Endurance riders have a great many Endurance Riding events to choose from, each with its own particular set of challenges. Many riders learn the ropes via their local Endurance GB, ILDRA or SERC group or similar clubs overseas. With respect, but novices don’t always get advice from the most accomplished riders. This page aims to help you to several fantastic tips for Endurance Riding which make Endurance Riding more enjoyable and successful for you and your horse. These videos feature Sally Toye and her horse Emira Bint Letifa. Kindly note that the number of videos in this page will grow, we have lots more tips for you! Like our facebook page so you won’t miss out on the next video tip. Aloeride is very proud to sponsor Sally Toye who is a very experienced and successful Endurance rider both in the UK, Ireland and the US. She also qualified for the 2017 Mongol Derby.
Tip 1 for Endurance Riding: Sponge
My friend Lucy in Tevis land (United States of America) says also to practice attaching and unattaching sponge to/from saddle, so can do it as you approach water. The ponies get smart and will speed up as sometimes they don’t want to be sloshed, so I like to prepare well ahead. I slosh at trot now and it’s fun! Water cools them!
If you recall, Sally Toye recommended Aloeride to me, and you kindly gave me a discount as a result. I have been very pleased with the effect so far. My gelding’s coat has never looked so rich, and he seems to get less irritation in his nose and eyes. Time will tell if Aloeride helps him with his allergies in the summer. My mare has held condition well this winter, and in fact is needing less food! I am so pleased that I have just taken up your option to order a years supply. I know Sally endorses your product for endurance, but I am happy for you to include my recommendation as well.
With best wishes,
Tip 2 for Endurance Riding: Both Sides
Tip 3 for Endurance Riding: Treats
Here’s a lovely cross-over story. Luca Moneta is one of the best show jumpers in the world. In 2013 he won the Puissance event at the prestigious Olympia Horse Show, feeding his horse Quova de Vains a carrot after every successful jump. He says: “When horses choose to do the right thing, I use a lot of positive reinforcement”. Some call him the carrot man, but in reality Luca understands that learning happens quicker by reinforcing good performance than by punishing bad performance. This is precisely how Sally treats her horses and below video shows how a little carrot can go a long way during Endurance Riding. Note that Elvis as well as Mia are left in no doubt as to who the ‘Alpha’ is in the herd’s dominance hierarchy!
Tip 4 for Endurance Riding: Tailing
It is fair to say that normally horse riding is considered successful when the rider remains on the horse. Particularly in longer distance Endurance, notably on steep ascents or steep descents, it may be kinder to the horse to dismount for a while. Not just kinder, but a good tactic to increase the chance of a well-cleared vet gate. Tailing is an easy technique for both horse and fit rider, Sally will demonstrate this in glorious detail in our next video…
Basically tailing is for climbing hills and saving the pony. Also I use it to give Mia a break downhill so that my delicate 68kgs is not loading up her front legs, this means we can jog down together and she will follow my path (if I am in front) as she trusts me to pick a good route for both of us. It does build an amazing partnership being off the horse. We originally started very soon into our career together as I backed her in the February and took her to a ride in June, so she really wasn’t fit enough to lug me around and I helped her by getting off. Now when she gets tired I can feel her thinking “Mum get off I want a rest!” I have also discovered that like being in a herd when I am in front she takes a bigger rest because of course I am being the herd leader, when I tail her I have to trust her judgement on choice of our route and terrain!
On one Tevis I also learnt another lesson with tailing! We had done 85 miles it’s dark and I am alone and my leased horse is not really going forward so I led him for a bit and then decided to tail him for a bit. Foolishly I clipped my long line to his head collar and not to the bit! Yes you know what comes next he recognised he wasn’t far from the finish (in relative terms) and he tanked off with me with little control!! Running fast at 85 miles in Tevis is not something I recommend most things hurt by now and it’s usually 1am…
Tip 5 for Endurance Riding: The Bum Bag
Here are the whys and wherefores of the bum bag , stuff Sally carries on her during Endurance rides and hacks. Always strap a bum bag tightly to your body so it doesn’t bounce, thus you don’t get rubs and blisters. A chapstick is clipped to her number bib, a small scarf is worn around the neck. In order of appearance the content is:
- Hoof boot strapped to the outside of the bag for those unfortunate incidences when your horses loses its shoe (hasn’t happened to Sally since feeding Aloeride because it feeds excellent hoof growth and strength)
- Emergency kit knife and safety pins
- Phone charged obviously but will you have signal when you need it
- Food cyclist food preferably e.g. GU Bloks and Power bars
- Spare chapstick
- Whistle to attract attention should your horse disappear over the horizon
- Tapes they can help put a hoof boot on, or bind up something that is bleeding
- Hoof pick always useful
- Vet wrap beware, they do lose their elasticity, so you want a new one every year
- Leather string
- Tie wraps also known as cable ties
- Electrolytes for people… the hot and bothered rider or even in emergencies when water and salts make all the difference
- Polo mints say no more…
- Head torch useful for riding at night, be careful because where you look and thus where the light shines, the horses tend to go. Train your horse before you go into nocturnal competitions