Cross Country Kat--Intro to Long Distance Riding

If you're interested in learning about long distance riding, I intend to help. I took up long distance riding a year ago. In 2016 I rode a total of 1,300 miles. I had to scratch the internet or learn the hard way on the trail to gain the knowledge I have now. I intend to share the knowledge I have gained, one blog post at a time.  

Unlike most activities, hobbies and sports, long distance riding lacks participant numbers, literature and overall resources for newcomers. Long distance riding is NOT to be confused with endurance riding. Endurance riding is much faster paced, where athletes ride 100 miles in as little at 24 hours. A long distance rider might put 20 miles in the saddle per day for 60 days, with periodical layover days to rest the horses.  

The biggest advice I can give to a new long rider, is never think you know it all. My dad raised me to never say "I know" when someone is teaching you something. If you say "I know" you shut a door, because then someone may not tell you something because they think "you know". Always take advice. Always be open. Always be nimble. Always be observant. Most importantly, always be humble.

However, remember, the only people who know anything about long distance riding, are the ones who have done it;  so don't take what your neighbor (who rides a couple times a month for a couple hours at a time) has to say too seriously. Don't get disheartened if someone tries to talk you out of your long ride or tells you you're doing it wrong. Overcoming neigh-sayers is part of long distance riding.  

Knowing when to take valuable/accurate advice and knowing when to ignore "advice" that is fear based/false can be just as challenging as the ride itself.  But if you remember, your most accurate resource is a long rider in the flesh, then you can sift through the good and the bad without reserve. 

Do not be fooled and start buying a bunch of endurance riding books.  They'll serve very little purpose.  This is the ONLY book (it comes from The Long Rider's Guild) that I have found on long distance riding: 

The Long Rider's Guild is a great resource for long distance riders.  This website has links to every resource available for long distance riders.

I intend to post, in the upcoming weeks, about these points: -the importance of wool -saddle and saddle pad fit -food & camp life -how to maximize your horses energy -personal gear -how to be in the right mental state before, during and after your trip -rout planning & more.  Please, if you have any blog post requests, go to the contact form and request your topic!  I am here to help you learn. 

Lastly, if you are looking to be inspired by the most bad ass long distance rider I have ever stumbled  across, check out Bernice Ende.  Her most recent ride took five years.  She rode 8,000 miles from the west coast to the east coast and then back to the west coast.