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Re: Re: Interval Training - Darrar

 Dear Katee

Thanks for your input.  I can't claim 20 years in endurance, only 10 but I
think I've a reasonable idea of where I'm at.  In that time I've trained and
competed ten different horses from scratch to 100 mile level and they're all
still sound so I believe my training program is along the right lines.  My
LSD work differs little from yours.

You don't have the full picture but the horse we're talking about is an
experienced endurance horse with over 2000 kms in competition and he's never
been vetted out for lameness.  I've had him since he was 6 months old.  I
completed two 100-milers and one 2-day ride with him last year.  He has also
had three seasons of regular interval training so he is not a baby in terms
of track work.

I live in an area where hills are non-existant, the nearest serious hills
are 5 hours drive.  Where I live is all vines and the ground is yellow clay,
hard-baked in summer and hock-deep in winter.  The only safe way to do
interval training is on a track. You say you can only train for hills on
hills.  Tom says you can train for hills on the track providing you train at
the right heart rates.

The speeds at major endurance rides in France have been increasing steadily
over the last 5-7 years, largely to do with improved training and feeding.
To stay competitive at this level I have to include speed in my training.
Its a fact of life.

I believe Tom knows the difference between a flat racehorse and an endurance
horse.  What I am trying to do is interpret Tom's ideas and fit them into a
training program which has worked well for me for several years but which
needs to evolve.

Thanks again for your interest.  Watch this space.

SW France

----- Original Message -----
From: "owens" <>
To: "hn.heather" <>
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2000 6:14 PM
Subject: Re: Re: Interval Training - Darrar

> Dear Heather;
> I know you didn't ask for advice, but I've been riding endurance for 20
> years and I feel I can add something to your training regime.
> First, Tom has some good ideas, BUT he isn't an endurance rider.
> IS different from flat track racing and the other things he's been
> with.
> In conditioning, the general system that works for me is start out slow,
> gradually, introduce speed work only after all other systems are really
> handling the work very effectively with NO ill side effects.  Generally, I
> start out with pasture horses(that live on a hillside, btw) with walking
> interspersed with trotting.  We do no cantering, we do leg yields and much
> trail work(up and over logs, rocks, streams, mud, boggs, everything I may
> ever encounter out there, jumping small logs, etc.).  At this slow speed,
> work on the difficult things.  Gradually we trot more, then start trotting
> up some of the hills.  Add some cantering gradually.  Eventually, after
> months(depending on age and condition of horse), we canter/gallop up some
> hills.  As this conditioning goes on, we include more and more hills, and
> fly on the flat parts, usually a really strong trot.  Finally, when all
> work I can dish out is still leaving the horse fresh, we are ready to
> compete.
> My rule of thumb is to train harder than the race will be ridden whenever
> possible.  But this is only after fitness is achieved.  Your horse's
> fetlock means you did too much, pushed too hard.  I have no use for flat
> tracks, hills are the way to go to improve cardio-vascular fitness and
> muscling.  I always try to train in the worst heat, humidity, altitude,
> terrain I can find,  which makes the actual competition easier.
> Flat out speed is tough on the horse.  It has its merits, depending on
> you are racing....I live in CA and we do hills here, so I train for them.
> don't do too many rides that are flat-out, tho I might try one this year
> that I hear is nice.  Speed causes the most injuries.  So, if you can do
> hills, why bother with flat out speed on the flat?
> Let your horse take the time it needs to heal the owie, else you will be
> nursing this for a long time.  If there is heat and swelling, there is
> injury, so ice it and let it have time.  My one mare twisted her leg in a
> hole on a trot ride, and went slightly off.  I walked her home, iced it
> wrapped it.  There was a residual bump on the tendon which did not bother
> her...but the tendon was thicker than the other one.  The vet said it was
> fine, not to worry, but I laid her off for six months anyway.  I figure I
> sprained the tendon sheath(better than the tendon).  So, it is just six
> months now and the leg feels just like the other one...the thickness
> resolved itself, the bump went away.  Tincture of time heals most all.
> Good luck!
> Katee

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