Welcome to the Endurance Riders of Alberta

Taking the first step to learning a new sport or joining a new group can sometimes be stressful but we, at the Endurance Riders of Alberta, want you to feel welcome right from the beginning.  We offer many options to new riders who wish to get involved.

Each spring we host Introductory Clinics throughout the province (based on demand) to provide new riders a one day introduction to what Endurance Riding is.  The clinic’s goal is to help you feel comfortable attending an event.  Learning all aspects from conditioning your horse and packing your trailer, to vetting your horse in and learning what each flag along the trail mean.  Your hosts are experienced members who can answer your questions, provide demonstrations of a veterinary check point, and join you on a guided trail ride to give you a glance at what hitting the trail feels like.  During these clinics you can learn about tips to setting up your crew area, whether at your trailer or at a central location, what to pack and what to make sure you have at your fingertips during a ride event. 

Another way to get started in endurance riding is to volunteer at a local ride.  Attending your first event without a horse in tow can be a lot less stressful for some and allows you to see first hand all aspects of what a ride entails.  Try your hand at scribing for a vet or pulsing a horse.  By being at an event you have the ability to see first hand what takes place plus there are always ERA members and officials on hand to answer questions you may have as the event takes place.  Feel comfortable but still not sure if you want to jump in for 25 miles right off the start?  Many ride events offer Introductory Distance rides.  These rides are great for newcomers to the sport.  They allow you to experience the vet in process followed by a 10-12 mile ride distance.  Once done you also will go through a final vet check to ensure your horse handled the ride well.  Everyone who completes an ERA ride earns a completion award.  But no award can match the satisfaction of earning your first completion!

Have friends or family that want to join you?  Endurance riding has something for everyone.  It combines the opportunity to hit the trails with your equine partner and the fun of camping and socializing with a wonderful group of individuals who share your love of horses.  We always enjoy meeting our membership’s family and teaching them more about the sport of endurance riding, plus having someone to hold your horse during a vet hold so you can grab a sandwich and hit the bathroom is always a plus!   For the novice crew, the easiest way to learn is to watch what other rider’s crew are doing to be successful.  For most riders it is just nice to have that support person there to give you a chance to take a breath and to share the experience with. 

Junior / Youth Involvement

Juniors and Young Riders are very welcome in endurance riding.  Many rides offer special awards for young riders.

Junior Riders are those who are under the age of 16 as of January 1st of each calendar year.  Junior riders are required to have a sponsor with them on trail at all times to help coach and mentor them through their learning process, ensuring both rider and horse are well maintained and kept safe and healthy.  Some juniors are eligible to compete unsponsored, provided they meet certain criteria within the Rules.

Youth Riders are those who are aged 17 and up to 21 years old as of January 1st of each calendar year.  These riders have the ability to ride unsponsored if they so wish.  Youth riders have the ability to apply for the Endurance Riders of Alberta Youth Scholarship each year.  This scholarship is to recognize and honor the dedication, consistency, horsemanship, promotion of the sport, and sportsmanship that Endurance Riders of Alberta’s young riders demonstrate during their endurance career, both on and off the trail.

Sharing the trail with these young riders can be very rewarding — there are so many life experiences that can be shared between child and sponsor while on the trail.

Are you part of a 4H or Pony Club and would like more information about endurance or a presentation done as part of your children’s programing?  Get in contact with our Youth Director who will work with your group in planning a presentation by one of our Junior Teams to your group.