November 12 2011
Endurance 101 – Countdown to your first endurance ride
Your horse is getting fit, and you are getting excited. You visit the AERC.org website and check the calendar: There’s a ride that you can attend! It’s only two months away…
Here’s a bare-bones calendar of stuff you’ll want to do before ride day, arranged in a countdown format. The schedule isn’t set in stone, but it is a handy list of stuff to remember.
Ride day minus 2 months:
* Check the fit of your saddle, and make necessary adjustments.
* Take a riding lesson (on trails, if possible). Ask your instructor to focus on helping you and your horse move freely and comfortably at various speeds over different terrain.
* Call your farrier NOW to set a farrier appointment for 1-2 weeks before the event.
* Administer any needed vaccinations.
* Ask your vet about medical paperwork that may be required for the ride. If you need to cross state lines for your event, be sure to alert your vet so that the paperwork can be readied in time.
Ride day minus 1 month:
* Safety-check your rig: tires (check your spare tire, too!), wiring, brakes, floorboards. Fix anything that needs fixing.
* Check out your camping arrangements: do your sleeping quarters leak? Do you know how to set up in windy or rainy conditions? Does your campstove work? Repair or replace anything that will fail in camp.
* Practice administering electrolytes to your horse via syringe. Start with a diluted dose mixed with applesauce or yogurt. If your horse does not take the syringe quietly, start teaching him now to accept it...
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