ridecamp@endurance.net: re: [endurance] Condition time

re: [endurance] Condition time

Thu, 04 Jan 1996 15:13:13 -0500

> this horse was raised in Madras Oregon and taken on long rides
> daily for the past six months as well as raised from the yearling years on,
> on 150 acres of good sized hills and such...what are any of your opinions
> regarding her need for slow training over the next three years?
> yet it seems logical that if this horse
> was raised doing hard natural endurance work, that my concern for LSD should
> be less?

Suzanne - I think you are on the right track in thinking that your horse
benefits from living outdoors and with some 'natural' conditioning. That
should improve the base that you have to start with. It still seems to take
about three years total to really get an endurance horse going so that he can
compete, even moderately, in 50 mile or greater rides. So give him
credit for the six months of slow riding. Then, you should be able to start
25's for completion immediately if you are willing to view them as training
experiences and not races. Depending on age you can also begin to do 50's for
completion-only with little to no additional work. For example, I have a
young horse that completed his first 50 in October after I bought him in
April. We did a 30 for completion in June and then just did real slow
mountain work all summer. In the 50 he finished 21st out of 25 in a very
hilly ride but had great vet scores. That was just how I wanted it to be.
His attitude at the completion vet check was great. So, I felt very
successful in getting him started safely in a minimum of time. It will be at
least a year before we pick up our pace, though.

Guess I am suggesting an attitude rather than a training regimen, but I have
seen it work repeatedly with other horses and riders as well as my own. Also,
I have seen some folks who should know better say "It should take 2 to 3 years
to start a horse right but THIS horse is different!" Then they are plagued
with minor (sometimes major) lamenesses and ride pulls that could have been
avoided if they had exercised a little more patience in the training/competing
plans. I want to have a strong, sound horse that will be with me for a long
time in competition. And that doesn't come with a few weeks of riding.

Good luck with your training!

Dave Bennett
e-mail: idj3q.office@mhs-tva.attmail.com