Two Endurance Questions - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-18-2014, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Two Endurance Questions

I think I've just spent the past 10 hours reading every post in this section of the forum. Can you tell I'm a bit excited? Anywho. I've been planning on picking up Arabian Reining but the more and more I'm around the reining/Arabian/Western show world versus my few times volunteering at an Endurance ride... I find myself slowly changing my plans to just picking up Endurance from the beginning. I mean, if I start my miles at 22 years old, who knows how many thousands I could have in 40 years?

Anywho. Ignore my rant

First, how many endurance horses do most of y'all have? Only one or more?

Second, assuming you've got only one horse. Going by the 10 miles=one week rest, what do y'all do for the 5 weeks after a 50? (Lunge work, short saddle time and ground work excluded.) I'm sure that rest time may get cut a little bit depending on the fitness and level of the horse and whatnot but... Everytime I read that I imagine myself with only one horse (only my future lovely Arab for a few years before adding more to the herd) twiddling my thumbs for a month. Tell me what y'all do while your mount is recovering, be it with your endurance horse or with another horse!

Oh. Hello, by the way!
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-18-2014, 10:00 AM
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First off, I only have one endurance/CTR horse. I also have a filly on the way who I hope will be a future endurance prospect, but that's years away.

As for rest after a ride, I think you'll find that endurance is a sport full of different opinions and strategies, which is why it is so great! There is no "set" way to condition an endurance horse or give them recovery time...only guidelines formed from experiences. Personally, I have never heard of giving a horse a week off for every 10 miles, in fact when conditioning I usually only give my horse a day or two off for every 10 miles I ride. I think most people give a week off for 25 miles, and close to a month off for a 50, but that also depends on the horse and how competitive the rider is. Lots of different variables! Last year I tried to ride 20-30 miles a week, here is an example of what my week might have looked like:

Tuesday: 5 mile ride @ av. 7mph
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: 10 mile ride @ av. 6mph
Friday: Off
Saturday: 15 mile ride @ av. 5mph
Sunday: Off

As for my mare's off days, I just let her relax and be a horse. In a situation where she might have a couple days off in a row after a longer ride I might give her a massage also to help her body recover a little fast and help all those hard working muscles relax. As our workload increases during the season I try to do regular massage therapy as well as chiropractic (something I hope to keep up on better this year). If for some reason I can't ride (weather, schedule, etc) I will do things like take her for a hand walk, have a day of stretching exercises/games, or free lunge her in the arena just to keep her moving.

Hopefully that helps answer your questions a little...I am also 22 years old and somewhat a "Newbie" when competing on my let's rack up those miles together
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-18-2014, 10:29 AM
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I don't think I have ever heard that formula either!

Welcome To the forum!! And to endurance!!

I have to go take care of horses, and will talk later!!

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post #4 of 8 Old 01-18-2014, 02:45 PM
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Hah, another 22 year old newbie here!

I'm SUPER new to endurance and have yet to do an ride, although I've done a lot of reading and helped out at a local ride. My first will hopefully be in March. Just a 25 miler. Others here can offer better advice than I can.

I have one horse, my 5 year old Arabian mare Dory. I've never heard of 10 miles= one week of rest either. That seems like it would make conditioning take quite a while.

We just did about 10 miles yesterday and she is only getting today off. Back at it tomorrow. My goal for now is to ride 2-3 times a week on the trail. I also do lessons once a week but don't count that towards conditioning. Each trail ride will be around 10 miles, and in a couple of weeks I'll make one of those rides (probably a weekend ride) 15 miles since 10 miles appears to be absolutely nothing to her. I think I'm getting more of a workout than she is!

Good luck!
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-18-2014, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Oops. I posted that at about 6am my time after staying up quite late. I may have meant 10 miles one day off. <3 sorry ladies. <3
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-18-2014, 08:36 PM
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That's more like it! It depends on the horse, too.

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post #7 of 8 Old 01-18-2014, 11:11 PM
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When training, I give my mare a day off for every 10 miles if we are going moderate or harder. If we just walked, stopped, grazed, walked a little more and putted about, I might ride her the next day. It depends not only on the miles, but the quality of the work you do over those miles. Lots of hills/sand = more rest.

When we race, I give her a solid week off, like nothing at all but hanging in the pasture. If we did a 25, I would go back to my regular training schedule. After a 50, she gets 7-10 days, and then we come back slowly, like 5 miles at a walk, something so easy, and we build back up from there - how much we build and how fast we get back to regular training depends on her - she lets me know how she is feeling and I watch/feel her out carefully.

I taper the workouts the closer we get to the ride, and then rest her coming into the ride a minimum of 5 days, but usually more - it depends on the terrain of the ride.

She is all I have, so I am quick to give her rest if I feel she needs it, and I try to make the most of the work we do when we do it. I get about 30-40 miles a week in when we are training. My goal is 1 race a month until June (and then it is too hot! I ride her, but only early in the AM before the heat gets up, and it is short, arena only just to keep our skills), and we take a mid-summer break until end of August and then ride fall/winter - I hope to do I race a month, then, too. I know, most people take winters off from riding, but down south, winter is great riding weather and summer sucks, so I give my mare her annual break during summer.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-20-2014, 02:29 PM
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A lot of your work/rest schedule will depend on your horse and your plans for your season.

I started endurance with just 1 horse, but luckily married someone also into endurance so we now have 3 seasoned horses and 1 youngster I hope to get started this season.

I have always used 25 miles of competition = 1 week of rest as a general rule of thumb. It can vary depending on the ride conditions (meaning more rest, can't think of a time I have ever done less).

Conditioning also varies depending on the horse's fitness level and the time of the year. We currently have 2 (George and Sultan) about to come off their 6 week winter rest and have 1 (Dream) who is coming back into work after being off due to injury and 1 (Gamer) who is not even saddle broke. In a perfect world, George and Sultan would be getting out 20ish miles a week and Dream would be getting out 20-30 miles a week and Gamer would be started under saddle.. However, the blasted winter weather has had its own ideas and not much of anything is happening.

Can it be spring now?!
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