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adarkfox
11-26-2010, 04:45 PM
In my days of stalking around AW I've across quite a few horse-y people (and much to my surprise, most were English-type riders like me), and I wanted to *hopefully* start a thread where everyone with horse hair on their clothes and a car that smells like horse sweat could congregate.

So please post about you & your horseyness!

Mr Flibble
11-26-2010, 05:46 PM
I used to be horsey - I was a groom for a while out in the Balearics - but a fall onto a rock pretty much screwed my back for riding more than occasionally. :(

Still, I like to hear about other people being horsey.

JimmyB27
11-26-2010, 06:00 PM
What's an English-type rider? Jodhpurs and tweed rather than stetsons and denim?

Mr Flibble
11-26-2010, 06:06 PM
What's an English-type rider? Jodhpurs and tweed rather than stetsons and denim?

Kinda - IIRC it's the style of riding (using an English saddle/tack rather than a Western one).

saddlebroke
11-26-2010, 07:06 PM
Thanks for starting this thread!

When I was a kid, I hounded my parents constantly to buy me a horse. I just knew I was meant to have one! But, alas, neither of them was (1) born with the horse-y gene, nor (2) affluent enough to dive into the money pit that is horse ownership. Fast forward to my 20s, when I finally started taking riding lessons, but soon realized I had more time than money. Lessons resumed in my 30s, but soon fizzled when I realized I had more money than time. The planets finally aligned in my 40s, when I was able to begin lessons in earnest. After a short while, I bought my first horse, who I loved more than anything. He has since been retired to a therapeutic riding facility, where he is happy as a clam, babysitting kids with disabilities. When I was ready to buy another horse, I found a young draft-cross mare. Samba (Sammie to her friends) is coming 6, and is sassy and adorable. And unfortunately, for sale. My husband and I are soon to be relocating across the country, and I just can't take her.

When I first got Sammie, I started a blog. I haven't kept it up, now that she's for sale. A little too painful, I suppose. Here it is, though, for anyone interested enough to at least see her pictures. :) Green on Green (http://www.greenongreen.wordpress.com)

WriteKnight
11-26-2010, 07:23 PM
I have had the great good fortune to have had working relationships with a number of horses. Owning as many as sixteen at a time, one can appreciate how each horse has a distinct attitude and capability - especially when you are asking them to do the same tasks under the same conditions. (Performing in a show.)

I too came to riding relatively late in life - my late twenties. I don't currently own any horses - but I do get to perform every now and again.

'You figure it's a good life, to have had one good dog, one good horse, and one good woman in it.'

I give thanks for all of them.

adarkfox
11-27-2010, 01:54 AM
I'm the enabled one I guess LoL - my family farm currently has 8 horses and 1 pony - before my daughter (now a year) was born she inherited the family pony... I didn't even have a pony until I was 4-5.

I always rode - I can't count how many broken hearts I've seen of horse-crazy kids who wanted a horse more than anything, and had parents that could very well afford a horse, but was unwilling to invest such $$$ in a "big dog".

I love your avatar WriteKnight! I went to Medieval Times last weekend - the horses there were amazing. And holy crap I was talking to the knights after the show and he told me he had no riding experience before he started on at Medieval Times, and in 6 months he started in the shows.

17 years of riding lessons and I can't joust :(

jvc
11-27-2010, 03:18 AM
My memory isn't what it once was, but wasn't there another thread around here to do with horses and horsey people?

I've only ever ridden a pony, at a beach when I was five. I did used to have to take my little sister to a horse riding school every Sunday. I did not enjoy that.

:deadhorse

WriteKnight
11-27-2010, 03:57 AM
There is a thread on 'horse sense' and 'horse facts' - Full of questions and answers about horse issues. How much do they eat, how far can they travel, etc. etc.

