Happy (and lovely) Sara, owned by Kathy Macki.

Welcome to the Great Lakes Distance Riding Association (GLDRA)!!     

Email Us! 

The GLDRA season has started!!

Check out the ride schedule to see when you can join us!!

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The Great Lakes Distance Riding Association (GLDRA) is dedicated to the education and promotion of equestrian competitive distance riding event participation throughout the state of Michigan. The Competitive Trail (CTR), Limited Distance (LD) and Endurance distance rides in Michigan are sanctioned by the Upper Midwest Endurance and Competitive Ride Association (UMECRA). Our Endurance and Limited Distance rides are also sanctioned by American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC).

In CTR, the riders cover a specified distance in a given time. Ride times are at the ride manager’s discretion with 25 miles in 4.14 hours, including a 40min vet hold, being the minimum allowed time. CTR’s require a rider to maintain a maximum pace of 5.5-7 mph on the trail. Every horse/rider team starts out with 400 points which is a perfect score and points are deducted from there based on comparisons to the pre-ride observations of fatigue, lesions & muscle soreness. Ride time, lameness, pulse, and respiration are judged against a set scale. The goal is to cross the finish line at exactly the specified time, there is a 10 minute safe window where no points will be deducted and a completion is given up to one hour past the specified time.

LD rides are between 25-35 miles. Endurance rides are those of 50+ miles per day. Total completion time per day (including vet checks) for 25 miles is 6 hours, for 50 miles is 12 hours, and for 100 miles is 24 hours. The LD winner and subsequent placings are determined by the horse that pulses down to 60 bpm the fastest while also being sound at the trot.  Endurance ride placings are based on the order of finish of horses that meet the completion criteria for soundness and pulse rate which are set per the vet’s requirements for that ride day and who are thus deemed fit to continue.

Before any horse starts a CTR, LD or Endurance ride, they are required to pass a pre-ride vet check for soundness. During the rides there are mandatory vet checks where horses are deemed fit to continue or not based on soundness and pulsing down within a set time. In the sport, every precaution is taken to keep the horses safe and healthy.

The GLDRA season has rides all over Michigan, from Marquette to Battle Creek, and even includes a multi-day ride on the historic Shore to Shore trail. The rides are mainly on beautiful federal, state and county trails although some traverse private lands with any road riding being kept to a minimum. We offer rides that are 10-75 miles in length and all of our rides offer Endurance/Limited Distance and Competitive Trail options except for the first ride of the season held at Brighton Recreation Area which is a Competitive Trail Ride only. We also have ready and willing mentors all over Michigan waiting for your questions.

The cost of GLDRA membership is $20 for an individual, $30 for family, and $10 for a junior, and $200 for lifetime. Membership fees include a quarterly newsletter and a yearly ride booklet containing the rules and flyers for each ride.

Join us and get ready to experience the trails in a whole new way!


                                                       The fabulous Dr. Rae doing her thing!!