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Re: [RC] 100 mile discussion-Time Off - KimFue

   As always you bring up some great points.
Here are a couple of my thoughts on time off after events.  First, if what David is doing for his horses works for him and he is comfortable with his program, by all means he should stick with it. 
Something that hasn't been hodiscussed in terms of layoff after an event is how much effort was put into the event in the first place.  Logic tells me that if I take my horse and ride that horse well below it's capabilities, I am not going need a lot of time between events.  I think the multiday ride proves this point.  Obviously, horses can do 5 days of 50s without any time off.  So the blanket theory of x number of days off after a 50 mile ride does not always need to hold true.  But on the other hand, if I ride my horse close to his maximum capabilities in a 50 mile ride, he is definitely going to need a rest period before being put back to regular work.  That may be one day for every 10 miles or it might be more DEPENDING on how the horse is bouncing back.  Knowing my horse and how he normally recovers gives me a pretty good idea of how a particular competition effected him.  
Now, another aspect that comes into play is peaking for a particular event.  I think that a lot of riders I know do this for the Tevis Cup each year.  They use rides for a few months prior to the event to "gear up" or "peak".  During this process there is an increase in intensity with training and/or competition culminating in the planned event.  After the big competition or ride, there is usually a lay off period or vacation as Terre calls it before beginning the next cycle of conditioning, training, peaking, competition, rest or lay off.
Granted most endurance riders do not train or ride this way.  I think most endurance riders are not using a conditioning/peaking cycle for their horses.  In fact, I think most take 50 milers and even 100s pretty moderately and do not over stress their horses in competition.  I think because of this, most horses do not need a lot of down time between events IF they have been conditioned for the distance of the event.  When you start to push towards a maximum performance for your horse's particular level of performance  or if you are racing chances are the horse will need more down time between competitions and even perhaps before being put back to full training or conditioning.
So if you are pretty in tune with your horse you should be able to judge how much a particular competition took out of him.  If you are not sure by all means be more conservative and give more time off.
Kim Fuess
In a message dated 08/09/2006 3:51:48 PM Pacific Standard Time, tobytrot@xxxxxxxxx writes:
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.