I dressed Phebes in her bat hat this morning hoping it would help with the deer flies. If you don't know what a deer fly is, then count yourself lucky. They come at you in small swarms, they suck blood, and the aren't too particular who's blood they get. The only thing that separates them from a vampire is that they come out in the daylight. It is pretty sad really when you can take your riding crop and whack your horse on the head and ears and the horse is HAPPY ABOUT IT. During the months of June and July I'm on a mission, spray 'em, kill 'em, take no prisoners! If you are a card carrying "deer fly advocate", well step back honey...I've got spray for you too.
We covered about 8 1/2 miles today. We did intervals the first 4 miles whenever we could find decent footing, which wasn't often. Every opportunity that presented for water we stopped, and she was given the opportunity to drink, but she would not. She did drink when she got home. Phebes was like a slug today. Heat and humidity are definitely not a strength. She wanted to doddle along, and fuss about flies which were truly trying to devour her. I was working to get her to trot, working to keep her in a trot, and about the time we'd get it going, a sea of pastern deep mud would cause me to pull her back down to a walk. Funny how once you become used to moving down the trail at a trot or canter, that a pleasure horse pace is almost agonizing. I kept thinking "I could out walk this horse." Very frustrating to be traveling at the current rate of slowness. But you do, what you've got to do.
I made my high pulse criteria today 130 bpm. We only went over that criteria once on a pretty good sized hill, and then it dropped right back. Her working trot produced a higher rate than she'd had here at home, with bpm around 124. She was higher at the walk too at 84 bpm. But none of her rates were worrisome. When we got back to the horse trailer, I dismounted, and checked my watch to see where her pulse was and she was already down to the high 40's, so there was an instant pulse down. I checked her muscles for "jiggle" and they did. Her topline was a little tighter than the muscles lower down. I gave her a good rub down, and scratched all of her itchy places. We got home and she had herself a good roll, tanked up on water, and trotted herself out to the yard for grass. She will get tomorrow off, and I'll probably ride again on Wednesday if at all possible. Would like to ride out back to the big hill and just work that hill for an hour and come home.
Today was made possible btw thanks to the LSEGH, who volunteered to ride drag for me so I could trot on up ahead, reverse and come back to him, and repeat. That way I've always got a rider behind me in case of mishap (like yesterday). The LSEGH (long suffering endurance granny husband) is pretty handy, and quite often at that. He is my natural hoof trimmer, my crew, barn builder / fence builder, hay tosser..good deal that one, think I'm keeping him!
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