I took this thread to be an invitation for 'horse folk' to chat about their interests and experience.

jvc
11-27-2010, 04:18 AM
Can we also talk recipes? :D

I was thinking, just now, that it was strange I never wanted to ride horses when I took my sister, considering how much I wanted to when I was a little kid. And how much I wanted to be a cowboy.

Silver King
11-27-2010, 04:23 AM
...I took this thread to be an invitation for 'horse folk' to chat about their interests and experience.
That's what I thought also, and the topic is perfectly suited for this room.

Just don't ask Jed to share any of his horse meat recipes!

jvc
11-27-2010, 04:27 AM
Nah, I didn't mean the thread wasn't good, or that it wasn't right for here. But I really did think there was another one with horse peeps talking about horsey stuff. However, I may be thinking of another forum. Or, which is more likely, I'm going crazy.

bip
11-27-2010, 04:40 AM
This thread encouraged me to finally get off my rear and upload an avatar. That's me and my new event horse at our last event of the season. He is so much fun!

Wayne K
11-27-2010, 04:46 AM
I have cats

Silver King
11-27-2010, 04:47 AM
I originally thought this thread would concern a different type of horseplay, like when folks goof around and roughhouse with one other without any actual horses involved.

It still might turn into that yet, you never know. :)

Captcha
11-27-2010, 05:02 AM
I took riding lessons as a kid, and then volunteered at a therapeutic riding facility, which turned into summer jobs at the same facility. Then I moved, and moved again, and I lost touch with horses for almost twenty years.

My sister in law got me some riding lessons for Christmas two years ago. Best present I ever got. Most expensive present I ever got, in terms of what it's cost me, but still - great gift.

Riding as an adult is so different from riding as a kid. When I was young, everything was physical - playing to my strengths, I guess. Now, it's more technical, more theoretical, and, to my mind, much more intense. As a kid, I rode hunter/jumper, and that's what I started with as an adult, but I found a horse that could teach me a lot if I could just stay on her (bit of a shying/bucking/silliness habit) so I switched to western for a better grip. And it's been fascinating.

PS. Four of my five novels so far have been set in the horse world, so I'm seriously thinking of trying to write off at least 1/2 of my lesson and leasing costs as a business expense. People can do that for taking clients out for dinner, so shouldn't I be able to do it for something that I enjoy, but that is also good for my work? Has anybody tried this? (I'm in Canada, so Revenue Canada input would be most valuable).

Brutal Mustang
11-27-2010, 05:14 AM
I have cats

I have those and horses. Two and two. And may the big two never meet the little two.

backslashbaby
11-27-2010, 05:19 AM
My sister was the really horsey one; so were a bunch of friends I've had through the years. Just next door is my Western-horsey neighbor, and I get to chat with the horses over the fence any time I want (and help catch the jumpers at 3am in the snow :D).

I think I've only had 3 formal riding lessons :) Otherwise, it was always just their horse and the woods, usually.

So I've never had to buy $150 breeches, thank God!

I do really like horses. I don't like them the way truly horsie people do -- they are kind of big and still kind of scare me as far as really controlling things the horse doesn't want to do.

thewakingself
11-27-2010, 05:19 AM
I've been riding hunter/jumpers competitively since I was ten, even after I completely wrecked my arm during an A-level show (multiple compound fractures, plus a concussion). Good times.

Now (at thirty) I'm catch riding because my job means I'm slammed for time. So, I've been schooling a lot of nasty-tempered ponies over fences of late. :D

My horsey-set and I call ourselves 're-riders' since we're so much more cautious than we used to be. I'm going on a real hunt in the spring, so let's see how poorly it goes.

megoblocks
11-27-2010, 05:49 AM
I don't know what they feed horses these days, but it seems like you can't get as much glue out of them as you use to.

Fenika
11-27-2010, 05:53 AM
Nah, I didn't mean the thread wasn't good, or that it wasn't right for here. But I really did think there was another one with horse peeps talking about horsey stuff. However, I may be thinking of another forum. Or, which is more likely, I'm going crazy.

