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[RC] Riding First 100 - Stagg_Newman

(believe my first attempt to launch this was trashed by the email systems
so here goes again).

Kathie Ford wrote:

ps..do you have any suggestions for a good first slow 100 in the west

Also, what do you suggest for fitness for the rider?  Diet, exercise,
developing a proper mental attitude regarding riding the 100's?

thanks, kathie

Per your question on good first slow 100 in West region, the 20 Mule Team
put on by Jackie
Baumgardner  is a well run straight forward 1st 100 although you will have
to do a good bit of
night riding as ride in in late February.  Stark but beautiful desert
scenery.  Colorful rocks.

Flatwoods ride in Northern CA put on by Churstie Evans would also be
excellent first
ride.  (if ride is still being held - we were living in CA in '92).

There are also some good 100s in Orgeon for a 1st 100.  Two we did were
Horse Ridge and Bandit Springs.

Re your second question on fitness and diet.  Rule one is condition your
own horse. The very first 30 mile
competitive ride that I did (on an ex-throrough bred race horse that I now
know was designed for 6 furlongs
not distance), at least half of the horse's conditioning had been done by a
4H rider.  Horse did great
and I was a basket case.  So I learned the hard way.

Exercise:   I try to supplement riding with some type of aerobic exercise
(jogging or ski machine
a couple times a week but am not a regular as I should be due to work).  In
terms of strength training,
I believe doing something to condition the upper body is a excellent idea
as I find it is the smaller upper
body muscles that get tired more than my lower body.  I also do situps.

Diet:  IMO quite important and often over looked.  Go for high fiber diet
that will stay with you all day
and through the nite.  Make sure you are on high fiber diet well before the
Try to keep blood sugar levels steady, i.e. avoid highly refined carbs and
sugars that are
digested too quickly (e.g. doughuts are a bad idea).    Have lots of
diferent foods available so that there
will be something that appeals to you.  And make sure you eat regularly at
each stop or even eat
snacks while on trail.  Some of the foods that I particularly like are
Quaker oat squares (great on fiber),
lots of different types of fruit, cheese, rye crisp crackers with a great
veggie dip my wife makes, fig newtons,
herring, barbecued chicken thighs.  My horse claims I gain weight during a

In terms of liquid I recommend using a camel back filled with a water mixed
with a powdered electrolyte
(human kind that you can get at a running store) or gator aide.  And then
have lots of gator aide
or equivalent and water available at stops.  My wife likes the coke for the
caffeine and a bit of a
quick sugar hit.  I avoid caffeine as I have to take too many pee breaks
anyway.  And nothing like
having a high strung Arab dancing at the end of the lead line while .....

Mental preparation.  There is an excellent set of tapes called "That
Winning Feeling" by Jane Savoie
that talks about developing the rigt frame of mind that I used in
prepration for the North American
(USET has sponsored Jane Savoier for a clinic for the riders.)  Doug
Lietzke, a psychologist and
excellent endurance rider (former National Heavyweight Champion)  also has
some excellent tapes.

I mentally rehearse the ride and try to envision success.  I like to ride
that last few miles the day
before so I can picture finishing the trail on ride day.  On ride day the
key is to "ride your own ride".
For me this is easier said than done as the horse may have other ideas,
i.e. he wants to be with other
horses or just go.  Also one has to not get caught in the competition early
on.  And be prepared
to deal with the unexpected.  Keep calm and regard it as part of the

In 100s I believe it is very important to ride a well paced ride.  You must
save horse.  Most
people do the first loop and even the first half to fast.  Even in most of
the rides that I have
won, I have been well back of the leaders for the early part of the ride.
I try to calculate
how long I think the ride will be by looking at the times in past year, the
nature of the
course, the weather, and the fitness and ability of my horse.  Then I try
to ride
a evenly paced ride based on my time goal for the ride.


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