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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

October 12, 2008

Tamara, Karen, Alice calling on experience for a few things?

Phebes is 4 1/2 years old this month. I have her up to 10 miles comfortably doing slow work. I'm wondering what my next tactic should be...should I continue to increase her slow distance, or should I try to speed up the mileage we have? She is moving pretty slowly down the trail, and I'm certain it is a confidence issue vs. a stamina issue.

Should I continue to work on trotting her for more extended periods of time?

Should I stay with LSD work and push her up in mileage?

Would it be better to work on her trotting at home in hour long schooling session in a big field?

The most important issues to me presently are keeping her sane, building her confidence, and bringing up her speed without risking injury. She is barefoot, and we are not booting yet, so that will present some issues as well.

My goal if the economy doesn't go into total collapse (as in I still have a job) is to enter whatever rides I can at Henryville next year, looking for completions early on, then building our speed over that course gradually. I'm tremendously worried about the three month winter lay off here. There just isn't any place to ride with good footing once things start freezing and thawing. I could possibly do really slow work on trail A, but a few of the hills would give me some pause....if they were slippery. I may check into renting an arena for schooling, that might help, and it would give me a chance to see how I feel about her treeless saddle (still waiting on my skito pad).

Thoughts? Words of wisdom? Please keep in mind that this horse if given three days off will challenge my leadership :-/ If worked regularly she is a pretty good little partner.

On another topic, and maybe you ladies have not had this issue to deal with, is my own fitness. I'm pushing to 51, needing the weight off, and it just isn't coming off. As mileage on Phebes increases, I definitely need to be fitter from a cardio perspective. Any thoughts on a program for me, that won't be real time intensive, (as in eating into my limited ride time) but will target cardio fitness? I honestly need at least 25 pounds off by May, which would be about 4 pounds per month...doesn't sound like much, but I'm not getting anywhere. My weight has remained a rock solid 155 for the past four years, no matter what I eat, or don't eat.


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