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Re: RC: Riding alone?

At 12:04 PM 5/16/00 -0400, Linda wrote:
I'm sure we will be fine by ourselves, but am concerned that he may use too much energy worried that he is alone.

I am a person who prefers to condition alone - I like to do this so that I can really concentrate on my horse, ride my own ride, and when I'm at an endurance ride I want my horse to be independent of the herd, so to speak.  Of course at a race it's not always possible to be totally alone on the trail, but there are times when you are alone.  I feel that if my horse is used to being alone on a trail, at a race it won't matter whether or not he/she is alone.

In the beginning, the inexperienced horses I've started surely have gotten worked up about being alone!  I don't ride with a heart monitor so I can't say how worked up pulse-wise, but I know it's got to be a lot.  At that point I don't care!  Let the heart rate rise - it's good for them!  I've also noticed that at first the horse might also act more tired - but I'd call it sluggy.  Down at heart.  Reluctant.  It's not really tired, but just (from your horse's point of view) unwilling to risk life and limb by not being with the herd.

It might take a while - it could take weeks, maybe months - before your horse settles down finally when alone, but the horses I've ridden have all calmed down eventually and become troopers about going out on the trail solo. 

I think riding alone is a good conditioning strategy - though of course there are people who think that riding alone is suicidal and foolish.  I *try* to give Paul an itinerary, and I always ride with ID on me & on my horse - but OK, I know it isn't totally smart anyway.  Especially since I am prone to changing my mind when I'm out there on the trail.  I'm an explorer at heart.

Anyway - I'd say keep up the solo work if you enjoy it because I think in the long run it will give you and your horse a little edge to be "experienced" at being alone on the trail.  Lif

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