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I did my first CTR on Apr.25th (15 miles).  We trotted downhill toward
the end and for the first time Meshack "learned" how to "collect"
himself.  Meshack didn't seem to mind the 15 miles at all, 
but we lost some points because of fatigue in his haunches
from the unaccustomed downhill trotting. He still managed to
get his first ribbon!  (Sixth place Rookie Horse and Rider,  but
better than nothing!!)

The following Wed.  we drove up and down hills for an hour
with a training cart  This seemed to leave him a bit stiff in the
haunches but a day off,  Absorbine rub,  and some Arnica
Montana (oral) seemed to bring him right back.  

Do any of you use these remedies?  What else?

He just turned seven and has been ridden all Winter....
Trail AND Dressage.

We are going to do our first 25 mile CTR on May 9th.
I see that Endurance riders do "conditioning" rides of 
this magnitude several times a week. If he does OK on this ride, 
should he be able to do a 15 or 25 mile ride every weekend? 
At age 67...seems like I'd wear out before he would.

I know that downhill trotting on steep grades is bad for the
horse.  Should we do some conditioning trots on minor downhill

We appreciate your comments.

John and Meshack (VT)

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