Sunday, March 1, 2009

More thoughts on Endurance Riding

As I go through all these steps with Calico, I'm always thinking about our ultimate goal of being an endurance team. Endurance, to me is the greatest of all human-equine relationships. I just read a back issue of Horse and Rider magazine about an endurance horse who just completed over 20,700 competition miles; the horse is 37 years old and still sound and healthy!!! What a testament to the care this owner has for her horse, what an inspiration to me. In other equestrian sports the horses are used up, sometimes before they are five years old, then tossed away. The horse racing industry is the most devastating  of  all, for horses and jockey, alike. As long as there's money to be made, of course, it won't change. In order to continue in the sport of endurance, you have to help your horse to be fit, take extra special care of every aspect of it's health. You spend long hours conditioning and riding that horse through every type of terrain, so that in a ride  you pass each vet check 'fit to continue' . You develop a close bond with a creature so different from yourself.  You get to  travel to places that you might never go on foot, and definitely would never see from a car. Most of these places have historical significance; Pony Express trail, Twenty Mule Team ride, Santa Fe Trail and so on. Already, my thoughts are traveling down to my horse's feet and we are going places. We're moving as one.  Soon it will be time to "really ride".  ( Me and Philip have matching horses!)

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