I have read somewhere that AERC Endurance is an amateur sport. Certainly the newbies in their first 0-1000 miles are the amateurs going into the sport. But can that be said riding forward onto Old Dominion, Tevis, or the Bighorn, or after that initial 1000 mile award? What discipline has as much risk as this sport to the welfare of the horse? An amateur sport. So early on you have to step up in your knowledge base or this discipline will bite back, and it is your horse that will suffer. You must not remain an amateur for long. What do I find the most important to get early on in the game?
Rating your horse at all gaits.
A compliant partnership with your horse.
A horse that is able to relax in camp, and on the trail.
Riding with balance.
These are the ideals, but often we as amateurs ride something different, or perhaps this is our first ever equine sport (as it is mine). If so the thing to get early on may turn out to be?
Leave ten minutes after the last person out (excluding yourself).
Go slow (as in barely get it done).
Use the distance trail as training rather than competing.
Have a sense of humor.
Find a like minded Newbie and teach your horses together.
Get training and lessons to supplement your learning as you progress or recognize you might be of your depth.
Ask a lot of questions.
Amateur sport? I guess if you are non-competitive and riding to the concept of "To Finish Is To Win" then yes it is. If you are riding at any level above that you surely need to be armed with education, experience, and training to your level.
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