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Re: RC: Re: Arab vs TWH


What a great post!  I too, started much like you--on  a registered
quarter mare(who looked much like a heavy Arab and who out-trotted many
of them into top ten a few times.)       She did the Tevis as her  first
l00 miler and finished 86th out of 223.  She preferred the tough
mountain rides and always did well.  I retired her at l8(for no reason
other than I felt I should--silly me)  She had her l000 mile medallion
and went on to  give me two lovely foals one of which is a Karahty son
in endurance now, and the other was a half-Arab filly I rode her in
endurance until  she had her  l000 miles and  SHE was  l8 and  then
retired hr at l9 with my son and his wife.(She loves it--eats a lot--and
smells the flowers now!)

Anyway, I didn't have the encouragement you did.  I was treated at  that
time as if we were  both "handicapped" because she was a quarter, but
later on we did get MORE respect when riders saw how well she
performed.  I did, however, condition her MORE than friends who had
Arabs(maybe just because I thought I should!).  I rode these two horses
because at the time, that's what I owned and loved.   I have raised
Arabians now for over 25 years and love them too.  I DO think it boils
down to a sound horse and a knowledgeable rider as a team, and then just
go and see what fun it is!  You learn a lot no matter WHAT breed you

> Marci Cunningham wrote:
> I'm reposting a letter I sent last September when everyone was talking
> about how much money one needs to spend on an endurance horse.  I
> think it applies to this thread also.  It doesn't really matter what
> breed of horse or mule you ride in endurance as long as you have fun
> in the process.  Any breed can be ridden as long as the animal is
> ridden within its level of condition.  I have a friend who bought a
> gaited horse to get back into distance riding because she was in a
> serious automobile accident that injured her knee.  Isn't it wonderful
> that gaited horses can provide her the comfort necessary to continue
> riding distance.  Let's move past "my breed is better than your breed"
> and talk about some really juicy subjects.  Susan? Ti?  are you out
> there?
> <<
> I've been reading all of the posts on the money spent on endurance
> horses
> and breeders opinions on what endurance prospects cost and I want to
> share
> how I got started in endurance riding 15 years ago.  I had been
> showing
> hunters for 5 years and was tired of the show ring and paying trainers
> to
> go around and around in circles.  I had heard of endurance riding and
> even
> attended a seminar at UC Davis (CA) on Horse and Rider Endurance
> Training
> in 1979.  (Anyone out there remember this?  It was the first time I
> had
> ever heard of Potato Richardson.)  However like many people I didn't
> know
> how to get started or even how to find out where rides were held.
> AERC was
> a well kept secret in 1980.  However, I was fortunate to meet an Arab
> breeder and endurance rider who encouraged me to ride my Appendix QH
> and
> condition it for a 25 mile ride.  Who was this breeder, none other
> than the
> consumate endurance enthusiast, Jim Bumgardner from Fire Mt Arabians
> in
> Ridgecrest, CA.  Jim is a wonderful ambassador for our sport.  He
> didn't
> try to sell me one of his horses, but encouraged me to go out and see
> what
> my horse could do.  He made endurance riding sound like so much fun!
> And
> he said I could do it on the horse I had.  Wow!  I rode 3 25's in the
> spring and summer and in November I rode my first 50 on my former
> hunter.
> What appealed to me about endurance riding was the AERC motto of "To
> finish
> is to win".  I could ride my own ride, at the speed I wanted and set
> my own
> goals and still get a small rememberance of the ride.  I knew that
> speed
> and top 10 would probably never be a priority to me.  Many times Jim
> Bumgardner has accused me of riding too slow.  Who cares?  I have made
> wonderful friends from endurance riding and ridden more than 6,000
> miles
> over trails that many only dream of.  Tevis, Outlaw Trail, Capital to
> Capital to name just a few.
> By the way, after 300 miles on the QH I moved on to a 12 year old 1/2
> arab-1/2 QH  and after 2200 miles on her I finally bought a 4 year old
> in
> 1990 from 'that breeder' that introduced me to the sport, in addition
> to
> winning a breeding at the AERC Convention to one of Cheri & Jeff
> Brisco's
> stallions.  This resulted in me ending up with a Kozar son (great
> bloodlines) in addition to my other horses.  I even bought another
> Sierra
> Fadwah daughter off of this year from all the way up in
> Canada.  Thank you Kelli for bringing Torch back to California for
> me.  Out
> of all these horses the most expensive one was the one I bred myself
> and I
> didn't have to pay a stud fee!    And this was because I boarded him
> until
> he was 4 up in the Auburn area at a friends house who had lots of
> pasture.
> This was before my husband and I built our home on 4 acres.
> After all these ramblings, I think my purpose in posting this to is
> bring
> back awareness to all the reasons people ride endurance.  If Jim
> Bumgardner
> had told me that I needed a certain breed or arab pedigree to ride
> endurance I probably never would have ridden in my first 25 mile ride.
> Endurance riding has something for everyone and there is room for all
> breeds of horses & mules and all levels of riding ability and speed.
> If
> someone wants to ride at Top 10 speeds consistantly then by all means
> look
> at the pedigrees of successful endurances horses and if you want to
> ride
> lots of  miles per year then look at what bloodlines have turned out
> high
> mileage horses.  But if you only want to do a few rides a year and
> mainly
> have fun and great trail friendships then ride whatever you have in
> your
> backyard or whatever you can afford.  Remember though, at what ever
> level
> you ride be sure you are having fun! >>
> Happy Trails,
> Marci Cunningham
> Bakersfield CA

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