You are crazy.

But there is an equine discussion group that never took off. But if anyone wants to join, feel free.

As for me, I'm planning on buying two horses soon (well, one's free, but 'free' ends the second I sign the papers and get handed the lead rope attached to the halter attached to the horse) (plus I'll prolly pay a buck to make it more legalish)

Cella
11-27-2010, 05:53 AM
I have a horse story but it is quite long and drawn out but here it is:

They put me on the big horse called Lightning; it started galloping when I didn't want it to; I almost let go; someone came and rescued me; panic overtook me. Later I played soccer for a nameless team who was later named Lightning; panic overtook me again.

bettielee
11-27-2010, 11:28 AM
I am a sparkly unicorn.

**runs**

Cliff Face
11-27-2010, 12:33 PM
My mum and sister used to have horses. 2 horses and a pony, actually. Sis started out on the pony at a young age, then moved on to the big horse. Mum kept the medium-sized horse to herself. They both used to do local competitions, only dressage, but never really won anything.

And the grand total of my experience with those horses was getting on the pony when I was young, freaking out, falling off, and then not going near them again until I had to feed them when mum was in hospital (I was about 14 then).

Then we moved to the suburbs and no more horsies.

I don't trust any animals, as a general rule, so I doubt I'll ever ride a horse for as long as I should live.

Wayne K
11-27-2010, 01:35 PM
Why do they hang horses anyway?

Fenika
11-27-2010, 10:31 PM
Actually, my poor one-liner Wayne, the horse hangs himself. And if he's relaxed then he'll hang and hang and hang all afternoon. Unless he's a she. Then she'll wink and pee.

Animals are weird, but compared to what we do....

backslashbaby
11-27-2010, 11:09 PM
My mum and sister used to have horses. 2 horses and a pony, actually. Sis started out on the pony at a young age, then moved on to the big horse. Mum kept the medium-sized horse to herself. They both used to do local competitions, only dressage, but never really won anything.

And the grand total of my experience with those horses was getting on the pony when I was young, freaking out, falling off, and then not going near them again until I had to feed them when mum was in hospital (I was about 14 then).

Then we moved to the suburbs and no more horsies.

I don't trust any animals, as a general rule, so I doubt I'll ever ride a horse for as long as I should live.

The older of the two little boy neighbors got thrown from the sweetest little horse when he first rode it. It must have been a bee or something. But he was fine. The mom was fine. Then the dad got home! Totally freaked out, sold the horse, had the little guy thinking he nearly died.

One less horsey kid in the world, lol. It is pretty true, though. You can certainly get hurt!

adarkfox
11-28-2010, 12:55 AM
I have certainly heard many stories of people being scared away from horses by bad experiences... which, I'll admit, never really stopped me from putting the manly jock types that came to the farm on the shetland pony and slapping its butt... >:D

I think part of the reason horses charm so much is they land somewhere between a dog and a cat... they have a sense of die-hard loyalty like a dog on some days, but aren't afraid to wave their tail, show you their butt and stalk off like a cat the next day.

I have a soft spot for ponies - they are soooo cheeky.

What kind of horses/ponies does everyone have/had?

adarkfox
11-28-2010, 12:57 AM
This thread encouraged me to finally get off my rear and upload an avatar. That's me and my new event horse at our last event of the season. He is so much fun!

He looks like a flashy cutie.

Fenika
11-28-2010, 01:11 AM
I plan to get an assumed racking horse mare (she doesn't rack or gait, but she's built like one, and her trot has the built in 'I'm a racking horse' sway/flow) and a WB/TB/QH/somethingsomething mutt (but a very well bred mutt :D)

Brutal Mustang
11-28-2010, 02:37 AM
Why do they hang horses anyway?

Am I the only one here who caught this, em, ...?

