ridecamp@endurance.net: [endurance] conditioning

[endurance] conditioning

Andrea Waistell (Andrea.Waistell@ncl.ac.uk)
Wed, 3 Jul 1996 10:08:51 +0100

Hi there,
This is my first go at this, and as I live in England I hope you can
uderstand any of my terms which may be different. There appologies over,
now to the matter in hand. Up until April this year my horses had been kept
at livery yards where there just was not the ability to ride on fields
(except after the harvest and then you had to be quick as it was ploughed
and planted again almost at once) and there was no school/areana. This
obviously left me with riding on the roads or else on public bridlways which
are very few and not very long 1 to 1.5 miles. Thus I have to do most of my
conditioning on the road. Where possible I try to use the verge, but my
current horse takes alot of convincing that it would be better to be on the
verge than on the road. We also have a terrible litter problem in some
areas and you are frightend that the horse may stand on a bottle etc.

I do find riding on the roads quite boring but needs must. As you
probly know there is a strong tradition in England that horse should be
walked on roads for up to 6 weeks for up to 2 hours during their early
training. I can't manage all that walking and I am troting alittle by the
end of the second week. I do always bear in mind what I once from a
racehorse trainer when doing road work - make the horse walk out and as fast
as possible on the road but trot SLOWLY. I don't ask my horse for a "power
trot" on the roads when training but I may have no option when in
competition. Also unless in competion I don't like to trot down hills on
the road.

As to how long to horses last, they keep going till there late teens or
early twenties, my old boy did his last ride (alright so it was only 10-12
miles) when he was 24 and lived a furhter year in retirement before I had to
have him put down. I could go on further but I think I have taken up enough
space but here is a parting thought in tests carried out for surfaces for
children's playgrounds it was found that compactted soil would do as much
damage to child's sckull as if it had fallen on concert!!

About the tack, everyday I use a biothane bridle from Running Bear, it
is the finer biothane - only slight problem the nose band is alittle small
for my horse. In competition I use a nylon combi-bridle from Bri-tac
(English company) the nylon is nice and soft. I have found though that
bridle rubs pale into insignificance when you have a saddle which does not
fit another storey.

Andrea Waistell
Newcastle Upon Tyne