What defines a newbie from an experienced distance rider? In my mind it is the very word EXPERIENCE. I heartfelt believe that you can be into this sport for a while and still have your newb going on. In fact, I've been around a while now, and since from a financial standpoint I'm only able to attempt a couple-few rides in a year's time I've only stacked up 250 successful completions with 300 miles in "attempt." That in no way defines me as an experienced distance rider. Most of my experience has been in the training and conditioning phase vs. the competition phase of the sport. Ask me to illustrate LSD or low heart rate training, and I'm your gal! Ask me to tell you how to get a 50 done, and I will have to refer you to a higher power.
Not all newbies are created equal. There are (Type A) newbies that can weld the horse trailer, tune up the truck, and rotate the tires. They tend to just be geared to doing complicated things, and are thoroughly undaunted by something mundane as distance riding. Then there are the (Type B) newbies "like me" who have taped their US RIDER card into the cab of the truck, and roll out with their hearts in their chest because though they know the correct end of the horse, and direction in the saddle, much of the rest remains a mystery. We are the riders who manage to get dismounted and on foot at a ride, lost without trail markers in place, and nearly faint (yes, real head between knees episode) because our horse is on IV fluids even though we trained hard, and competed slow. For us, it is a challenge, a true and daunting challenge to take a horse to 50 miles, or beyond.
Your type A's will trot around the park a few times, top ten their first ride, and generally not look back, or they say good enough and move on to a more difficult challenge.
Type B's will condition their horse's brains out, start at the back of the pack, finish at the back of the pack, and have trouble getting the pulse down. If there is a rut in the trail, they will find it. A low hanging branch? They will snag it. A directional snafu....yeah, that too. A type B might need 1000 competition miles for it all to gel.
250 down, 750 to go. ~ E.G.
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