going the distance - my endurance adventures - Page 250 - The Horse Forum
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post #2491 of 2585 Old 02-16-2020, 10:28 PM
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Join Date: May 2019
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I loved seeing your photos from your trip! I'm sorry to hear about your flu, seems bad things always happen when coming home from vacation, at least for me.

Another question just crossed my mind.

My mare is a very forward mover. She would trot all day if I let her, and definitely mix in some cantering and galloping of her own accord too just for fun. She always comes home a tiny bit more mellowed out than when we left, but still very bright-eyed, alert, willing to move, and not at all winded. My trails are limited, but she will gladly trot 95% of 5 or 6 miles (the 5% being when I make her walk over slippery terrain or bridges) and still come back like this. She has never made any indication at all of "Okay, I'm starting to get tired, let's just walk."

I know you mentioned you could tell a horse is being over-trained when there's observable changes in their behavior and appearance. But what about a horse that doesn't know her own limits (or perhaps she does know her own limits, which just happen to be more than I expect)? Could there be silent damage being done by letting her move at her own pace? Could I be letting her do too much too early in conditioning before her bones/ligaments/joints are actually ready for it? Where do you separate mentality and cardio fitness from bone/ligament fitness?
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post #2492 of 2585 Old 02-17-2020, 04:43 AM
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Very interesting about the euroxcizer. I walk my horses a lot since Amore is old but I want her to get out and relieve boredom, plus help keep her arthritis in check. But I've thought if I only walked Hero for some of his workouts, that I would need to fit him up more before going on longer or faster rides. I know horses have different physiology than we do, having the ability to exercise at 220 heart beats per minute and then go down into the 30s and 40s at rest. That is a far great range than we have. Personally if I get up to the 180 range with my HR, I will tire pretty soon. I have also heard that horses will retain cardiovascular fitness longer than humans.

@Knave , I also think some horses get fit much easier than others. Amore was always a super athlete and could get in shape very easily. She has big bones and hooves for her size. She didn't care to exercise to her fullest capacity, but she could work very hard without ever breathing hard when motivated.
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post #2493 of 2585 Old 02-17-2020, 08:51 PM
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The euroxcisor reminded me of this video.


Celeste
Carpe Diem!
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post #2494 of 2585 Old 02-17-2020, 09:31 PM
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@Celeste , that's always what I would imagine my horse doing if I put her on a free-walking hot walker. That horse is either very stubbornly one-sided, or doesn't get the point of the moving arms There's another video somewhere of a person putting their dressage horse in a hot walker for the first time ever, and he did the same thing, though not with so much level-headed determination.
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post #2495 of 2585 Old 02-18-2020, 01:52 PM
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George may just need an adjustment, that is strange though!
Walking is really good for them. My trainer swears by the walk - it really is the most important, & horses can definitely get fit, just by walking. Her horse Hercules can only be worked at the walk, & he has a bigger booty than most! Very interesting. A lot of the work I do with my horse is at the walk too. Grand Caymen is amazing. I love that place & I've only been once. You & hubby are just adorable. So jeallllous you got to swim with the stingrays. Looks so fun!

I hope you feel better!

Ride more, worry less.
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post #2496 of 2585 Old 02-18-2020, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Yesterday, the sun was shining and there was very little wind. I was feeling mostly better so decided it was time to get back in the saddle. I decided to do Spaulings and just mosey around on the Sugarloaf, as that would keep us close if something wasn't right (with me or George).

The boys were somewhat unenthused leaving home, but perked right up when we got into Spaulding's fields. George felt good and wanted to move out on the grass. He also was much less spooky. I paid very close attention to the footing as we went around the fields towards the Sugarloaf.



We walked up the climbs and George made a point to pick his way around the rocks as best he could. We went down along the driveway and back around through the fields. Then we climbed the backside of the Sugarloaf again.



The ground was still frozen enough that we could pick our way across the bottom of Ziesloft's. The boys knew we were heading home and would have gone faster if I let them.



8.64 miles, 1480 feet of climb, 4.7 mph average pace, 38F real feel


It was so nice to be out in the sun! I was sorry to get home and have the ride be over. I had been debating if Phin's back was healed up enough to start riding him, so I decided to throw the bareback pad on and take a lap around Alimar as a test. I decided to take Kestrel along, too.

[Kestrel has been doing well overall with her limited exercise, so we have been slooooowly increasing her play and walk time over the last couple weeks. She had been walking around the perimeter of our property daily with me, so I hoped the top loop to Alimar and back would be an easy transition to a slightly longer distance.]

We started out on the upper woods path. Phin was very well behaved, walking along on a loose rein with his head down.



We stopped to chat with Gina as we came across Alimar. Kestrel did really well with staying close and listening.



We moseyed home down the airport strip.


1.15 miles, 105 feet of climb, 3.0 mph average pace, 40F real feel


I can't get over how much Phin is shedding already! Maybe it will be an early spring..


