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

January 23, 2011

Endurance Blurbs: So you want to ride multi-days?

Setting your sites for multi-days?

Or your first fifty mile?

Conditioning for gait.


  1. 3 day 100 is on my to-do list :)

  2. The iceryder link is only partially accurate - with a legged-up endurance horse you can gait for much, much longer periods of time. There are people who BC 50s and 100s with a horse that step-paces or racks instead of trotting. But I still keep in mind the different back positions of the different gaits - it's why I don't try to eliminate Dixie's trot. She rolls through her "gears" to relax different muscles in her back, I think.

  3. Keep in mind that I post them, don't always agree with them, but find them "interesting...but then again, sometimes I do. I can see where it would be "good" to roll through the gears as Funder says. When changing gait (even in a non-gaited type horse) you are also changing out the muscle set that creates that movement so you aren't as likely to exhaust the muscle through overuse as long as you are in aerobic work phase. You can be working aerobic at the canter, I've proven that with my HRM but I can't stay there very long as she isn't conditioned for that type of work.

    On the training for 50's comment, I to have stopped Phebes in her tracks, and even gone backwards without issue to get her brain focused on me again. The only time we had a melt-down was when the 50's came blowing past full out and she got very race brained. I couldn't let her "go" or I'd have never got her back mentally. So I stopped to regroup, it was NOT FUN, and about then four more 50's came barreling down the trail and she just had a regular hard core pissy fit. Once I thwarted the mini-rear-up, I put her in a one rein stop and let her stare at my boot until all the dust settled. Then I let her move...and corrected anything about the trot, and then we started walk, trotting and it was okay until the bumblebee episode on the hillside (that was first a crowding issue and then a passing issue, but went okay once I got off trail to let her go). Shortly after she had pretty much used up her gas tank, and I got off and walked her, fed her, met horses the opposite direction and chatted with them.

    At the end of the day it always depends on YOUR horse THAT day. I've come to really dislike when people say YOU NEED TO DO THIS in a pushy way. I welcome, "maybe your should try this." I've learned a lot that way, and made some really no brainer mistakes the other way.

  4. Yup, I figure you post them for discussion, not as a ringing endorsement. One of the things I like best about our blogs is that we hardly ever say "you must do this!" We all just say "oh, here's what's working today with my horse." Phoebes might not be one of those that can canter a couple strides to blow off steam then "come back" to you, and I hope I didn't imply that you should do it that way.

    I just don't think all endurance horses can be trained the same way. And the more we talk about what works for us, today, the more choices we'll have in the future. :)

  5. Yep! I just like to dig out interesting reads and interesting is far as my "endorsement" goes, unless I specifically say so, then it applies to me and my situation and not necessarily someone elses.

    Discussion is how we find those little helpful gems and have our "light bulb" moments. We are in agreement on that! I didn't take anything you said as out of line, just the truth as applies to you and Dixie in the given circumstance.

    Honestly Funder the only people I ever get put out with are the "know it alls" and ironically, the one's that actually DO know it all, are never mean. They will offer ideas, things to try, and we are all lucky as newbies to have them. Unfortunately in distance ride it is not one size fits all.

    What I value most in the blogs is the discovery of new ideas, getting the job done, and the friendly network. Good stuff :)