From the youngest junior riders to seniors who have plenty of time to travel far and wide to compete, riders from across the U.S. and Canada have many things in common: a love for their equines, desire to ride on scenic trails, and at least a little bit of competitive spirit. Riders compete in endurance (50 or more miles) and limited distance (25-35 miles) rides. AERC offers junior-level prizes in most categories, and all riders may compete for regional and national awards, or just to earn mileage awards with their favorite trail companion.
In endurance riding, the equine and rider are a team, and the challenge is to complete the course with a horse that is “fit to continue.” A panel of control judges supervises the equines, each of which must pass a pre-ride examination in order to start the event. During each ride are set hold times, which vary in duration from a simple gate-and-go to one-hour rest holds. During these holds, the equine’s physical and metabolic parameters are checked. The horse must pass the exam in order to continue on the course. Each horse must also pass a post-ride exam in order to receive credit for completing the course.
Educational & Fun
Member education, through AERC’s mentoring program and articles in Endurance News, helps riders learn the latest tips and techniques for this exciting sport. Learning together can be fun, and friendships spring up along the trails as riders share their experiences and become part of AERC’s “endurance family.”
A Great Family Sport
Whether you are a competitor at heart or are looking for a sport for your entire family, endurance riding has something for everyone. Endurance riding combines the opportunity of riding a challenging course with your equine partner and the fun and camaraderie of camping and socializing with a group of individuals who share your same interests. The competition itself is just part of the fun of this family-oriented sport.
Welcome To Beginners
The best way to get started in endurance riding is to volunteer at a local ride, get your horse in shape, and read up on AERC’s educational literature. Mentors are committed to helping new members and answering their questions about endurance riding. Once your equine and you are ready, it’s time to try a limited distance event of 25 to 35 miles. These rides are great for newcomers to the sport, or those who prefer riding shorter distances. Everyone who completes an AERC ride earns a completion award. But no award can match the satisfaction of earning your first completion!
An Advocate for Trails
AERC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the nation’s leader in encouraging the use, protection and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historical significance. Many events — particularly multi-day rides — take place over historic trails. Such rides promote awareness of the importance of trail preservation for future generations, and foster an appreciation of our American heritage.
If you and your horse are ready for the trail and the challenge, we invite you to join the AERC family today!
AERC National Office
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6027 • Auburn, CA 95604
Street Address: 101 Orange Street, Suite A-1 • Auburn, CA 95603
Call us: (866) 271-2372 • (530) 823-2260