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Endurance and Competitive Trail

Read more about endurance riding and competitive trail riding, how to get involved, how to improve your skills, news, stories from participants, and more with Horse Illustrated’s articles.

Endurance riding is an internationally recognized discipline that involves riding long-distance race while the horse must pass veterinary inspections along the way. They are usually 50- or 100-mile long rides, while limited distance rides are only 25 miles for new riders to the sport. Many different breeds participate, but Arabians are by far the most popular breed for this sport. Endurance is governed internationally by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and in the U.S. by the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC).

Competitive trail riding (CTR) involves riding a set distance (usually 40 miles per day) for usually one to three days. Speed is not the main factor, with it being more of a judged trail ride. Timed events mean the horse-and-rider must finish in a certain time range, but veterinary checks, rider behavior, performance of the horse and ability to recover, manners, and other criteria are evaluated.

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