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

February 26, 2012

Encouragement may be the best teacher...

All dressed up and ready to go!
Today was an encouraging day.  We are still too slow for an LD but we are inching closer.  We did a mock LD of 20 miles today.
The first half went well.  She was a bit full of herself, but since it was all hills the first hour that kind of worked the kinks out.  She drank well on trail, and ate pretty good at the halfway.  We had a forty minute hold to refuel.  She ate some grain mix, some hay, grass, and drank 1/3 of the 5 gallon bucket of water.  She also drank from streams, and grabbed a little grass while we were out.
LD training ride half-way, Granny style...
And back out we went to another ten mile loop.
I thought that this half would be hard for her.  She was a bit less spooky, but still kept about the same average speed.  We lost a little time when she heard a horse and decided she was doing the driving.  Otherwise we would have matched or bettered the time on our second loop.
How's that for a nice trot out?  Cruising right along.
She pulsed right down, we untacked.  Muscle tone was like 

Again she ate and she drank down most of the rest of her bucket of water.  The only thing we were lacking on is peeing under saddle.  She held it ALL DAY.  As soon as I untacked her, turned her out, and gave the pee command she wasted no time letting loose.  I ask you, what is better than a flood of YELLOW pee?
Yes, I feel encouraged.  We'd have been overtime at an actual ride if it had been today.  But we are getting there.  We have a lot of other dynamics to work out concerning how she will act in the midst of many horses.  But the plan is to be way in the back.  I had plenty of horse left.  In fact I could have done another ten miles (slower) but we could have got it done.

Moving ahead we need to work on our sustained trotting.  I can't do that on our trails here too technical and too much up and down.  So maybe I can work on that in our arena.    We need to focus on some hills, so a session of that once or twice a week.
Wish I had a picture of the happy dance I did when I got home this afternoon.   You all will just have to visualize...


  1. Sounds great!!! You are well on your way to some fun LDs with a happy horse! Sounds like she is really figuring things out, good for you for spending the time and being patient :)

  2. That's a wonderful training ride! She is really getting the eating and drinking thing, when you take her to a ride it will be old hat :)

  3. You do such a great job at making sure you figure all the little details out at home, mocking up the day as a "real " ride and all. Its just really nice to see. Great photos!

  4. I forgot my actual ride report which for the most part is for my own record to look back on.

    Planned distance a split 10/10: +
    Eating and drinking: +
    Ride=a-bility: mmmmmm 7 out of 10, we still have some quirks need working out.
    Pooping: +
    Peeing: - (pee was fine but she held it all day)
    Muscle tone: +
    Post ride attitude: + still had lots of energy, more than me :/

    Now to work on containment. Will she stay in an electric pen? Our home fence is electric, but ride camp is a whole 'nother animal. I'm toying with the idea of glue on boots, but haven't ever not sure. I might just put a sole pack of Goober glue on and then gaiter on her boots for her first LD.

    I'm still very concerned about riding in the herd dynamic. Journey's brain jumps right out the window when horses are in the picture. I know "how" to disengage her if the rubber meets the road, but there is always risk when you have an acting out horse. By starting in the back of the pack we can avoid the LD riders (unless someone out waits us), but how to avoid those 50 mile runners on the second loop....I DO NOT KNOW.

  5. I was just talking about glue ons with an endurance friend yesterday. Just remember that you only get one or two uses out of glue on boots, vs. using your regular easyboots til the darn things fall apart. I considered it too but the cost and effort doesn't seem worth it, plus what if one of your glue ons falls off for any reason..well there you are carrying your regular boots along anyhow..I dunno just doesn't seem worth the extra money to me.