PDA

View Full Version : What are your strategies on a ride?



Jess!
May. 21, 2008, 08:14 PM
So what strategies do you use?

I always make sure I'm at the start well before the others, so I can guarentee a place up front. I always start out cantering, and a lot of people get caught up with us and push their horses past what they can comfortable do. So, trying to keep up with me will effectively tire their horses out.

When someone catches up to me, I will move out a bit faster than I was going, and hopefully string them along at a faster pace than they're comfortable with, but will "do it anyways" because they're close to the front.

Also, my horses literally FLY downhills at a canter, and I use the hills to my advantage. I don't let my horses run down hills during training except once or twice [to see how well they do], but on the rides they can run down as many as they'd like.

So, what do you do?

saratoga
May. 21, 2008, 08:48 PM
My strategy is just to have a good time and enjoy each of the 50 or more miles of the ride.

I remember when my friend and I were first doing LDs, we kept up a pretty good pace but couldnt believe the fast times of the people who raced. I'm just too conservative to go that fast, want my horse to last a long time, have as little stress as possible, and I'd also be freaked out cantering in ride starts on unfamiliar trails. Its hairy enough just to keep my horse calm at a walk and easy trot in the beginning. Its fun to hear about how other people ride though.

matryoshka
May. 21, 2008, 09:09 PM
Jess, how successful is your strategy? I'm curious, not criticising or anything. Do you always complete? Are you usually in the top 10? Do you win much?

I still haven't gotten to do an entire endurance ride yet (even LD) but have done some CTR. I would only ride to complete rather than trying to win, but strategy fascinates me. That's why I ask. :D

12hooves
May. 21, 2008, 09:34 PM
To keep my butt in the saddle.:lol:

Jess!
May. 21, 2008, 11:27 PM
Jess, how successful is your strategy? I'm curious, not criticising or anything. Do you always complete? Are you usually in the top 10? Do you win much?

I still haven't gotten to do an entire endurance ride yet (even LD) but have done some CTR. I would only ride to complete rather than trying to win, but strategy fascinates me. That's why I ask. :D

I usually top ten. :) So far, 100% completion rate [and that's including the non-AERC sanctioned rides, which I have more of under my belt, even though the rides always use AERC rules].

Last one I was first in.

It seems to work pretty well, at least for me. There is this one lady in my area that for some reason is ALWAYS out to beat me, and doesn't like me much. She was talking so much shit at the last ride, saying I was "riding my horse too fast"....and yet she was only 10 minutes behind me. :confused: Sour grapes was what it was, but it was funny.

Horses are herd animals, and most horses unconsciously move out a bit more when they spy horses on the trail in front of him/her. By moving a bit faster, the horse [usually] is going to want to go faster.

Works with the rider, too. "Oh, that rider in front isn't too far ahead of me, I can catch up!"

But, I always watch them and keep my pace a little bit ahead of them.

sublimequine
May. 21, 2008, 11:29 PM
I don't compete, so..

..I ride when I'm fairly sure no one else will be out there to try and tag along. Riding during the weekdays is the BEST. Got the whole property to myself. :lol:

I guess I'm just anti-social. I like having the trails with just me and maresie. ;)

Auventera Two
May. 22, 2008, 09:24 AM
I don't have enough competition rides in to say I have a "strategy." Thus far the strategy has been one leg on either side of the horse at the end of the ride. But I can say what my goals are. I raised my horse from babyhood and I still want to be riding her when she's 35. So....my goals with her is to achieve 10,000 lifetime competition miles, complete Tevis at least once and develop her into a solid 100 mile horse without hurting or stressing her.

Diamond Jake
May. 22, 2008, 09:44 AM
I would really like to follow the "slower the first loop, speed up the second" but I do not think Jake has gotten the memo yet!

Really, just to get completions at the rides this year. It would be a treat to place, but I am not sure we are the fast type. Just steady and easy. I, too, want to partner with Jake in this for a long time, and am willing to take it easy. Besides, sometimes I miss the beautiful trails when I am flying by!

chicamuxen1
May. 22, 2008, 10:59 AM
I don't compete a truly gifted PB Arabian. Mighty Mouse is 3/4 Arab, 1/4 QTR, 14.3hands, a bit stocky and not the best recoveries. I'm not going to be out in front, occasionally in the top ten. So, rides aren't as easy for us as for some physically talented horses. But I've learned a lot, I think, although just when I think I've got it figured out I screw something up!

