Horseback Riding Meets Running in the Sport of Ride and Tie

Fun and fitness are all part of this unique endurance sport.

Are you a horse lover and a runner? Ever wonder if there was a way to combine the sport of endurance riding with cross-country running? Look no further! The equestrian sport called might be right for you.

Officially started in 1971, this relatively new sport to the horse world requires a team of two people and one horse. Over a trail course that can vary in length from under ten miles to one hundred miles, each individual trades off riding the horse and running solo at strategic distances along the course.

While the horse and rider gallop ahead, the runner makes up distance on foot and catches up to the horse that has been tied up and is waiting, while the previous rider then becomes the runner. This leapfrog method continues through the entire length of the course until all three team members cross the finish line.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although it may sound like a rodeo event and at times can take on the atmosphere of a rip roaring’ rodeo, it has nothing to do with the sport of rodeo. Ride & Tie is an endurance race, run on trails and cross-country, generally 20 to 40 miles or more in length, involving teams of one horse/two humans, competing against 10 to 50 other like teams. The humans alternate riding the horse a mile or so, tying it to a tree, and taking off running, while the other human catches up to the horse, unties it and rides past the other human, and so on. The human teammates are mixed or matched pairs: young, old, female, male, fast and not-so-fast, all racing the same course. They work closely with each other and their equine teammate throughout the race, including mandatory veterinary checkpoints.

To read more about Ride & Tie please visit this page: About Ride and Tie.

That is entirely up to you and your partner. Some teams feel they make better time by running longer intervals between ties, say a couple of miles or more. Most teams these days seem to prefer shorter intervals ranging from 1/2 to a mile or so, depending on the terrain (shorter on uphills, longer on downhills, for example). The strategy you decide on will depend on the relative running abilities of the humans, and the speed and condition of the horse.

No, you don’t! Of course, the faster you are, the more competitive you can be. But there are many teams who just get out and Ride & Tie for the sheer fun of it…some even walk during their time on the ground. “To finish is to win” applies not only to endurance riding, but to Ride & Tie as well! Ride & Tie is really more about teamwork, endurance, commitment, and determination than about speed.

This is probably the most important factor, besides having a horse that is in good shape. You don’t have to be a great rider, but you do have to know how to handle an excited horse, especially at the start. You need to have confidence and not be afraid of your horse, and you need to know how to be a safe rider. Remember, there are runners and other riders sharing the trail with you, so an out of control horse and rider can be a serious safety hazard.

No! There are Ride & Tiers who have a conditioned horse (or mule!) but do not know anyone who runs and rides with whom they can partner for a race. The Ride and Tie Association maintains a list of runners looking for partners with horses, and folks with horses looking for partners (see Finding a Teammate). Mentors (see Learning from a Mentor) and race managers (see Race Schedule) can help you hook up with a partner and horse who fit your riding and running skill level.

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