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post #1 of 10 Old 05-04-2010, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Endurance...

I have a few specific questions that I'm having trouble finding answers for...


- When exactly during training do you check your horse's heart rate? Do you do it after a certain amount of time, a certain number of miles, or what?

- How do you know if your horse is ready? How many miles should they be able to do easily in what amount of time?

- Would you recommend going to your first race with an experienced endurance rider, or would you be okay on your own?


That's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure I'll have more soon.
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-04-2010, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CloudsMystique View Post
I have a few specific questions that I'm having trouble finding answers for...


- When exactly during training do you check your horse's heart rate? Do you do it after a certain amount of time, a certain number of miles, or what?

- How do you know if your horse is ready? How many miles should they be able to do easily in what amount of time?

- Would you recommend going to your first race with an experienced endurance rider, or would you be okay on your own?


That's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure I'll have more soon.
All I know is that you want to know what your horse's heart rate is while he's at rest so you have a baseline to compair it to and see how long it takes him to get back to (or close to) his resting rate after work.

As for going out for your first ride I would try to find an experianced rider that is willing to go at your pace.

Hope I was able to help some, Good luck!

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post #3 of 10 Old 05-04-2010, 04:29 PM
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Are you riding endurance or competitive trail?
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-04-2010, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Are you riding endurance or competitive trail?
Endurance.
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-04-2010, 04:35 PM
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SERA - Southeast Endurance Riders Association - Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama - Your local association

http://www.aerc.org/ - national organization

Both sites have ariticles. Your local organization may be able to help you find a mentor. It's a huge help to condition with an experienced rider and ask questions as they come up.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-04-2010, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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SERA - Southeast Endurance Riders Association - Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama - Your local association

http://www.aerc.org/ - national organization

Both sites have ariticles. Your local organization may be able to help you find a mentor. It's a huge help to condition with an experienced rider and ask questions as they come up.
Thanks so much : ]
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-04-2010, 07:17 PM
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The benchmark you are looking at is "how fast your horse will recover to a resting heart rate"

Which is usually considered to be something at or below 48 bpm.
Most of us count the heart rate for 15 seconds. Which would equal 12 heart beats.

At any point in your ride, you should be able to give your horse a 10 minute rest and have them reach that resting heart rate. That would be true at 10 miles, 20 miles or 50 miles. If the heart rate stays elevatated after a 10 minute rest, You are stressing the horse. If it stays elevated after 20 minutes of rest. You are seriously stressing his system.

Most CTR rides will give you a time when you arrive at the P&R,You get a 10 minute rest from that time and then they take the Pulse and Respiration. They will dock you a point for each heart beat above 12 but allow you to proceed down the trail. The vets will hold you for an additional 10 minutes if the heart rate exceeds 15 or 16. If you don't achieve the resting rate by 20 minutes you are usually pulled. These values are set by the Vet at the particular ride and can vary slightly depending on the vets preferences. Sometimes it may be a Pulse of 12 and Respiration of 9, other rides maybe 12 and 12. What ever that vet is looking for,

Endurance is a little different. They start your 10 minutes of rest AFTER your horse reaches his resting heart rate. You arrive at the P&R, when you think you horse has achieved a resting heart rate you have him checked by the P&R team. If he passes, the start your 10 minute wait. So the sooner you horse achieves resting rates, the sooner your 10 minutes starts.

As you condition your horse, get off and take his P&R, If he recovers quickly, Great, keep on exercising. If he is slow to recover, then slow down on his work outs.

Even if you show up at a ride with out a friend. Chances are you can find somebody in the crowd that will mentor you for your first couple of rides. Not everybody in the Endurance race is there to try and win 1st place. Ask around the night before, and I bet somebody will take you under their wing.

Last edited by Painted Horse; 05-04-2010 at 07:20 PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-04-2010, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Painted Horse!
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-05-2010, 09:11 AM
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Very good info PaintedHorse, not just for endurance riders, but really for anyone trying to condition their horse. I often wondered how much was too much when working my mare. I'll def be using her recovery time to know for sure.

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post #10 of 10 Old 05-05-2010, 10:23 AM
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The easiest place to find the pulse on your horse is just inside the front knee. Just sightly above the joint and on the inside of the leg. You will find a vein much like you can find on a person's wrist. Count the heart beats for 15 seconds. X by 4 and you have their beats per minute.

For respiration, watch the horses flank, Just behind the rib cage. Each breath that soft tissue will heave out and back in. Again count how many breaths the horse takes in 15 seconds and x 4 to get the number per minute.

If you have done this several time around the pasture when the horse has not been worked, You will know what is NORMAL for you horse. I've seen many arab endurance horses in prime shape that have 4 maybe 5 heart beats in 15 seconds. My Foxtrotters are more in the 9 beats per 15 seconds when they are at a complete rest. So it's important for you to establish a base line of whats normal when your horse has not be worked, Then you can compare to how fast he recovers after working. Conditioning is all about the recovery.

Other baselines you can learn about for your horse are:

Capilllary refill, Press your thumb on the gum of the horses mouth and count how many seconds it takes for the color to return to the gums.

Skin Pinch, Pull a small tent of loose skin on your horses shoulder near the base of the neck. Count how many seconds it takes for that pinch of skin to return to normal.

If the horse is getting dehydrated, both of these counts will be longer than your normal baseline. For example, when you press on the gums, they wil turn white/grey , When you relase, normally the blood will return them to a normal pink color in 1-2 seconds. If the horse is dehydrated, it will take 2-3-4 seconds. When you pull the skin tent, The eleasticity of the skin will pull the tent back flat in 1-2 seconds. If the horse is dehydrated, it may take 3-4 seconds to return to normal.

You can also press your thumb against the horses juglar vein. You can count how many seconds it takes for the vein to fill and bulge above where you pressed. If it is slower filling than your baseline, the horse is dehydrated.

Also learn what is normal for your horses gut sounds. Put an ear against his side and listen to his gut sounds. A stressed horse will have reduced gut sounds. Meaning stuff isn't moving through the gut, which leads to colic.

If you learn these basics, you can pay attention to your horse when ever you stop for a break. By looking you can tell when you are pushing him too hard, when they are not drinking enough water, if you need to stop and let them graze a minute to help get thing moving in their gut etc.

Last edited by Painted Horse; 05-05-2010 at 10:27 AM.
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