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

November 22, 2009

Today's task...hunting for low traffic gravel roads

Seems like an easy enough task right? Not so much! I started with a series of roads that I remembered from my childhood which made a big rectangle of maybe five miles. Still pretty low traffic though more houses than way back in the dinosaur top now except for one mile of very flat area, and no optimal location to pull off the horse trailer.

We have a gravel road that we cross when riding trails at the park so we drove over there and set the odometer and drove it. I can milk two miles out of that road and then when I turn around and come back four, and if I ride it twice doing intervals as this is the plan, I'd get eight miles. The pull off is on state park property so that may be the only problem with that one. Maybe if I call up the park manager and say I'm not riding on the park, but would it be alright if I park here? In most instances Doug would be in the parked truck so the worst result would be if someone came by and said move it I guess. I have a couple more spots to check out, and then we are going to start the training process for next year with different goals in mind.

*A better comfort level for Phebes on the road without the company of another horse.

*Work out our cantering bugaboo. She will canter on the trail but absolutely refuses to canter in an enclosed space. So once she is trotting consistently on the road we will work on opening up to the canter on one of the very flat straight stretches and see how that goes. I'd like to get her up to 1/4 mile sprinting, and eventually inch it up...up...up. Not because I plan to go fast next LD, but because I want all the gears working for "someday." If I can't do it myself, I may enlist the aid of a weekend clinic somewhere.

*Maintain a reasonable level of fitness for the winter so we can be ready again come spring.

*Beg, and plead for anyone who might want ride at Henryville a few times as we close in on Spring again. I'd like to get some trotting in on those killer hills.

Phebes has been off about long enough. Have family obligations this week with Thanksgiving. Then back at it and onward into cold weather. ~E.G.


  1. I hate road riding but alot of times, that is what I get stuck with when I can't haul anywhere and there are only 2 small hills. My normal route I can get about 12 miles going up and back and then taking another road and going up and back.I hate the back tracking but if I don't I hit highway.... don't want to try that... Both JB and I find road riding pretty boring most times but it has also proved to be quite dangerous as well. I never know what we are going to encounter. Most people are courteous but many are just plain rude and seem to try to cause problems. For me during winter, road riding isn't even an option because it all turns to ice...They don't do much with the county roads where I live and they get packed down, thaw during the day and then freeze at night, making for a wonderful ice skating rink. We have a state park about 8 miles from my place via trailer ride that is pretty good riding through the winter so that's my plan. Good luck with your road riding!

  2. Jacke - I will definitely ride with you at Clark a few times this winter! As long as the weather cooperates! I really want to keep Doc in better shape this winter. Last winter he got stiff from too much standing around. My plans are not as ambitous as yours, but I do plan to do a lot of walking in the dark around the hay field at the barn and then some caveletti work in the small indoor arena we have as long as we can keep the dust down. And hopefully I can get some weekend rides in a couple times a month - weather permitting.

  3. Jonna...yes HIGHWAYS ARE THE DEVIL! I have a story on that. My first horse was a half-arabian mare. She was pretty buddy/barn sour. I took her out along the side of a highway. Stopped to talk to someone and had dismounted. When I remounted she was pointed towards home. MISTAKE. One foot in the stirrup she bolted from a dead stop to a dead out run. No helmet in those days, and I'm hanging by one foot, and a hunk of mane, galloping at full tilt down the highway. OMG! Someone was surely watching over me that day as I was able to claw my way back on board and get her off the road after about a quarter mile (or so it seemed at the time). From that day on I was totally cured of road riding, and have trepidation about road PERIOD. But we have to do it. I lost a good 15-20 minutes on our last ride c-r-e-e-p-i-n-g along on the pavement. If I don't get it solved, I will dismount and jog her down the road and hope my heart is up to the challenge *LOL*!

  4. Lida,

    That would be AWESOME :) We will get more experience on those trails, and winter conditioning at the same time.


  5. Anyone interested? I will be posting up a conditioning ride schedule again, with dates, times, places, and contact person. Meaning if you are SURE you will be riding at a given place, time, day I'll put up your ride scheduled ride too in case you want company. ~E.G.