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Starting a young horse

HI, never had a problem with the LD verses endurance thread before since I
have over 5,000 miles of 50 and 100 mile rides however now that I have a
4 yr. old I hesitate to tell people I'm going to an endurance ride if I'm
just riding a LD ride.  I know when I started out doing 25 mile rides I
didn't think I wasn't doing endurance.  After all I was going to an "endurance"
ride.  I had someone really give me heck because I advertised my stallion as
doing endurance riding and hadn't yet done a 50 on him.  I also started with
NATRC competative riding and everyone there was a competative rider whether
doing novice or open rides.  Speaking of which, I did my first NATRC ride
in Sept. after doing endurance for over 13 yrs. and really enjoyed it much
to my surprise. After riding a lot of endurance rides on rather high strung
and very competative half-saddlebreds I decided I wanted my new arab to
be very well trained and slowly legged up before I did any endurance rides on
him.  Of course, I never would have won any rides if my horses had gone as
slow as I would have liked for them to.  Back then, before ridecamp, I didn't
know you needed a well trained horse.  I just thought if they wanted to go and
you could stop them it was all that was needed.  Ha!  I rode the same horse
from age 5 to age 19 when he died as a result of a stall accident so guess I
didn't do him too much damage.  He was still winning rides at age 19 and loving
it.  I even got to where I enjoyed the race but not as much as my husband who
crewed for me.  I was glad of my NATRC start though and that the stallion I
started with was sane and sensible but just didn't like to go fast but he
taught me a lot about pacing as did riding NATRC.  I'm with Nancy Mitts just
ride and enjoy it no matter what the distance or what it is called!  I think
I enjoy the training rides with me by myself with my horse better than
anything.  Happy Trails,  Kathy ct region AERC# 5415   5000+ miles

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