WORKING ON WORKING OUT THE RIDE ISSUES:I'm trying to think of ways to inspire Phebes to eat in a ride camp setting. She is usually pretty good about eating her chow the day we get there, she eats about 80% of her ration overnight (compared to all of it when at home), and the morning of I've yet to have any luck getting her to eat even though I get up at 3 AM to give her plenty of time to work at consuming her 3 pounds of concentrated pellets. So I'm thinking of adding some sweet feed to her Cool Command in hopes that a 1/4 pound or so will entice her to eat the rest. The downside would be that she starts turning up her nose to the Cool Command which is her mainstay ration. I don't want to give her sweet feed everyday as I don't think candy is good for ANY OF US (doesn't stop me from eating it, but I don't have it every day). Phebes has at this point gained back all of her loss from the ride. She is a horse that really dumps weight when you stack up more than a ten mile ride. She looks well hydrated, a nice little divet along the spine, and her coat is shiny. If weather cooperates and I get home at a decent hour tomorrow a nice little ride is in order. If not, then shooting for Saturday again.
THE VET HANDLING THING:
All I can figure on this one is more exposure and experience. She doesn't object to Doug or I handling her, and as we aren't running a boarding house there aren't any "spare" men to handle her for the purpose of desensitizing her. Thankfully Mike Habel (ride vet) was really good about it. He was firm, but kind and fair with her.
WHERE TO START NEXT TIME:
I'll be the first to admit that I "enjoyed" my ride starting at the back much more than starting in the front or middle positions. On the other hand, since Phebes keeps a pretty good average pace, though not "fast" she doesn't waste a lot of time. Being positioned near the front eliminated a lot of horses passing us through the day (at least the LD participants) and gave my horse more quiet opportunity to drink on her second loop. When starting from the back position I had a multitude of 50 mile participants passing us, and we went around many of the slow LD riders on the second half, which tended to stir her up with refusals to drink. I've emailed someone who has ridden TOR many times, and they say the trail is usually the same as the day 2 trail for CC which she has ridden several times before. I'm at a total loss as to where we will start next time. Guess I'll see what the pack looks like and who the front runners are, and guage my position then. I'm still riding for a finish, just want my own little trail pocket as much as possible.
STARTING BACK INTO TRAINING:
Kicking around some ideas. But they keep adding up to more junk miles than I think she needs. Thoughts are hill intervals for 1 hour, twice a week, and a longer ride on the weekends, and leave it at that. The 30 she did should count towards training for the lesser mileage she will be doing which is 25...yes? She has had a lot of miles under saddle already for a 6 year old horse (Phebes birthday is tomorrow). ~E.G.
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