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

July 15, 2014

Ride to your strengths train to your weakness

That is the hot topic today in the kingdom of mare.  What exactly does that mean concerning the horse, and how exactly does it relate to the ride plan.



Intermittent respiratory issue (allergic to dust, molds)
Uphills  (still just kill her)
Downhills (she could be a bit speedier on those...DID I SAY THAT?  I just fixed going to fast.)
Taking care of self (drinking and eating during competition, improved...but a way to go)
Hind motor needs building (all flat muscle back there)


Has the cardio strength of a rotting locust post.
Hard wired for heat related illness.
Tendency to get lost.
Does not sleep.
Too fat.



Does not waste energy
Pulse down (new)
Completion rate very good (so far, no sense jinxing myself)


Does not waste energy
Sticks with the plan
Does not make stupid choices (believe it or not that is hard to do at a competition, it takes fortitude)
Diligent pre-ride taking care of the horse as much as possible.
Fashionista (LOL) (I do have zebra tights and a Da Brim, someday I'm going to wear them at the same time)

So looking at the horse's weak areas I see a couple of relational ideas.  Even minor breathing issues would make hill climbing exponentially harder.  Slow hill climbing does not apparently build the muscle for her.  I believe she's still pulling hills too much with her front end as her chest muscles are huge.  She needs to get under herself more on the hills.  We had started on flat cantering and I still think it is our best tool for the moment to build her lungs and cardio, and maybe once we've done that, we can take the hills a little harder in training as well.  Journey's taking care of herself is slowly improving ride to ride, but she gets a flunking grade from me at the first vet check.   B's on gut sounds, and doesn't really want to eat all that much unless it is grass.  Grass is good, but you don't always have grass!  So some experimentation is in order there.  From a training perspective as well, more trotting of hills, and as the hind motor progresses, we should benefit from kicking that up a notch as well.  As far as a timeline to get it happening?  I have no idea.

Now the rider weakness.  God I'm FAT.    I ride a lot, and rarely snack, though LSEGH swears the 2 Wendy's chocolate Frosty's a week are the devil.     For me carbs in general are the devil, and my blood sugar is not a stable thing.  I have sudden drops and want to pass out in the most inopportune places.  Then I want to grab a high sugar something to get it up again.  It is a horrible cycle.  More protein would help and aside from eggs I'm not a huge fan of meat unless it expensive and laborious (slow roasted beef, pork, or chicken).  Cold meats make me wanna barf.  Someone says fish and I want to gag.  I work a desk job and sit on the fat derriere for long stretches up to twelve hours two days in a row that leave me feeling so sluggish on my off day that I want to crawl into a dark room and just sleep.   That is not helping.  My resting heart rate since I can remember has been over 100 bpm and that kind of got hardwired into me from a rather traumatic childhood.  So excuses aside looking at this thing constructively if I could get some cooperation from an un-named person who lives in the house with me...I'd like to clear out the carbs and start eating more along rather paleo lines and try to get my weight (OH GOD I'M GONNA TELL THE WORLD THE UGLY TRUTH I WEIGH 157) in better proportion to my 5 foot 2 inch frame.   Twenty pounds need to come off. Thirty would be even better but I expect if that walking on water moment happened my skin would drape around my body like a bloodhound. But... my gut is bigger than my boobs people! How tragic is that?  I'm to a point that Journey can probably be ridden less (quality vs. quantity) and the dog needs walked, so maybe I should be doing the walking instead of letting her play in the fenced yard and me shuffling off to stare at Facebook.

As yet I do not have a fully formulated plan.

Stay tuned...


  1. Oh, yea, Dudley TOTALLY seconds the gray's comment. And size. Although Dudley's rounder.
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  2. Maybe the grays need an intervention. It stuns me how little I feed Phebes, and how fat she continues to be. She probably, no, she doesn't need the cool command I give her, but then I feel so guilty. Irrational I know...

    Now I'm going out to actually take the walk.