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For Endurance or any Discipline


Eric Hought

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Log entries will be a little bit spotty because Tempest is pretty much ready to continue in her growth of becoming a mentallly and physically sound endurance horse. Note I said mentally first. The proper mental preparation is first priority. Physical preparation will take care of itself.

The goal for Tempest is to be able to start any ride on a flat footed walk with a slack rein. Anything else is not acceptable and will not be allowed. We may leave the start and work on the walk for 2-3 miles depending upon how long it takes for her to mentally relax and walk. She will signal when it is ok to ask for the trot.

Plenty took two hours and three miles before she would walk on the first day of the Cuyama Multiday ride. She was walking on eggs. I would not hold her because she would then be using me as a crutch. She would not have to take responsibility for herself. Once she would walk on a slack rein I could ask her to trot and she would come back to me at anytime. Her second day of the ride was no problem and she was great.

Tempest's most challenging skill is her camp manners. She gets tired or bored being tied to the trailer. She paws on the trailer, pulls back and basically acts like a spoiled kid. Hummm. Time and miles will gradually solve this "poor manners" problem.

Both horses have to go through the "start of the ride syndrome". If I allowed either one to push at the start until they quit, I would be creating a larger problem as time went on. I can't count the number of times I have heard of situations in which riders say, "The start is so hard, he just pulls for the first 15 or 20 miles until he wears down". What other problems creap into the picture? How about metebolic and lambness problems? Many of these horses last 2-3 seasons and they are diagnossed unsound or deemed not to be an endurance horse prospect. Hummm. Keep it simple.

11/15/04 -TEMPEST FALL 2004

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