Training Schedule for Endurance
 
 

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Training Schedule for Endurance

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  • 1 Post By Endurance Chica
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    12-08-2011, 12:55 PM
  #1
Weanling
Question Training Schedule for Endurance

Hey there,

My Arabian is 4 years old, out of shape and in his 6th summer (1 1/2 years) from now I want to get start entering competitive trail and endurance races with him.
However, I am not sure what kind of routine/conditioning program to start with. I want to build up his/my stamina and then work on tougher terrain. What should I start with? What is pushing it? How far/how many times should I take him out? When should I give him breaks mentally and physically to do something else/time off? Please I would like opinions of what you have done or what you think I should do. Thanks!
     
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    12-08-2011, 02:15 PM
  #2
Foal
Back when I was seriously competing in endurance I rode my horse 3 times a week. Starting with about a 6 mile loop with a few hills. Once they were ready to progress I added a longer loop on the weekend. It was about 12 miles with a few much longer hills. We stayed with that routine of 2 shorter rides during the week and a longer ride on the weekend until soon the 12 mile loop was a piece of cake. Keeping in mind you want to teach your horse a good pace. Start by walking the hills, trot and some cantering on the flats. With that training routine my horse was ready for an easy and fast 25.

People think that all this extreme training is needed to be successful and competetive in endurance and its really not true. When I bought my horse the people who owned him were overconditioning him putting in over 60 miles a week and not giving him the time off or extra nutrition he needed and then wondered why they couldnt get him to complete a 75.

Even when I was competing in 100s I never conditioned him more than 3 times a week. As for working into more tough terrain you don't want to overload them. Change one thing at a time. Wether it is speed, more hills, or mileage, one thing at a time, just like for people. As for giving them a mental/physical break that really depends on the horse. My boy was born for the trails. It is his happy place. His ears are forward, he wants to go, looks forward to me coming and getting him. For him he never needed a break from it. Though sometimes I would hop on him bareback and go ride around the nieghborhood just for a change of pace. And for time off my general rule was after every 25 competetive miles we did he got a week off after. So if we did a 50 mile race he got 2 weeks off etc.. That again varies by horse. After a 100 he wouldnt always get a month off because sometimes he wouldnt need or want it, which I could tell as he would tear the barn down bored.

Again this is just what worked for me and my horse in my years of endurance. And I just couldnt help but share a picture of my superstar
Attached Images
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gigem88 likes this.
     
    12-08-2011, 02:26 PM
  #3
Green Broke
http://www.seraonline.org/Conditioning.pdf
Endurance.Net Browse - Info, Education, tips for New Riders

That should keep you busy for awhile reading.
No way I would wait a year and a half, Get on AERC's websight find a local ride and enter the LD event. (limited distance) these are generaly 25-30 mile events. A 6yo horse that is healthy with a few months of trail riding should have no problem. My walker was in terrible shape in July underweight and left in a small pen for a couple years, and we rode our first event in Nov. He did great. I put alot of trail miles on him this summer and fall. I would have liked to have been in better shape, but went anyway. Make sure your tack fits well, breaths and is adjusted and just get out there and ride him, get him at a jog and hold it, change gaits. Get a wrist GPS to keep track of your distance and average speed. Frequent 6-8 mile rides are alot better than nothing all week then trying to ride 30 miles on saturday. Do a six mile ride fast, give him a 30 minute break, do it again. Change it up. Get the muscles and connecting tissue time to build up. Can you ride this winter ? I see Alberta in your profile, all I picture is frozen tundra. Get him moving and get him built up. Get his diet balanced. In the spring start riding him. No reason he shouldn't be ready for an LD with 90 to 100 days of steady work. Get a couple LD's under your belt and then go for a true 50 plus endurance ride. Pretty much what I am doing. My goal is fall of 2012 for my first 50. But I can ride all winter and will be doing a couple more 25 and 30 mile events. This spring and summer.
     
    12-08-2011, 02:32 PM
  #4
Green Broke
I did misread on your horses age, yep he has to wait a bit for true endurance , I think 5 ? Its in the rules but a 4yo can do the Limited distance rides. Seems like most endurance events have an LD ride as well.

I am just really excited about these events and am missing my horse. I work 2 weeks on 2 weeks off so my horse is getting a break right now. Most of my trail riding seemed to be of the party drinking variety and this is a whole different thing. It is really great to have goals to shoot for.
     
    12-08-2011, 02:43 PM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endurance Chica    
Back when I was seriously competing in endurance I rode my horse 3 times a week. Starting with about a 6 mile loop with a few hills. Once they were ready to progress I added a longer loop on the weekend. It was about 12 miles with a few much longer hills. We stayed with that routine of 2 shorter rides during the week and a longer ride on the weekend until soon the 12 mile loop was a piece of cake. Keeping in mind you want to teach your horse a good pace. Start by walking the hills, trot and some cantering on the flats. With that training routine my horse was ready for an easy and fast 25.

People think that all this extreme training is needed to be successful and competetive in endurance and its really not true. When I bought my horse the people who owned him were overconditioning him putting in over 60 miles a week and not giving him the time off or extra nutrition he needed and then wondered why they couldnt get him to complete a 75.

Even when I was competing in 100s I never conditioned him more than 3 times a week. As for working into more tough terrain you don't want to overload them. Change one thing at a time. Wether it is speed, more hills, or mileage, one thing at a time, just like for people. As for giving them a mental/physical break that really depends on the horse. My boy was born for the trails. It is his happy place. His ears are forward, he wants to go, looks forward to me coming and getting him. For him he never needed a break from it. Though sometimes I would hop on him bareback and go ride around the nieghborhood just for a change of pace. And for time off my general rule was after every 25 competetive miles we did he got a week off after. So if we did a 50 mile race he got 2 weeks off etc.. That again varies by horse. After a 100 he wouldnt always get a month off because sometimes he wouldnt need or want it, which I could tell as he would tear the barn down bored.

Again this is just what worked for me and my horse in my years of endurance. And I just couldnt help but share a picture of my superstar

Haha your superstar is very beautiful! Thank you for the advice I guess I just didn't want to go overboard, I do have an idea of his limits but I also wanted to push him a bit as well. And since him and actually me as well, are quite out of shape we really need to start somewhere... Thank you!
Endurance Chica likes this.
     
    12-08-2011, 02:49 PM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d    
I did misread on your horses age, yep he has to wait a bit for true endurance , I think 5 ? Its in the rules but a 4yo can do the Limited distance rides. Seems like most endurance events have an LD ride as well.

I am just really excited about these events and am missing my horse. I work 2 weeks on 2 weeks off so my horse is getting a break right now. Most of my trail riding seemed to be of the party drinking variety and this is a whole different thing. It is really great to have goals to shoot for.

Yeah, that's why I was thinking this year to do some competitive trail, the shorter (still long haha) rides they can be younger as long as they pass the vet check.
Yes..Alberta...haha snow is already on the ground and even more ice. I do have an indoor arena that I can set obstacles up in and still keep him fit... Except that after having pretty much all of the summer off and just getting back on again recently he's really out of shape, as am I!
I am really excited to be getting into some kind of riding with him, usually it's just trails, just riding and having fun but I've always wanted to get in to endurance so I thought, 'Dang now is the time to start setting goals!'
Thanks for the reading!! I'll get to it!
     
    12-08-2011, 03:03 PM
  #7
Trained
If you want someone relatively local to chat with, I suggest Tenille of Jay Vee Ranch. They are located in Milk River, and do fantastic endurance work. And have some gorgeous horses! Jay Vee Ranch - Home
I'm a sucker for Candy Man!
     

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