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Re: the value of longer distance CTR's, was MECHANICAL FATIGUE



At 11:41 AM 5/22/1998 EDT, you wrote:

>In a message dated 98-05-22 07:32:41 EDT, you write:
>
><< I've been "talking" to
> Truman and he agrees that it would be a good idea to encourage more
> endurance newbies to work in a 3 day 100 before they go for speed at the 50
> ER level. >>
>
>Absolutely!  Actually, there are CTR's and CTR's, and I really think ALL the
>LD rides should be a CTR format of some sort with primarily condition
judging.
>Am planning to go to that format next year, and may even have them the
>following day so that they are NOT AERC--am tired of the LD "races"!  CTR's
>also teach you how to gauge your pace.
>
>Heidi
>

	Getting to our daughter's home in New Jersey was quite an experience, to
say the least.  (Our May Mission was to stay with four grandchildren while
parents travelled -- too bad that both of my horses were qualified for
I.A.H.A. national ride that was to be held  about two hours from our North
Carolina home!  Not to mention having to miss Biltmore!!)

	However, I did take both of my horses, intending to ride one (preferably
the 8 year old, Zaim) in the New Jersey 3 day 100 NJTRA 100 Mile Ride/Drive
-- Memorial Day Weekend -- same as IAHA).

	A frayed and flayed right rear trailer tire combined with fried right
front trailer bearings resulted in a new axle, wheel and tire and trip that
took a week and 1700 miles (rather than the usual 12 - 13 hour  690 mile
trip!)

	Because of the mud from 12 straight days of rain, I debated whether to
take 8 year old Zaim, fearing that he might have strained himself racing
around our daughter's property.  The 14 year old Larca, with over 1,000
miles under her belt was seeming to be the better choice.   A few dry days
had my vote back to Zaim, but Larca  was causing such a furor among the two
groups of horses (trying to achieve supremacy over the fence) that my
husband hoped I'd vacillate back to Larca.  

	Ultimately both horses went.  My friend, Carol Thomas (the Blonde) called
to say that her Trakehner mare had a bit of heat in some ankles, could she
borrow my mare.  My husband was overjoyed, I was telling myself that the
prospect of having both horses at the same trail ride was not going to be
enjoyable.

	Thirty three of he first 40 miles were less than enjoyable on Zaim, who
suffered a complete regression in his training.  It was embarrassing to say
the least.  I couldn't get him to trot by the vet with any two legs
describing anything that looked matched.  I half expected to be pulled for
"uneven" way of going.  I guess the fact that he looked like a bundle of
explosives with a very short fuse and the fact that his numbers were all
good worked in our favor.  

	I strongly feel that the importance of 3 day 100's (the ones judged solely
on condition!!!) in training a young distance horse (particularly its mind)
cannot be over valued!  Two things happened about six or seven miles from
the end of the first day.  

	The first was that Zaim finally accepted the fact that he just wasn't
going to call the rating shots.  He was going to pay attention to me (cost
a bit rub) and let horses pass, go ahead or whatever.  

	The second was having Steve and Dinah Rojek (whose horses are nearly
always workmanlike and well rated) catch up with us.  It was as if a switch
had flipped and Zaim suddenly remembered how he was supposed to act on
three day 100's (NJ is his third)!

	Taking no chances for the next day, I was mounted and worked Zaim
thoroughly for 20 minutes or so before the start.  However, the lesson from
the day before seemed well learned and I was delighted to be able to
produce somewhat balanced trots for the judges.  By the end of the day, the
P/R numbers were good (though his heart rate was not down to the ECTRA base
line of 44), there was no heat or swelling and Zaim was "looking good".
Each day we had done the 40 miles in 6 hours and 30 minutes, including the
20 minute stop for vetting.

	On the last day, starting with Stagg Newman and his promising young Jayel
Super, Zaim was able to keep up with "Soupy's" trot better than he had the
first two days, a good thing since we had only 3 hours to complete the 20
miles and we had several sections of trail along flooded jeep trails where
the water was up to Zaim's point of shoulder. 

	The three days ended with my young horse  strong, sound, still eager to
move on, winning 2nd place in the Middleweight Division. Larca, though
she'd not done a 3 day 100 since March of '97, breezed through for Carol,
enabling her to sponsor her 9  year old step daughter to become the
youngest person to complete the New Jersey 100 Mile ride.  In addition to
her 4th place in the Lightweight Division, Larca was judged Best Trail
Horse (the subjective awards are judged separately from the condition
awards).  Both of  my horses had condition scores above 94% (top score was
97%). 

	However, since this is the second 100 mile ride for which Carol has
borrowed one of my horses, I said that NEXT time SHE can have the greenie!



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