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just doing it (was Show and Tell and questions for oldbies)
>Jim Holland wrote:
>Exactly my perspective. You spend 3 years training a horse to do
>Endurance. He is trained beyond your wildest dreams. His manners are
>perfect He is so fit that he could "gallop" 25 miles....so then you do
>25 mile LD...and he thinks..."Oh, Boy! This is fun!" and he flys through
>the thing and never gets the edge off. Just makes him worse next time
>cuz you have "conditioned" him to this. However, if you take him to a
>50 on his first ride....particularly a HARD 50...but do it slow and
>easy, it changes his whole perspective.... You then work from there depending
>on how he does on that 50......If the horse is struggling in that first 50,
>then you reevaluate what he can do.
I started the questions for oldbies, so I'll reply to this one.
Is all of the above truly in the best interest of the horse when both are
OK, let's start with I don't think my horse could "gallop" 25 miles. But I
did do 25 miles in a little over 4 hours (ride time not including hold) and
I did not take the edge off. This was a CTR and the mare won GC. Where am I
on your scale?
Here's my thing: I'm ONLY concerned about what's best for the horse. This is
a young mare (coming 6YO) trained and conditioned by a rider who has a mere
few hundred miles of CTR experience. I have never done an endurance ride.
Yes, I'd start out after the pack; yes, I'd plan to go slow (10 - 12 hours);
yes, I'd spill my guts to the vet at every check. But wouldn't it be better
to wait until next year or the year after? Then at least she's more
physically and mentally mature. I'll have done a few two-day 50's or 60's by
I'm weighing the pros and cons. I want to do what's best for my horse. I
want her to enjoy this sport and I want her to still be capable of doing it
into her late teens. Itend to be very ambitious and competitve and I want to
be sure I'm NOT doing this for me. I'm worried that I'll be too stupid to
recognize that she needs to be pulled at mile 35 or 40 (only 10 or 15 miles
to go!). I don't want to hold her back either. I'm just not sure I'd
recognize if she were struggling or not.
Deanna -- wanting to hear from a (then) newbie who did what Heidi and Jim
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