Fenika
11-28-2010, 03:36 AM
Did you not notice my reply, above? :)

adarkfox
11-28-2010, 03:46 AM
Mutts make the best sometimes :D my lovely boy is a PMU reject :)

Fenika
11-28-2010, 04:50 AM
The horse in your av is a PMU kid? Nice.

The mutt I'm looking at has this impressive stud for his sire: http://www.silverwoodfarm.com/stateoftheart.html (a VERY well bred mutt) and an Appendix (TB/QH) for a dam.

Cliff Face
11-28-2010, 05:27 AM
It took me a while to get Wayne's joke.

Then I snickered.

The end.

saddlebroke
11-28-2010, 08:47 AM
What kind of horses/ponies does everyone have/had?

I finally figured out how to resize my piccie for an avatar, so this is Sammie, my Clydesdale/Paint/TB cross. She gets the sass from her Clydie mama, I suspect.

Before Sammie, I had a lovely dapple grey AQHA named Cuatro. (His full registered name was HCR Tee J Cuatro.) He was a Mr. San Peppy grandson. Adored him. Best mind of any horse I've ever known. Bawled like a baby when I sold him. Now, he's "working" at a therapeutic riding facility, loving life. I truly believe it's the life he was born for. He's a natural babysitter and loves attention.

backslashbaby
11-29-2010, 12:10 AM
My equine neighbors are quarterhorses. Brown :ROFL: So I don't know much about breeds. They're funny. And snooty sometimes, the big ole twerps :)

adarkfox
11-29-2010, 03:22 AM
The horse in your av is a PMU kid? Nice.
My stallion is the PMU baby - the horse in my avatar is his son out of a purebred TB.



The mutt I'm looking at has this impressive stud for his sire: http://www.silverwoodfarm.com/stateoftheart.html (a VERY well bred mutt) and an Appendix (TB/QH) for a dam.
It's a small world - we got a breeding to SOTA a number of years ago and had a heck of a time getting a mare in foal with AI... four mares/four years into it finally got a mare to settle.

Anyway, long story short got a bay & white colt. Lovely guy, but had a few idiosyncrasies. From what I've read SOTA's offspring are known to be really talented, nice animals but a lot are quirky.

Brutal Mustang
11-29-2010, 03:35 AM
Did you not notice my reply, above? :)

Oops. Missed that. :D

adarkfox
11-30-2010, 04:58 AM
I finally figured out how to resize my piccie for an avatar, so this is Sammie, my Clydesdale/Paint/TB cross. She gets the sass from her Clydie mama, I suspect.

I'm a sucker for a white face. Does she have a lot of leg/body white?

saddlebroke
11-30-2010, 04:59 AM
I'm a sucker for a white face. Does she have a lot of leg/body white?

Three whites and some interesting belly spots. :) One on her right side looks like a "thumbs up"!

adarkfox
11-30-2010, 05:28 AM
Sounds like some rabicano/sabino from Clyde-Mom... would love to see more pictures!

bip
11-30-2010, 05:46 AM
Three whites and some interesting belly spots. :) One on her right side looks like a "thumbs up"!
She's wonderful.

Mine is 1/2 Spotted Draft, but the only spot on his whole body is on his privates, lol (which might be why he keeps it hanging out most of the time - gotta represent, I guess).

saddlebroke
11-30-2010, 05:48 AM
bip - you wouldn't happen to be the same BIP that posts on UDBB, would you? (If so, you'll notice I use the same handle there as here too!)

adarkfox
11-30-2010, 07:20 AM
I'm loving all the draft-cross love... my stallion is TB/Spotted Draft (the PMU guy)

His mane is an itchy B to braid though :P

saddlebroke
11-30-2010, 07:23 AM
For you, adarkfox. Hopefully, this link to more Sammie pics works!

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2011689&id=1466736846

eileenmcilwain
12-01-2010, 06:49 AM
Hello kindred spirits!

