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

March 25, 2009

Schooling and slow hill work tonight

It did rain today and the ground was pretty sloppy. So the work we did was slow, and the hills were walk up, and sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiddddddde down. So far we are on schedule. I am noticing that out on the trail she is really bracey with her neck, the lateral flexion is about non-existent. Up in the round pen she is soft and fluid with her movement. So I'm going to start incorporating stops, bends, and leg yields into our trail rides. It will keep her mind occupied, and maybe help her get soft. She is absolutely STIFF in the neck out on the trail...ready for flight? She was a good little turd overall. She saw fire for the first time tonight. Going past a neighbor's house she did a startle when she saw it. But she was fine after that. Still counting down....24 more days. ~E.G.


  1. i'm enjoying reading your training schedule.. My first ride of the season is may 9.. a 30 miler... what conditioning plan would you be doing now?

    gp and gazi

  2. Well the answer is:

    That depends! If your horse already has a good base of training (say 10-12 weeks of solid conditioning) I'd be wanting to train at least 3 times per week, with a 30 mile per week total. Working at increasing sustained trotting a little each session for the next 3 weeks, and adding in some interval training to build wind. Always trying to increase either speed, or distance, but not both at the same time. The week prior to the ride I'd suggest backing off, keeping your horse limber and supple ready to trot out on ride day.

    If your horse has been a pasture or stable potato all winter, hasn't competed and you are just starting to get ready, I'd pick out a nice 12-14 week program and follow it, and pick a ride at least 14 weeks out.

    So what I would recommend would really depend on where you are now? Make sense?

    Every horse is different. My horse is very well conditioned, but emotionally is NOT ready for any competition. A completion? Maybe...we'll see. Good luck!!! ~E.G.

  3. EG. i've been riding him fairly regular this winter and he's completed 22 rides (21 before me).. we've done 1 together.

    in the 30 mile week, what's your longest ride/time in seat?
    what say you?

    thanx much .. i'll check back

  4. I've been doing fifteen miles for my longer ride and trying to speed it up a little each time. Last time was fifteen miles in 2 hours 30 minutes at a pretty solid 6-7 mph trotting pace. My five mile rides have been slower, not because they should be, but because my horse and I train alone those days...nobody around to scrape me up off the ground if something goes wrong. If she were more emotionally stable I'd want to be hustling those five mile rides for some really fast times.

    It sounds like you have a horse with a really good base (lucky lucky!). Just get to trotting down the trail, check your horse's pulse recoverys, and build from there. If pulse rates drop to 60 or below within a couple minutes of ceasing work you can be pretty sure you aren't over working your horse.

    Please keep in mind you are talking to a "newbie" as I've only got one CTR and one 30 mile LD under my saddle. I'm happy to share my two cents with you, but am in no way an expert at anything. Just feeling my way along in this sport called Endurance. ~E.G.