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Re: [RC] Log book -- What do you record? - Diane Trefethen

While I agree when Truman infers that as riders gain experience with a horse, they reach a point where they can sense how that horse is doing, I disagree that the importance of record keeping diminishes as time passes. Our horses change and the changes aren't dramatic. They are subtle. A saddle that doesn't fit quite as well today as last month and fits even more poorly a year later. Decreases in visual acuity or increases in awareness of surroundings. Increasing physical maturation or the gradual encroachment of the discomforts of aging. Because life isn't a series of time lapse photographs, although we really know better, it is still very easy to overlook the fact that the horse we ride today isn't the same horse we rode last year.

In conjunction with recording the miles and time for each conditioning ride, Truman is right about the importance of a fixed trail. Actually, I get bored easily so having several fixed trails is my choice. I know the mileage of each conditioning loop and by recording the time taken as well as any info that might detract from that time (weather, stopping to chat, etc), I am able to better assess my horse's progress. We may miss that our horse consistently takes 5 seconds more to reach criteria at the top of a certain hill (or 5 seconds less!) but by recording that information, we can see these patterns and avoid either over conditioning or the more obvious problems associated with thinking our horse is ready to tackle a ride we have planned when he isn't.

I carry a 2 oz Olympus voice recorder to "make notes" on trail. At home I transfer that info to a simple Excel spreadsheet. I also made up a little formula that displays our average speed for each ride which is another clue to how the conditioning is progressing.

Now all I need is to not have any accidents so I might actually get to GO TO A RIDE THIS YEAR! Wouldn't THAT be a nice treat :)


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[RC] Log book -- What do you record?, Beth Leggieri
Re: [RC] Log book -- What do you record?, Truman Prevatt