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

June 24, 2014

And More Heat Training

I only had about an hour window today to keep me out of risk of afternoon thunderstorms/ lightening, and wind gusts.  As soon as I got home from work, I wolfed down some lunch, sent the Boopster to do her business, gathered her back up and caught The Spotted Wonder.   I'm glad I cannot read Journey's mind...

Since I only had about an hour at first I thought I'd just do extended trotting here at home, just long trotting in the arena area.   She didn't much care for that idea, as the neighbor was squatted down by the fenceline working on his wagon, and she was sure he was SASQUATCH.  I walked her up and showed her SASQUATCH from both eye balls but it was just evident that a ride in there was going to test both my time and patience.  So I got off, put up one gate, and took down another, got back on and headed out to our little hill loop.  The goal was maintain a 5 mph average back there for an hour.  Now that sounds easy, but very rarely do we make that happen.  Because the hill is steep, the trails roll and lay muddy in places, and we have to step over several logs, and only have about a quarter of a mile where we can canter, it is a serious challenge to keep it up to 5 mph.  One lap around the thing is 3/4 of a mile.  Terrain goes from slight downhill grade, to flat, to rock creek bottom, and up a very steep  and rutted in places goat hill.   So goal in mind, I pointed her to the woods.

The black line on the chart denotes about 5 mph, the yellow line 6, the purple line 10 mph, and the red line a nice canter interval.   Did you notice I said "nice" and "canter" in the same sentence?  She has worked out carrying me, and finding a balanced rhythmic canter.   No spooky ookies, no silliness, no bucking, no bolting.  Hoo-rah for hot weather.  Anyway....the point to this illustration is how difficult it can be to maintain a good average pace, every dip below the yellow line sends the average the wrong direction.  If you are a person new to the sport, this further illustrates why a good moving out trot is your friend, taking the flats with a little speed, and a moving out walk (Journey's is 3.5 mph on an energetic day) can save the day, by giving you a bit of slack for the hills.  

By the time we wrapped up the hour I was very sweaty, horse likewise, but fine, and we had averaged 6 mph back there in the hottest part of the day (81 degrees/ humidity 74%). It was our best training ride ever.  In these conditions I wouldn't want to push any faster, or longer.   This session gave us pretty close to our 25 miles for the week, and our third session in hot humid conditions. My hope is that two weeks of short fast heat training will give her the bump she'll need for Summer Breeze...Now she gets a few days of R&R.


And!  If you have not entered the contest farther down on the blog be sure to do so before I leave on July 10th!  Wish I could enter it! *LOL*  Right now odds of winning are 1 out of 22.  Not bad for a new crupper, or bridle, or breast collar, or... ?    Two brave souls have guessed us in under four hours, must say I love  your OPTIMISM ☺

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