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Re: New to endurance

Being a newbie myself I may not be the best person to give advice but this is what
I think.  The reason you see so many Arabs out there is because they are so well
suited to endurance... research any pedigree and somewhere, somehow they all seem
to end up with *desert bred* in their background.  Some people HATE Arabs (my
husband used to until my brave Arab gelding and I took a nasty spill and he not
only got up prancing to go but went on to finish 2nd and place 3rd.   Anyway, you
must find a horse that suits YOU!  If you have back problems you may want to
consider a gaited horse (my sister rides a Walker and she thought she'd never be
able to ride again, let alone compete in ANYthing!).  I personally think Arab
crosses are a good way to go.  You get the best of many worlds there.  I'd like to
find/breed a Morgan/Arab (called a Morab) cross with a little more heft than most
Arabs for my husband.  He's a big guy.  One of the best horses (besides my dear
Jonathan) I have seen is a friend's 1/2 Arab/Appy cross. The Nez Perce originally
bred Appaloosas not only for beauty but for endurance as well.  RESEARCH.  READ.
ASK ?s.  RIDE any prospective horse.  And not just once.  Building an endurance
horse takes years and you don't want to put a season on a horse that you don't
really care for and don't "click" with mentally.  I had planned to start another
younger horse next year but once I had this season on Jonathan, I just couldn't
help but wonder what we could do NEXT year.  So we will continue on and my husband
or my daughter can start the new horse!  :)  A little more advice... ask a
reputable, professional (someone who does it full time for a living!) farrier to
go with you and check on any prospective horse's feet, especially if they are
shod.  Unfortunately, corrective shoeing can hide serious problems and to the
novice horse person, they look pretty good in those shiny new shoes and maybe some
shiny hoof dressing... have the farrier watch the horse's way of going.  Does he
overreach, toe in/out, etc...?  There are many things a novice horse owner might
not pick up on that could ruin an endurance career before it's even started.  A
thorough health check by a vet is also in order.  Yeah, you may pay money and not
end up with a horse but it will save you money in the long run.  Also expect to
pay your farrier for an exam the same as you would a vet.  Give yourself the best
start you can for you AND for your prospective endurance horse.  And hang on to
that endurance buddy you have!  I have learned the most from riding with a 20 year
veteran of the sport!  I hope I haven't rambled too much or too randomly and that
Steph doesn't reprimand me for lengthy, boring mails.  Hopefully this helps!  Good
luck and I'll be watching ridecamp to see how you do!  :)  (Or just e-mail me

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