Well how about that! You are in good company. People often ask if they have to ride an Arabian to participate in endurance riding. The answer to that is “it depends on your goals.” Though Arabians are the most suitable breed for long distance riding, that does not mean that your horse cannot take you on the distance trail. It is true that heavily muscled breeds may have difficulty cooling, but we have many examples of people riding these alternative breeds and learning to pace and cool their horse’s effectively to finish as well as be competitive. In the early days of endurance there seemed to be a broader diversity of breeds represented and now through Green Bean groups across the country we are beginning to see a resurgence of that diversity. Definitely do not rule out the sport until you have done some conditioning, found a mentor, rode an intro ride, and attempted an LD. The progression taken in order might surprise you in the capability your horse possesses. You do not have to be an organization member to take the steps and see how it goes.
Many breed organizations are coming on board with awards for their breed performing well in distance disciplines these include:
AQHA, Akel Teke, American Saddlebred , Appaloosa , Morgan, Icelandic, Paint, Rocky Mountain Horse, Paso Fino, Standardbred, and Tennesee Walker to name a few!
So if you have thought to try distance riding but don’t want to give up the breed you love, join Green Bean (it’s free), hook up with a mentor, Spring is here, start conditioning and see what you can accomplish in 12 short weeks!