We encourage you to join SEDRA, get all the up to date information on trail news, horse health issues, training rides, tack information, etc. right here on on the South Eastern Distance Riders Association website! If you are looking for a club to that shares your same interests, not only in riding long distances, recreational or competitive, but learning all aspects of the sport, sharing knowledge while making new and maintaining friendships, this is what SEDRA has to offer!
There are several ways to get started with distance riding:
Volunteer at one of our sanctioned rides! What a great opportunity to get involved in a sport where you can breathe fresh air, learn the aspects of distance riding and earn volunteer awards all at the same time!
Attend one of our Rookie Clinics. At the clinic, you will learn about:
In addition, the event includes a mock ride / IDR so that you and your horse can experience a small-scale distance ride.
Take advantage of these benefits!
WATER….WATER…WATER!! Invest in a good water bottle holder. Take water with you at all times when riding, drink whenever your horse drinks and more often …
Take a bandana with you when you ride. Tie it around your neck. If you get too hot – pour some water on it and tie it back around your neck… it will help you cool off!
Those holes in your helmet make a great place to pour water in!
You do not need to trot, trot, trot. The canter is a perfectly acceptable gait and for some horses, it’s easier on them than trotting.
Nylon Panty hose have worked wonders for me. No more rubs!! (Under your jeans, ole man). TRY IT… no one will know but you!
Heart Rate Monitor – Don’t put off this important purchase. I debated for several years and now wish I had when I was first learning the sport. It is a wonderful safety aid that can help keep you from harming your horse.
Take care of yourself so you can take care of your mount.
Wear the clothes for the job.
Keep hydrated before the fact.
Keep the circulation going.
Take care of yourself and above all – watch for the Trail Markers!
Stop and help someone if they need it. Your turn needing assistance is just around the corner.
Make sure your horse is ok with the sponge on a string BEFORE you get to the ride.
On long rides, crotch chafing can cause that first visit to the outhouse to be a stoic affair. Coat the area with Vaseline KY Jelly or whatever. Take a jar or tube with you to the ride. Use Body Glide for places that rub–both horse and rider. Pomade (hair wax) also works well.
Sponges are very cheap at Home Depot or Lowes…big ones (found .in the flooring and tile department). They hold a lot of water. Some have a slightly abrasive side which is helpful in getting the mud off your horse’s legs and belly! Always keep one on your saddle… never take if off except to use it!
Be kind to yourself, your horse, and others and have a good time. That is all that matters in the big picture.
My electrolyte recipe that I have used for 20 years:
1 part salt +1 part lite salt + 1/2 part dolomite
mix with yogurt, baby carrots, or applesauce and water
1 dose is one film canister. Mix and use large syringe to administer.
Ask questions. Everyone is very polite and informative. All are happy to share regardless of how ridiculous the question.
Make sure you’re in shape, too
Lean and healthy is the way to be for your horse AND for you. Look, I’m not in perfect shape, but I’m trying, and I’m certainly not trying to point fingers. But my point is that if you’re in an athletic competition and you’re part of a team (you and your horse), you owe it to both of you to be in the best shape that you can be, too.
Nobody’s saying that you need to be ready to run a marathon if you want to go off on a trail ride. But if it’s performance that you’re interested in, well, it takes two to tango. You’re not being fair if you expect your horse to always work at the peak of performance, but you don’t hold up your end of the bargain.
Keeping your horse sound and in peak condition for performance shouldn’t rely on a syringe, a bucket, or a bottle. At best, they might provide a short-term fix. As Dr. Dyson noted, soundness and good health is about proper training and conditioning prior to competition. And proper training does not mean doing the same thing over and over (and over and over). In fact, sometimes it means not training, and just going out and having a good time.
After all, at the end of the day, this horse performance thing is supposed to be fun, right?