Becoming and Open Endurance Rider
Here are some pointers on where to start and what's involved to help you on your journey to become an endurance rider. There are of course many other ways you can get started or become involved so please use this as a guide only and be sure to ask questions if you are unsure of something.
Step 1: Successfully complete 2 x 40km intermediate (training) rides
To start out with you can enter 20km and 40km rides on day membership - this means there are no costs involved bar your ride entry on the day of the ride. To find out what rides you might like to attend have a look at the link Ride Calendar and pick rides that are close enough for you to attend. You can take your own horse or you can ask the ride organizer if they may know someone that would have a horse you can ride. Don't feel shy about asking questions - just email or call any contact on this website and we will all be happy to answer your questions and help you along. Note: 20km intro rides do not count towards the qualification process, you don't have to do a 20k ride before you can enter a 40km ride.
Step 2: Become a riding member of the Queensland Endurance Riders Association Inc
Once you have successfully completed 2 x 40km training rides you will be allowed to enter 80km rides - but to do this you must be a member of your Division. Membership forms can be found by following the link Forms on this website. Turnaround from our Registrar is quick, however still allow approximately 10 days for you to receive your Novice Membership Card. You should become familiar with our rulebook, available in the "Members" section of our website. If you have been competing your own horse you will now also need to arrange a logbook for him. This is like your membership card and will allow your horse to enter rides of 80km's.
Step 3: Successfully complete 3 x 80km rides as a Novice
The next step in your journey is to learn how to manage a horse over long distances. This is why you will need to complete 3 x 80km rides with novice time restrictions applied. The speed you are allowed to ride will be advised in the pre ride talk - it is important that you attend these talks or you may be disqualified from riding. Take this time not to think about your position in the field or what place you are going to come, but rather in learning about your horse - what it feels like when it gets tired, what you should be doing throughout the ride to remain healthy and sound, what other riders are doing and how they are riding in the different terrains, learn as much as you can, talk to as many people as you can.
Editor's Note: At around the 70km mark in your first 80km ride, you will hit an invisible wall, and feel like you can't go on. Push yourself though it and keep going, you'll make it!
Step 4: Upgrade from Novice to Endurance rider status
Once you have successfully completed 3 x 80km rides at novice pace you are deemed experienced enough to manage the horses that you ride at any speed. You will need to send your novice membership card back to the QERA Registrar. You will then be sent a new card that says you are an open rider, congratulations!