it. He likes eventful rides now he’s come out of his shell over the years, instead of just riding in the pasture or an arena. He has a nice ground-covering long trot too and I don’t know too much about endurance but that certainly couldn’t be a bad thing, I would think. Is 15 a year old horse too old to try to get into endurance?
 

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Your best source of good info would be on @phantomhorse13's journal. She posts descriptions and videos of all her endurance rides.
going the distance - my endurance adventures

Videos from this guy Dave on Youtube are great for showing the general pace of the rides.

You can at least do limited distance with a horse that is your horse's age (25 or 30 miles). Rides are fun. I've done two LD rides. I want to do more endurance, but have had horse injury, aging or unsuitability problems. My goal is that after my 30 yr old passes on, I'll get a good endurance horse again.

The pace of the rides surprises some people. It's not walking. You have to at least trot wherever you can (good ground), and sometimes canter. That requires a rider to get into good shape to keep it up for that many miles.

If your horse might get excited when twenty other horses go cantering off at the start, you might want to wait and start after a few horses leave.

You go the day before and camp overnight with your horses, so that requires some planning.

The vet checks also require some training, because after you've been out riding along, now your horse has to come into an area with a bunch of people and horses milling around, and get his heart rate low enough to begin your timed hold. If your horse does not pulse down in a required time, or there are other concerns from the vet such as dehydration, you'll have to pull out of the ride. So horses have to be in shape to finish. Your horse also has to be able to be led out at a trot down a line and back so the vet can look for lameness. Lameness will also mean you have to pull out.

You get scores for the vet check, including gut sounds. So your horse has to be able to eat and drink along the way. There will be water troughs periodically, and there are protocols I didn't know on my first ride, such as you can't leave when other horses are drinking, or start your horse drinking until the others are done. You also can't dip a sponge in the drinking water to cool off your horse. I got yelled at for that one, LOL.

Horses have to be able to settle into a good pace so they don't wear themselves out right away. Other people and horses will pass you, and you'll pass others. Some people want to ride alone, and some will try to tag along with you, which might make your horse upset. There is some etiquette involved. But most people are out to have a good time, and you can use any kind of tack and wear any clothing you find comfortable. Everything needs to fit well or you and your horse will have issues.

For most rides you will need shoes or boots on your horse. Your horse needs to be really sound, with good hooves and fit. Sometimes getting in the training rides for fitness can be tricky, although you don't need to go the whole distance to train. Fifteen mile rides are adequate preparation for a limited distance ride. But your horse needs to be used to trotting a lot.

Your scorecard won't affect your time, but will affect awards such as best condition. In order to begin and finish the ride, you have to pass a vet check that shows your horse is not lame or having a health problem.
 

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15 isn't old at all. Pretty much in their prime to participate in LD at that point. I’ve known of some older horses doing 50s and 100s, but each horse is different when it comes to what they can do.

I’m in the same boat as @gottatrot. Years ago, I had a vision of at least doing LD and NATRC competitive trail rides with my gelding, but we didn’t have reliable transportation at the time. Now that I do, we don’t have riding partners (which is why I do 99.9% of my riding at our home base, we could even condition there because all but 10 miles of our Virtual Tevis miles last year were done there so I know it can be done, but it gets soooo repetitive because the view never changes). I keep meaning to do the 10 mile Intro at our somewhat local (40 minute drive) endurance ride, but the last few years have thrown wrenches in the way. Luckily, endurance is one of those things anyone can do at any age, so my plan is to wait for my retired mare to live out her life, and get a youngster to start training for LD. I’m planning on an Arab hopefully (or if I can find a really sporty type Haflinger) and hopefully my gelding is still sound and going well enough that he can be the “husband” (I’m not married and probably won’t ever be, but it’s an apt analogy) horse so we can haul out more. Might be years down the line yet, given how my mare has no quit.

In the meantime, I’m hoping they do Virtual Tevis again this year and hopefully we’ll be able to haul off property more often this year so we can get a change of view now and then.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Your best source of good info would be on @phantomhorse13's journal. She posts descriptions and videos of all her endurance rides.
going the distance - my endurance adventures

Videos from this guy Dave on Youtube are great for showing the general pace of the rides.

You can at least do limited distance with a horse that is your horse's age (25 or 30 miles). Rides are fun. I've done two LD rides. I want to do more endurance, but have had horse injury, aging or unsuitability problems. My goal is that after my 30 yr old passes on, I'll get a good endurance horse again.

The pace of the rides surprises some people. It's not walking. You have to at least trot wherever you can (good ground), and sometimes canter. That requires a rider to get into good shape to keep it up for that many miles.

If your horse might get excited when twenty other horses go cantering off at the start, you might want to wait and start after a few horses leave.

You go the day before and camp overnight with your horses, so that requires some planning.

