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

February 6, 2009

How far am I going to have to back up?

I think it is two weeks since we've had a training ride. Wondering how far I'm going to need to back up in her conditioning program. We are only ten weeks out from that first ride, and I feel no where "ready". Phebes was progressing well in her condition until we hit January and my thinking is I need to back up a little, then move back forward. It may be time to latch onto one of the training programs and try to be more regimented in our training goals. All of this snow and ice has put a very large hiccup into my plans. TEN WEEKS!!! How do people that put their horses up for the winter do this ride? A pre-conditioned horse must really tone up fast.

My work schedule may be changing out a little. If so my days off will be Friday, Sat, Sun, and Monday which would be really sweet for getting to and from rides, and having an extended weekend for training rides. If so I could hook up the horse trailer on Friday and just leave it on the truck until Monday evening.

Our temps are supposed to be up this weekend. Hoping to get back at it as soon as possible. ~E.G.


  1. Yes, I've heard that once a horse is in shape. Like older horses that have a year or more of LD's or endurance under there belt - bounce back very quickly. More quickly than a human athelete does with time off. In your case you are at a disadvatage since this is your horses first season. If the snow keeps up you could always wait until Top of the Rock for your first LD. It's the end of May. I've been lucky, because the only time I ever did Chicken Chase it wasn't raining. But it is usually raining or very muddy for that ride. Plus you have all those rides in the fall nearby, if it's the cooler weather you want to ride in. You could just camp at Chicken Chase and not do the LD. Just a suggestion. You'd probably be just fine doing the LD there. But in case your worried, there are LOTS of other rides next year.

    Michelle Detmer

  2. It's so frusterating! With the rain here and dark nights I am reduced to ground work. I have a ride scheduled for the end of Februray and I haven't done any serious riding on Farley since Death Valley around the new year....When I do a ride every 4 weeks or so the horses don't seem to lose much fittenss, even if I don't ride a lot. My plan for 20 mule team (Feb 28th) is to go out next weekend (2 weeks prior to the ride) and do a nice little 15-20 mile training ride. If she's feels good then it's a go. It's such a fine line between fittness and injury!

    One of the principles of exercise is I try to console myself that even when I'm not riding they are busy being fitter as their muscles heal and repair right???????? :) I have a tendancy to override my horses, so if it's good if things don't go according to plan and I get less conditioning miles then it's a good thing.

  3. Horses with a base do well between rides with time off -- I've done DVE (end of December) and then gone and done the 20 Mule Team 100 a few weeks later with almost zero riding in between. The horses do fine. It always knocks me on my butt, but that's another story!

    if you are doing a 25, just treat it like a training ride and ride accordingly and you'll be fine. Sounds like you've got enough base that it shouldn't be a problem unless you get caught up and ride too fast, or too far at a time between walking to give some relief.

    It's perfectly normal to always worry about whether or not your horse is ready. I think that may actually be one of the signs that the horse IS ready - the rider worrying too much! Scary, huh? :D