Endurance Riders

Endurance and Long Distance Equine Disciplines

I did it, I let my horse flat out gallop for the first time!!

I watched the movie Secretariat last night. So I was inspired to ride and ride fast today. Gunner and I started on our usual 9 mile loop, hoping to add some bursts of speed today. My dream would be to let him run on a real race track just to see how fast he can really go. I've never let him go wide open for fear I wouldn't be able to stop and I was working on control and building him up. His breeders told me never to worry about speed, that would come naturally. I had seen him kicking it up in the pasture so there was no doubt that he is one fast horse. 


Unfortunately the NCDOT had scraped and added more rock to my perfectly groomed packed gravel roads. I was so disappointed and now had to settle on riding along side the road again until I reached the NC Wildlife Gamelands that are a few miles down the road.

However, they missed one gravel road that is about 3 miles long and only 1 house, but lots of dogs. I cantered up the hill, then I felt him faster and faster, so I stood up and quit pulling on his face. He was ignoring me anyways so what good was I doing except annoying him. We were flying! And all I can manage to think is how hard that packed road is going to be. It sounded like running on concrete. Then I had a slight panic attack, I forgot to put on his breast collar. Now I am invisioning the saddle slipping and rolling under his belly at 30 mph. I tried to slow down, but there was no luck. Finally after about 1/2 a mile of asking to stop and with a one-rein rip your damn face off, he finally bounced to a stop. He was literally pogo/ pepe le pew stopping. So we finally turned back and pranced back down the road til we came back to the stop sign. He stopped, and I dismounted and tightened girth and rearranged my breeches that were twisted around my knees and had somehow worked their way up my torso. 


I got back on and walked quietly the last few miles. Still trying to recover from the adrenaline and shaking in my knees, Gunner was quit proud of himself! I did take note the wildlife I saw this ride. One flock of turkeys, mostly long-beards that took flight about 50 ft in front of us. I thought Gunner would spin and run but he froze like a statue and I felt his heart pounding like a drum. I also saw a momma deer and her two yearling babies flagging their fluffy white tails as the leaped through the barren cotton fields. It was such a pleasure to see the wildlife from horseback and I don't ever want to take for granted how lucky I am to enjoy nature the way I am allowed to.

Just one day I would love to let him open up on a track, better yet, watch someone else do it.


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Comment by Heather Meyer on March 23, 2011 at 1:25pm

amazing story!!!!


I galloped with my horse and it's absolutely AMAZING! Defiently something every horse enthusiast should experience. If you ever want to fly and feel the wind jump on the back of a horse and let them show you what it's like. My horse gives me wings when I want to fly.

Comment by Kimi Gregg on February 5, 2011 at 12:14pm
When I was about 12 years old one of the folks at my barn had a retired 17 hand racehorse. She could not ride her as she was a pistol who loved to go, and the owner was a rather timid rider. I cleaned her stall every day (along with 14 others) and thought it was sad that she never got to run. While talking to the woman and petting her beautiful Thoroughbred she made the comment "wow, you can't even reach her mane... I bet you could never get on her without help"... I took that bet ;). She agreed that if I could get on her bareback without help, she would let me run her around the track. I was on that mare in 2 seconds flat! Just did a run and jumped up, grabbed her mane, and swung on her with no problem (wish I could do that now!). That was the most amazing ride ever, bareback dead run with nothing but a halter and lead rope on one of the most powerful horses I have been on to this date... what a memory. I just teared up a little remembering it.
Comment by Katie Knippel on January 29, 2011 at 8:24am
I have been on a horse at speed in a race and it is amazing. There is no feeling like it. But it does make you more comfortable knowing that you can get your horse back into hand at any moment. Feeling the power and speed of such an amazing animal is such a rush!

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