Conditioning help for being stuck at novice forever - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 07-02-2013, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Well luckily I have an excellent vet that can give vet advice. I asked for conditioning advice. Still not sure what the difference is between us riding for 10 miles on the trail or us riding 10 miles with a group for competition? She doesn't do walking trail rides, she's an arab, walk isn't in her vocabulary.
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post #12 of 22 Old 07-03-2013, 06:42 AM
Green Broke
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Why dont you start riding her a little at a time ad see how she reacts? 1 mile 3 days a week. If she is fine increase it to 2. I have an 18 year old arab and we ride 12 miles in a day (and a lot is trotting and galloping up hill). If my mare dose not get out much (and its cold) she gets string-halt. The only thing that fixes that is work. I do agree though, you need to keep an eye on fluid retention and pain, she may not be able to do endurance, but who knows, IF she is sound she should be ok for SHORT ones.
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post #13 of 22 Old 07-03-2013, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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She is 100% sound, this has been determined by my vet not me. The vet feels she just has arthritis right now and we have a plan for him to come back out in the early fall to do another evaluation with xrays. He didn't feel xrays were needed right now. When I say her back fetlock is retaining fluid it has just the slightest amount. Most people cannot tell.

The current trail ride that we do that is mainly trotting and cantering is about 3 miles to go to a marker and back. She can do that comfortably right now. The biggest thing working against her is her cardio. She has gotten fatter since actually being on a pasture and she sat too long so she is out of shape.

I am currently working her 3 days on then 1 day rest then 3 on 1 off and so on. She works out of any stiffness in about 5 minutes. I'm not sure we can even call what I want to do endurance. It is more like group trail riding with a goal. In the novice classes you are in a group and have a goal time to arrive. Everything is easier than the competetive trail or endurance classes.
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post #14 of 22 Old 07-03-2013, 08:01 AM
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Sorry to say this , but if your vet is giving the OK to train and compete, why don't you ask HIM for a conditioning schedule?

Your first post, and possibly others, have made it sound like ypur horse has a tendon injury(possibly resolved), arthritis(which requires injections), BUte for pain, is 20 yo,and the vet said 10 miles MAX.....

If you think HF members are protective of the horses, wait until you get to an endurance ride. If you mention ANY of this casually at a ride, you may be VERY unhappy with the response you get.

And since an endurance ride is FIFTY miles, not 10, you have a LONG way to go to get in condition for that.

You need another horse to do endurance, there is NO Novice level.....


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post #15 of 22 Old 07-03-2013, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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There is absolutely a novice level. They are between 9-15 miles. They are ment for horses or people who are just starting into endurance or who can't do the longer rides. There is no limit on how many novice rides I can compete in. Maybe they don't have them by you but here in the upper midwest we have novice level. This will help explain to you. Page 15.

Her tendon injury wasn't really an injury, she kicked herself out in turnout and basically just had a bump like a person would have if they kicked themselves. That has long since gone away and is 100% fine now.

Her arthritis does not require injections. The vet said if I wanted to do the 50 mile endurance races then she would need injections but they are not even close to being needed for maintenance.

She was only to be buted for the first week that she was being brought back into work. I know if I don't work out for a while and then go into a regular workout routine I would certainly be needing some advil for the first week. That is all bute is really.

Yes she is 20 and was a broodmare for 18 years. Never used or worked for 18 years so naturally conditioning will take longer.

Vet said 10 miles was a good stopping point for regular trail rides. He said if she can comfortably do more than that good but he wouldn't ask her to do it regularly. Vets don't really give conditioning schedules but they set the boundries for what can and cannot be done.
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post #16 of 22 Old 07-03-2013, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by poppy1356 View Post
She doesn't do walking trail rides, she's an arab, walk isn't in her vocabulary.
There is the first thing I suggest you work on. Being an arab has NOTHING to do with being unable to walk on a trail ride. We have 3 arabs who are seasoned, fit endurance horses and each and every one can and will walk (on a loose rein!) when requested - and this includes alone, in a group, at the start of a ride with 80 horses milling around, or when a rider goes blasting past on trail.

