WELCOME TO ERABC's New Rider's Information Page!
We are thrilled to welcome you to the world of endurance and to the club. Below you will find information to help get you started.
An Endurance ride is a test of horse and rider over challenging terrain of distances from 40 km (25 miles) to 160 km (100 miles) in one day. Veterinary Judges monitor and evaluate each horse’s ability to maintain the level of exercise. Any breed of horse can be used for endurance riding, but Arabians and part-Arabians, bred for stamina, have proven to be the most successful athletes.
Ask any Endurance rider to explain their sport and they will reply with something like: “it’s a race over distance against time”, but will hastily qualify “it’s not always about the race”. The primary competition is against the trail...the horse and rider team coping with terrain, weather, and distance. Only after these challenges have been mastered does competition against other riders enter the picture; the first challenge for both horse and rider is to successfully bring their partner to the finish line
No other outdoor equestrian activity is quite as absorbing in the dangers and thrills of nature, whether in high spirits and at the water hole or alone in the dark. No other equestrian sport develops the bond between horse and rider that is the result of many hours together with a common goal. The “team” ideal extends to a circle of supporters as such crew, officials, volunteers and even other competitors because all have one focus...the horse. No other equestrian activity allows family members of all ages to compete together, on the same course. No other equestrian activity allows horse/rider teams of all types and skills to share the course at the same time.
Welcome to Endurance!
Below are links and articles for new endurance riders
1. “who’s who”—list of endurance organizations;
2. Getting started—what you need to know before your first ride;
3. Attending Your First Ride;
4. During the Ride;
5. 80 Km Rides;
Many people ‘move up’ to 80 km rides after they have acquired sufficient skills at the 40 km level, although some experienced trail riders may elect to start at the 80 km distance. In either event, there are a few things to be aware of:
1. The rules, especially around the Finish Line, are different for 80 km rides
2. Additional memberships or fees may be required by the sanctioning body (s)
All around the world “Endurance” is defined by National Federations (such as Equestrian Canada) as well as the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) as 80 km/50 miles and up. Rides of shorter distance have multiple names worldwide and are run under local rules, and sometimes sanctioned ‘locally’.
There is a reason for this, beyond ‘tradition’ or regulation. Many large bodies of research have demonstrated conclusively that equines suffer the majority of their loss of water and electrolytes during the first 40 km/25 miles. Stopping at that distance, while a major accomplishment in and of itself, is actually an entirely different challenge than managing the equine for an additional 40 to 120 km in the face of these losses.
Frequently, riders who have been very successful at the 40 km distance find it difficult or impossible to complete the 80 km distance. Generally the problems they encounter did not occur after 40 km; they occurred earlier but were not demonstrated until the equine was required to continue past this distance. We have many resources and mentors that can assist the new rider in overcoming these issues, if they decide they want to challenge the longer distances.
Above all, remember to have FUN!!