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[RC] 100's - Bruce Weary DC

Fortunately, my friends Dot and Crysta and I are not really in disagreement. I probably should have commented further, but the training methods I was referring to can be substituted to get a horse ready for a "slow" 100 when the horse doesn't have the opportunity to do distances greater than 50 miles. The changes these regimens cause in bone and tissue strength will benefit the horse to take the additional pounding and muscular exertion to carry him through a conservative 100. There are the few horses who have just gone out and completed a 100 with very little preparation, as Dot mentioned, but they are few and far between. And we have to be aware of the stresses sustained in just traveling 100 miles, and fortify the horse's tissues to absorb them through proper preparation. As one vet told me, when evaluating whether a horse has truly tolerated the work he has been subjected to, "It's not what you see, it's what you don't see." He meant that though a horse completes a ride and passes a vet exam, and shows no overt signs of tissue damage, illness or lameness, if he was overtaxed in some way regarding his joint or metabolic systems, a seed may have been planted for problems that can arise in the near or distant future, like a mysterious onset of lameness or tendency towards colicking. IMO, a horse's conditioning program should take these "unseen" possibilities into account, and he should be afforded enough time and miles to adapt properly so he can perform soundly both long and short term. Our sport has had more than it's share of "flash in the pan" horses who perform at a high level for a very short period of time and then are mysteriously not heard from again. As Lew Hollander says, "Go slow and get there quicker," in developing the long distance horse for the work we ask of him. Bruce


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