Endurance
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'Getting Started'
What is Endurance Riding? Does everyone just gallop?

NOBODY gallops all the way! The speed is sensibly adapted to the terrain, state of the going and conditions (temperature and humidity). Endurance Riding is a challenging, growing sport requiring a real knowledge of horsemanship and good riding to get to the top. A really competitive alternative to other equestrian disciplines. The object of endurance riding is to successfully complete the distance - either at a set speed or to compete against other riders to finish first with a sound horse. It also offers the tightest protection for the welfare of the horse with constant veterinary attention from Start to Finish. The care of the horse is Paramount.  To Finish is to Win.

An endurance ride is a competition where horse and rider must cover a set distance from 20 to 100 miles. A minimum speed and, in the Bronze Series or Novice classes, a maximum speed is required and you must pass the vetting with a sound horse and with a pulse of 64 or less.  65 and above or any hint of lameness will eliminate the horse at the end of the ride.

Endurance Rides proper are for Gold Series horses and Riders and are races with a mass start and first over the finish line subject to a successful vetting.

This is the fastest growing equestrian sport, completely amateur and accessible to riders from 10 to 80+!  Riders encounter a variety of terrains and conditions riding set routes through the bridleways network and private land.

What kind of horse?

You do not have to have a special horse or equipment, nor do you have to belong to any Club or Society - unless you are keen to receive information and training!

At the higher end of the sport - from 50 miles or more - conformation of the horse become important. Sound horses of a lean, athletic build with a forward going, keen disposition are most likely to make the top. Arabs and their crosses often excel with low heart rates and stamina built in but we are seeing more and more 'other breeds' make it to the top.  It takes a minimum of 3 years with a matured horse to compete over 100miles and many horses are at their best around 11 or 12 years and go on to compete for many years after.

Involve the Family!

Back-up Crews are essential at the longer distances but need to learn their craft from the beginning.

They are responsible for going round by road and  meeting the rider at about every 2-5 miles along the route, providing drinks for both horse and rider (and food for rider's energy and mental state!), washing down the horse (even the rider!) to keep them cool, and checking their timing and condition.

Where do I start?
All over the country there are introductory Pleasure Rides and Training Rides from 10 miles upwards. The Regions hold talks and training sessions. Contact your Regional Director  for up to date information - you may be able to join very cheaply as an Associate and receive the Regional Newsletter. The first official Qualifying Ride is the Bronze Buckle Qualifer of 20 miles at 6.5-8 miles per hour.
Children?
Children are welcome to affiliated Rides from 10yrs  but must be accompanied until their 13th birthday.
Insurance

You must however have 3rd Party Legal Liability Insurance before riding at any British Endurance event. This is available through the Non-Riding Membership of British Endurance ( 20 plus joining fee of 15 in the first year only) for those not wanting to go further than the 20 mile BBQ, also the British Horse Society Gold Level of Membership, the SERC membership and EHPS membership cover you for 3rd Party Legal Liability.  Your Equine policy may cover you but check to make sure that Endurance Riding competition is covered.

You must send evidence of current 3rd Party Liability insurance with you entry if you do not belong to any of the Endurance Societies.


Information kindly supplied by The British Endurance Riding Association
David Osborne Ltd and British Endurance Riding Association
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