Well, I got my first horse when I was about 5 years old. It was a plastic My Little Pony called WindWhistler. Who knew the harmless-looking toy would prove to be the gateway drug to a lifelong addiction? At 11 years old I got onto the hard stuff, learning to ride real live horses at my local riding school. After a few years of that I got my first actual horse, a lovely QH mare called "CJ with a dappled chestnut coat and flaxen mane and tail. Then I discovered boys and shopping (doesn't every teenage girl?) and CJ was sold to a lovely woman who still has her after more than a decade.

I bought my second horse when I was 20 years old, a rather neurotic TB mare called "Savannah." She was a leggy mare with a coat as fiery as her temper, and a mane & tail as black as her heart. It was love at first sight. I stupidly persisted in trying to make that mare into a dressage horse, and later into a showjumper. During that time I learned I would never make a good bronc rider, and I spent a lot of time getting acquainted with the dirt. A blown out fetlock joint put an end to her days undersaddle, and she's currently running around in a 200 acre paddock playing babysitter to a bunch of youngsters.

By this time I was growing interested in the equestrian sport of endurance. I thought "Hey, this looks pretty easy. All you have to do is ride your horse around a marked out course, how hard can it be?" Hah! More on that later! So, I bought a dapple grey mare named Aaliyah who was as sweet as sweet can be. She was an anglo (arabian x TB) which made her versatile enough to give endurance a try but still capable of doing dressage & showjumping. I did 3x 40km rides on her before I discovered she had a problem with her sacroiliac (pelvis) that made her unsuitable for endurance. "Disappointing" doesn't quite cover it. I sold her to a lovely lady who sends me piccies of the two of them at dressage competitions.

But my little taste of endurance was like taking a bite of a Pringle. Once you pop you can't stop. I wanted to become more involved in the sport, but I was so disappointed about what happened with Aaliyah I wasn't ready to buy another horse. That's when I discovered there were plenty of arabian horse studs looking for capable riders to compete their horses. I started riding for one stud, doing a few 40km rides on a couple of their horses, but I wanted to step things up and do an 80km ride. A friend introduced me to this lovely bloke who let me borrow his part arabian stallion, Monkey Mountain Jim. Jim was an old hand at endurance, and even though he was 18 years old he felt less than half his age. We did a few small rides, and then it was on to my first 80km ride. Jim got me round like a true gentleman, and we've done 4x 80km rides together in total.

There's a saying amongst endurance riders. "You don't have to be crazy to do endurance, but it sure helps!" Saddling up at 4am, heading off to do the first leg of the ride in the dark, riding through pre-dawn fog with nothing but the headlamps of the other riders bobbing around to guide you. Yup. Crazy. And then, just when your backside is rubbed raw and your knees ache and you feel like crawling back into your swag... it's time to saddle up for the second leg. But it's the "last leg" of the journey that kills you - the four hour drive home!

Of course my time with horses hasn't been all roses. I broke my collarbone getting bucked off my friend's gelding in December 2009. This year has been a year of rest and recovery... and lots and lots of visits to surgeons, physios, chiros. But I'm feeling almost as good as new (even if my collarbone looks kinda mangled) and 2011 I'll be back on the endurance circuit. I also made an exciting purchase of my very own purebred arabian mare, Aloha Artic Opal, who I've recently bred to Jim. Hopefully in 11 months time I will have a beautiful little foal running around to carry on Jim's legacy. Opal deserves a post all of her own, and I feel I've rambled on for long enough. Let's just say breaking a 13 year old feral broodmare to saddle has it's challenges.

To finish, here's my favourite piccie of me and Jim at our very first ride together. It was only a 10km social ride, but it was the start of a very special partnership!

http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s47/SweetxSavannah/MeandJim.jpg

saddlebroke
12-01-2010, 07:24 AM
Great post, Eileen! Thanks for such a wonderful introduction into the world of endurance. Though I have no aspirations in that area, I find it fascinating!

bip
12-01-2010, 07:30 AM
bip - you wouldn't happen to be the same BIP that posts on UDBB, would you? (If so, you'll notice I use the same handle there as here too!)

