Things I need to know/practice before signing up for my first endurance ride:
1. How to manage my own metabolic issues, especially in the heat.
(I've gotten better at some things, but dehydration and muscle cramps are still problems.)
2. How to set up a mustang-safe portable camp.
3. How to put on easy-boots.
4. How to not get lost in the dark.
Things that scare me about endurance:
1. I have a terrible sense of direction. Like, massively, embarrassingly, worthlessly BAD. I will need a map, a GPS, a well-marked trail, and possibly a ride buddy to ensure I don't get stranded in the wilderness.
2. Will I make the best decisions for my horse, consistently and dependably, even after a long, hot, exhausting time on the trail?
3. Will I embarrass myself in front of more experienced riders?
4. Will my scruffy mustangs embarrass themselves in front of proper Arabian/part-Arab horses?
1. My beloved treeless Barefoot is definitely showing serious signs of wear, and I discovered (accidentally) that it does not provide a very secure seat when one decides to climb a steep slope. I am thinking it is a good training saddle, but maybe not the best endurance saddle. Unfortunately, my favorite western saddle doesn't fit Brisa at all and the pony saddle that does fit her bruises my tailbone. I can't afford another saddle at this point, so I have a couple of options, here. a) Sell my favorite western saddle and buy a used endurance saddle. (What kind or style I have no idea, yet.) b) Keep my favorite saddle and just use the treeless until I know for sure this is something I intend to do long-term, and just make sure there are no steep climbs at whichever LDs we attempt or c) Revisit the idea of a crupper and see if, this time, Brisa will be more amenable or d) Some combination of the above.
2. Brisa definitely needs more focused work. She's cooperative and easy-going when we're just ambling around the empty fields, but when I tried to point her down the trail she balked and threw a hissy fit. She's just not used to putting forth the effort any more, so we have some issues to work out.
3. Ranger has major issues. Frustrating, and disappointing, and I am not sure how best to handle them. And yet I've been here with Gypsy, and we worked things out, so I hope time and patience and a willingness to go back to the beginning as many times as it takes will pay off with him, too.