<< It is more likely that since you have been training him to carry himself,
that you've been working him hard. During this training, he has to work,
and while it is not the LSD, it does condition the horse. Then you see
the results on the trail. If you had not done your homework, then making
the horse carry himself for the first time on the trails, you would have
seen a higher heart rate. But you've already conditioned the horse to
do this, so now you get great results.
I train Drake for sand on the trails, not with my rocky hard trails, but
in the arena.
As for thermomaters, Knowing the temperature of the horse is yet another
indication of the condition of the horse. The harder they work, the
higher their temps. It is yet another tool to use.
Some one wrote a great discription of the high tech horse and all the
stuff you need to carry.
Good. Smart. You're thinking, Wendy!