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Rider Conditioning

When the "Ski Season Tips" went circling round the 'Net recently, some
endurance buddies and I wrote our own version for enduranceaholics:

Ride Season Tips

Ride season is here.  The following is a list of exercises to help you

Immediately upon arriving at the barn, drop your boots and socks in the
largest mud puddle you can find, roll them around good, and put 'em back
on. Let dry overnight on the floorboard of your truck, without cleaning

If you wear glasses, begin wearing them with mud splatters on the lenses.
Throw away a hundred dollar bill - now.

When you come home from work in the evening, practice posting by sitting
down in a straight-backed chair and immediately standing up again -- for
90 minutes straight.  Occasionally lose your rhythm and hit the chairseat
very hard 2-3 times in a row.  Put your dinner in your pockets before
mounting the chair, and eat in 15 minutes or less when you are through.

Put your vet card in a damp baggy and carry it in your pocket for a few
hours. Try to remove it from the baggy without tearing it. Try to read it.
For advanced training, add a ripe banana to the baggy and then repeat the

Sporadically drop things in mud, or at least water.

Wrap your toes tightly until they begin tingling; leave on for 90 minutes,
remove, walk around for 20 minutes, then replace.  Wear all day once each

Buy a new pair of gloves and immediately throw one away.

Secure one hand to the bedpost and ask a friend to knock you off your

Get up at 4am, place a large rubber ball between your legs, squeeze as
hard as you can -- and hold for 90 minutes, while bouncing wildly up &
down, waving arms & shouting "Stop it! Slow down, you idiot!"

Drive slowly for ten hours - anywhere- with an open parachute tied to your
rear bumper.  Return to your property at least five times to make the sure
the stove, lights, etc. are off.

Fill a blender with ice and sand, hit the pulse button and let the spray
blast your face.  Leave the ice on your face till it melts.  Let it drip
into your clothes.

Dress up in as many clothes as you can and then proceed to take them off
-- without bending over -- because you have to go to the bathroom.
Practice taking them off layer by layer with the bouncing rubber ball
between your knees, and secure them to your waist or to strings attached
behind you on the ball.

Drop a family-size can of Dinty Moore beef stew on your foot from a height
of at least 5 feet. Immediately proceed to posting practice and rubber
ball exercise.  Repeat each twice.

Turn on the hose in the yard, stand underneath it with your horse - fully
tacked up. Ride until dry, stand under hose again till soaked. Repeat
cycles for 8 hours. Be sure vet card gets wet too.

Set up a separate savings account for flashlights.

Save buckets maniacally. Beg your grocer's bakery for icing buckets,
pilfer pickle buckets, rinse out cat litter containers...the camp with the
most buckets wins.

Put beet pulp in blender and spray all over tack and yourself. Do that two
days in a row. Do not shower in between.

Set alarm for 3:30 am, go outside in freezing weather and use the toilet.
Be sure there's no toilet paper within 10 miles.                           

Tie a very large dog to each leg of your bed.  Attach 2 large metal bowls
to each bed leg and coat the bowls with meat juice so that dogs will
continually lick and clang the bowls.  Remove mattress and replace with a
board.  Open all windows in room, no matter what the weather.  Turn off
any air conditioning or heating. Sprinkle dirt, hay, and a few bugs, on
board.  Set alarm for 3 AM.  Lay down on 'bed' and pretend you have to go
to the bathroom really bad.  If you really do have to go to the bathroom,
go outside of the house and walk 1/2 mile before finding some (bathroom)

Hang several things off of you and practice running/bouncing in place for
hours as things bang around, move, rub you, fall off, or break.

Put a whole bottle of Bryl cream in your hair, mash it down real good and
then bend up the ends.

Smear electrolyte mixture all over your hands, hair and clothes.  Let it
dry, and pretend it isn't there while you talk to a group of people.

If you have any long fingernails, be sure to bend them backwards.  At the
same time, yell loudly "@#$(*& horse!!"

Blow the dirt out of your vacuum cleaner onto your face while wearing
sunglasses and smiling broadly.  Take off glasses and wear the dirt around
everywhere, greeting all of your friends and a few strangers, too. 
Practice showing your crew how much you appreciate them :)

Repeat all of these things every Saturday until it's time for
the real thing.


Glenda & Lakota
Mobile, AL
AERC # M18819 & H27310
SE Region

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