Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Riding (do work)...and Not Riding (sore & lazy)....

Yesterday was a be-uuuutiful day so I skipped math (shhh don't tell anyone) since I had the HW done a day before and turned it in, and its like a 25 min walk to the class that is only 40 min long then another 25 min walk back to my car and it's all BS anyways....whatever, I skipped, the world is not going to end.

So I debated heavily on what to do.....couldn't jump since no one else was there, didn't feel like doing dressage and since I didn't want to I thought Yanks wouldn't either and it was too wet to do canter sets in the field. I ended up doing a conditioning day with some looooooong trots and a few canters down our road.

First lemme say that the road is amazing to work down. Its all small little ground up gravely thingys in dirt....its like a race track but straight and hilly. YAY! It' slike everything I need....hills I find are amazing if you use them to walk and slow trot.

I wish I had the thing Klein mare and Stacey (yes I learned how to link!) have so I know how fit he is getting and all that fancy stuff it does.. I'm pretty sure it's expensive aaand I'm not made out of dinero.

So back to the road, Yanks LOVES road work. I wrapped him in polo's, bell boots and his jump tack. I started off free walking for the 1st 1/8 mile, then trotted on the flats, walked the 1st two hills, then increased to no walking, trotted the next 3 hills, then trotted the straights and cantered 2 more hills, then walked an 1/8 mile. At the end there is a 1/4 mile dirt path and we hand galloped on each lead, 1/4 mile one way, turned around and hand galloped on other lead 1/4 mile, walked, then trotted straights, cantered (altering leads) 4 hills then trotted the remainder and walked the last 1/4 mile home. Altogether we did 5 1/4 miles ( I checked with my car....ghetto fab!). I have been doing about 2 miles once a week just walk/trot, and gallop sets at least once every 2 weeks so he has been pretty fit as well as reg. work and he was barely breathing.

A major win, this is the 1st time he hasn't YANKED my effing arms off! He was so relaxed!!! He just settled in to a nice rhythm and did work. DO WORK :) Yay for being a grown up ponyface! OTTB success. Also we got like 5 compliments on my boy from people driving by /walking their dogs.

Anyways, it was 67 yesterday so he sweat a bit, and I was able to hose him off, which was nice, got all the grimy dirt out of his coat. I think he liked it. I gotta post a picture of him drinking straight out of the hose...adorable. Also gave hima good rubdown and hand graze.

Later that night I went to the gym and blasted out a massive workout (for me). 30 min. cardio and 30 min. circuit training core and upper body.


SOOOO today was a different story. I woke up feeling like I drank an entire keg. Yeah I didn't drink. My eyes hurt, head gonna explode, body was thrashed and I was like, WHAT did I do yesterday then remembered I beat the shit out of my body by riding for a solid hour and working out for a solid hour. Major calorie burn=major ouch.

Cutting to the chase, I zoned out in classes today, and had ZERO energy to go ride (or do anything else for that matter). I felt so guilty but it was like 70 today (yes SEVENTY. IN FEBRUARY. In the MIDWEST) and I was not ready for this. -5 last week, 70 this week.....sweaty and gross on top of feeling like a trainwreck

Yankee was feeling about the same. Poor guy was sweating just standing in the shade. He was not ready for this weather either as he has a full winter coat (clipped of course). I groomed him, lunged for approx 3 min to see if he was sore...only a little stiffness to the left. Which was good, I was thinking with all those hills he might be more sore, but he wasn't. Might be fitter/stronger than I thought.

Question for anyone. Eventer that I am, I have never had to condition really hard for any season, since he is a TB and remains pretty fit just in reg. work. But since I plan on going prelim this year I am doing a little extra than just our usual trot sets and hills. Is it normal/preferred to get a horse sore? Like with humans you usually want sore, since you break apart the muscles to build them up. But I actually don't know this one about horses. I feel a little ignorant asking...but hey better to ask and find out than not know and ruin a horse.

He was not heated in any legs and I gave him a massage as well. He seemed to enjoy that :)

Anywhoo I hope you all are enjoying the weather, if you are having nice-ness. Ta-ta for now.


  1. ah, that road sounds absolutely amazing. what i wouldn't do to have that near my horse....

    i'm not sure about the wanting to have your horse a little sore question either, though it would be good to know.

    i do know that horses take longer to heal than a human would, and as a prey animal they're less likely to show soreness like we would, so at a guess, i'd say not.

    maybe the slight stiffness is a good sign that you're working hard and getting fit to move up to prelim!
    if i'm wrong, i'd love to know as i just took a guess at it :)

  2. The thing I have was $600 but that is because it has an equine HR monitor as well as GPS and a program to log it all into. You can still use a regular Garmin GPS to atleast get your times and speeds. You can get them for around $100.

    There really is no way to tell if your horse is sore the next day unless it's blatantly obvious in which case I'd think you over worked them a little bit. I try to just treat Klein like I treat myself. If I do sprints hard one day my calves are usually sore the next day. So if Klein does speedwork one day I make sure we don't jump the next day or work hard. We'll do something easy and stretchy. She's never shown me she's physically sore but I know she has to be. If she did show me I'd be worried I over did it.

    As far as workouts to get fit though, I mix Klein's stuff up. We'll do long, slow distance stuff like long trot sets and long slow canters, strength conditioning (jumping, gymnastics, hill work), and speed work (sprints). We also regularly gallop our XC distance and a little longer and faster than our XC distance. She has responded REALLY well to the above methods.

  3. If I've worked Izzy really, really hard, she is a bit cranky the next day, so I usually either give her a day off or just take it easy and hack around. She's only half TB though, so less pain tolerance more lazy that Yankee I'm sure.

    In general though, she doesn't get sore because I gradually build up the work.

  4. I think if you're trying to build fitness, your horse has to get a bit of muscular soreness - otherwise you haven't challenged their muscles/respiratory system/circulatory system etc enough to stimulate them to develop greater capacity for exercise (= fitness).

    I alternate 'fitness focus' days (canter intervals/hard hillwork/loooong trot rides) with 'schooling focus' days so that there's a recovery period between demanding rides.

    I don't think they should get *too* sore though, since the workload should gradually increasing. Only ask for half a step ahead of where they're at. A gentler ride the next day should help with the stiffness more than a day off (like when I do exercise - ha! - I feel better after a walk to loosen up, instead of sitting around aching).