We’re really going to give this whole endurance thing a whirl. My beautiful, accident prone ottb is getting a chance at a 3rd career after I don’t know how many mishaps in our past. Hunters didn’t work out. Jumping hurts him and I can’t afford the trainers. When I found endurance, I thought I’d like to give it a try. I never thought Baron would hold up to it, but my friend rode him for me all summer and he’s actually in great shape at the moment. I’ve decided to put my project mare on the back burner and focus on Baron again. We’ve been conditioning and hitting the trails!
I’m not sure endurance is going to work out for him because of the miles. Even a 25 mile ride is considered “limited distance.” Most people are aiming for 50 or 100 miles. So Baron and I are going to start out with a competitive trail ride with NATRC, North American Trail Ride Conference. The ride is 18 miles and includes obstacles that we’ll be judged on. Like endurance, there will be a vet check along the way to ensure that the horses are handling the distance well and not overdoing it.
My goal for the ride is to finish. That’s it. I want to ride the whole 18 miles and finish with a sound horse. If Baron is lame or overheated, we won’t get a completion. That’s all I want, just to finish with him happy.
It’s been nice riding him again, especially after riding my very stubborn and opinionated mare. Baron and I are a good team. We’ve been together for so long that there’s a level of trust that I’m very grateful for now. I didn’t realize what a great horse he is until I started riding a not so great horse. Riding is ecstasy when you feel safe and confident in your mount.
I’m really hoping that competitive trail and endurance will work out for us. I want to compete with my horse; I always have. Hopefully this will finally be our niche!