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Re: [RC] 80 km - Maryanne Stroud Gabbani

Being in the same general geographical area, my first question would be "Where is the race being held and supervised by whom?" If this is one of our standard Middle East-type FEI endurance rides/races, it will be in sand, a relatively flat area, and it will be fast. The location is VERY important because these rides are usually held in the desert and school horses are not used to desert work. They are very likely to strain tendons or go into metabolic problems if they are worked hard in sand after being primarily used in arenas. I've taken very fit school horses into the desert and one hour in deep sand is like 5 hours of HARD schoolwork. We usually start with an hour of walk in the desert and work up slowly over a period of at least 6 months to a year. And 80 km is not going to be just an hour ride, it will be more like 5 hours. Horses that work for an hour on a fairly firm surface, rest and then work again are not ready for extended periods in sand.

You will need to work on the horses' mindset as much as their bodies. There is a big difference between working on and off in an enclosed area and being asked to move at a steady, relatively quick pace through open country. Are they used to the idea that the world isn't flat? Oddly enough, this comes as quite a shock to many school horses who have only seen arenas. Also, how comfortable are they with having total strangers examine them next to a bunch of horses that they don't know? Are you talking about mares, geldings, or stallions? In Egypt, no one bothers to geld male horses and stallions are routinely used as riding and carriage horses. This does not, however, make them easy to deal with at vet checks. Maybe things are more European in Israel and there aren't so many stallions running around, but if you go to a ride in Jordan there will be.

Hope some of this helps.

Maryanne
Cairo

On Saturday, Oct 4, 2003, at 21:23 Africa/Cairo, Gabi (Ra'anana Farm) wrote:

I want to participate a local endurance ride 80 km.on 1 november.
My horses are riding school horses working 6 days a week between 1 and 4 hours a day.
The work they do is a lot of trot, some canter and jumps,?I think it can be descibed as medium work, althrough horse lovers feel pitty for them and say that they work hard.
I have been told that hard work is only what race horses do, anything else is medium or light.
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How much is 80 km?
How long does it take to finish 80 km?
How much km do my horses do when being ridden 3 hours trot & canter?
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How should I plan their conditioning rides? and what should i do on the conditioning rides?
At the moment I have planned a 2 hour conditioning ride 3 times a week(on top of their lessons scedule), in this conditioning ride I plan to do a lot of steady trot, with 2-3-4 minutes of steady slow canter.
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I am a very novice having done only once an endurance ride of only 30 km, it was great fun and I am really getting into it, lurking on this list daily.
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I will be thankfull for some tips.
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gabi
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