AERC.org - Full Article
By Kim Fuess
A question that often comes up when riders are thinking about moving up to a longer competition distance is, "How do I know my horse can go that far?" It is a legitimate concern whether you are moving your horse from the LD distance to the endurance distance or from 50-mile rides to 100-mile rides.
Most endurance riders do not take their horses on 100-mile training rides before attempting their first 100-mile competition. But there are several things you can do to maximize your success both in training and conditioning before the competition and during the ride itself.
This article will focus on moving up to the 100-mile distance but the suggestions given will work when moving up to any distance.
Strengths and weaknesses
A good place to start when thinking of moving up to a 100-mile ride is to ask yourself two questions:
-- What strengths does a good 100-mile horse need?
-- How does my horse rate in those areas?
There are several traits you might want in a 100-mile horse depending on your personal goals but the following are necessary to ensure success at this distance:
-- A 100-mile horse needs to be free of any metabolic or mechanical abnormalities.
-- The 100-mile horse should be able to maintain a steady and efficient pace that does not waste energy.
-- A 100-mile horse needs to be able to take care of himself on the trail. He should be comfortable eating and drinking on the trail and in vet checks.
If you have been conditioning and competing with your horse at lesser distances for a couple of seasons you probably have a very good idea about how your horse rates in these three areas...
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