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

July 30, 2012

We ran the 10 mile loop yesterday

Journey was steaming hot when we came in even though we rode early to beat the heat and humidity. We were back to the trailer in 1:38 which was our fastest time ever.  Also the first time that I've pushed her to "train faster than you intend to compete."  She cantered the last little service road in so that we could make our ride time goal of 1:40 for the ten plus mile loop.  This meant a higher in pulse than we would have typically.  I immediately dropped the bit, loosened the girth, LSEGH started pulling boots, and her pulse was about 78 bpm.  Good time to test the water makes it go up/down "theory."  LSEGH grabbed the handheld pulse thing-a-ma-jiggy and I started sponging and dumping water.  Each dump of cold water brought her down about a beat or two.  So let's just say I was all wet on that one.  Even though she isn't fond of water, it still makes her pulse come down when it matters.  That is good to know.  She was at 60 in less than 10 minutes.

Rating Journey is the opposite of what it was with Phebes.  Phebes pulled and pulled and just wore you out to get her to SLOW DOWN.  Journey you have to push along, to get her to speed up.   She is very good at keeping a steady pace of her choosing, she will trot, and trot, and trot...but at her own little pace of 5.5-6 mph.  A training partner at this point in time would be so beneficial.  On our completed LD Journey was trotting along at close to a very motivated 8 mph, so I know she can...and I'm not wanting that as an all the time pace, but on the flats where she can move out, it is evident that we really need to hustle to overcome those sluggish downhills which eat up our time.  Uphill we are good!  This little mare likes to grit her teeth and really tackle the uphills, to bad you can't have ups without downs ☺

Our increase in speed yesterday had nothing to do with the trot, and everything to do with adding some cantering into the mix on uphills and short canters on the flats, and trotting some of the easier downhills.  It makes me further in awe of those horses that go go go at unbelievable speeds for 50 and 100 miles.  I have difficulty wrapping my brain around HOW THEY GET THAT DONE.

Journey is learning the positive aspect of standing still at the horse trailer.  When we first got her she wanted to three leg, paw, and sometimes rear when tied up to the trailer.  Work has made her much more reluctant to waste all that energy when standing with your nose in the hay bag is so much easier.

I've had to abandon the power straps on her hind boots.  They made the boot way too tight leaving indentations below the heel bulb.  Power straps on the front are great, so I'm back to vet wrap on the hinds.  But all hooves are go at this point.  I've not had a boot failure in some time now even though I'm asking more of the boots in the way of gait transitions on the uphills.  So that aspect appears to be clearly functional for the upcoming ride in September.

My stitches come out on Wednesday.  Yay!



  1. Sounds like she's coming along really well. It amazing how quickly they learn to adapt to the sport and how fast they learn conserving energy at every possibly point is best. I wish I knew riders up there to suggest to you because I used the experience of riding with other riders to teach Rose to move out over the trails even on training rides.

  2. Eric Hought's training articles advocate for the horse you have to "pedal" to get more work out of. Not that you want to have to constantly kick your way through a ride, but just that a well-trained horse will never offer more energy than you ask for. To me, that sounds like Journey to a T!

    What's your verdict on the sandbagging issue?

  3. I think that it would be good for her to follow someone at this point that moves out just a little faster than she does to get her lengthening her trot, and working into some muscle memory.

    Honestly though, I'll take Journey's sandbagging over the fight on Phebes any day. We just need to take along plenty of water and a snack *LOL*!

    Ruth she's definitely sandbagging. Her pulse numbers are plenty low, she just doesn't see the point in expending too much energy. It is probably for the best, and we should likely just go on this way for a good year before I leave ridecamp anywhere but back of the pack. I've always offered water at every water hole and she's taken to using these as "rest stops." I've decided that since she never drinks until 9 miles I'm not going to offer a water stop unless she is acting like she wants water, at least up to nine miles. From that point on, I'll offer to stop at all water sources. Learning with Journey in some respects is like learning all over again.