<% appTitle="Ridecamp Archives" %> Ridecamp: [RC] Basic advice for a newbie

[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]
Current to Wed Jul 23 17:40:57 GMT 2003
  • Next by Date: [RC] Angie Does It Again!!!
  • - Suvut
  • Prev by Date: [RC] Coybloy blessing (short and sweet)
  • - EnduranceFanatic

    [RC] Basic advice for a newbie - Rides 2 Far

    I've been reading the posts and trying to remember what helped me the
    most when I started, and what I learned later that would have been nice
    to have known then...and what all this great stuff costs.  I think I've
    had a "moderate" career.  Just under 4000 miles, almost 3000 of those on
    one horse. 2 wins. 2 BC's (not a lot considering) but a lot of "high vet
    scores" and a couple of region jackets.  I'm possibly in the ranks of
    those easing back from the front to keep the same horse.  Goals changing,
    enjoying sponsoring my junior before she grows up too fast.
    Here's my list:
    One thing that helped me was to find a place where I could measure off
    one mile that I could travel at a good pace.  That allowed me to learn
    what a 7mph trot felt like (takes 8.5 min. to trot) or a 10 mph (which
    takes 6). That made it easier for me to understand the training articles
    I was reading. Unless it's on a toll road, it's free.
    You need to know not to skimp on your farrier.  Skimp anywhere else, but
    not there.  It's hard for me to imagine that before doing endurance there
    was a time when I was young and very foolish that I had the farrier put
    shoes on, then called him when they fell off.  >shudder< If you're riding
    that horse a lot you can't leave them on there after that angle gets off.
     Different horses grow at different rates...and the same horse grows
    different in summer & winter.  6 weeks is average for my horses though.
    This will cost you plenty.
    Keep a saddle log. It doesn't cost you anything but will help you set
    goals and stick to them.  Having a training buddy will help you to drag
    it on out of bed on those really cold mornings since you are both trying
    to show the other how tough you are and refuse to back out of riding.
    Control your enthusiasm.  If you've joined the endurance community you
    have made a life choice.  It's a long term commitment.  You have the rest
    of your life to meet your goals and this game is one of those that has a
    lot of squares that when you land on them say "return to the "GO" and
    start over".  The slow way is the fast way.  Take your time. 
    Sure, 2 years is a long time to get a horse started, but 6 months and
    start over, six months and start over, six months and start over... takes
    a lot longer.  Enjoy the journey. Learn everything you can as you come
    up. Winning is not the goal... that may be the last part of the goal, but
    it's *not* the whole thing and if you aren't careful you'll forget to
    enjoy the other 95% of the sport.
    Don't make the mistake of thinking that the people in the back aren't
    "that good" at this sport.  I can point out quite a few people riding at
    the back of the pack now who were the BIG hot shoes when I was getting
    started.  These are people who made very good horses, ran up front, and
    when the horses slowed down they decided to stick to that horse and do
    what he could do *now* instead of trading him for another. Others are
    past winners who are starting new horses slowly. They'll be the big hot
    shoes in a couple of years. You can learn a lot from them and they'll
    enjoy helping you out. They don't charge anything.
    If you see a campfire, go to it.  Stay late. Listen. Meet everyone.
    They're free.
    Never say "this horse never gets tired".  Even though we said it when we
    were getting started and will forgive you if you do.  Forgive us if we
    smile though. We're remembering when we said it and thinking how dumb
    that sounds now.
    You may not be an expert on saddles, but you can watch *dilligently* for
    any sign of rubbing of the elbows or girth area. Do not feel that you
    don't have time to let any small wound heal. Believe me. You have time.
    If you have a regular western saddle, you can move the girth back by
    running the cinch down to the girth, then coming up and tying it at the
    back ring.  Go ahead and remove those rear girth straps. Doesn't cost a
    You ALWAYS have time to stop and adjust your tack. Do not ride through
    the pain. Fix it now. Lengthening your stirrups a notch will save you
    money you would spend on Advil.
    Don't drink carbonated drinks during a race. They blow up when you shake
    them...even after they're inside you. :-P Puking them up is a waste of
    Look at your horse's expression. Is he having fun? If he looks dull, give
    him time off and back off. Believe me...YOU HAVE TIME.  Time is not
    money...spend it freely.
    A stethoscope is handy. Learn to use it so you can volunteer as a pulse
    taker at rides. It's like reading other people's mail, very informative.
    They don't pay you, but they don't charge you either.  Learn your horse's
    resting pulse and check recoveries.  In the beginning, it may be fun to
    borrow a heart monitor so that the training articles will mean more to
    you.  However, other than to find out, "yes, we were trotting along at
    121" etc. it was of little use to me.  I've owned two. Very seldom use
    one. I agree with Laura, I'll take the "feel" and expression every time
    over a number.  If they come up with a gut sound monitor, I'll use that.
    That seems to be the hardest for me to "feel".  The "feel" method is
    free, unless you consider time money, in which case you have to make an
    investment to get it.
    I *wish* I could have gone to equitation clinics.  I think getting
    ourselves in shape and learning how to use our bodies with the least
    tension is the number one thing we need, but the one we're most likely to
    skip. I want dressage lessons but they're expensive. My daughter is
    taking now and I eavesdrop. Pain is NOT gain.  
    I think the number one thing a newbie needs is patience, drive, (you have
    to balance those two) and an obsession with the comfort of their horse. 
    You can't buy that in a box.  If you're saying, "But I'm 42 now...if I do
    2 years of LSD on this horse I'll be 44!" All I've got to say is, "How
    does 44 and starting over *again* sound?"
    Sign Up for Juno Platinum Internet Access Today
    Only $9.95 per month!
    Visit www.juno.com
     Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
     Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
     Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp
     Ride Long and Ride Safe!!