Due to the onsurge of spring rain, my training has been again curtailed. During these times I like to pick up my well-loved books on endurance riding and re-read for morsels of good information. The book in hand today is Nancy Loving's Go the Distance, page 98, Conditioning Program Strategy. These are the kernels of truth extracted by my very tired "Granny brain" this morning.
Kernal of truth #1: Horse 4 yrs. + (got that one covered)
Kernal of truth #2: Work the horse within Aerobic threshold keeping heart rate at 100-140 bpm, work every other day, and alternate walk/trot for 5-6 mile sessions. (okay, been there done that)
Kernal of truth #3: Slowly increase mileage to 30 miles per week, as the horse progresses start adding intensity by way of speed. (yeah....we have the speed thing covered but not like Nancy is wanting, we have it backwards) She suggests High intensity rides are shorter distances, low intensity rides longer distances.
Kernal of truth #4: Check horse's pulse rates post ride, does horse pulse down to 60 or less within 10 minutes? If so, you are doing alright, if not....back off and regroup your training strategy. (We've only had one ride where it took ten minutes for pulse down and that was at Clark...way too fast but all of our subsequent rides, including Clark have been fine).
Kernal of truth #5: Once you have about three months of slow steady work you are reading to incorporate some speed, and work at maintaining fitness rather than building fitness (Nancy if I've got that wrong page 99 knock me in the head). Begin working at 8 mph over more or less level terrain at 3-4 sessions per week. Once that is going well you can shift into maintenance mode of 5 training sessions per two week period. Make four of these a ten mile session covered in an hour (so 10 mph) the fifth ride in the two week session is long and slow at 10 miles over time progressing to 18 miles of long slow distance.
Winter kernal: ride 2-3 times per week at distances of 5-10 miles to maintain fitness.
She then moves on to the second season. So for the rest of the ear of corn...kernals of truth --- Buy the book!!! I have a few books and magazines on the topic, but often come back to Nancy Loving's Go the Distance. Awesome book!
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