Endurance riding is the sport of competitive long-distance riding. Distances vary from the entry level of 16km right through to a 160km in a day. No matter the distance, the foundations of the sport lie in good horse management and strict welfare controls.
There are two main types of endurance rides – graded and competitive. In a graded ride, the challenge is to keep pace within set parameters while taking account of the varying terrain and passing veterinary checks at the beginning and end. The final grading is calculated from your speed and your horse's recovery rate. In a competitive endurance ride, all the riders start together, and the winning horse is the first one to cross the line, while stopping periodically to pass veterinary checks that deem your horse in good health to continue.
Endurance offers a unique equestrian challenge and is a key sport for learning about equine fitness. Veterinary checks before and after endurance rides – and in the middle too for longer distances – ensure the best possible care is taken of your horse.
Endurance GB is the governing body for the sport of endurance riding in Great Britain. They organise rides to cater for all levels of ability, whether you simply want to compete occasionally at local events or aim for top class and international competition. They provide and manage well over 100 events a year across some of the most stunning scenery Britain has to offer.
Your local Endurance GB group is always the best place to start when looking to begin in endurance riding. They'll be able to give you the information and guidance to get you to your first ride. Local groups also organise pleasure and social rides as an introduction to endurance and a way to get your horse fit for longer distances, which is often the best way to start.