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The Marlborough Express
Endurance trail riding may not be a big mainstream sport, but it certainly is for Heidi Bulfin.
Ms Bulfin was the Marlborough Sportsperson of the Year nominee for the sport, which involves riding horses over a variety of courses and terrain and testing their all-round skills and endurance.
Endurance riding is like a cross-country race with everyone starting at once, and is all about horsemanship.
The winner is basically first across the line as long as the horse passes a vet inspection at the end.
In trail riding, riders go out in pairs or solo and each is given an optimum time to finish the course.
There is a fine balance between getting close to the time and keeping the horse's heart rate down.
If you arrive back at the finish too early you are penalised.
It is all about pacing yourself and keeping the horse moving.
It is physically demanding on horse and rider with local trail rides ranging from 15 to 40 kilometres or longer, over testing terrain.
"We get off and run the horses down hills," says Ms Bulfin...
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