San Diego Endurance & Competitive Equine Events

Competitive Trail Riding — Equine Sports

Are you interested in equestrian competitive trail riding in the San Diego county? If so, welcome to Windfall Ranch! Our facility offers equine boarding and training for horses and their riders interested in competitive trail riding sports, such as AERC (American Endurance Riding Conference) endurance riding. Windfall Ranch is ideal for competitive trail riders as there is no need to trailer your horse to access trails ideal for training. We have miles of single track and technical trails with excellent footing accessible directly from Windfall Ranch.

Endurance Riding Resources

Terry and David Howe on competitive trail riding - AERC endurance ride course

Endurance Articles & Videos

AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference)

Terry Howe of Windfall Ranch is on the Board of Directors competitive equine event - best of both endurance ride - photo by annie libby photographyof the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC), which is the sanctioning body for all endurance rides in the United States (see article on endurance riding).

The competitive equine sport of Endurance riding is equivalent to running an ultra marathon, but with added requirements. An “endurance” ride must be at least 50 miles in length per day and a “limited distance” ride must be at least 25 miles in length per day. While being a timed race with, safety to the horse is the top concern, with the endurance horses judged more on a “fit-to-continue” criteria than on fasted time. A measured and marked trail is used as the ride course and along the way, at Vet Checks, located at predetermined distances, the horses are examined and then judged on specific metabolic fitness parameters, such as the horse’s pulse and respiration (P&R’s) are checked set by a veterinarian set before the ride begins.

For complete information about Endurance competitive equine events visit the AERC website.

Terry manages 3 endurance rides a year (more information at San Diego Endurance Riders).

A list of ride event photos at Terry’s rides can be found at Annie Libby Photography.

Ride & Tie

Ride and Tie Competitive Equine EventOften at endurance rides, another type of competitive equine event is held: a “Ride and Tie” event. Ride and Tie is another type of horse and rider sport “that combines trail running, endurance riding, and most of all, strategy“.

More information about Ride and Tie competitive equine events can be obtained at

CTR/ Competitive Trail Riding
— NATRC (North American Trail Ride Conference)

A competitive trail ride (CTR) is a competitive distance event over a measured distance and completed within a window of time. In NATRC competitions, the horses are evaluated by an approved veterinary judge, and riders are evaluated by an approved horsemanship judge. The judging begins at the preliminary examination, usually the day before the ride, continues during the ride, and concludes at the final examination one or two days later. The equines (horses, ponies, and mules) are evaluated on condition, soundness, their trail manners, and way of going. Riders are judged on horsemanship as it applies to competitive trail riding. Trail safety and courtesy are key elements as is the ability to care for a horse during and after a long day in the back country.
— NATRC Introduction

Additional Rides

Other rides in southern California are managed by Janet Worts and information on those rides can be obtained at

Below are some photographs of David and Terry Howe taken at different endurance rides over the years.

Endurance Riding Resources

Endurance Articles & Videos