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

March 6, 2012

A look at our own numbers

We had 90.3 miles for February...not great.  I looked at Journey's trotting speed as an average number and she's about 6.6 mph on the flats and 5 mph on a grade.  So I'm thinking that an increase in speed is not what I need, rather an increase in duration and the ability to pull some of the easier uphills at the trot.  So we will be doing more laps on our trotting track to build her duration at flat trotting, and then more intense uphill sessions at the trot to really push her heart rate up and strengthen those pulling and pushing muscles (how is that for technical terminology).  Journey has really developed in the past six months.  Emotionally she is a much for balanced horse except for an occaisional rebellion...physically hardly resembles the same horse as her topline keeps filling in, and musculature has becomed much more defined.  Her staying power is way better than in the beginning, but still leaves much to be desired.  If I can get a good solid 6 mph average across the board I'll be satisfied.  I'm not sure what the expectation will be too build her up time wise a year or two?  Does anyone know a mathematical formula of how to crunch the numbers of the percentage of time you have to trot at what speed to complete?   Since there is always walking in the mix and that is our serious weakness, we've got to do less of it!   If Chicken Chase gets canceled maybe we can squish in another clinic.  That would be awesome ☺


  1. A trotting speed of 6.6 mph is a bit low IMO. If your horse could trot 25 miles at that speed with no walking at all, you could get away with it, but I don't think that would happen. I think a good trotting speed is somewhere 8 to 8.5 mph. I read an article that trotting over 10 mph is physically harmful for the horse so I have watched that and don't let him trot over 10 mph anymore. And I'm assuming a good 4 mph walk. BTW I don't have an Arab, I have a Morgan that I have to watch for overheating but I don't have trouble reaching those averages.


  2. Is she a slow walker? If you think about it, one should be able to complete a 25 mile ride with alot of walking if the walking speed is about 4.0 -5 mph,(this will vary ofcourse depending on terrain) which is about average for most horses. I don't have a formula but if a 25 mile ride is a Max time of 6 hrs to complete, which includes all holds and checks, I know I can complete 20 miles in 5 hrs at a walk pace of 4.0 mph. Right? (if my math is right, !) That being said, it gives me a bit of a ball park to know that if I walk half and trot half, I should make time without a problem. This isn't by any means a technical way to look at it but when I start to worry I don't have enough time, it helps me to put it into perspective. Again, I have not completed enough rides in my endurance "career" (haa!) so maybe this is a hogwash way to look at it for someone more experienced but it works for me. I know that Maggie's slow trot is about 9.0 mph. Her fast trot is about 11-12 mph. During the time that we do trot, we can easily make time. There are also alot of variables with the time dilemna. Heart rate not coming down quicky, terrain (hills is what kills us here) taking longer at the holds, booting/tack issues along the trail that eats up time. It's all part of the equation I suppose.