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What is base?

>So what do you all think?  What is base to you?  I've always thought it was
>all the l.s.d. work we do to get them to their first competition.  Is it
>really all relative to where we currently are in the sport and I wonder if
>my definition will change when I get up to the point of thinking about
>doing my first 100?

A well conditioned horse is a well conditioned horse.  However, 50 mile 
rides are excellent conditioning rides for doing 100's.  I would consider 
the base my horses have to be all the competition miles they have done over 
the last three or four years.  The conditioning rides they did to get ready 
for doing those 50's (or multidays or 100's) don't really count because 
once you get to where you are doing 50's and longer distance rides then you 
really begin to get a fit horse.  There are very few people out there who 
could ride a horse for two to three years on just conditioning rides and 
end up with a horse as fit as one that had been completing 50's or 
multidays during that same time period.  Let's be honest, how many of you 
would go out and trot the same distance and time as you do in an actual 

I don't think that racing thru 50 mile rides is necessarily the way to 
build up a 100 mile horse.  Just because a horse can do a 50 in 4 or 5 
hours doesn't mean that same horse will do well over the longer 
distance.  I would prefer to take a horse thru some slow 50's, let them be 
out on the trail for 11 or 12 hours and learn how to take care of 
themselves for the duration.  Not only that but during that time the rider 
spends more time on the horses back so you learn what tack works and 
doesn't work.  I'm not saying that being able to win or top ten a 50 isn't 
a good thing but many people who think they are hot stuff for being able to 
race thru a 50 come to a rude awakening when they try a 100.  I've seen 
more fail than I've seen succeed.

I think it takes a long time to build up a horse, probably longer than most 
people think.  I'll have to let you know when I think mine get there, we're 
still putting on that thing called "base".

Happy Trails,

in NV
& Weaver, 2,580 miles
& Rocky, 1,395.....who just completed the Washoe Valley 100   :+)

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