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This is a discussion on Crewing? within the Endurance Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        01-26-2013, 04:18 PM
    Green Broke
    Blue ridge and leatherwood are the same terrain. They are only about 20 minutes apart, Its tough for us flatlanders, just have to make a point to head to some terrain once a month or so once you get in conditioning. LW is also a few weeks earlier, might be cooler, I see the next ride is Broxton, no way in hades I'll ever go back there in july. Bout it till Sep back in Biltmore. They do have an LD, and it isnt FEI, so would be a good one to aim for. Biltmore is easier terrain than LW or BR, or any of the VA rides. I havent ironed out my ride schedule, my horse hurt her foot and isnt rideable for another month. Really killing my conditioning. I wont do any more 80 degree rides with my current horse and was hoping to do 5 or 6 LD's this year but doesnt look like it will happen
    prairiewindlady likes this.
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        01-26-2013, 04:33 PM
    Just a caution - I'm not sure what training you're conditioning and riding on, but when I mentioned to my vet that I wasn't getting a whole lot of hill work since I didn't have a trailer and the BLM in my area is pretty flat, he was pretty adamant that that would not get a horse ready for an endurance ride and I would be setting my horse up for problems during the rides. He recommended getting hill work about once per week so you could build up ligaments, strength, respiration, etc. You don't want to overdo it, and I've had difficulty getting even that much in and haven't been the best about it, but you need to get it in where possible for sure so your horse isn't completely overwhelmed and doesn't injure itself when it's suddenly doing hills/mountains in addition to all the other stressors of the ride (including additional distance).
    prairiewindlady likes this.
        01-26-2013, 04:48 PM
    Green Broke
    Condition is condition, hills can help but don't beat yourself up over it, just realize its going to be slower. There are things you can do, make some tracks with logs to step over, in fact put some in your field along a bottleneck the horses have to walk across all the time. Big thing is to ride , add distance then more distance than add speed. One good thing about LW is camp is at the low ground, so all loops, climb out of camp, then come down hill to camp, so basically the last 1/4 or so of each loop is all easy coast down hill, makes it easier on the horses to pulse down at the checks.
    prairiewindlady likes this.
        01-26-2013, 04:57 PM
    Oh wow, I didn't realize BR and LW were so close! (I might aim for LW then:) The area where I am has a few rolling hills but nothing extreme. Like you jillybean, I don't have a trailer so am not able to really get out much. However, I do lunge him on a gentle hillside about twice a week in hopes that that will help. I also know of some trails about 3-4 miles from here that we visit occasionally that are more 'hilly' than we are typically used to:)

    I hope your mare recovers quickly Joe!
        01-26-2013, 05:12 PM
    Green Broke
    Yeh you definitely going to need a trailer, long ride to LW, plenty of places to train in your area, Uwaharri forest, LW, Brimerage, several state parks, You have alot more terrain to ride close by than I do,
        01-26-2013, 08:05 PM
    Not having a trailer can be tricky, but in the end, I've managed to do just fine without one and know people that have gone even 10 years before they were ever able to get a trailer. I guess it all depends on the resources and people around you whether you'll need your own! I'm excited for this year as my boarder is letting me ride her horse along with mine and is happy to drive me to all the rides and crew for me so she can get out and have some horsey fun herself!

    As for whether or not you need to condition on hills, I was passing on what the experienced head vet in my area said about trying to do endurance without doing at least somewhat regular hill conditioning. They don't need to be steep, but any hills help! Personally, I think I'll take the advice of my vet and make sure he's got at least decent hill work worked into his conditioning before I deem my horse race ready.

    As for adding speed, a working trot (8-9mph) is best, and, per the "1000-mile or 2 years" philosophy, I wouldn't try to be fast or competitive until my horse reaches those marks. That's what ruins horses in this sport - something I've seen too many times at rides when a horse's life is put at risk simply because they wanted to "top ten". I don't push my horse at rides - I treat it like a really long conditioning ride with a lot of company.

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