Tuesday, April 10, 2018

California: Introduction to Endurance Clinic!


2 day Endurance Clinic & Run Rides
June 2 & 3, 2018

Harvey Bear Park, San Martin, Ca. (Near San Jose)
Hosted by West Region rider Nick Warhol and Friends

Come attend our all new two day clinic for people who are interested in learning about Endurance riding. Designed for people with no prior endurance experience. Bring a horse or just yourself. 6 hours of lecture, Truck and Trailer sessions, Pot luck ride dinner, ride meeting, camp overnight, and on Sunday- two fun rides- 7 and 15 miles, with vet checks, awards, and experienced Endurance riders as trial guides. When you leave on Sunday you will know all you need to know to enter your first ride!

All proceeds from the clinic after expenses will be donated to the AERC!

For more information, see

Welcome to the first ever Harvey Bear 2-day Endurance Clinic for beginners! Bring a horse or just yourself. You can take part in the learning and camping experience, or enter one of the two fun rides on Sunday. The whole weekend will be designed to emulate a real, live, endurance ride. This includes arriving the day before, checking in, vetting in, a pot luck dinner, the ride meeting, and the next day there are 2 Introductory rides of different distances, complete with a vet check, the finish, awards, and a real live Best Condition judging. This is not a race; it is a learning experience, so we will draw 3 horses at random from each ride to be judged for Best Condition. When you leave this clinic you will be prepared to enter your first Endurance Ride, as soon as your horse is in shape!

We will be camping in the field near the main entrance of Harvey Bear Park in San Martin, Ca, just south of San Jose. ALL RIDERS MUST WEAR A HELMET WHILE PARTICIPATING IN THE FUN RIDES! Junior riders are welcome, (under age 16) but must be accompanied on the trail by an adult.

On Saturday morning we have a truck and trailering session- a demonstration of different truck, trailer, and camper types. What’s the right truck and why? How to hitch up. What to bring- see how experienced riders do it. Horse camping- see different types of horse containment. We have a special session on learning how to back up trailers taught by non-spouses! (Featuring ex-professional truck driver Gretchen Montgomery. She backs up better than me and most people I know!) On Saturday afternoon there will be about 6 hours of lectures on everything endurance related, including special guest speakers. (3-time World endurance champion Becky Hart, and the one and only Grand Duchess of Endurance Julie Suhr) Sessions: what is endurance? How to start. Preparing your horse. Preparing the rider. Saddles and tack. How it all works. (Ride times, vet checks, etc) Getting to your first ride. What to carry. How fast to ride. Setting goals. Hear different perspectives from beginning, experienced, and some of the best riders in the world.

The two fun rides will be held on Sunday June 3rd. (You don’t have to camp over on Saturday night, but it is highly recommended to complete the experience!) The 15-mile ride will start at 8am, and the 7 mile will start at 9am. Both rides will be two loops with a real endurance vet check in the middle. There are NO time limits (like there are in a real endurance ride); you can walk the whole 7 mile ride if you like. (We will encourage a mix of about 50/50 trotting/walking on the 15 mile ride). This insures pretty much any horse can do it. There will NOT be a mass start- the riders will go out in smaller groups accompanied by experienced endurance riders on their experienced horses. This will give the riders a safer and more realistic feel for their first real endurance ride. You can expect to ride at a realistic pace that is appropriate for finishing your first endurance ride, although the 7-mile ride may have a little more walking. You will NOT be racing at this ride.

Pre-ride vetting for the horses entered will be Saturday afternoon at 5pm, just like a real ride. We will have an AERC head vet (To be announced) overseeing the welfare of the horses. We will have a pot luck dinner Saturday at 6:30 pm, and the ride meeting at 7, just like a real ride. We have completion awards for everyone on the rides, with several other nice prizes for various things. We will also have a Best condition evaluation on Sunday afternoon after the ride, and before the awards. It will be just like a real endurance ride BC judging, but we will be drawing 3 finishing horses at random from each ride for the competition. This is because we are not awarding any finishing placings or top ten awards like in a real endurance ride.

When you sign up you select a rider weight division, just like a real ride. The divisions are based on your (the rider) weight and all the tack (saddle, pad, bridle, halter, breast collar, bags, water, etc) that you will carry on the horse. You don’t have to be 100% accurate, just select the division that you fit into the best.

Featherweight up to 160 pounds
Lightweight 161 to 185 pounds
Middleweight 186 to 210 pounds
Heavyweight 211 pounds and over

Camping is now available Friday night. Camping is $15 per night, Friday and Saturday, horse or no horse. this is a requirement from the park.

Camp is in a fenced grass field next to the main park entrance. We will have a water trough for the horses in camp, but you need to bring your own people water. Porta-potties will be brought in for the event. Participants are responsible for all their other provisions. We need to leave the camp clean, so be prepared to haul off anything that came in with you, hay and manure included. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times. People without horses are welcome to camp overnight as well. The ride camp is in town, so there are plenty of stores, restaurants, hotels, gas stations, etc within a few miles drive.

Directions: From U.S. Highway 101 in San Martin, take the San Martin Avenue exit. (A RIGHT off of 101 if you are coming from the South, a LEFT back over the freeway if you are coming from the North). Proceed east on San Martin Avenue for 2 miles. The main entrance to the park is about one-quarter mile east of Foothill Avenue. Don’t take the main park entrance, continue east for a couple hundred yards where you will turn LEFT off of San Martin Ave into ride camp. There will be signs and ribbon directing you to the camp.

Please make checks payable to Nick Warhol

For the weekend schedule and more info, see:

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