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[RC] re: How soon for first 50 - Teresa Van Hove

Crysta wrote>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I purchased a 5 year old pinto-cross gelding about a month ago with
the intention of completing (note I said completing for now) endurance
rides.  Both he and I are new to the sport.  Before I bought him, he
was being ridden for about an hour every day, basic training work
rather than conditioning.  More focus on steering and transitions than
actual distance or speed.  This was for about a month, I have no idea
what type of conditioning/training he received before that

Will this horse be 60 months by derby ditch?  AERC rules is 60 months,
you dont get to say 5 on jan 1, for the age rule, like in many other
horse sports.  

your post somewhat paraphrased 

 Since I've had him, I've been riding , usually Tuesday, Thursday and
Saturday.  Due to work and daylight constraints, I ride for about an
hour on Tues and Thurs.  Usually one day of arena work and the other
day (3-5 miles) out on the trail at an average of about 5  mph. 
mostly gentle rolling hills and light sand footing on T,TH.  On
Saturday, we've been doing longer rides, up to 12 - 15  miles, usually
taking about 3 hours or so.  Good energy but slightly tired upon
return. Variety of terrain, bigger hills on weekends, some hard-packed
roads.  We walk the big ups and downs and take it easy on the

We are doing our first LD (30 miles) this weekend at the Rides of
cool! - hope you have a blast!

  I'm very  interested in doing the Derby Ditch 50 in two weeks but
am concerned that I may be asking too much too soon.

I know there are people who ride a slow 50 early in the horses career
and they feel as long as they are only going 4.5 to 5 mph pace, that
this is just an extra long LSD ride.  Many of them seem to go on and
have a decent lifetime career on the horses too.  But I'd not advise
it in your case of just starting out and it doesn't sound like you can
even point to 'he grew up in a big, hilly pasture, so he has been
legging himself up for years' - sounds like you don't know the horse's
history past a few months ago when he was given a month of basic
training before you started riding him.

 I like the following rules of thumb for 50's and moving up in ride

1. You should be doing 34-40 miles a week for at least 3-4 weeks
before the horses first 50 of the season.

2.  Doing 50% of the ride distance should be routine to the horse
before its first ride at a longer distance (ie conditioning rides of
about 25 miles or LD's are 'just routine' for the horse before a 50;
completing 50's should be routine before a horses first 100. 

With your statements that you've been training about 18-25 miles a
week, and the longer rides are 12-15 miles,  I think that doing a 50
in 2 weeks time, with one 30 mile LD, and perhaps one 25 mile
conditioning ride before that 50 would indeed be pushing things.  You
also asked about HRM tips - the thing is that even with a slow pace on
the 50 the biggest concern I'd have would be that the horse is not
'legged up' in terms of tendon and bone to handle it yet.  If he's
tired he's more likely to injure a leg, but I'd not count on seeing
anything obvious on a HRM,  more likely that the horse  would just get
leg weary and start stumbling a bit - (with a stumble possibly doing a
bit of tearing to a tendon) 

I peeked at the W region schedule and saw that the derby ditch was a
50 only, but also saw that there are NV rides every 2-3 weeks after
that all summer; so I'd really encourage you to ask the RM if you
could perhaps ride drag on the last loop for derby ditch; or maybe you
could volunteer as a vet scribe (an excellent learning experience) or
for some other job at that ride; and maybe help pull ribbons the day
after the ride and plan on starting 50's only after this horse has a
few more months of conditioning under his saddle. 

my .02 cents.
Teresa Van Hove, and Grey Moun, and Shade

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