Horsesmad.com - Full Article
18 Oct 2017
By Andreia Marques
Endurance riding is not for the faint of heart. But there is so much more about this sport than meets the eye. In this article, we will explore a little about the trails and rewards of endurance horse riding, and what it takes to go on and do it.
Why We Love Endurance Riding
What we know as endurance riding (or endurance horse riding) is new, as a sport, but its roots go far back in time. The sport began in the United States, but the source of inspiration lies elsewhere — European military. In special, the Russian and Polish cavalry.
The history of endurance horse riding
Before it was a sport, it was a means to an end. Ever since humans first domesticated the horse, one of the main purposes behind it was transportation. From nomads travelling commercial routes to the Pony Express, the need to cross long distances is what made horses useful in the first place. Before automobiles and railroads, the horse (and the camel) was the only way to travel long distances on land.
It is because of this that breeds such as the Arabian and the Akhal-Teke exist. In a time before trucks and veterinary science, this ensured the horses could live to ride for a long time in harsh conditions. Desert races still exist in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Like a great many other horseback riding sports, endurance riding as a sport began as a military exercise. Before, it was a way to test the conditions and capabilities of horses for war — an equally dangerous, demanding arena for horses. Then, it began as a challenge among military officials, and eventually between the cavalry of different countries.
In the Americas, several challenges and trail races, some practical and some not, appeared around the 1800s...
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