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[RC] 100 mile discussion - terre

#1--re:"moving up". I think it is FAR harder to move from 25 to 50 than it is to move from 50 to 100. The move from LD to endurance requires the acquisition of a number of skills and techniques (including rider maintenance!); once you HAVE those skills, riding further is not that much harder. I think people who remember how hard the jump to 50 was are assuming the jump to 100 will be just as hard--it isn't.

#2--Re "time off". David Leblanc said:
My personal rule of thumb is that the horse gets 1 week off from competition
per 25 miles of competition. So we could do back to back LDs and that's OK,
two weeks between 50's, 3 weeks after a 75, and give them a month after a
100. The thumb rule breaks down on multidays, so it isn't perfect. This is
based on observing what seems to work for people with lots of miles and very
high completion rates, and some input from some very good ride vets - Mike
Foss had a formula that worked out about the same, except he added more time
if you went fast, which is reasonable.
Kathy said:
It was my perception after reading tons of material that the recommended
time off after a ride was roughly 1 day for each 10 miles, so 5 days
rest after a 50, 10 days rest after a 100. This varies greatly from what
I've seen posted recently. Will a horse ever be prepared for a 100 with
such a heavy layoff schedule, a week off for a 30, I think was

David's formula is what we (well, I) USED to do, but I think the prevailing wisdom has changed. I'm wondering if Mike Foss (a vet I HIGHLY respect) has really sat down and re-examined this concept recently. For one thing, you have an increased risk of tying up with such a long lay off.... For another, my understanding from a lecture by Dr.Stephen Duran is that weight put back on by a 'resting' horse is only stored as glycogen if the horse is getting some exercise--otherwise, it is stored as fat (not bad, but not ideal). I used to give my horses at least 2 weeks totally off after a 100 (although on 24/7 turnout with other horses). Now I usually ride lightly the week after a 100. I wouldn't "do" a 50 2 weeks after a hard 100--but I would 3 weeks after (although I'd be judicious about the speed, depending on how hard both rides were).

Think of it this way: if you (human) had a really really hard workout--say running a marathon, or climbing Mt Everest--you would probably be tired and really in need of 'rest' for a full week...and then you would probably still be somewhat tired and would benefit from 'rest' for another full week. But after two weeks of sitting around---would you feel any more rested at the end of week 3? week 4? Doesn't 2 weeks pretty much do it? Add a third week for insurance......

I'd REALLY like to see some science to back this up. Where's Tom when we need him?

When I think horses might REALLY benefit from an extended layoff (say a month) is after months and months of continuous work--say 50s every other week. Just like WE need a vacation from our jobs, although there is nothing "physically" wrong with us, they need a break in routine to recuperate. I think perhaps the horses in areas that don't have 'season' have more of an issue with this; those of us in the north "always" lay our horses off for a couple of months in the winter (we have little choice). This may be all the extended layoff they need, regardless of the timing of rides DURING the season.

But yes, David--if you do the Oregon 100, you can't ride at Owyhee!



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