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

June 30, 2013

A Stunning Discovery

"We had an hour of work yesterday I swear she's trying to kill me."


  1. Great to hear! I think endurance/CTR would be much more fun for you if Journey gets comfortable at 8 to 9 mph. Those lower speeds just won't cut it. I had read an article a while ago (may have been Chaton?) that showed studies of how a horse changes when it trots > 10mph, and the recommendation was to stay under that to maintain soundness. So I try real hard to keep Arie no faster than that for any length of time. He's most comfortable at around 9.

  2. You may have discovered what I recently did - a rested horse is a horse that moves better/faster/sounder down the trail. I currently experimenting with what is the minimum training i need to get the conditioning I need, and I'm finding out it's a lot less than I previously thought. Farley HATES conditioning rides and usually gives me a western tiny jog that doesn't go anywhere. I use as one of my "barometers" of whether I'm putting too many miles on by what trot speed she offers during endurance rides. 9-12mph? Yeah!!!!! Less than 6? Probably need to back off my miles and do something else for a while. So far it's working and I'm headed to Tevis. I'm embarrassed how much I'm NOT riding - which is why no posting has occurred about total mileages and rides this year.....but I promise to come clean after Tevis, no matter what hpapens. FWIW, several of us in the blogging world are chewing this concept of "ultra rested" over, including some with non arabs and trying to decide what it all means and just how far can we go with this?

  3. Journey had been off mostly for several weeks, and it was like she was running on high-octane. It's kind of hard to know sometimes, to train or not to train. I think in the past I've leaned towards too many miles, and honestly not enough speed (speed being relative here to 8-9 mph). Which had brought me to LD's with horses training at 5-6 mph, wanting to then run 7-9 which is a setup for metabolic issues. Sometimes rested is good. Sometimes it will jump up and eat you, like in the case of Phebes being off two weeks after an LD and then having a tie-up on our next training ride with in a mile out. In some cases maybe longer is better. I reckon it depends on the horse you are riding.

  4. Which is why I'm a Nazi about eliminating NSC from my horses diet as much as possible. Its a Mjor risk factor for tye ups. The other thing I will do is a session of lunging, walk trot dressage, or other light work the day or two bwfore a tough work out to lessen the chance. I have a horse that is certainly capable of tying up, and has.....but I have to say her muscle tone has never been better. Of course, with all that rest I've also been able to quit feeding a bunch of stuff. Besides hay she's down to a pound (about a cup and a half) of stable mix (low NSC pelleted complete feed) which she gets during rides, which is why its important I keep feeding it, and a cup or so if oil for its aerobic conditioning properties.

    Fwiw I think most everyone, including myself, start off underconditioning, then over condition for awhile, and then finally find that sweet spot. And it takes less and less time to find that sweet spot with subsequent horses.