Riding in the sand.

penny mccauley (penny@zianet.com)
Sat, 01 Nov 1997 11:57:07 -0700

Here where I live in SW New Mexico we have many sandbeds both on
endurance trails and at home. Since I ride my horse barefoot most of the
time I ride in a lot of sand.

I start out after a lay-off with about 3 miles in the sand in a walk and
trot. I do this every other day for a week. Then I'll add some cantering
for a couple of days. On the fourth week I'll add one mile. I'll keep
adding one mile per week until I'm doing about seven miles at a trot,
walk and canter every other day. At this point I'll start working on
speed. I'll ask for an extended trot down the draw for about three and
one half miles, then turn around and canter back up the draw until I
feel the horse really laboring. Then I'll slow to an extended trot what
distance is left.

After about two weeks of this I will start doing a twenty mile ride in
the sand using all three gaits, with the extended trot about
seventy-five percent of the time. I only ride the twenty miles once a
week, but still continuing to ride the seven miles every other day.

I have found that using easyboots on the long ride helps my horse paddle
through the sand with better ease. In competition I do put easyboots on
the front feet. We have some very rocky trails here with the sand.

Hope this helps you out a bit. Drop me a line if you have any questions.

Penny and the Grey Ghost.