The very same! Good to see you here :)

saddlebroke
12-01-2010, 07:32 AM
The very same! Good to see you here :)

Same to you! ;)

eileenmcilwain
12-01-2010, 07:52 AM
Great post, Eileen! Thanks for such a wonderful introduction into the world of endurance. Though I have no aspirations in that area, I find it fascinating!

You're very welcome. Haha I didn't have any aspirations in that area either, but here I am! I'm also trying to learn more about the western disciplines, reining in particular, although the western scene isn't very big where I keep my horses so that makes it difficult.

Chumplet
12-01-2010, 07:59 AM
I started drawing horses when I was four and never looked back. I rode recreationally, took some lessons with friends and such, but never owned a horse.

I'm getting close -- my best friend got a polo pony as a gift from her rich boyfriend. She says I can ride her whenever I like, but I'm still trying to figure out how to put on all that complicated tack. For now, I'll just go whenever my friend is having a polo lesson. Maybe once a week.

I got on her last week and she's a sweet little thing. Lots of personality and patience with an old chick who hasn't ridden for five years! Oh, my aching thighs!

adarkfox
12-01-2010, 05:03 PM
When I was growing up my parents raised arabs - loved to see that gorgeous arab face!

Love to hear more tales of endurance - that sport has always sounded interesting to me!

eileenmcilwain
12-02-2010, 03:18 AM
The arabian horse is certainly beautiful. They've ruined me for other horses though. I love their sensitivity and intelligence, they pick up everything straight away! And unlike most people would have you believe, they're not flighty, mad, neurotic beasts. All the ones I ride are calm, level headed and willing to tackle just about any obstacle you place in front of them. By far the most courageous horses I have ever ridden! The "crazy" ones you see are usually the show arabians - crazy behaviour is apparently desirable in the show ring!

I could talk about endurance for days. Was there anything specific you wanted to know? Training, vetting procedures, how the competitions are run etc?

adarkfox
12-02-2010, 08:31 AM
My first show horse was one of our homebreds, an Arab/Paint cross. She was definitely out of place at the barn I rode at (serious show barn, all Eventing). Tell ya what though, those TBs were going lame every week but never had a wrong step with my black Arab.
She sure was spirited - not crazy, she had a brain between her ears. When I moved on to a bigger horse that mare was a hot item at the barn - all the new kids learning wanted to ride her for lessons/lease her.

The only thing that stopped that mare was a bone chip in her stifle. She had a few babies for us, and now in her 20s she hangs out with the babies and teaches them some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

I always wanted to try endurance... I ride event ponies now, but I figure if I ever lose my nerve to jump I'll try endurance... something about the grueling horse sports that attract me I think LoL.

I'd love an overview on prepping for a ride and the events of a day of a ride.

NoGuessing
12-02-2010, 11:57 PM
Hi.:)

Well, I ride, it's pretty fun. I'm quite lucky to have a horsey mother and sister. Mum keeps me and my sister reminded how fortunate we are because she had parents actively against her owning a pony (she scrounged one anyway).

We have *does count up* 14 long faced bottomless stomachs on our farm, but only 7 are full time rides (one broodmare, one foal, one yearling, one horse in the old folks home, three young ones being broken in).

I used to ride as a youngster but gave it away at 11 because of the pressure in NZ to do "manly" sports. Young guys in NZ and Australia who ride have a lot of guts to do so these days, because many of them get hell from their peers. It's only something that's happened very recently in NZ, and probably reflects the expansion of city areas and rural population decline. Apparently in Europe riding is either a unisex or mens sport.

