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[RC] !00 Miler - Roger Rittenhouse

I am surely NOT an expert. I have only done ONE 100 miler - the OD100.
It took 3 tries. First year 80 miles, second 65 miles.. third all the
way (on the same horse each try) and   AND finish at 3:45 in GREAT shape

Do I want to do another  - YES.
Why have I NOT done any since then. The horse that did the OD in 91
was not really suitable for that distance. We were just lucky.
I  have not had a horse since then I felt was good enough to do it.

Not ALL or ANY horse can do a 100 miler... the horse must be of good
confirmation -  not perfect but just 'right'.
Second is ATTITUDE and way of going. I want one that will just go on
without rushing or lagging. You and the horse will just beat each
other up if you fight a 'racer' or 'push' a lager all day..

I have one  with my current horse Omni - He is NOW easy going willing
to work and just go along. The last year set us back so far -- I have
to really think about it  when WE both MAY be ready.
Had we not wrecked, I think this year would have been his 100 miler year.

I planned on 3 years of 50 milers to get the base established then
make the move.
The little mare  who did the OD was 10 with over 1000
miles of ECTRA CTR (one day and multi-day) as well as many 50 milers.
She was really too small for me, and we had to work thorough issues
with a shoulder.
To get her ready  for the third attempt, I rode 3 to 4 days per week
starting in March, unless there was a ride on the weekend. Then we
only went out 2 times in the week. We rode about 5 to 10 miles per
session. Weekends were ECTRA rides or AERC 50 milers.
She did a competition about 2 times per month until the end of May.
I spent a week in Ft Valley riding the back half of the ride, program
under direction of mentor Val Kanavy.

Easy riding from the end of May until June 9. I have rider log books
someplace. I need to find them. I  may need them if I ever write a

MY PROGRAM. During that period  I was working full time and 'road
running' I ran allot since Fame was small and I needed to get off
on the climbs both up and down. I figured I MUST be able to spend
about 20 miles on the ground to help her.
I ran on the 'no ride' days about 5 miles. I also did lots of running
with her and tailing. Some days I took her for the 5 mile run with
me- no saddle. That was her off day.

I was in a karate class 2 nights per week. THAT makes you tough to
take the pain...and deal with issues.
I did just basic calisthenics  each day.  Kept loose and built
The rider has to be in good basic athletic condition. An out of
condition rider will not make it- or will at worst mess up the horse.

The 50 milers do not really bother me that much when I am in good
condition. I suspect this year- I will not do so well with both of us
getting back in competitive condition. It will take awhile.

My suggestion to riders is to walk or jog a little each week - try
some basic calisthenics and then just ride.

With working 2 horses this spring and getting back into 50 milers
late spring, I set my sights on doing 75 in the fall.

The mental aspects were another issue. I made signs at my desk -
'THIRD TIME IS THE WINNER'  etc etc.. I did mind trips when we rode-
all that mental exercise  we lean in karate and what I did while
running marathons.  Focus on the goal.
I get within my self and try to do the same with
my horse. We have to work as one, I felt with Fame and   Omni - I
have archived that - a mind meld. It only comes  at times  like a
runner high, but when you get there its great.

During the ride - it all went like a script. I rode to a plan and it
worked. Got a little caught up in the moment coming down off
Shermans Gap.. while going to the rive I let her run on.. like has
been said  by others, they REALLY do get the power after 80 miles.
 It was a real rush to cross the river and power trot the last 12
 miles in the dark- alone.
 The riders mental attitude during the ride is quite important. I
 just keep 'looking' to the finish.

 From the time I started this sport in the 70s, I was always focused
 on doing the 100 milers, I thought that was all there was.
 Everything else was 'getting ready' to do the 100

 I resent the fact or disappointed with my self- that I have not been able to 
do more.
 As I get better this year and either of these horses  shows the promise and
 aptitude, I will do another 100 miler.

Roger                          mailto:roger@xxxxxxxxxxx

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