As any endurance rider will know, you can’t just take any horse off the farm and expect to win competitions. Endurance horses have special characteristics - all of which are extremely important to ensure you make a mean team. When looking for the best endurance horse that’ll make the cut, keep an eye out for the following:
1. The type of breed:
Choosing the correct breed is crucial, as certain breeds are more capable of fulfilling that specific role better than others. The most common breed within the industry is the Arabian breed – purely for its frame, strength and character, amongst others. However, breeds such as the Thoroughbred and Appaloosa are also used.
2. Small enough frame:
The explanation is relatively simple. You want a horse that won’t be carrying around too much weight for extended periods of time – ideally not taller than 16 hands. Your horse should also be able to cool off quickly. Larger horses take longer, in which case will cause various health problems such as overheating.
3. Ultimate strength:
Strength is crucial for endurance riding. You need the stamina to be able to ride for hours on end without difficulty. The key is finding a horse with flat knees and strong hooves, as the two of you will end up spending plenty of hours at a time riding.
4. Oxygen usage levels:
Ultimately, you need a healthy horse with excellent breathing passages. As oxygen is carried through to all the vital organs such as the heart, it’s important to choose a horse with a broad chest – as this tend to make space for a larger heart. You’re also looking for a horse with large nostrils, knowing that the intake of oxygen will be sufficient to ride for hours.
5. Excellent movement:
Correct movement plays a large enough role to mention. You want a horse that has a smooth, comfortable trot and canter – as incorrect movement will put too much strain on the knees and hooves of your horse. That’s the last thing you want.
Remember, a healthy diet and the correct probiotics are essential in order to create a strong endurance horse – regardless of the above-mentioned factors.