If only I were a great framer of words it would be easy to put to blog what endurance as a sport imparts to us mere mortals. But no matter how hard I try to shape the words, the tangible truth of it fails to come forth. Maybe in a summation I would say perhaps that endurance teaches us much about ourselves. It teaches us to lean hard on our own ability, to trust in another living being who's very life and skin is in the game, to value that horse for its power, and strength, and grit, to appreciate partnership, and to draw deeply on personal reserves you never knew you had. You see...I try to explain but still, the words flow imperfectly. The very unique thing about riding endurance is the experience is so very different for each of us, from the guy with 64,000 competition miles, to the woman with the backyard horse, trying to reach a ride pinnacle of completing that first 25,50,100 mile ride. One thing for sure, this sport attracts a breed apart that exudes a quiet steadfast capability you find nowhere else.
I won't say that you will find that magical something on your first ride, or your next ride, or the ride after that, when your ride mileage balance only equals a couple of hundred miles, or a couple of thousand miles, but one day there will be "that" ride when it is as though the sands shift subtly beneath your feet, and you realize that you are an endurance rider. That you have challenged yourself in ways you never imagined you could. If I never get to sling my leg over a saddle and sit at a start ever again, the seven years of trials, tribulation, and setbacks have made me a better person, a stronger person. That is something that nobody can ever, ever, ever...take from me. Endurance riding has given me that. The beauty of what I'm trying to express here is that everyone in endurance if they stay at it long enough, enduring when they think they should quit, will find "it" that thing that defines the sport.
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