Happy to report the mark didn't seem any worse for wear after a mile of the bareback pad. There is one small spot that still feels a bit crunchy and I think may peel, but overall it looks good.



I am cautiously optimistic and plan to ride him next outing..
AnitaAnne, Celeste, Tazzie and 9 others like this.


There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #2497 of 2585 Old 02-18-2020, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodhaven View Post
We had to pull the horse before the finish, he just couldn't handle the hills and heavier going at times, so I guess that proves they have to have some work on the terrain they will be competing on.
I agree that terrain would be a huge factor for how effective a walker would be. You could maybe make the walker footing super deep to compensate for heavy going, but I don't see how walking on the flat is ever going to be the equivalent of going up and down hills.

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Originally Posted by Knave View Post
I wonder if some horses fit up easily. Other horses I have donít seem anywhere near his endurance level even when I think they are fit. So, this just makes me wonder a bit about natural tendencies.
I def think there are natural tendencies! We all know people who seem to stay fit with minimal effort and those who work super hard and barely seem to make any progress.

In distance, you often hear people talk about their horse's resting heart rate; there is a general belief that lower means better athletic potential. However, I have read studies that claim there is no correlation. I have read studies that show heart size can make a difference, but not sure how practical ultrasounding a heart is while horse shopping!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aprilswissmiss View Post
I know you mentioned you could tell a horse is being over-trained when there's observable changes in their behavior and appearance. But what about a horse that doesn't know her own limits (or perhaps she does know her own limits, which just happen to be more than I expect)? Could there be silent damage being done by letting her move at her own pace? Could I be letting her do too much too early in conditioning before her bones/ligaments/joints are actually ready for it? Where do you separate mentality and cardio fitness from bone/ligament fitness?
A horse that fits up fast I think can be harder to manage, especially if they are a forward type of horse because its really tempting to let them do too much, too soon. These are the kind of horses that you just need to be aware of their personality and try to make reasonable decisions about. If you keep the big picture in mind, I think you will be fine.

If you are regularly going out and going 5 miles and she is happy in her work, find ways to increase one stress (speed, distance, or terrain) at a time. So next ride, do your normal 5 miles at a slightly slower pace and instead of going home at the end, turn around and ride another half mile out and back (so 6 miles total). Do that a few times and then either go out farther to make the total 7 or else let her trot more of the 6. or add a bit of canter during the 6, etc. What you wouldn't want to do was canter the whole 5 AND add on more distance, as that is too many changes at a time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
I've thought if I only walked Hero for some of his workouts, that I would need to fit him up more before going on longer or faster rides.
I also think Hero is a different story because you are not just trying to get him fitter, you are trying to rehab specific physical issues. While I don't think putting him on a walker would hurt his stifles (assuming he behaved and walked along like he should!), I think your targeted exercise program using different gaits in different footing is a lot more beneficial.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeste View Post
The euroxcisor reminded me of this video.
Ha - the eurocisors have the ability to electrify the panels that hang between the horses for this very reason. Or for horses like Brim who would just stop and drop their head and let the panel whack them in the butt and then drag over them!!


There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #2498 of 2585 Old 02-19-2020, 05:30 PM
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This journal is so much fun to read. I am so glad you are on this forum and I have the pleasure of keeping abreast of your adventures. I am lucky to know you.
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post #2499 of 2585 Old 02-19-2020, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by knightrider View Post
I am so glad you are on this forum and I have the pleasure of keeping abreast of your adventures.
You are so sweet - thank you! The book of faces showed me pictures of riding with you this time last year.. sure am sorry we didn't get to repeat it. Hopefully next year!!


There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #2500 of 2585 Old 02-19-2020, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Today the sun was shining, so it was saddle time. The wind was gusty but as bad as I expected when Phin and I headed out this morning. I obsessively checked the rear pack before we left, hoping to keep it totally off his back.

We started off heading for Spauldings and I was pleasantly surprised that Phin was forward without being silly. We even made it past the Pond of Death without incident.



We circled a few of the fields and then headed for the Sugarloaf. We walked the steepest parts of the climb and jogs the flatter parts.



We went down and did the out and back down the driveway, then headed back up the back side of the Sugarloaf. Along the way, we found some friends!



I was thrilled with how well behaved Phin was considering he's not been really ridden in weeks. I was pleased the rear pack hadn't seemed to move during the ride. I looked very closely for any disturbed or broken hairs and didn't find any, so fingers and toes crossed this one works.

7.15 miles, 1342 feet of climb, 4.9 mph average pace, 25F real feel


Next up was George! I think he was happy to be out without the hassle of another horse being ponied (I know I was). We headed out Spaudlings and then moseyed around the Sugarloaf.



Next, we went down across the farm and up the logging road on the Tomhicken. There is one section that trees fall down all the time and there was a new one down today, but luckily it was passable!



After we got done, instead of leaving George standing in a stall wearing a cooler, I decided to hop on him bareback and mosey around with Kestrel.



11.06 miles, 1785 feet of climb, 4.7 mph average pace, 28F real feel


There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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