Where to begin? Spoke with Nicole early this morning and she sounded like she'd swallowed a frog. So she wasn't able to ride today.
Phebes was a pistol from the get go this morning. Prancing and pushing around, too much feed, and 10 hours over night in the stall (she had a bath and I didn't want her to roll in the manure / paddock area). Our gear was all loaded last night so all I had to do was put her splint boots and easyboots on. Seems simple enough right? Try putting boots on a horse that is prancing in place! After some cussing and wrangling her around I was finally able to get all four on. The easyboot gloves popped on just slicker than anything...the Epics were a little easier to manuever on this time, but I had one heck of a time getting the cables set where I needed them and latched down because she wouldn't hold still. All booted, we loaded up and headed to Henryville to one of the day parking areas. I was very concerned that we would not have enough room in this lot for the three of us. I was the first one there and pulled our rig around and pointed towards the exit, David Monroe and his BIG rig parked behind me, and then Chris came in and parked. (When we came off the trail with our horses there were SEVEN rigs in this little spot! It looked like a jigsaw puzzle, and we had to wait for some riders to come back and move their rigs so we could get out.)
First loop was the upper ten mile loop. Phebes was the usual handful and I just let her out and we did a lot of cantering. So much easier than that fight for control which I always lose and exhaust myself. We did the first loop in 1 hour 27 minutes so the average speed overall was 8-9 mph I guess. We did not untack so the horses took several minutes to pulse down. Phebes took a "sip" on the first loop but overall was not interested in water. She did dive into her hay and spent most of the break standing on three legs, prancing in place. Offered water, no go. Sponged Phebes down, and she pulsed down from 87 bpm to 60. Riders ate some lunch, and downed some fluids. Next we headed out onto the fifteen mile loop. Let me say this in all caps OH-MY-GOD the switchback trail that goes straight down, twists, and turns, and down down down some more. Then you have to climb back up....up.....up! Phebes continued wanting to canter. I'd pull her up into a trot, about three strides, and back into the canter. By the time we hit the thirteen mile mark of this magestic hill country a little of the wind was out of her sails and we were able to trot a little more with short cantering intervals in between, with brief walking when I felt she needed it. We crossed many streams with water, no go, she wasn't having ANY OF THAT NICE COLD BABBLING WATER. Up across a ridge top where loggers had done some clear cutting and just ruined the area, back into the woods and we found a shallow frog pond of murky water. This water she tanked up on pretty well. I guess she likes the flavor of frog eggs as they were all over the six inch pool. Finally we came to an area with new crushed stone, the sharp kind that can really jam up a hoof. At this point we decided to back track. Phebes slid to a stop when she saw a mud puddle and took a few drinks. We did more trotting and got back to the trailer, pulled saddles, sponged, and the pulse came right down to 60. Good ride!
Must say I was absolutely IMPRESSED with performance of the Easyboot Gloves. Phebes cantered and galloped about thirteen miles today. We got into a boggy area and she sunk almost knee deep, I thought...there go my gloves. I checked and they were still on her rear hooves! The Epics performed well too once I got everything adjusted. We had no rubs. Doug however had to remove the right front boot because I couldn't get it off even with a flat head screw driver (horse still prancing after the two hour trailer ride home). I turned her out in her paddock and she headed to the water tank, took off with her floating trot across the field (yeah, now she trots *LOL*), came back had some more water, and then rolled in a manure pile.
If the weather is decent tomorrow I will pleasure ride just loosen her up as I expect some muscle soreness.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association