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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

June 22, 2011

The pro's and con's of a horse's movement in the distance sports.

I'm curious about how folks feel about this.  Phebes movement at the trot would literally lift you way up in the saddle, and posting was quite an energetic pursuit, in fact exhausting, but she could trot at 13 mph with ease.  Counter this with Journey.  Her little feet go very fast, her breakover is low to the ground, and she doesn't have a lot of extension.  Phebes popped her legs forward HARD which I know is hard on the joints over terrain.  Journey is very effecient in the use of her little body.  Posting is easy.  Some of you with horses that have some miles, how does your horse move, and which distance pursuit did you find most suitable for the horse's style of going?  LD, middle distance (50-65) or longer (75-100).  Phebes was a sports car with a big engine (that wanted to overheat), while Journey is more like an economy car with a 4 cylinder motor, just puttering along, not using up much fuel.  I know I'm pointing her towards LD, but I'm curious as to what this type of horse in the long range is most suitable for?  ~E.G.


  1. I just noticed your new blog banner. Love it!

  2. I think you have to look at what your goals are for the type of horse you want. Someone might want a horse more like Phebes that is a powerhouse they can push to go faster and place. They might not care as much about her well being and longevity if their goal is to Top 10 or win every time.

    My goal is merely to complete each ride I enter while getting the best scores possible because to me that means I have taken care of my horse. I think Mika is suited to whatever distance I want to do.

    Mika has an efficient stride when he settles in. He can trot along at a pace that is comfortable to post for long periods of time. I would eventually like to move up to longer distances with him when/if I have time to train for it. I would LOVE to complete Tevis on him some day. My ultimate goal with him is to still be doing rides (any distance he'd be up to) when he's pushing 30.

  3. I don't have many miles in the sport of endurance but I can say that JB was the efficient mover, shorter strided and not wanting to go faster than needed. He's all about knowing how to preserving himself. Maggie is like your Phebes with that bigger trot and wanting to go faster than she is fit for most times if I let her. I have found that with Maggie there is a fine line with asking her to stay slower and letting her choose her pace. It sucks her energy if I fight her too much to slow up as opposed to letting her choose her pace when it's safe ofcourse. JB had to learn how to find his motor. It was definitely there once I figured out how to tap into it. I just had to relax and not get fussed up over not having that big lofty trot with JB. If I had to choose, I would choose to ride JB on the trail only because his trot is lovely and smooth, as opposed to Maggie's . I think either way, it comes back to figuring out what is efficient for each horse.