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.

​Introductory rides are 0-46km and are open to all riders.  Casual riders only need to become a Introductory member of  ESNZ  or pay a day membership of $10 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.  No horses less than four years old can enter any ESNZ sanctioned event.  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 interested in Endurance but new to the sport just make yourself known when you enter (we will probably spot you first as a newbie anyway!) and we will answer any question you might have.  Maybe you are just coming along for a mental health outing for your sportshorse or a fitness boost for your hunter or just a cruise around some forestry and farmland 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 it's 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 horses mouth, listen to it's heart and look it over for girth galls, saddle sores or any other reason that it would not be in it's best interest to do the ride.  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.  Your day vet card stays in the vet ring and will be taken to the start/finish line ready to hand back to you when you cross the line at the end.  The course marker will give you a briefing with anything you need to know about the course,  and will let you know what your maximum and minimum times are.  Then when it is time to start you may leave with the group or wait and leave with your friends or at the back, what ever suits you as long as it is within 15 minutes of the official start time.  Your "time" starts at the official time not when you cross the start line.  You follow the markers around the course back to the finish within the time allowed.  When you cross the finish line at the end of a ride you must be on your horse.  You will be handed your time slip which will have your official finish time on it.  You have a maximum of 30 minutes after you finish to return your horse to the vet ring.  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 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 and cannot place. You have to get out of Novice class to start being competitive.  

At the end of the ride often we will have a barbeque going and it is a good time to watch some of the other crews strapping and ask lots of questions!  The competitive rides will be finishing and you can watch how much harder you have to work to get heart rates down when you gallop for the last few kms!   When you get keen to move out of Novice, take a look at "Stepping up."


Riders who want to get Forestry Permits to ride in approved areas in the Tokoroa Forestry must be Waikato Club members.  This is so you are covered under our insurance policy.  Lesley road forest is now closed for milling.

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 face book 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 move from doing Endurance Rides to do Endurance Races you will need to be a member of an Endurance Club.

 For a Waikato  Club membership form click here

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

Jenny straps Lace and Fineness