Now, my first thought is always, what, exactly, does the person making this statement mean by "serious?"
As a rider whose first endurance horse is a mustang, who has now logged over 4,000 miles, I think I take endurance pretty seriously.
Maybe those who make this statement mean a "serious" endurance rider aims for a lot of top ten finishes, or first place, or best condition awards. I can't know. No one has ever made this statement in my presence for me to ask. I suppose it would take quite a bit of courage to suggest to me Hoss and I are not "serious" about endurance.
|Hoss, being super serious about endurance. Photo credit Steve Bradley|
If one were to look at the percentages, one will find the vast majority are Arabians. The next most common group is half-Arabians and grade Arabians. It drops off significantly from there. So of course, the highest percentage of wins, BCs, and top tens, go to Arabians. Even the highest percentage of finishes go to Arabians.
For a true sense of how the non-Arabian horse one has chosen is statistically likely to do well in endurance, one must look solely at other horses of the same or similar breeding and how they do in terms of percentages of completions, top tens, first place, and BCs.
But when we get right down to brass tacks, what it means to be a "serious" distance rider is very personal. There are so many different ways to succeed in this sport, to say one can only be "serious" with an Arabian for a partner is ridiculous on its face.
Just completing a few rides is enough to consider oneself "serious."
It's a very personal question. What are your goals as an endurance rider? If you're serious about those goals, congratulations. You're a serious endurance rider.