In one of the older books I was reading about endurance riding, there was mention of an Endurance Horse Registry back in the day. I'm curious as to what happened to that organization, certainly it met an untimely death, but the idea behind it made sense. Cross breeding "proven" horses in endurance back when the competing animals were more diverse than they are today with the highest percentage of horses being Arabian, or Half Arabian. These horses more or less rule at the sport. But this led me to wonder something else. What would happen to the sport if BREED DIVISIONS were opened up. Breed divisions that would attract riders of all breeds of horses.
Now someone will ask why? Why should we consider this ridiculous idea of breed divisions? To excel at the sport as it stands, for the most part you need an arabian, and you need an arabian suitable (athletic, racing bred, endurance bred, well conditioned, and/ or just darned genetically lucky) to the sport, plus all that follows that goes into that. Those horses compete against their own kind, they excel, they pretty well do it best, or there wouldn't be so many of them in the sport. So again, why breed divisions? Because it would attract ALL BREEDS TO THE SPORT. It would not dummy down the sport, and it would not change the sport. What it would do is open the door for greater numbers to participate as they could choose to ride against their own breed for regional / National mileage or points. A plethora of Breeds would compete against there own to prove who had the best of the breed. Imagine going to a local club, or regional club and saying we have a platform of competition for you! Bring your best Paint Horses, Quarter Horses, Paso Finos, Appaloosa, Tennessee Walker, etc. and see how he stacks up as a distance horse against all those other horses of the same breed across the country. We have a venue for YOU. It wouldn't even be a bubble on ride managements radar as breed information is attached to your horse's record. It would not effect any other aspect of the sport except for being inclusive of those who prefer to ride "their kind of horse" against "their kind of horse for some breed recognition at the end of season."
Now someone will say that should be up to the breed registry or club. Folks, the breed clubs don't give a rat's petunia about our kind of rider for the most part. A few have a distance program, but mostly they do not. They want to prove those horses in the show ring, and register lots of offspring. It is your serious trail riders who might find this an exciting new venue for their horse.
See what happens when I get iced in? My mind starts chomping like a bear trap.
La la la, la la la.
I vacuumed the bedroom today.
La la la, la la la.
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