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Re: RC: Basic Conditioning

It seems to me there that the real question is what are your goals. For a rider who is interested in riding at the upper levels,
maybe even pursuing FEI, then there is one training/conditioning regiment necessary. We will assume that this rider is not a new
rider. For a rider interested in racking up miles on the trail, most likely in the form of multday rides, then there is another
conditioning/training regiment.  The wonderful thing about this sport is both people fit under the umbrella.

If your goal is endurance "racing" then you had better be worried about the who package. You need to stress the cardiovascular
system to promote the building of the capillary beds to both feed the muscles and to remove heat. This is not a 3 month project,
probably more along the lines of tendon and ligaments. You need to build sound legs and plan the schedule to keep them sound. You
will also not rack up huge numbers of miles at year at that speed because of the required rest. You will spend your time peaking.

At this level it is a race and cardiovascular system is of prime importance.

If you are interested in riding for miles and a slow pace, then cardiovascular conditioning is not as important and working for
sound legs is.

And of course neither endurance goal is right or wrong, I think most of us actually fall somewhere in the middle of this equation.


"" wrote:

> Lif Strand said:
> >> I am much more concerned about running my horses legs off than I am about
> >> running his heart out. <....>
> >> The metabolic pull had absolutely nothing to do with cardiovascular
> >> conditioning.
> >
> > Hmmm. Then where do some of those metabolic crashes, tying up, etc. come from during
> > a race if not from lack of cardiovascular conditioning?
> I did not mean to suggest that horses cannot suffer metabolic crashes from lack of cardiovascular fitness, but merely to state
> that I have found that if I do enough work with my horse to get
> its legs in condition for the effort, that will be more than
> enough work to get the cardiovascular system into condition for
> the effort.
> So if I am running my horse past its cardiovascular
> conditioning, well...I am probably running it past it
> musculoskeletal conditioning as well (which, if I had to guess,
> is the primary cause of most "tying up" episodes in endurance
> horses--but that is just a guess).  And while my horse is
> unlikely to "crash" at an endurance ride from this type of
> overwork, I (and the horse) will be sorry for it down the road.
> Neither a heart rate monitor, nor a ride veterinarian can tell
> me if I am running my horse's legs off; and the horse won't tell
> me either (at least, not while I am doing it).  The only way to
> get an inkling of whether I am running my horse's legs off or
> not is to know how much conditioning of the horse's legs I have
> done up to that point, compare it with the effort that I am
> asking of it on any particular day, constantly be very aware of
> the nuances of my horse's movement and gait/s, and regularly run
> my hands all over the horse's body.
> The cardiovascular system is not, in my experience, the limiting
> system in an endurance horse, and if I work my horse to maximize
> its cardiovascular conditioning, his legs aren't going to last
> very long; while if I properly work my horse to maximize its
> musculoskeletal conditioning, then sufficient cardiovascular
> conditioning will be done as a by-product without any thought or
> consideration on my part.
> And, you will note, that I say "properly" working my horse to
> maximize its musculoskeletal conditioning.
> I don't have to give any thought to conditioning my horse's
> hooves, the hooves are attached to the legs and if I have
> conditioned the legs, the hooves will be conditioned as a by
> product too...with no thought or consideration on my part.
> I don't have to give any thought to conditioning for agility,
> because if I am conditioning my horse's legs sufficiently and
> schooling my horse's mind properly (i.e. engageing its
> hindquarters), strength and agility are a by-product of that
> work...with no thought or consideration on my part.
> I don't have to give any thought to conditioning my horse's
> back, because if I am conditioning my horse's legs sufficiently
> and schooling my horse's mind properly (i.e. engaging its
> hindquarters), then a strong and supple back is a by-product of
> that work...with no thought or consideration on my part.
> In fact, I can look at my horse's hooves, its back, its
> cardiovascular fitness level, and its strength and agility and
> use these things to evaluate the condition of my horse's legs;
> because they will tell me whether the schooling of the mind and
> the conditioning of the legs is being successful.
> This may not be true for people who wish to race their endurance
> horses rather than just ride them. (I don't know, because I
> don't race endurance.  Whenever I have finished in the top ten
> it has been a "happy accident."  I am sufficiently busy with
> taking care of my own horse and riding my own horse to want to
> concern myself with how and where the other people on the course
> are riding theirs.)
> But I cannot think that this is poor advice for a novice rider.
> A novice endurance enthusiast needs to learn how to ride their
> endurance horse before they try to race their endurance horse.
> And I wish, when I was a novice endurance rider, that somebody
> had told me "don't worry about your horse's cardiovascular
> conditioning, just do enough work to condition your horse's legs
> and you will have more than enough cardiovascular capacity to
> get through an endurance ride."
> Because then I wouldn't have made the mistake of thinking that
> I could race my endurance horse just because he was more than
> cardiovascularly fit to do so.
> Even after thousands of miles of competition, I am still trying
> to figure out the best way to condition my horse's legs for the
> effort (and evaluate that condition, and not go beyond that
> condition).
> By comparison, the cardiovascular system was easy; I had the
> cardiovascular fitness level of my first endurance horse more
> than suffienct for anything that I asked of him, before I ever
> took him to his first ride.  And it is easy to tell, even without
> a heart rate monitor, when I am over taxing any horse's cardio-vascular system.
> kat
> Orange County, Calif.
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