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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Endurance Riding in Qatar

By Jean

Can YOU ride a horse 160 kilometers? Endurance riding is an equestrian sport based on riding long distances (60, 80, 100, 120, and 160 km) with periodic veterinary checks to monitor the horse's health and condition during the ride. The horse completes the ride when it passes all necessary criteria and is judged "fit to continue" by a veterinary judge at the finish. The first to cross the finish line is considered the winner. The top ten horses also stand for the coveted "Best Condition" award, an honor that goes to the horse judged to be the most superior in condition in addition to "fit to continue." Here again the Arab horse excels, as one would expect!

How can you get started? Whether you do or don't have a horse already, you should attend an endurance ride, meet endurance people, and find someone experienced and knowledgeable in horses and the sport of endurance to help you get started - the next Endurance Ride in Qatar is on the 7th February.

Another good way to get started in endurance would be to attend the clinic coming up at Al Samariyah Stables in April. An American endurance rider, Maggie Mieske, and her farrier husband, Nelson, will be hosting the clinic and covering such topics as: a vet check demonstration, hoof care, conditioning, nutrition, tack and saddle fit, pit crewing, electrolytes, probiotics, etc. Pre-registration and pre-payment will be required. If you don't have a horse, you may choose to rent one from the stable for a lesson or a fun ride on the trail after the clinic. Contact Maggie for details at msmieske@yahoo.com.

Also see The Arabian Horse: The Beginning by the same writer

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