1. Horse must eat thru the whole ride. Very importent as it then leads to...
2. Horse must drink thru whole ride.
3. Must give small amounts of non-caustic electrolytes frequently (every hour) thru entire rides. VERY importent, see #2....
4. Slow down going up hills, especially long hills. Let other horses pass and just do a slow trot up that 2 mile hill.
5. Use the flat sections to speed up. Pass all the hot huffing horses standing at the top of the hill who passed me going up the hill.
6. Use the down hills to Let 'er Rip! (Learn to be comfortable with speed on downhills). Leave timid riders behind.
7. Use rocky, twisty trails to pass other horses who riders lack confidence in their riding/horses ability.
8. Stop and graze horse often, just grab grass and go.
9. If you come to water and your horse is breathing hard, wait! After their breathing slows they may drink.
10. Be courteous to other riders, there is a reason that some riders are disliked.
11. Ride with another horse/rider who rides like you. Some horses don't need company but many will eat/drink and recovery faster if they have a buddy horse, mine does.
12. Don't ride near or around another rider who plays tricks or tries to control the trail. Get away from them. 've been stuck behind a rider who had a kicking mare who just had to be in front. Same rider, all her horses are the same, isn't that amazing? It's a form of manipulation.
13. I do start near the front, horses that need to pass can do so, I don't get sucked along. I don't let my horse really extend himself early on, save some for later. I establish the eating/drinking early then allow the ride to develop from there.
14. To finish is to win, but I don't like to finish last!

Bonnie

Auventera Two
May. 22, 2008, 11:11 AM
I always love your posts Bonnie, thanks for that good insight! :cool:

chicamuxen1
May. 22, 2008, 11:41 AM
I do so love to give an opinion!

I really got to see how this strategy worked at the 2006 Michaux Madness 50. Before the ride start a person told me that he was going to follow me as I was a smart rider. (where he got that idea I haven't a clue!) The ride starts out up a looooong gradual up hill blue stone road. I stared with the first 10 horses but shortly some riders took off and passed as I held Mouse and plugged up the hill. The person who was going to follow me couldn't resist and went with the faster horses. Off and on, all day, I passed those riders at the top of hills, their horse were lather, hot, breathing hard. Some of them couldn't stand it when I passed them and they'd follow me along the flats then take off galloping up the next hill. I would just catch them with a horse in much better shape because he climbed the hill slowly, stopped for grass along the way and reached the top in good shape. I even lectured them at a creek crossing when they caught up to me. The one rider's horse was way too hot and I told him so. I asked the group of riders "if you were out running would you sprint up every hill? Wouldn't you slow down on a steep or long climb?"

On the last loop for us 50 mile riders a 75 mile rider caught us and passed. It was John Crandell III on Rammit, doing his next to last loop. The bluestone road started downhill and John took off at a gallop, I was right behind him, time to move on, leave the others behind and get on in to the finish. Sure enough, the other riders just weren't comfy galloping down hill, it wasn't steep, just down. John made haste until the trail headed uphill, slowed way down and I kept him in sight for some time. Fast downhill, slow uphill. Then he was gone. John was 1st in the 75. I finished 7th in the 50. The rider who said he was going to follow me had his horse standing under a tree with an IV line in his neck after the ride. He actually came over and told me that he hadn't ridden wisely. I was glad to hear him say that, it meant that he had learned something.

chicamuxen

Auventera Two
May. 22, 2008, 01:21 PM
I ride with a lady whose horse wants to FLY down the trail for 1/2 a mile, and then walk for 2 miles. The FLY for 1/2 a mile, then walk. That wears them out so much faster than just picking a steady pace and maintaining it, slowing down for the ugly stuff, and trotting or cantering faster when it's flat and smooth. I do not like that wild/crazy cart horse trot for a half mile, and then walking to recover from it for 2 miles.

My horse loves to gallop up hills, but granted, here our hills are literally 6 strides long, and that's it. We don't have elevation climbs like you guys on the coasts do. So running up the hills here is no damage because they're so short and then you're on the level for another 2 miles, then you have another 6 stride climb. :lol:

That's why we take the horses in the river to condition against the current - we just don't have hills to train on. We have soft, rolling trails.