The vet checks also require some training, because after you've been out riding along, now your horse has to come into an area with a bunch of people and horses milling around, and get his heart rate low enough to begin your timed hold. If your horse does not pulse down in a required time, or there are other concerns from the vet such as dehydration, you'll have to pull out of the ride. So horses have to be in shape to finish. Your horse also has to be able to be led out at a trot down a line and back so the vet can look for lameness. Lameness will also mean you have to pull out.

You get scores for the vet check, including gut sounds. So your horse has to be able to eat and drink along the way. There will be water troughs periodically, and there are protocols I didn't know on my first ride, such as you can't leave when other horses are drinking, or start your horse drinking until the others are done. You also can't dip a sponge in the drinking water to cool off your horse. I got yelled at for that one, LOL.

Horses have to be able to settle into a good pace so they don't wear themselves out right away. Other people and horses will pass you, and you'll pass others. Some people want to ride alone, and some will try to tag along with you, which might make your horse upset. There is some etiquette involved. But most people are out to have a good time, and you can use any kind of tack and wear any clothing you find comfortable. Everything needs to fit well or you and your horse will have issues.

For most rides you will need shoes or boots on your horse. Your horse needs to be really sound, with good hooves and fit. Sometimes getting in the training rides for fitness can be tricky, although you don't need to go the whole distance to train. Fifteen mile rides are adequate preparation for a limited distance ride. But your horse needs to be used to trotting a lot.

Your scorecard won't affect your time, but will affect awards such as best condition. In order to begin and finish the ride, you have to pass a vet check that shows your horse is not lame or having a health problem.
That sounds so fun. And it sounds like something Pistol’s speedy long/extended trot (whichever you call it) would be good for too— he prefers it over cantering, too, and it seems to wear him out less, and it’s faster than his canter much of the time. I could see that it could be a good tool to utilize in endurance if I were to be able to participate in it. I doubt things will work out so that I can, but it’s a nice thought, anyway, and a little conditioning couldn’t hurt anything.

Here’s the little guy doing his speedy trot, just for the heck of it. He may be small and short backed but he can stretch those leggies when he wants to.
 

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If you would like to learn about the sport of endurance, google is your friend. Start with AERC, the national organization for Endurance rides.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you would like to learn about the sport of endurance, google is your friend. Start with AERC, the national organization for Endurance rides.
I tried that, but it makes a lot more sense to hear folks talk about it firsthand. Like, I can read an article that explains everything others have described, but hearing about their personal experiences with it is not only more enticing and interesting and doesn’t lull me to sleep, but it provides a way more in-depth explanation. For instance, gottatrot’s explanation was very in-depth compared to what I have read online on official websites and the like. That’s why I asked this question here. :)
 

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I ride distance and so does my DH. There are 4 arab geldings in our pasture!

Phin, a 12 year old gelding who is my main competition horse:
1110042


Link, a 4 year old I just started under saddle last summer who I hope to get started competing this season:
1110046


Sultan, a 22 year old gelding who was retired to pasture potato a couple years ago due to ringbone:
1110036


And George, also 22, retired from competition after a bout with EPM:
1110040



I also have the pleasure of riding for some friends, who have quite the menagerie of horses doing distance.

Fluffy is a 11 year old Perch/Arab cross mare:
1110043


Duroc is a 11 year old TB/Welsh cross gelding:
1110037


Flo is a 10 year old Saddlebred/arab cross mare:
1110038


Lito is a 5 year old Dutch harness horse gelding:
1110045


Mu is a 6 year old Arab gelding:
1110039


Lapco is a 5 year old Arab mare:
1110044



@LilyandPistol if you have any other specific questions, I am happy to try to answer them. if you use the book of faces and don't mind sharing what area of the world you live in, I can potentially direct you to some local groups and I certainly can hook you up with the various Green Bean pages.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I ride distance and so does my DH. There are 4 arab geldings in our pasture!

Phin, a 12 year old gelding who is my main competition horse:
View attachment 1110042

Link, a 4 year old I just started under saddle last summer who I hope to get started competing this season:
View attachment 1110046

Sultan, a 22 year old gelding who was retired to pasture potato a couple years ago due to ringbone:
View attachment 1110036

And George, also 22, retired from competition after a bout with EPM:
View attachment 1110040


I also have the pleasure of riding for some friends, who have quite the menagerie of horses doing distance.

Fluffy is a 11 year old Perch/Arab cross mare:
View attachment 1110043

Duroc is a 11 year old TB/Welsh cross gelding:
View attachment 1110037

Flo is a 10 year old Saddlebred/arab cross mare:
View attachment 1110038

Lito is a 5 year old Dutch harness horse gelding:
View attachment 1110045

Mu is a 6 year old Arab gelding:
View attachment 1110039

Lapco is a 5 year old Arab mare:
View attachment 1110044


@LilyandPistol if you have any other specific questions, I am happy to try to answer them. if you use the book of faces and don't mind sharing what area of the world you live in, I can potentially direct you to some local groups and I certainly can hook you up with the various Green Bean pages.
Love seeing all these pretty hooved babies!

I would possibly be interested in such a group! I live in Georgia, USA if that’s helpful.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you for the information!
 
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