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[RC] start with LD or CTR? - Karen Casemier

First, a thanks to all who responded to my bitting question. After a lot of thought and research, I got a tom thumb mullen mouth pelham for my mare. I'm not thrilled with managin two reins, but I think it is the best solution, because as long as she is being soft and responsive, I can ride off the snaffle alone.

I'm starting my first season of competitive riding this year, and I'm wondering which would be best to start with: CTR rides, or LD rides. I do want to start at the lower milage and work my way up to a 50 mile at the end of the season.

Based on my experience volunteering, it seems the attitude of the CTR is more laidback - however, with the LD, I don't have to worry about matching a pre-set pace at all. If I feel I need to back off (or I need to let my horse out a bit), I can go at my own pace.

In the long run, I do want to do 50 mile endurance rides, but there are a few multi-day CTR rides in my area that I'm also interested in, so I'll be dipping my toes in both. In my area (GLDRA), most of the LD rides are on Sundays, so I have to consider that as well. If I do the 25 mile CTR on Saturday, I can stay overnight and let my horse rest before heading home. If I do the 25 mile LD on Sunday, I need to head home Sunday night. Most rides will be about a 3 hour trailer ride from home.

What would be the benefits/drawbacks of each approach? How did you guys start out?

Thanks in advance for any comments/opinions/suggestions.

Karen and Mazzie

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I still prefer what it is that BH100, Tevis, The Duck's Soup of Endurance,
etc. has to offer...but, to see a horse canter over sand for those
distances...Good Lord, it humbles me.
~  Frank Solano

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