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
November 27, 2009
Re-inventing the Phebes: Part 2, Progressive Loading
Progressive loading is a conditioning & training method involving The Training Triad (TTT) of structure, stamina, and speed (SSS). The building of SSS must be done in the correct order.
#1 Structure: First step you are training for structure. Structure is the horse's framework (musculoskeletal system). The training method for structure is progressive loading Long Slow Distance (LSD). Structure is the framework that holds the horse together. Without structure, the horse will never make it to the second, and third part of TTT. Tendons will inflame, joints will become sore, hoof will go lame, and eventually some kind of injury will happen. No structure, no stamina, no speed. The horse will constantly be hitting a training wall, the trainer will be backing up, and be frustrated by failure.
#2 Stamina: The second step of the TTT is to train for stamina. Building stamina, means building endurance, bringing musculature, heart & lungs to full operating capacity, allowing the structure to motor on down the trail at a consistent and aerobic pace. This is done through progressive loading over gradually increasing distances at intervals of slow pace which uses the slow twitch muscle cells (ST), to moderate pace, occasionally kicking in the fast twitch (FT)cells. Stamina requires that the horse's needs are met nutritionally so that glycogen stores are abundant for the moderate phase of work. With structure and stamina trained into the horse, then and only then does speed become prudent or possible.
#3 Speed: Speed involves training the fast twitch high (FTH)cells. The FTH is your turbo, your quick bursts of speed. Speed is developed through the progressive loading of interval training, using sprints with active ten minute rest phases (at the jog) between sprints. Both the FT and FTH cells must be well loaded with glycogen, and the structure and stamina phase of training must precede any training for speed. When training remember the SSS of TTT must be accomplished over many weeks. Short cuts in the training process eventually cause the system to fail. Without structure you will not build stamina. Without structure and stamina you will not build speed. Without TTT you will not develop a competitive endurance horse.
Where did I fail in this process with Phebes? I believe we were alright in the very beginning. But I threw her in with some very fast paced experienced endurance horses early on. I was working at stamina, and working at speed, but did not build the underlying structure of TTT. After the melt-down at The 2009 Chicken Chase I had to start over. She was out of the loop of my riding friends who were cranking along on well developed endurance horses. So off we went alone, riding cautiously (because we were alone), and building at LSD, because I had to as we were rehabbing at that point. Soon we had the training for structure in position, and we were walk/trotting intervals and building stamina. At this point we went to the 2009 Spook Run and had success, only because I was riding at the level of structure + stamina. We did not break out of the trot, and worked the ride using the slower walk, trot intervals which we had trained for. Had I opened her up, and let her run, I believe that she would have again folded due to not having preparation for speed.
Source: Tom Ivers, The Racehorse Owner's Survival Manual
As digested by... ~E.G.