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

July 3, 2009

The key to the future

I'm more and more convinced that Phebes needs to either buddy up with a horse that rates at her speed, and she likes, or we need to ride alone. Riding in a group is not ever going to get the best out of her. We did an 8 mile LSD ride this morning, mostly hill work and watering holes. I have an oval dirt road that makes a track on the flat in a bottom near the creek. We worked on trotting without being "sticky" down there for at least a half mile. She was moving out pretty nice towards the end with a trotting speed of 9.5 and a heart rate well below 130 except for the uphill grade when we reached the 150's. Any time we exceed 157 I back her down from whatever we are doing until pulse is back below 130 bpm. She continues to rate a pulse of about 123-128 at a medium working trot of 7.5 mph. So we are well into aerobic threshold at this rate of speed.

I'm learning some things. Hills are tough for her even at the walk. More training sessions on hills will be needed prior to another try at the Clark State Forest trails. I'll probably beg some training rides with Chris Eickleberry out at Brown County as the hills are pretty tough out there. Phebes at her working trot is a machine. She does not pulse up, she does not get winded, she does not get tired. Though she likes the canter, the change over alone will bump up her rate by 30 points BAM!!! Like a surging adrenaline rush. She still wants to break gait now and then, but I really hammer her down, to a dead stop if I have too, and then cue her to "trot". She is doing a lot better with maintaining a trot, but I haven't had to try it with a group of riders yet. I don't even know if I want to try it with a group yet. We are making progress, albeit slow....but progress just the same.

Her water drinking today was fantastic! It wasn't even particularly hot, and she was slurping away. She is slowly learning that the moving water isn't going to eat her, and she tanked up really well at least three times this morning on trail, and finally was playing in the water with her muzzle, dunking and tiffer lipping rocks and moss. The key to getting her to drink is that the other horse NOT WALK OFF. As long as she feels anxious that she is getting left behind she won't drink. If she feels secure that her buddy is there, or we are alone and just hanging out, she will likely drink.

We did have one horse eating log, and one rather wild ride in the creek over the "dripping sponge"....more training needed there! Phebes was okay with the sponge being flung off into the water, and okay with it floating in the water, but definitely NOT OKAY with the dripping fanged sea serpent that bumped her belly as I fished it back up from the creek, she was spronging sideways, goosing up into the air, all while I was trying to not drop my riding crop, not drop the reins, not fall off, and ABOVE ALL NOT LOSE THE ELUSIVE BLUE SPONGE WITH MATCHING ROYAL BLUE BETA STRAP WITH STAINLESS STEEL SNAP...yeeeee haaaaaaaaaaw! ~E.G

1 comment:

  1. From being in track and a runner, a long time ago. I remember it was easier to run hills or stairs than walk them. Got it over with faster.

    Then I've also heard that walking your horse up the hill is better for conditioning because it's harder for them or builds more muscle or both. But at an endurance ride it sure doesn't hurt to run up hills, unless your still trying to build muscle.