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

August 16, 2011

Articles on the 100 mile horse

How they do it mystifies me...that they do it absolutely terrifies me, as well as fills me with a sense of awe.  The 100 mile horse, the elite athlete, the TRUE endurance horse.  If you and your horse do less than, you aren't really doing endurance.  Now this thought process of mine will do some panty-twisting, and feather-ruffling, but if you think about the origins of endurance it was One horse, one rider, one hundred miles, in one day (or less).  I've only ever met one, single, solitary hundred mile rider.  One of my favorite bloggers has done several.  I personally push my physical threshold at 30 miles.  My riding becomes sloppy, patience wears thin as muscular pain reaches critical max, toes go numb, and hydration starts to tip out of balance.  So in a multiplicity of ways, yes, I'm in total awe of the 100 mile horse and rider.  Then when I start looking at FEI finishing times of ummmm...8 hours or so?  It is beyond my mental capacity to fathom.  Of late I've been trying to search out articles on the 100 mile horse and not finding a lot.  On the education section over at there are a couple of articles in the form of interviews.  One by Karen Isaacs and another by Suzanne Hayes.  Both women started riding  100 mile endurance in their twenties.  Both state that their conditioning for a 50 mile ride and a 100 mile ride are "no different" though neither state exactly what their conditioning programs look like.  Both state that two weeks prior to a 100 they don't condition their horses.  Both stress that the rider needs to be fit as well as the horse.
Some key points mentioned in the article:
  • Do several 50's prior to a 100.
  • When your horse can finish the last leg of a fifty as fast as he started, he's probably able to do a 100.
  • Ride your ride, you don't HAVE to use the 24 hours to complete.  Many horses complete in well under that time window.
  • Feeding and supplemental programs are kept pretty darned simple.  Hay people!  Lots of hay!!!
  • Ride in the dark prior to trying a 100 some people get motion sick in the dark.
  • Expect the horse to hit a wall at some point and work through it.
  • Expect you might hit a wall at some point and work through it.

To read more of both women's articles go to: AERC Education: Moving up in Distance

*Please note there are a number of broken links on this page, you just have to sort through them... ~ E.G.

Endurance 25-100


  1. So far, I've done one 100-miler, in 2007, with the Toad. We took 24hours minus 15 minutes to finish...coming back into camp at daybreak, listening to the same birdsong that we'd heard the day before on the way OUT of camp. It was pretty cool. But for a number of reasons, it was too slow. I learned a lot.

    Now, Fiddle is on the road to 100-milers. We'll finish this season with 50's (2 or 3 more), and possibly bump up to 75's next season. With Fiddle, slower is faster--it's better to give her plenty of time to learn something than to rush her into a new situation and hope she learns what you want her to know! With that in mind, I might be doing 100's with her in 2012 or 2013 or even 2014. And I'm *really* looking forward to it!

  2. Woooeee, I'm looking forward to moving up to 50s next ride season and am nervous about THAT! 100 miler horse and rider teams are definitely impressive. I will try for Tevis someday but not until after some years of 50s!