I have a theory. It is generally not given the credit or attention that it deserves. Distance riding is hard.
Now before someone starts flying a red flag and saying no...it's not....I KNOW BETTER. Shut it sister! It is hard and that is why we do it. It is like a big fat Mount Everest and we gotta climb it, just because, well----even the chicken had to get to the other side! Didn't she?
I've been asking around.
Have talked to people who have had the following happen to them on a distance ride:
Rode run-aways. ( A point chaser who eventually fixed it, but nevertheless....)
Pulled so hard the rider had bloody hands. (Rider solved by allowing the horse to self-pace)
Have been tossed and injured, rode off a cliff, blah blah blah blah blah (these folks are plentiful). Ask around.
Tie-ups. (I know three that have gone through this, and read about it PLENTY more).
Saddles that won't fit the horse.
Saddles that won't fit the rider.
Colic (In this case a very conservative experienced regional mileage champion who's horse did this on two separate rides, one during the ride had to be trailered out, and once post ride).
I even saw a horse get off the trailer, walk to the vet in, and tie up vetting in!
A horse that had two national wins in CTR that ate some beet pulp and got too sick to finish.
Horses that load like crap.
Horses that unload like nuts.
Mares that pin their ears at everyone and are chronically pissy about life.
Horses that won't eat.
Horses that don't drink.
Horses that won't pee in public (well- maybe that was the rider) ☺
Even the super-horses on the international scene have a "bobble" now and then.
Once in awhile a horse drops dead at a ride. That is rare but still....
And I say all this because?
There are very few "perfect" horses out there.
People act like it doesn't happen to them.
It only happens to the rest of us.
I say bull CRAP with a capital "C".
You just haven't found the rock with your name on it.
I wouldn't want to be anyone's "first" endurance horse. The learning curve can be pretty steep. On the outside it looks like, saddle up, ride ride ride ride and ride!
I feel better.
If you know someone dealing with any of this "stuff". Send them a cyber-hug. I already had one today.
~ E.G. (who is ecstatically happy with Journey today, my old flubber lip Appy)
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