Contact information:

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

March 26, 2011

Progress sweet progress!

We had an excellent solo ride today.  Still a little slow, but no shananigan's so I'll take that!  A ride without a spin back is a beautiful thing.   And 22 miles of that makes an incredibly wonderfully fantabulous day!  So what went well?

Uh....dare I say almost everything?  It was windy and cold today, in the mid-thirty degree range.  Trail conditions continue to be soft and muddy.  Funder if you are in "earshot" here is what we did today.
*Before hauling (to and from) I gave a syringe of organic aloe juice for the tummy. 
*We rode slow, 3-8 mph depending on footing. 
I offered water at every stop, but if she didn't show real interest (not just head dropping) we rode on.  I've had so many people tell me their horses don't drink before mile 10, 15, or 20.   I know she finally succumbs to an urge at around mile eighteen, like clockwork.  You don't always have water hole at the critical moment, but I carry an extra bottle of water that I can give to her, and her watered down electrolytes which I give intermittently.  Today she sipped about a half of a gatorade bottle that I'd added water, a little salt, and a little lite salt.  I don't syringe it, I just let her swig it out of the bottle.  I relyed on this stuff for the first eighteen miles.  Then we took a break at the horse trailer so I could chow on chinese food (I'm so freaking spoiled by my hubby, and I love it).  She nibbled a little grain mix, and ate some hay from her hay bag.  Her pulse came down to 57 in under five minutes.  It was so cold I kept her rump covered at the trailer so she wouldn't cramp.  She seemed really bewildered going back out, like NO!  I thought we were done!  She pulled the old lets stop trick a few times, but finally she got back into the swing of things enough to average 4 mph on the last 4 miles.  She drank four times on this last 4 mile loop.  When we got back to the trailer she started chowing down on her hay.    She did not drink any bucket water at the trailer, but I wasn't concerned because she was drinking out of natural water sources really well after 18 miles.  It will be interesting to go farther sometime, and see how she does, and if I can interest her with carrots, cookies, and bits of hay pellets out on the trail.    Our total ride time was  4 1/2 hours for 22 miles with average ride time 4.8 mph.  Once the ground dries out I think we can easily drop some time off of that and pull it closer to 5 or 6 mph.  Now I have to figure out some kind of a strategy to make this all happen at an actual LD!  ~E.G.


  1. It sounds like a splendid day you both had. Glad to hear your dialing in on the water thing. Historically I haven't bothered electrolyting on condition rides, never felt it was needed unless it was an exeptionally Hot day , then I would electrolyte before and after. You may have already covered this in another post and if so I apologize for being redundant but can I ask why you electrolyte on condition rides, especially in cool weather when you are traveling at a slow pace? Is it due to Phebes tye up episode and you do it as a precautionary thing or ?? Thanks for answering if you have already answered this question before!!

  2. Jonna I'm not electrolyting in the sense that you are thinking (ie, dose pre-ride, post-ride etc). Because in this weather she probably does NOT have a need for them. All I'm doing is putting a teaspoon of salt/1/2 tsp of lite salt into a jug of watered down gator aid. I'm just trying to trigger a thirst response when we hit a water source. You know how when you munch something a little salty you just want a drink? I won't move to actual electrolytes until hot weather when she is sweating heavily. It is just an experiment of sorts to see if I can figure out a way to trigger her thirst response a little sooner than 18 miles. I figure it can't hurt her as it is diluted, and if nothing else she gets the quart of fluid in the bottle! Hope that clears up the question. ~E.G.

  3. Thrilled to hear it went so well!

  4. EG, what a great ride you both had! That's wonderful! All of your actions and preparations to support Phebes during the ride seem to be working really well. Good girl, Phebes!!