For my first Equissimo blog I thought I would tell you a little more about Endurance riding;
Endurance is basically long distance riding which is available to anyone with a horse to ride! It’s a friendly, fun sport where you get to ride around the countryside taking in the most beautiful scenery with spectacular views and fantastic routes. You can do anything from pleasure rides of 8km up to the ultimate 160km race rides in a day! The choice is yours how far you want to progress.
You don’t need any special tack or equipment for endurance riding as long as it fits properly and is comfortable for you both. You may want to invest in more specialised equipment if you want to progress to the longer distances in the future. In all levels of endurance the welfare of the horse is paramount. This is why at National events all competitive rides require a vet inspection before and after the ride (and during on longer rides).
The National Governing Body for Endurance Riding is Endurance GB which incorporates 23 local Groups across England and Wales.
Pleasure Rides (PR’s)
Pleasure rides are often run by an EGB local group but can also be part of a national ride and are non-competitive. They can be any distance up to a maximum of 32km and should be completed at a maximum speed of 12km/hour. Pleasure rides are not vetted although a trot up is required if part of a national ride.
Graded Endurance Rides (GER)
Graded endurance rides are where horses that successfully complete the ride will be awarded a grade based on pulse and speed. All GER’s are vetted. Rides over 55km will have at least one vet gate.
- Novice level rides are between 30-50km and should be ridden between 8-15km/hour
- Open level rides are between 30-90km and should be ridden between 10-18km/hour
- Advanced level rides are between 30-160km and should be ridden between 10-18km/hour
Competitive Endurance Rides (CERs)
Competitive Endurance Rides are where horses that successfully complete the ride are ranked in order of finishing. CERs begin with a mass start, and the riders aim to cover the distance as fast as they can, taking into account the terrain and welfare of their horse. During the Ride the rider will be required to present their horse to the vet at various set intervals to be checked as fit to continue. Following this are rest periods called "holds" where the horse and rider can eat and take a breather before continuing.
If you fancy having a go why not check out your local group and sign up for a pleasure ride, be warned though it’s very addictive! Everyone in the endurance family is so lovely and helpful, and if you are worried about going on your own contact your local group and they will help with fining you a ride buddy.
There is so much more to endurance but that is enough for you to take for one day so I will be back with more endurance talk in my next blog…..