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EnduranceLover6 09-05-2013 11:13 AM

Conditioning for an LD
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Okay, so I've made my decision, I am entering in a 30 LD for October! It's only taken me all summer, but I'm determined to give it a go.

My question for all of you active endurance riders is what kind of conditioning would you be doing to get a rookie horse ready for a 30? I know many of your are competing in 50, 75, and even 100s (the thought of a 30 probably gave you a good chuckle) but I'm curious to know what you would look for in a horse that is ready for an LD. I feel like I have a good conditioning program going right now, but I love hearing about how others choose to condition your horses. I'm also doing a college paper on conditioning the endurance athlete so your input would be greatly beneficial. Things that would be helpful include weekly workload, mileage, heart rate, recovery, feed, etc. What is your average conditioning ride like? Anything that you feel is important to having a successful endurance season :D

greentree 09-05-2013 01:37 PM

Well, I am probably no help, because I am technologically challenged, and gadgets hate me, and refuse to work....I cannot even make a hand-held heart rate moniter work!!! So I have developed the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method, and i am pretty good at it. I have about 1000 combined Endurance and LD miles, and my horses have more, because I loan them out to friends whose horses go lame. (not bragging, just wanted you to know I am not a newby- know it all)

My first ride was in 1998, and I remember the scary first ride, am I ready feeling!!! I did a couple of 25's, and was scared to move up, but you know what got me off my duff? I was at a ride with a 4 yo mare, her first ride, and I saw this woman fall off her horse while he was standing still. Really. Then later we met up out on the trail, and she was sick, and needed help getting back on, but finished. Then a couple of months later, I saw SHE had finished a 50!!!! Got me right off my duff, and I entered, and finished.Peer pressure???!!


Joe4d 09-05-2013 06:17 PM

well good for you, not tons you can do in a month, what ride ? The next few weeks Id concentrate on riding the same terrain with same gear, schedule farrier at least a week out.
your training is gonna depend on your schedule. get you rpace up around 7mph overall and do 15 miles see how he pulses down. Also get your horses used to resaddling up. My first LD my horse had never been re saddled after doing a ride, didnt go well.
So take a day of it, ride, lunch break, ride.
Give him a good solid week off before the ride and I will leave an extra day early if I cant get to ride camp well before noon the day prior.

EnduranceLover6 09-05-2013 07:36 PM

1019 Attachment(s)
Thanks greentree & Joe. I will be doing the GMHA 50 & 30 Ride in Woodstock, VT. Its close to home and will allow me to bring my mare the day before to settle in. We did two 15 miles CTRs there this summer and had a blast, so I figured it would be a good place to do my first LD. The terrain will be hilly, but we train in the hills so no change there. I did 15 miles today and try to aim for 20-30 miles a week on average. I keep a detailed journal to help me as well.

greentree 09-05-2013 08:00 PM

That should be plenty of training! I know I was overtraining when I did my first rides. We had NO idea how far or how fast we were going, because there was no GPS(that we coud afford).

It was funny, there was this 10 mile fundraiser for our local therapeutic riding center, and we wanted to go. 10 MILES??!!?? We stepped up our training rides, and went to the fundraiser, and at the end, OUR horses were still spooking and prancing!! We figured we could do a 25 then....

You know your horse, and that is the best indicater of whether or not she is ready. If you ride 15 miles and she still has her ears up, ready to go, you will be fine. If she is dragging and glum at the end, perhaps endurance is not the right sport, or she needs more time. From the avatar picture, I would say she looks GREAT!!


EnduranceLover6 09-05-2013 08:27 PM

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Thank you Nancy! She did very well at both of our 15 miles rides, placing 2nd the first time with a score of 97/100 and then placed 1st the second time with an almost perfect score of 99/100. After our second 15 it was pretty clear that she was ready to move up, but I've been so hesitant in whether we are truly ready to do it, and do well. But no more doubting...we are gonna do it! It's sometimes difficult to make the right decisions when it comes to this sport, I'm very grateful to have so many online mentors and resources. You guys keep me educated and inspired :D

phantomhorse13 09-09-2013 08:23 AM

Your girl is ready. Go for it!!

EnduranceLover6 09-09-2013 09:26 AM

1019 Attachment(s)
Thanks Dawn, I think so too. I sent you a PM on Facebook...I have some other questions and could use some additional advice.

Please continue to give me advice! I'm like a giant to suck up the info :wink:

Horsesaplenty 09-10-2013 08:50 AM

Luka and I are doing our first Intro in Dripping Springs at Ride the Storm in October. We are doing 10 the first day and 15 the second. I have no doubt he'll do fine, but it's a good way to get started. If he does well, then our first 25 miler is 2 weeks later :) and so it begins lol!

ArabLoverCDL 09-16-2013 09:43 AM

First off, welcome to the sport! I started doing LDs in 2007. I love that distance. I'm planning my first 50 in Jan (nervous and excited!) I usually ride between 10-16 miles 3x per week. We work a lot with long hill climbs and sand washes. This was my first year competing on my newer gelding. He did great at the rides! We finished 12th place our first and 11th on our second. Both rides I was holding him back a bit. My advice would be to make sure you don't accidently over ride. He was exciting and trotted out faster than he ever had in our training rides. He felt SO strong, I had to keep reminding myself to slow him down and make him rest. His recoveries were excellent and he got straight A's on his vet card for both rides! I was so proud of him.
My friend that got me into endurance told me something that has always stuck with me. She said "Just remember, you're the brains of the operation! And sometimes it's hard to remember when your cruising a sand wash at a 13mph trot and your horse doesn't even feel like he's working that hard". So keep in mind, take it easy and have fun!
A great book for endurance details is Going the Distance by Nancy Loving. I've read and re read many times.
Good luck on your first ride!

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