Shadow14
May. 22, 2008, 01:31 PM
Also, my horses literally FLY downhills at a canter, and I use the hills to my advantage. I don't let my horses run down hills during training except once or twice [to see how well they do], but on the rides they can run down as many as they'd like.

So, what do you do?

Down hill is one place where weight doesn't matter. A heavyweight, a lightweight, it is all the same to the horse on a down hill.
Studies were done comparing horses with riders and without riders on downhill runs and no difference was found in the horse.
So a heavyweight is wise to make his move on the downhill run.

BarbeyGirl
May. 22, 2008, 03:42 PM
Down hill is one place where weight doesn't matter. A heavyweight, a lightweight, it is all the same to the horse on a down hill.
Studies were done comparing horses with riders and without riders on downhill runs and no difference was found in the horse.
So a heavyweight is wise to make his move on the downhill run.

This is interesting -- can you point me to the study? (DH is a heavyweight, so I'm always in the market for info...)

quartersrule
May. 22, 2008, 05:19 PM
Jess, you said you were trash talked at a ride? This past ride an older woman called my name out loud at the ride meeting and said "You don't have to worry about me, I'm sponsoring this ride". It made me so mad! I got online and looked up my record against her, out of 5 rides that we had ridden against each other, I had beat her 4 times and the other 1 ride was the horse's first ride, so I went slow for a reason!

That's ridiculous, I never trash talk.

Jess!
May. 22, 2008, 05:49 PM
Jess, you said you were trash talked at a ride? This past ride an older woman called my name out loud at the ride meeting and said "You don't have to worry about me, I'm sponsoring this ride". It made me so mad! I got online and looked up my record against her, out of 5 rides that we had ridden against each other, I had beat her 4 times and the other 1 ride was the horse's first ride, so I went slow for a reason!

That's ridiculous, I never trash talk.


Oohhh man was I trashed talk!

And what makes me even MADDER, is that about six miles from the finish, there is a five minute hold. Well, usually it's a cookie stand and last year my grandmother was helping at that hold. And the woman that was trash talking me, her husband was helping there, as well.

So I left, and ten minutes later she comes riding in and starts talking COMPLETE crap about me to her husband, and my grandma was there.

I hope she felt like an ass, but I doubt it, knowing her.

Too bad I don't have the mare I had last year [had to sell her because of a military move], otherwise I'd CREAM her this year, as well. This year I have a half arabian, so I'm not sure how I will do.

I hate people who trash others. It's so stupid.

Auventera Two
May. 23, 2008, 09:16 AM
Too bad I don't have the mare I had last year [had to sell her because of a military move], otherwise I'd CREAM her this year, as well. This year I have a half arabian, so I'm not sure how I will do..

Would it be really smart anyway to try to "one-up" somebody on the trail because they said some hateful things about you? I always thought endurance racing is the one place for SURE where there is no room for games and oneupsmanship on the trail. Too many things can happen when people try to be cocky and race their horse to "beat" another person. Ride your own ride, enjoy the trail, do the best you can, and take the high road. Your horse will thank you for it.

Shadow14
May. 23, 2008, 09:24 AM
This is interesting -- can you point me to the study? (DH is a heavyweight, so I'm always in the market for info...)

No I can not point you to the article I read on this. It might have been 20 years ago but if I read something that really interests me I retain it for life.
They took some long distance runners and using them and some fit horses and rider they conducted tests.
Some horses were lead by the runners and some were ridden by riders and they went down a long hill. P & R's were taken immediately at the bottom and it was found that ridden or not the P & R's were the same.
They then switched the horses, ridden now lead and lead now ridden and again the P & R's were the same.
So for this it is recommended the heavy weights make their move on down hill slopes where the light weights don't have the advantage.
Again sorry I can't direct you to the article but the results of the test stuck with me forever.
I weigh 193 and rod at 220

Jess!
May. 23, 2008, 10:04 AM
Would it be really smart anyway to try to "one-up" somebody on the trail because they said some hateful things about you? I always thought endurance racing is the one place for SURE where there is no room for games and oneupsmanship on the trail. Too many things can happen when people try to be cocky and race their horse to "beat" another person. Ride your own ride, enjoy the trail, do the best you can, and take the high road. Your horse will thank you for it.

I wouldn't go out there to just beat her, but with the mare I had last year - I would have.

That mare had more talent in one hoof than any other horse I've head in years [I've owned a LOT LOL], I was so mad I had to sell her. :)

Endurance riding to some is just about "to finish is to win", but to others it is a competition, a race, to win.