Originally Posted by poppy1356 View Post
There is absolutely a novice level. They are between 9-15 miles. They are ment for horses or people who are just starting into endurance or who can't do the longer rides.
I think you are confusing people with your use of the term "endurance" when you really mean "distance riding." "Distance riding" is a generalized term than incorporates a lot of different versions of the sport, rather like "running" can mean anything from people doing 5Ks to people doing ultramarathons but a "marathon" is a very specific distance of run.

As far as I know, UMECRA recongizes both CTR (competitive trail riding) and endurance rides sanctioned by AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference). Those are actually 2 different types of ride, with different rules and expectations, though its not unusual for an organization to hold dual-sanctioned rides. "Novice" is a CTR term, not an AERC one. Again, goes back to the whole a 5Ker is not a marathoner but they are both runners. Semantics on some level, but using the wrong terminology leads to confusion.
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post #17 of 22 Old 07-03-2013, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Oh she will walk if I make her but she would rather not. She rides out alone or in small or big groups. She doesn't lose her head when in larger groups. She does prefer to be leader or close to it but has no problem holding back if I wish. She just loves to move out and a nice extended trot is her preferred gait. She will cross water, bridges, roads and anything I ask of her.

We did have an issue with her rushing forward and not slowing when I asked. It isn't perfect but she listens now. She will just glare at everybody to show her displeasure with what I am asking. So when it's safe to do so I usually let her move out since it's good exercise for both of us.

Sorry about the definition. I was under the assumption that it was just different divisions since that is what our rule book made it seem like. It grouped everything into one ride but just had the different divisions you could do. Not every ride has a novice and the next ride we are hoping to get to is in September and is 10 miles. I'm more worried about the 3 hour trailer ride than anything else.
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post #18 of 22 Old 07-03-2013, 10:39 AM
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This is one of those situations where I really wish your horse could talk to you. I'm well into my 50's and arthritis HURTS! Yes mobility is important but just as important is knowing when to stop for the day. It sounds like your personal goals are more important than your horse.
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post #19 of 22 Old 07-03-2013, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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If my personal goals were more important than I would just give her the injections and ride. But obviously I'm not doing that and I never would as I don't feel that is right. If she needed them to be pasture sound so she could live peacfully then I would as long as she was otherwise healthy and happy.

I also have arthritis in my spine. I may be young but I have sustained more substantial injuries than the majority of adults. I can't sit for more than 30 minutes without getting extremely stiff to the point where I can't stand up straight for a minute. Working on my feet all day helps me.

I listen to my horse. I know when she is uncomfortable and then I look for why. That is why the vet was out in the first place. I started to bring her back into work and she was clearly uncomfortable so I had the vet out for a full exam.
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post #20 of 22 Old 07-03-2013, 03:08 PM
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while i wouldnt normally question an on scene vet one that says 100% sound, in the same sentence as a long list of ailments is a moron.
Your vet need to look up the definition of sound and 100 percent.
100 percent means 100 out of a possible 100. A horse with a chipped hoof or a ever so minor stone bruise is no longer 100 out of 100.
And one with the ailments you listed dang sure isnt.
Now conceivable your horse may be sound enough to finish a non sanctioned distance event. But just giving your description to the "Vet in" vet might result in a very short day for you. Thats just the way it is sometimes, part of being mature and making the right decisions is being the brains of the outfit and facing reality. No doubt in my mind I could take your horse and run it 25 miles, good horses that bond with you have heart and will literally kill them selves to please you. Im betting that probably wouldnt be in its best interest. I had to face that reality with my two walking horses. despite all the wishful thinking in the world endurance was too much for one of them, and the other would never be competitive at the level Id like to compete.
You asked about a conditioning schedule for a horse that most likely shouldnt be ridden at a level that will condition it for the task at hand.
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