ENDURANCE RIDING ON HORSES


Endurance riding is one of the fastest growing equestrian disciplines in South Africa, and is a sport that the whole family can enjoy.

Endurance riding is about finishing, not necessarily winning, and is more importantly about the bond between you and your horse. In other words, you have to get to know your horse very well, and care for him or her. An endurance ride event is not only about the ride, it's about the preparation, vet checks, horse care, and the camping and having a good time with your fellow endurance riders.

A regular endurance ride is usually about 80 kilometres long, and is divided into usually 3 legs, with the first two legs been about 30km, and the last about 20km. This may vary slightly from ride to ride, depending on the layout of the course. There's a pre-vet check on the friday evening prior to the saturday's ride, and then a vet check after every leg. If you enter "Step ladder" you can opt out before you finished all 3 legs if you feel a need to, but if you are vetted out due to your horse showing a lameness, or dehydration, or heart rate over the prescribed figures, then you loose all your kilometres. If you entered competitive, you have to finish all 80 km and can't optionally opt out yourself and take the kilometres you've completed.

As a blind rider, there's not much difference for me to participate in endurance, except for the fact that I need sighted guideance on the route, for example, a sighted co-rider will need to warn me of obstacles, bad terrain, when to steer my horse more left or right if he veres off route, and to keep a general eye on my progress. I thus feel very much part of the endurance crowd, and have personally found a support structure amongst my endurance friends, never else felt with other sporting disciplines.

Also the endurance riding has introduced me to my best friend ever, Billy, as seen on this page, where we were happily trotting at our first Fauresmith ride this year, 2009, the Comrads of Endurance rides. Click on Fauresmith 2009 Experience to read more.


Click on one of the below links to view more info on other endurance sports:
Road running
Tandem Cycling
Swimming
Canoeing Doubles

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