I didn't guts it out but I decided to return just before I turned 17. I'm almost 20 now and I don't plan on repeating my exit.;)

My horse is the one in my avatar, Mary "No Guessing". She's 19, half thoroughbred, half NZ sport horse (read: mix and mingle). She's a bit of a weird one, very much like Eeyore, but once you drag her backside out to some jumps she gets very keen. I mainly do eventing and showjumping, but I just follow my mother and sister around the shows they do. They're quite good and I'm still learning, so there's a slight skill difference there.:p

adarkfox
12-03-2010, 12:17 AM
Glad to see you here NoGuessing!

adarkfox
12-03-2010, 12:19 AM
OK, weirdness..... NoGuessing, I went to your blog to peruse and noticed your name is Kieran...

My finished novel's main character's last name is Kieran. He's an event rider.

....eerie music.....

NoGuessing
12-03-2010, 04:07 AM
:roll: awesome

eileenmcilwain
12-03-2010, 05:08 AM
Oooookay, so how to prep for a ride? Well, most horses in full arena work would be able to do a 20km ride, no worries. If the horse doesn't have a pre-existing level of fitness though, there will be more prep required. Assuming your horse is unfit, and you want to get it fit, this is how I would go about it. Basically, it's all about LSD - Long Slow Distance. At least once a week you should take your horse for a 2-3hr ride (approx 15kms or 9miles). The number 1 rule with training is to NOT increase distance and speed at the same time. If you're going to ride further, do not ride faster - and vice versa. Also, keep an eye on how your horse is coping during your training sessions. If he's blowing really hard after climbing a steep hill, take a break and allow him to recover. Endurance is all about successfully completing a ride, not about breaking land speed records. It doesn’t matter what gear you use as long as it is comfortable for both you and your horse. You could compete bareback in a rope halter if that’s what you want, as long as you can safely control your horse at the competition.

So... start off in walk and just get your horse used to having a rider on its back for a few hours. If the horse looks like he's coping okay after his first ride, next time add in a bit of trot along the flat areas. Then start adding in a bit of trot on some small hills. Then add some canter along the flat areas. Then trot up some steeper hills. Then canter up some small hills... you get the idea. Just keep gradually bumping up the intensity of your training, until your horse is happily trotting along those trails without puffing. Now, the other stuff you will need to prepare for is the vetting procedures. Get your horse used to having his temperature taken (i.e. thermometer up the bottom), standing still to have his heart rate taken, allowing you to check his gums, and basically feel him all over. The vets will appreciate you doing your homework. Nobody likes to deal with an unruly horse!

So, your first ride! You might start off doing a 20km (12.5mile) social ride, or you might want to do a 40km (25mile) training ride. Whatever you decide, the process is basically the same. You will have to register for the ride (which is just a whole lot of filling out forms) and pay the entry fee plus day membership/insurance. You will be given a vet card for your horse, and a bib with your rider number on it. Make sure you wear the bib when you got to vet your horse, and obviously when you’re riding! First stop in the vetting ring will be the TPR bay. This is where a trained volunteer will check your horse’s Temperature Pulse and Respiration. It’s etiquette to keep your distance from other horses, and be as quiet as possible while waiting in line. Pulse should be under 55beats/minute before and after a 20km or 40km ride, and 60beats/minute at the end of an 80km (50mile) ride. After this your horse will be looked over by a vet, who do various tests to determine if the horse is physically capable of doing the ride. Any soreness, lameness, metabolic issues, dehydration issues or other irregularities could result in disqualification.

You will be following a marked out course, and make sure you find out what colour arrows you need to follow before you head off. A white line across the road or a sign marked with an “X” means do not go down that way. Watch out for cattle grids and gates if you’re on a rural property. A bit of etiquette while out on track - if you are planning to overtake someone, let them know. A simple “passing on your right” will do the trick, and give plenty of room to horses with red ribbons (kickers) and blue ribbons (stallions). Etiquette at water stops is to arrive and leave at a walk so as not to upset other horses, and if a horse is already there drinking wait until they’re finished before offering your horse a drink. Nothing worse than when your horse is just about to take a sip of water and someone shoves in beside you and disturbs your horse. At the end of the ride you'll cross the finish line and be given a time slip. You will have 30 minutes to present your horse for vetting, and lateness results in immediate disqualification. Use this 30 minutes to strap your horse. If it's a hot day try and cool your horse off by washing it, if it's a cold day try and keep your horse warm by draping a rug over it, and encourage it to eat and drink. When it's close to the 30 minute mark, walk your horse over to the vetting area and present your horse. Vetting procedures after the ride are the same as before the ride.

