Tuesday, August 23, 2016
I feel like we’re starting to get the hang of this because instead of intense week advanced planning and double checking my training log, I keep having to remind myself that in two days I’ll be pulling out for the next 50 at Iron Mountain.
I suppose this is another anniversary of sorts: Iron Mounain last year was Khaleesi’s first LD event. We truly turtled the ride and barely finished in time but took it super easy for a new horse and she did great.
This year will be the first time I see the whole 50 course and my girl is strong and ready – also well rested. August has been full of travel for me (vacation for her!) with some good mileage in between.
I did a fast 15 miles over a week ago interspersed with some friendly leg stretches and rode 20 miles yesterday with a fair amount of climbing. She was strong and fit through the whole ride.
The entire green bean team is planning to ride Friday which leaves Susan the only crew person! She’ll have her hands full and I really appreciate her being willing to come help!
One thing I am considering is a red ribbon… She doesn’t go out of her way to kick but she isn’t the mature patient mare who will put up with any questionably rude behavior from her equine competitors. She was great yesterday but I am on watch and my group knows to not tail her closely and just give us space when passing. It is common courtesy really but in a large ride some people don’t pay attention or assume every horse is as tolerant as their own. A red ribbon might at least remind others to give us a little consideration.
One thing is for sure: she is full of herself. I like her confidence but sometimes the leader has to work to keep it in check!
My ride plan – which as all plans is subject to change- is to ride alone as much as possible and to let her go. My concern with her usually is that she holds back her reserves … She takes care of herself (not complaining about that quality!) so I don’t need to hold her back in general and in riding alone we can choose the most efficient pace for her at any time. It’s hard to know if we will be alone though because you never know if you’ll end up with riders roughly your pace and for how long.
At Biltmore we rode almost the entire ride alone, at OD we almost never rode alone although we hooked up with many different groups at different parts of the course.
One thing I do plan to do differently is to allow her to canter more in this ride than I have in the past. She likes to canter and tends to have efficient heart rate there as well. Her best trot is not really as fast as I’d like to see it (though it’s developing more speed over time) and she can hold onto a canter for longer keeping up with Lynne’s horse (Mercuric’s) faster efficient trot.
I’ll be watching her heart monitor of course. Unless it’s noticeably uphill she tends to canter around 105-115 Bpm while at the same speed in a trot is more like 120-130. Her 100-110 bpm trot heart rate is a slower trot that we will certainly use a fair amount as well.
Lynne talked about a pretty long downhill section on the 50 course that is steep (or not too steep) enough to canter if your horse is good for it… We may try to knock that section out as sometimes I think trotting downhill for a long time is harder on her joints.
Either way we will be mixing it up as terrain and wear dictates.
After any long or hard rides lately I’ve been doing a mud poultice and rubbing down her back legs. I haven’t seen any fluid but I decided it can’t hurt to give them some extra care.
Next update will be from the mountain- or after depending on signal!