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I'm Buying My First Endurance Horse

> HELP!  I'm going to look at my first, bought for the purpose, 
> endurance 
> horse.  Now, I don't want a hard time about this, but it's not an 
> Arabian, 

Well, hmm, I've finished rides on 3 different Appaloosas, one mule, and
several Arabs. I've had a few more that I tried training and never
started a ride with.  I can tell you the mistakes I made thinking horses
would be good that weren't.

First tried 11 year old 16 hand Appaloosa that I'd been riding on trails
for 9 years.  He was always in a hurry and I'd never seen him tired.  He
was a handful.  Once I started riding 5 days a week (overtraining...made
the mistake of believing all those fake training schedules) he settled
down, then slowed down, then let me know that anything over 25 miles was
stupid in his opinion.  He seemed flat muscled to me at that time, and
leggy. Looking at old photos now he looks very long boddied and short
legged.  Had to duck a lot of limbs.

Next tried an App that seemed inappropriate.  Very cresty neck, fat back
(could have rolled a marble down his spine), but looking at his photos
now I see he was short backed and rather long legged for his body style.
Turned out he could trot a blue streak.  Only did one 25 on him before he
had a career ending kick. I think he'd have done OK in cool weather. 

Bought a small App that looked like an honest to goodness Indian pony.
Light weight, short back, leggy, big feet.  Many Arab similarities with
great color and a rugged look.  Then I brought him home and found out he
wasn't really light bodied, just hungry.  As soon as I put him on even a
conservative diet of regular feedings he chunked out like a good roping

What do I look for now?  Well, I like big round feet with good heels,
good legs, short back, a long enough neck to counterbalance the back (had
a short necked horse that could hardly climb a hill). I like a horse that
pushes off strong from the rear and really sweeps over the ground.  If
they overstride I like them wide in the rear so they don't pull their
shoes.  I like a back that looks easy to fit with a saddle, no swayback, 
big dips behind the withers or downhill build.  I like one that doesn't
carry his head up in my face.  I want him looking at the ground and not
hollowing out his back.  I won't fool with one that refuses to tie or
stand for shoes.  Life's too short, farriers are too precious.   I ride
geldings, cause life's too short and Spring's too long.  Look for a good
personality, you're going to be spending a lot of time with him.  No
cribbing, or pawing.  Of course you hope the horse has been raised on the
side of The Rocky Mtns. and had to climb them every day.  Oh well, I'm
sure there's more to tell you but I'm boring myself.  Oh yeah, for a 100
mile horse as opposed to a 50 mile horse, I like a little more substance,
a little meat on their bones and the will to go on down the trail

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