1. What is a Ride and Tie?
A ride and tie, though it sounds like a rodeo and can at times take on that
atmosphere, is an endurance race between 20 and 40 miles. It is run on trails and cross-country with teams of
one horse and two humans competing against up to fifty other teams. It involves one person riding a mile or so,
tying the horse to a tree and then taking off on foot while the next person rides to the next mile, takes off
on foot and the runner rides; similar to a relay race.
2. How far between ties?
This is left up entirely to the two partners. Some teams feel going longer
distances is best depending on terrain.
3. Do I need to run well, ride well, or own my own
No, a bit, and no! The faster you run the more you may be "in the game", but
there are teams that get out and simply do it for the fun (some even walk instead of run). You don't have to be
a great rider, but you do need to know how to handle a horse that is likely excited and out for a run. And no,
you don't need your own horse. Groups such as Rideandtie.org have lists of people looking for partners and
managers who can provide a horse and simply want another team mate! If you don't see someone in your area, post
4. What horses do Ride and Tie?
All breeds of horses, including mules are accepted. Racing horses such as
Arabians and Thoroughbreds do well, but so do a number of other horses. The key is less breed and more
conditioning. Stamina is necessary for longer races and if you're new you may want to try a shorter race. Make
sure your horse is in good shape, however.
5. Are Ride and Tie's hard on the horses?
They can be if the horses aren't well-conditioned, but prepared horses seem to
really enjoy the races. The race mimics their natural fight or flight response as they run a distance then stop
and graze while waiting for the runner to catch up. New horses are often eager to get going and can be
impatient, but more experiences horses will often watch down the trail for their runner then turn and face the
going direction to help get a quicker start!
6. So how do the races start?
Ride and Tie's begin with what's called a shotgun start. Everyone lines up,
horses first and runners behind, and take off all at once when a shout or flag signals the start.
7. What is the course like?
Courses usually begin on a wide road so that the faster horses and riders can
pull ahead and avoid a bottle neck. The length of the course may go through a number of terrains. Members of
the different teams may create fun rivalries as they pass one another back and forth over the length of the
8. Where do you tie your horse?
You can tie your horse with anything natural that is along the trail. Some
races allow a crew member to hold the horse during the early portions of the race is nothing acceptable is
nearby, the horse is skittish, or there are possible dangers in the area. You are not allowed to bring a stake
or anything artificial to tie your horse to.
9. Does a team have to finish all together?
No! But some teams prefer to and your team is not considered to be finished
until all three members, the horse and both rider/ runners, cross the finish line!
10. Where can I sign up?
Ride and Tie's are held in a number of states, however the greatest
concentration is found in California.
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