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RoR continues to support participation in the increasingly popular sport of endurance and alongside Endurance GB (EGB) and Scottish Endurance Riding Club (SERC) to acknowledge former racehorses taking part in pleasure and competitive rides. In partnership. The endurance pathway has been developed to help you to get started and progress up to Elite level.
What’s in it for the rider?
Long distance riding is a great way to spend time with your recycled racehorse in fabulous British countryside, accessing areas where you would not usually be permitted to ride. Imagine hacking out on woodland tracks, beaches, mountains and moorlands on a Sunday morning. It’s a fabulous way to keep fit and allow your horse some time to stretch and think about a different way of going to the pressure of the race track or arena.
Training your recycled racehorse, at whatever level you choose, will help you to better understand their fitness and mentality and it’s brilliant bonding time.
Why an ex-racehorse excels at endurance
The thoroughbred typically has bags of stamina, a very low heart rate when fit, is used to travelling long distances to an event and is brought up from an early age to understand the routines of every day handling, shoeing, clipping and has good stable manners. The ex-racehorse will have trained in a string and will love riding out in company, which is why endurance rides are perfect for them. Endurance is not about ‘first past the post’, you are riding against your own levels of training and fitness so you can ride in company with old pals or make new friends in the endurance family.
The challenges of retraining
The challenge in retraining an ex-racehorse for any discipline, especially endurance, includes teaching them to ride in a rhythm or cadence that works them efficiently and practicing simple schooling manoeuvres that will get you safely through a gate, being tied to a trailer rather than attended to in a wagon or standing still whilst you get on.
When introduced to endurance, ex-racers can be a little uncertain of their surroundings as they will probably not have seen muddy puddles, low hanging branches or uneven terrain but they soon get the hang of it and seem grateful that they have a new job and the freedom to enjoy themselves.
Thoroughbreds also tend to be a little taller than the average endurance horse so being able to re-mount on course is useful but there’s usually a friendly person willing to open a gate for you if needed.
Endurance GB offers over 70 endurance events and even more pleasure rides during the riding season
To whet your appetite, watch this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDkiS4L4TUg
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