It’s important to note that at the end of a ride your horse must still be judged as “fit to continue.” This means the horse must be deemed physically capable of doing the ride again. Crossing the finish line doesn’t mean you’ve been successful, and many a rider has been first across the line only to be disqualified in the vet ring. Know your horse’s physical limitations and don’t exceed them. Also, make sure your horse is eating and drinking adequate amounts for the conditions. A few sips might be okay on a cooler day, but he’ll need to drink more on a hot day. It’s always a good idea to bring molasses, electrolytes and appetite stimulants with you just in case your horse decides it’s not going to eat or drink. If you’re riding with company, it’s best to ride at a pace that the least fit horse can cope with. It’s not fair to expect a less fit horse to keep up with a fitter one, and it’s more fun if everyone successfully completes the ride!

NoGuessing
12-03-2010, 05:37 AM
Basically, it's all about LSD

I knew it!

eileenmcilwain
12-03-2010, 08:28 AM
All us endurance riders are retired hippies, didn't you know?

BeatrixKiddo
12-05-2010, 09:29 AM
I used to ride horses years ago (started off Western saddle then changed to English), then I had a lovely accident that pretty much ended my riding career. I still love horses though. I got to check out The Dancing Horses Theatre in Wisconsin last year. There's also a Lipizzan farm not far from where I live in Old Mill Creek, Illinois. There are actually lots of horse farms in the county I live in which surprised me when we moved here years ago.

Mostly rode Arabians, Quarter Horses and few Thoroughbreds back then. Still love Arabians.

Brutal Mustang
12-05-2010, 10:36 AM
But my little taste of endurance was like taking a bite of a Pringle. Once you pop you can't stop. I wanted to become more involved in the sport, but I was so disappointed about what happened with Aaliyah I wasn't ready to buy another horse. That's when I discovered there were plenty of arabian horse studs looking for capable riders to compete their horses.

Hah. I just completed my first LD this summer. Well two of them actually, back to back. The Happy Jack ride, up in Laramie. It was fun. I rode a tiny Gondolier and Echo Magnifico grandson with a heart the size of Russia. I'd definitely be a permanent addict if this was financially plausible for me.

Riding horses for Arabian breeders? Now there's something....

adarkfox
12-05-2010, 09:56 PM
I used to ride horses years ago (started off Western saddle then changed to English), then I had a lovely accident that pretty much ended my riding career. I still love horses though. I got to check out The Dancing Horses Theatre in Wisconsin last year. There's also a Lipizzan farm not far from where I live in Old Mill Creek, Illinois. There are actually lots of horse farms in the county I live in which surprised me when we moved here years ago.

Mostly rode Arabians, Quarter Horses and few Thoroughbreds back then. Still love Arabians.


It never fails to amaze me how horsey Chi-town 'burbs really are. I go up there a couple times a year for shows/clinics, or to ride at Lamplight / Pratts Wayne Woods Forest Preserve. Always see tons of horse-ness around there.

Interestingly, on my way to Wayne last year I noticed a forest preserve sign (which I've seen every trip up there I'd gone on since I was 11 or 12, but for whatever reason it caught my eye this time) and it said Misty's Meadow. On a wild hair I googled it and turns out that field was named for Misty of Chincoteague. Margaret (sp?) Henry of Misty of Chincoteague fame lived in the area, with a ton of other horsey-people.

Loved her books. *wistful nostalgia*