Well, I think my biggest endurance hurdle has been wonderfully overcome. I was really worried that, no matter how hard I tried, I wouldn't be able to properly condition Snickers for endurance because I don't have a truck or trailer or a partner to ride with for safety in conditioning on trails. Sure, my dad said he would drop me off at Eagle Island State Park, but that's all flat and who knows if that would even work out with our schedules.
However, in the last two days or so, I posted an ad on craigslist for a riding partner. I got one response from that, but she referred me to a trail riding group of ladies in the area that I joined online. It looks like there are a few organized things, but mostly people just post when the are going to go ride and others join them! That would be great for just doing trail work, which Snickers will need especially before we start the actual conditioning.
Even better, though, I joined the SWIT&DR group on yahoo groups and posted a message on their boards with a little more detail about what I'm looking for, and the response has been fantastic! I've got at least three people who look pretty promising to ride with so far, and one of them is a national rider! They've all got quite a bit of experience and are happy to help me prepare both of us for endurance. Yay! Now I just gotta get Snickers to my place (I can't wait for this weekend!) and work him in the arena so we can both get to know and trust one another a bit better and also work on some better riding skills from him. He's good and ridable, but it doesn't feel too pretty right now. Of course I don't know yet how he responds to the bit, but I really want to work on asking him to drop his head and asking for different speeds within gaits. However, once we're ready to go out, we've now got some partners to trailer out and go riding with us!