For those of you who are thinking of jumping into the sport of endurance riding and distance riding, this is a really great blog post to read! Additionally, here is a second post by the same author - Patti - on gear/tack/feed/etc. Lots of great tips.
I know of at least 3 folks I've met via blogging who have become very interested of late in this sport, and I'm certain others may be, too!
And the link once more in case the above didn't work for some ridiculous reason: http://enduranceintrospection.com/you-are-ready-for-your-first-ride-trust-me/