Getting started and what's it all about...
Endurance,or long distance riding is a sport for everyone no matter what age. You do not need an Arab to take part,nor do you need any special tack.The basic requirements are a sound horse,a comfortable saddle for both the horse and rider a bridle and a desire to spend a lot of time in the company of your horse!
The rides form a progression but there is no need to progress further than you want to .At the start of the ladder are the Non Competitive Rides ( NCR ) and at the top are the the Endurance Rides of 160km in one day!
Non Competative Rides vary in distance between 18km and 40km and must be completed between 8kpm and 12kph.Most horses should be capable of completing these rides fairly easily at the lower speeds.
The next step is the Competitive Rides. At Novice levels these run from 32km to 48km and again should be completed between 8kph and 15 kph. In a Competitive Ride you incur penalties depending on your horses final heart rate. Faster than 15kph means elimination at Novice Level.
As you move up the ladder the speeds and distances increase until at Advanced level you can compete in Endurance Rides - the very top is 160km!
The attraction of the sport for many is the camaraderie amoungst the competitors and the opportunity to ride over some loverly countryside that may not be normally open to you. Most horses seem to enjoy going somewhere different and soon realize what it is all about. You will learn a great deal about your horse and what he/she is capable of and hopefully have many years of enjoyment together.
If you think you might like to have a go you can always go along to one of the rides and see what happens-- everyone will be more than willing to talk to you and introduce you to the sport.