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Introductory Riders

Mucous membranes are checked at the vet check

Shamal Julina listening carefully to the briefing....Richard appears to be napping!

The trot up is 40m up and 40m back (teach him to trot beside you)

A group of riders enjoying a canter on course.

Jenny straps Lace and Fineness


Riders who want to get Forestry Permits to ride in approved areas in the Tokoroa Forestry must be Waikato Club members.  This is a requirement of the forestry owners so you are covered under our insurance policy.  

Our club has awards for distance successfully completed in competition.  Your total kms are collated and at the end of the season, you could receive an engraved wine glass with your horse's name on it. 

These are presented at our AGM and are issued at 250km, 500km, 1000km, 1500km, 2000km and 2500km.  At 3000km you get a decanter, coasters at 4000km and an engraved silver tray at 5000km!  Ice bucket at 6000km!  Collect the set!

We support each other at rides and via our Facebook page and this website.  We offer a mentoring system to help riders at any level to get the best out of the club and the sport and to meet their goals.

If you want to register yourself and your horse with ESNZ so you can progress to longer distances you will need to be a member of an Endurance Club.

 For a Waikato  Club membership form click here

What to expect at your first novice ride

​Introductory rides are 0-46km and are open to all riders.  Casual riders only need to become an Introductory member of  ESNZ  or pay a day membership of $5 to enter.  These rides are not races and you will be limited to a minimum time (no faster than 13.5k/hr) which is set by the ride committee on the day.  Almost any horse that is ridden regularly can come out and enjoy this type of event.


Horses must be 4 years old or more.  Waikato Endurance Club rides are all run under ESNZ rules which means the welfare of the horse is paramount.  All qualifiers at Waikato rides get a ribbon and a certificate.  If you are interested in Endurance but new to the sport just make yourself known when you pick up your bib and we will answer any questions you might have.  Maybe you are just coming along for a mental health outing for your sport horse or a fitness boost for your hunter, or just a cruise around some tracks that you would not otherwise be able to access.  


Welcome! Enjoy!

On the day:  Arrive at least 45 minutes before your start time.  You will need to register first at our caravan and get your back number and day vet card (registered horses have a log book but casual horses get a day vet card).  Take your horse in its halter to the vet ring for your pre-ride vet check.  Don't forget to take your day vet card.  The vet will look in your horse's mouth, listen to its heart and look it over to make sure you're all good to go.  The heart rate should be below 64 beats per minute.  You will then be asked to trot the horse up in hand along the vet ring and back (you can walk around the top and trot back).  Lame horses are not allowed to continue.


Then you get geared up and go to the start/finish line.  The course marker will give you a briefing with anything you need to know about the course and will let you know your maximum and minimum times.  When it is time to start you can head off over the start line.  If you don't want to start with the main group you can hang back and leave a bit later, whatever suits you as long as it is within 15 minutes of the official start time.  

When you cross the finish line at the end of a ride you must be on your horse.  You have up to 30 minutes after you finish to bring your horse to the vet ring for a final vetting.  


You can return to your float (or stay in the strapping area if you have your buckets set out there) and strap your horse.  This may mean cooling the horse down (sponges and buckets of water, a scraper and a towel are basics for endurance riders) or drying it off if it is cold.  The idea is to get the heart rate down again before re-presenting to the vet.  The post-ride vet check is the same as the pre-ride.  Provided you still have a sound horse with a HR 64 beats per minute or under you will have "qualified" and get your ribbon and certificate.


Unregistered horses all run as novice which means you are limited speed-wise. You have to get out of Novice class to start being competitive.  

Watching some of the other crews strapping is a good way to learn.  Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions! (just make sure you pick your time to ask if they're busy strapping).   When you want to move out of Novice, look at "Stepping up."

For a chart about what level of ESNZ membership you need to enter the ride you want click here

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