A couple weeks back I rode the snot out of Roxy to get her tired. 2 days, then 1 day off, then another 2 days.
I loaded her with this set up- 50lbs saddle and gear, and myself to weigh in at 230lbs.
We rode about 8 miles each of the first days -steep up and down hills. Then 9.5 miles the second 2 days.
Of course, even though I’ve owned Roxy for 2 years now, she’s never gotten tired, even when we ride her hard over 20-30 miles. She just wants to RUN.
So I let her go as she wanted the first day and we cantered, galloped and hard trotted up and down the hills, a little walking mixed in.
The second day, she only started hard trotting/ cantering/ galloping after about 3 miles, but went as hard as she could the way home.
The same thing happened the next 2 days, she went easy on the way out – MANAGEABLE – not yanking on the bit like normal.
But each day on the way home, if I didn’t let her go, she would head toss like a freak, even after galloping up a hill, all out of breath. She would only let up enough to sort of catch her breath.
For those of you who interval train, that’s how it is riding Roxy, except she wants to set the tempo, I never have to coax her. This interval style training may be unorthodox for long ride by horse preparation, but hey if the top endurance athletes all do it, and Roxy wants to do it, we’re going to do it…
Furthermore, before feeling secure that I could take her on the trip, I needed to see what she’s like once she’s got all the piss and vinegar out of her. I needed to feel what it’s like to ride her – A. when’s she’s tired, B. when’s she’s not yanking on the bit, C. and I wanted to see how she would react to her fatigue…
The next training session will build on that route, by going slightly further every 2 times. What I’m trying to do is get her to slow down, not via the reins, but rather via the lactic acid in her legs…She has never learned to pace herself yet, so that is the goal over the next 3 months.
One of the realizations I’ve come to is that her style makes it hard to pony a horse behind her, so it may end up that I sell Jingles before the trip. I’m weighing on that decision and will make it in the next week or so. It’s a big decision, 1 or 2 horses…
Thanks for reading! Please share this post.
Follow the trip:
Buy the book:
Support the fundraiser:
Want to receive our blog posts automatically?
Subscribe to our list and we’ll send it right to your email address.