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
May 28, 2010
Sometimes you fail... Top of the Rock
We were loaded and arrived at Bill Wilson's place early and got a choice parking spot for the first time ever. It was wonderful....I had shade for Phebes and myself! Had never experienced that before.
We vetted in with a veterinarian who came down from Oklahoma. I really liked him, and Phebes did NOT ACT OUT. She vetted through fine, he said she had a mild case of wind puffs, hmmm....where have I heard that before. He recommended that I ice her legs after hard training sessions and competitions. Too bad she ripped the ice pack a new one. But I'm going to get some more fixed up for her.
So why am I home? And not at the ride? Well, we started, and we promptly got off trail and discovered about 7 miles in that we were doing the loop BACKWARDS. I wasn't the only one. A man in front of me did the very same thing. We were following the only blue we found, but it was on the left, not the right. That should have been a light bulb moment I guess but I was so involved with keeping Phebes from killing herself that it just didn't register. So! We turned around, and walked back the way we had come, and took a rider option. Many people down there know that trail, but for a newb like me, it is easy to get pointed the wrong direction. One place the trail split several directions and there was no marking at all, you just kept trying until you found a confidence marker on one of the splits. In fairness though, we were having issues and my attention was divided between the horse, and trail. I could stay with the "group" and follow where they lead, but that somehow seems unfair to tail someone for the sake of not getting lost. I like to pilot my own ship even when the ship is sinking...
Phebes had one of her emotional meltdowns at the start again, and I think that is how I managed to miss the ribbon. She was wanting to go go go, and I was struggling for slow slow slow. We likely just blew past the turn within the first half mile on the trail.
I could have gone back out and re-rode the whole thing for a completion. That would have been a 40 mile ride for my girl total, and we'd have had to pushed hard to meet the deadline, and I didn't like how she looked. She did drink on trail this time on the first loop, but she was tucked up in the flanks when we got back, she was trotting by sheer physical force of holding her back...her heart monitor was warning "danger danger" because she was so worked up she was just using herself up. By the time we got back to camp I was just sorely over the adventure. Sometimes you just have to know when to say enough. This was one of those times. I'm disappointed, but I would be more disappointed if she ended up with a serious health issue and that is where my instincts said she was heading. So doing the trail over, uh uh.
So what now?
I'm just not so sure my little girl can be made into an endurance horse. She is so tightly wound in emotion that she can't relax and just enjoy the ride. The horse I have at home is so differnt. Kind of lazy, but willing, yet relaxed enough not to want to go full throttle, she was trotting at 13 mph today for God's sake! She can only cope when she knows there are no horses in front. I don't feel angry with her, she just is what she is. And I having trained her can't fault her, but rather my ability to make this whole thing work for her. Getting lost may have just been a good thing to happen today. Maybe it is a wakeup call. I'm just going to have to spend some time thinking about it.