Training and Goal Advice Please
I started dabbling in the sport of endurance this year with novice distance rides. My gelding and I just LOVE it. I would love to see us work our way up to a 25/30 LD ride this late summer/early fall if possible. He is an 18 year old Quarab, no health issues (other than being a hard keeper in the summer time) and in great shape.
Here is where I need some advice.
Endurance isn't my only event or love and I like to ride a lot. We enjoy team penning and ranch sorting leagues, take lessons, trail ride with friends, obstacles, and a not-so-serious game show here and there for something to do (I'm not a gamer, but he is.) I enjoy working on new skills with him (I request homework from my trainer after every lesson) and I have so much to learn as well.
So I am trying to put together a training plan for distance riding, but I am afraid of wearing or burning this boy out. When we do lessons or work on our skills needed for working cows, it's hard work. When we train for distance, it's hard work. 5 days of week of hard work...I think that may be too much, though he seems fine right now, and if I go out and DON'T ride him, he stands at the gate like, "HEY! We're not done yet."
Does anyone else distance ride, that also does multiple other things with their endurance horse? Should I just plan to stick to novice competitive rides (10-15 miles) to make sure I can enjoy my other activities with him? Would a 25LD be too much based on the amount of work we do if we took it long and slow?
I appreciate any wisdom, opinions or advice.
How has he done during your novice rides? How did he feel at the finish? Was he bright and happy? Did he seem like he could go out again or was he happy to be done?
From your description of the amount of work he is currently in, I would think an LD would be no issue assuming you ride intelligently.
He did VERY well on our first novice ride. Brought home a 2nd place ribbon, would have been a first place if he wouldn't be a jerk on the trot out, and he was ready to go again. This last weekend we attempted a 12 mile, but the terrain was too much without rear shoes (didn't know the terrain would be as rough as it was) and I had to pull him at 8 miles due to being ouchy. Fitness wise he was perfect.
Thanks for your feedback!
I agree with phantom horse. And actually i would think all the different things you do with him would help him not get burnt out on being worked. He will always go into work thinking, " I wonder what we are doing today!" As far as burning him out for being exercised, i think as long as you give him time off just to be a horse he will be fine. So exercise the 5 day and give hime the other 2 days off. With all the stuff you do with him, he should be able to complete an LD (25/30) just fine at a moderate pace. Good luck and let us know how everything goes!
I used to be a distance runner, so I have been approaching his conditioning as I did my own. Long & slow, short & fast, rest days, easy days...I guess I'm on the right track.
Neither one of us do well in the heat, so I'll do my first LD the beginning of September and see how we do. I think I need to work my way into that much consecutive time in the saddle as much as him under saddle :) I'm usually more tired than he is!
To beat the heat, I schedule my conditioning rides for the middle of the day. That way we are both subjected to the high temperatures for a few hours.
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