Curious about endurance? Aarene over at Haiku Farm is doing a series of posts introducing endurance riding and covering the elements of a ride, starting with this post. She writes really entertaining posts that are also very informative.
It’s also been a good refresher course for me to go through and read these posts, preparing for the eventual day when life circumstances allow me to bring a new horse into this sport again. When I got started in this sport, it wasn’t that I was completely unaware — I had been doing several years of NATRC at that point — but neither did I know everything that was expected, or even what constituted a “typical” endurance ride, since the only endurance ride I had been to at that point was Tevis. Not normal.
So I asked a few questions, did some observing, and mostly did what the person in front of me was doing and hoped they were correct. It wasn’t a complete train wreck, but that first ride was a real eye-opener, and I’m definitely glad I got the early learning curve out of the way on a seasoned, (mostly) forgiving pony.
There is so much that goes in to training a good endurance horse, and this refresher course has been a good reminder for me (not known for my patience) of why it is so important to take the time to put that base on them — not just conditioning, but training. Some extra time taken in the beginning saves time in the long run, and hopefully results in less retraining issues later on down the road.
(Someone remind me of this post on that “eventual day” when I’m all overly gung-ho to get whatever new equine is in my life out on trail and get competing again.)