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

February 19, 2011

The Most Important AH-HA! moment came to me ...

...on the drive home.  We were talking about incorporating these methods on an actual ride, and I said to Doug that if you are going to use the endurance trail as a training ground you absolutely CAN NOT pair up with other riders.   When you ride solo you are free to correct the issues as they present themselves and work at getting what you are asking for even if it means a slower completion.  If you are riding in tandem with a group, you will ALWAYS end up going with the will begin the corrections in a less than optimal situation which will place you behind anyway, so you might as well just do it right, ride it right, and RIDE YOUR OWN RIDE.  The only completion I've had that I felt really gratified with was riding solo.  It had its difficulties because she pulled the entire way.  Had I some of the tools in my arsenal, we'd have placed lower, but it could have been a much nicer ride, much more quickly than than the six or seven miles it took to get her attention.  I still feel that the training trail will be easier to tame the beast, than the endurance trail.  But we will keep at it, do the best we can, and what we've always done,  by learning together. 

On a funny note----Phebes usually has a ritual that she thinks she must go through before going into her stall at night.  Tonight she did not look right nor left, but headed straight in to her feed bucket, and acted quite content to be there.  Kind of like kids, a tired horse is a happy horse.


  1. I'm a huge believer in "a tired horse (dog/kid/adult) is a happy one." Especially if the body getting tired also involved the brain getting tired!

    And yes, solo is often the way to go.

    I am fortunate to be able to do some training trails with my TRAINER and a bunch of other folks who have been there/done that. We are all in the process of improving our horses' behavior, but the horses are at all different stages. Nobody in the group will criticize when a horse has an issue--only if there is an issue that the rider isn't actively working to fix. So we all feel motivated AND supported.

    I try to do at least one solo ride each week, because I think that's when Fee and I work best together.

  2. E.G- I would tend to agree, riding in a group makes it very very difficult to work on your own training issues however, I have found a few friends that have the same training principles as I and we all help each other out when one of us gets in a situation. We also have a rule where if a training opportunity presents itself, we don't mind if the person takes an extra 10 minutes to get their horse over or by or through an obstacle. It 's rare to find people to ride with that are patient and do this but they are out there. I have ridden with the wild crowd in the past and try to avoid those! Otherwise, I am not sure who would be more of a basket case, me or my horse!

  3. I think I've only had maybe one person (Lida) who would work with me in this way if I asked it. Most of the training rides I've gone on with other people they are focused on making good time going down the if you encounter a problem and care to address it, they are gone! The only way to catch up would be to abandon your training and ride like heck which would be counter productive. So you guys are LUCKY to have wonderful horsewomen to ride with on a regular basis. This will mostly be a "solo" year for us I guess, but this is okay. I don't mind riding that way. ~E.G.

  4. This is so true. Other riders, no matter how well meaning, always have suggestions, and rarely do what you ask them to make your horse better. I love riding with other people, but I have no problem dropping back and riding alone if my horse acts up.