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[RC] Non Arabs - Carolyn Burgess

It's nice to see that I've been placed in the category of either being older, HANDICAPPED, or scared to ride an Arab.  I own two Standardbreds that I compete on.  They are my breed of choice for this sport.  I own an Arab, tried him in this sport and he just does not have what it takes to do it. I wanted a horse that was an athlete, had stamina and a good brain.   Anyone who has seen my Standardbred has seen this horse move.  Can he compete with the top Arabs, no, but not because he isn't an Arab.  It is because he is a lunk-head and lazy.  I don't have to worry about pushing this horse to hard, he is always in self-preservation mode. 
I have not run into any prejudice against my horse in the region I ride in.  Lots of support just because I'm out there doing it.  But when I first got my horse (in 2001), I was told by alot of people on Ridecamp that I wouldn't be able to do this sport and do it well on anything but an Arab.  As I recall, the motto is "To finish is to win".  And while I haven't ridden alot of endurance rides, I've finished many of the ones I started.  My guy is big (16.2H, 1,250 lbs) and any horse of that size is going to run into issues in this sport, Arab or not.  Cool weather is when he excels.  There has been much more support for those of us (particularily Standardbreds and STB crosses) who don't ride Arabs in the past year or two. 
One thing that riding a non-Arab has done for me is taught me how to manage my horse.  I can't just hop on him and go.  Managing heat is a big issue for me.  Also electrolyting as well.  Figuring out how much he needs for the particular circumstances of the day we are riding.  Feed issues, monitoring his water intake.  I think riding an Arab may be easier, but I don't think it teaches you how to really manage your horse.  I know how to do that because I am not riding the easiest horse in the world to manage. 
I have a new Standardbred as well, a 6 y.o. mare.  I did better this time.  She is much smaller and she is my 100 mile prospect.  I picked her on purpose as well.  While lunk-head looks like a Morgan-Thoroughbred cross, the little missy looks, well, like an Arab.  Part of the reason I picked her. 
Oh, and don't think that all gaited horses are the same.  My Standardbred is gaited, he paces, but you don't just sit on him and go for the ride.  He is like riding a jack hammer.  And if you don't keep him balanced and focused on what he is doing, he will beat the crap out of you, and that is no fun after 50 (or more) miles.
Carolyn Burgess

Normanjudyv@xxxxxxx wrote:
Why do people who ride non Arabs have such a chip on their shoulder? To each his own, no body cares, unless they see a horse that,s skinny & overworked. That tends to get everyones attention. I love gaited horses, I,m seriously considering buying one because I,m getting to old to ride Arabs. I,ve been told gaited horses are perfect for older riders, handicapped folks or those just plain to scared to ride Arabs   jvm

[RC] Non Arabs, Normanjudyv