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Re: conditioning

Hello, Sheila,
I am sure that you will get many very good suggestions and answers to your
query. I would only like to offer a few words of caution. Thirty minutes of
trotting uphill on an unconditioned horse sounds like a very dangerous (and
unfair) thing to do with an unconditioned horse. You are fortunate that you
did not injure your horse. Experienced endurance horses when being brought
back after a winter layoff are given a chance to re-acclimate to hard work
over a period of several weeks. Whatever you decide, for your horse's sake,
START SLOW. As for hills, start with walking that hill and keep an eye on
your heart monitor. When the heart rate goes above 150, your horse is
working pretty hard. If your horse's heart rate went to 214, you were
pushing way too hard. And if it took 10 minutes to get down to 198 (still
very high) your horse was close to being in serious trouble.  Please, take
the time to build the cardio vascular endurance. You do not say the age of
your horse, but the bones and tendons will also need time to become dense
and strong and  will take considerably longer than the heart to condition.
Plan on taking at least two years of slowly building strength and endurance
and the time you take will pay off BIG.  The one thing I try to keep in mind
when conditioning (or riding endurance for that matter) is consistency. The
gallop/walk/spurt ahead at a trot/canter/walk is the best way to ruin a good
horse and a good ride. And please, be fair with your horse. You would not
decide that you want to be a marathon runner and go out and run 10 miles
your first day out. You wouldn't even be able to jog that distance without
hurting yourself and being in a world of pain afterward. If you take the
time it takes to condition your horse, you will have a good endurance
prospect. That horse has heart. Many a horse would have quit and refused to
trot on but yours gave you all that you asked, even at it's own expense. Be
thankful for your gift and good luck.

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2001 8:26 PM
Subject: RC: conditioning

> sheila
> Hi everyone,
> I am new to the world of endurance and am in the process of conditioning
> my horse. At this point I don't even know if she has it in her to go the
> distance.
> I got myself a heart monitor and tried it out today. Her heart rate went
> upto 214 and did not come down to 198 for about 10 minutes. I might be
> exaggerating the time because it felt like a long time. She was huffing
> and puffing after the 30 minute trotting climb. My question is how long
> should it take for the heart rate to return to normal and what is normal
> after a strenuous climb? I know it has to come down to about 60bpm before
> they are allowed to go on.
> Any help is appreciated.
> Ps. Todays ride was only 12 miles.
> Sheila
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