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

March 18, 2014

My Favorite Little Training Spot

This little 3/4 mile loop is one of my favorite places to work on training goals.  It is hard enough that I don't get a lot of spooking and silliness, and the terrain changes about every 1/4 mile which increases the difficulty.  The yellow line represents a ridge-line with a lovely view/drop to the creek below, the pink line is flat grassy field that transitions to dirt track through the woods, onto yellow and up the ridge with a gradual grad until you hit blue, then it is a steep shimmy back down to the creek below.  Even though the loop is short, she gets a good work out with enough laps.  On weekdays my ride time is limited so I'm happy if I can get out there and work it for an hour, concentrating on smoothing out each lap until she is mentally "with" me and then we start adding the canter.  Journey still at times will surprise me with a little hoopla weeeeeeee let's bolt, but this terrain has mostly kept that in check.  When she does do it, generally I just ride it out if the footing is safe, she isn't dedicated to ramp it up for long, too much work.  We did get the best canter this evening we've had yet.  The pace was steady, she seemed relaxed, and we just chugged along the field at about 10 mph.  Her trot was really strong tonight at about 9 mph.  This evening's ride top speed was 13.2 mph, very steady and sensible, she had some extra good downhills (her particular weakness)..  We've got a good start, but have to get out and do some LSD and stretch out the time and mileage.  We are really cutting it close time wise to be ready.  Winter can be done.  That's my vote.


  1. Yay EG.. I have been away from the blogs but always keep a thumb on yours...your posts have a different feel to them of late..
    Like you are for the first time in a long time enjoying the process and your must have had a breakthrough...keep it up

  2. I feel like you've made so much progress - it's inspiring to keep watching and seeing how much the two of you can do! And on a <1 mile loop, no less. That makes me want to try a shorter section on repeat on some of our rides.

  3. Hey ladies! Glad you are still hanging with me. I've found my short loop useful in that it builds her confidence so that we "can" safely work on skills without the silly spooking and googling. It gives her focus. When I want to do a snappy go get 'em ride we have a one mile flat loop that we do repeats and track out speed, trying to better it a little each day we work it. I'm using this hill up, hill down, and flat to build her strength at the canter. She thinks a quarter mile is IT at the canter, even though she can trot all day, the canter just blows her out, so it needs fixing. I've never been real confident at that gait (Phebes) so it is a 2-fer. She gets more confident, we canter a bit farther, or faster, and I don't get dumped, and hence feel more confident too. So many people don't try distance because they can only haul to the long trail once a week. Honestly that is enough if you can do some really vigorous one hour sessions around a neighbor's woods, or on a steep hill, just mixing it up, so it doesn't get boring, and saving the time conscious ride for the weekend when you CAN spend the time.

    I have been enjoying my horse stuff again. Working both horses, riding Journey, and mostly working Phebes brain, but I've been up three times on her so far this past month. All I can say is thank God for horses. They are a lot of work, but they define who I am. Life is good!