Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association
June 3, 2010
Arrival at Ride Camp...what do I do?
When you arrive at ride camp you will get your horse settled in first. If this is your first ride you can tie your horse to the trailer, set up an electric pen (most common) or set up portable corral panels to contain your horse. Make sure your horse has plenty of water, and plenty of good hay to munch on.
Once your horse is settled in you will set out to find where the ride managers have set up for you to sign yourself in. You will fill out a form, and generally sign a liability waiver, and pay your ride entry fee. This is when you should ask what time the pre-ride vet in starts also what time the ride meeting will be held.
Next chore on the list is getting your gear set up for the next day. ( Remember you will likely be getting your horse ready to go in the dark...and that really can take some getting used to. For this operation I bought myself a little light that fits on the brim of my hat or riding helmet. I love that thing because it is hands free and really makes saddling up, booting up, and bridling much easier. If you get one of these densensitize your horse prior to the ride, as they are really bright!) I set out everything I'll need in the order that I'll need it. This includes breakfast! I have a bowl, a baggie of cereal, spoon, and napkin ready to go. For my caffiene fix I have in the cooler a bottle of starbuck's frappacino (thanks Chris for that handy tip), it is quick, easy, and no caffiene headache. I lay out my clothes, boots, just basically have everything set up and ready to go as finding things in the dark is AWFUL! This includes your horse's early morning feed ration. I get up about four hours ahead of ride time (yes about 2 or 3 a.m.) and give my horse whatever concentrated feed I want her to have. When I get up about 5 a.m. she will get additional hay to munch. Keep water in front of your horse at all times.
Some folks saddle up and pre-ride a little trail, or walk their horses around camp. Also a good time to introduce yourself to your neighbors. Most of the time people are really REALLY nice. (Now and then you get someone who looks all "puckered up." Just pass those by, smile pretty...it kills them *LOL*. It is very interesting to look at the equipment people are using, and ask questions about it. Don't feel bad if your stuff looks different. No sense in investing in a bunch of stuff until you decide you are a die hard endurance rider).
This is also the time to get your hold time stuff ready. Pick you out a spot near the vetting area(shade if you can find it) and fix up a couple of buckets of water, your sponges, your tote (with hay, feed, lunch, etc) and your chair.
Once everything is organized for morning you will be ready for the pre-ride meeting. In our region it is just before dark. Bring a pen and notebook, and take notes. Write down in questions you might have and ask them! Let ride management know that you are new and they or someone will give you information.
Head back to your camp, make sure your horse has plenty of hay, water, and whatever evening chow it may get. If you use electrolytes you may want to give a small dose in the evening. Then settle in and get some sleep. Morning will come early (don't forget your alarm clock)!