I like to win.

But my horse's health and well being will not be sacrificed for it.

Auventera Two
May. 23, 2008, 10:06 AM
That's what is so cool about this sport - there's something for everyone! :yes:

saratoga
May. 23, 2008, 11:04 AM
Would it be really smart anyway to try to "one-up" somebody on the trail because they said some hateful things about you? I always thought endurance racing is the one place for SURE where there is no room for games and oneupsmanship on the trail. Too many things can happen when people try to be cocky and race their horse to "beat" another person. Ride your own ride, enjoy the trail, do the best you can, and take the high road. Your horse will thank you for it.

I have a friend who goes only to race- she thinks riding for miles is a waste of time and money, and that second place is the first loser. She is always getting into head games and trash talking about certain other people who like to win also. its fun to listen to, I will admit. I am a competitive person but I'd be way scared to put my horse on the line just to win an endurance ride, which at the end of the day doesnt really mean a whole lot anyhow. I mean, I've placed first in horse shows and horse trials before and yeah, its a great feeling, but life goes on the same the next day. I've seen too many horses on IVs, even seen some horses die at rides, and you really have to be careful in this sport.

Auventera Two
May. 23, 2008, 11:15 AM
For me - life is all about the journey and not necessarily the destination. After all, how many of us make it out of this world alive? :cool: So I want to enjoy every minute I'm here and if that means being the first, second, or 10th loser, then I will be a happy loser! :D

I hope that I always remember that my horse doesn't care if she wins or not. It's all about the horse. It's not about me. My horse enjoys the trails and she enjoys the miles. My goals for her are more mileage than wins. If we have some good placings along the way, great, but that's not the focus. She's very talented and I know she can do very well, but I want that to always be secondary to fun, safety, and good health.

saratoga
May. 23, 2008, 11:46 AM
I hope that I always remember that my horse doesn't care if she wins or not. It's all about the horse. It's not about me. My horse enjoys the trails and she enjoys the miles. My goals for her are more mileage than wins. If we have some good placings along the way, great, but that's not the focus. She's very talented and I know she can do very well, but I want that to always be secondary to fun, safety, and good health.


Amen!!

matryoshka
May. 23, 2008, 08:39 PM
It is sooo much more satisfying to win if you can beat somebody who was talking smack beforehand!

I used to run (before I got runner's knee in both knees), and my strategy for covering distance involves how I know it feels to run that kind of terrain. Hence, slow up hills (not too slow) and faster downhills for a competition. I don't mind galloping down a hill on a sure-footed horse. Flats are the time for middle speed.

I'm another one who thinks speed downhill is fine for a competition but should be used sparingly during training. Downhills are hard on the joints. It might be easier on the heart to pick up speed downhill, but it is harder on everything else. I train with some speed going downhill enough to know what my horse's limitations are (would hate to find problems during a competition) but not enough to court joint problems. This is how I know my OTTB cannot be trusted going downhill with much speed. ;) He can fly downhill when the footing is just right, but otherwise, we'll be rolling instead of galloping down a hill.

Now, if I had a nice, sure-footed Arab, I'd train and compete to that horse's abilities. I'll get a chance if the little mare I was given this year turns out to be a sane trail horse. Somehow I've got to find the time to train her. If this horse has any talent, I might just be thinking of strategies to top 10. We'll see.

Auventera Two
May. 24, 2008, 05:59 PM
Well, I did a race this morning and I managed to find my butt in the #2 position leaving the starting line :lol: So the strategy was keep the rocket burning and don't get run down. My girl was on FIRE today. Holy cow. I agreed to sponsor 3 juniors so I hung with them all day (they were a BLAST!) or I could have been in the top 3. That mare is unbelievable. I was riding the brake for 25 miles and she was pissed about it but those juniors said they'd never ridden that fast before. I didn't want anybody hurt.

As it was we Top10ed and I don't know about final placing. I know we did a lot of ditzing around at the vet checks trying to get checked in and I lost a lot of time there. We were trying to all 4 stay together so we were letting other people go first. We left the halfway hold a few minutes late also.

My horse got all As and at the end she was still passaging and tail flagging. The vet said "You didn't ride this horse far enough or fast enough." :lol:

Anyway - her recoveries and scores were all so great that I think in the future my strategy may be to get her behind the first 2 or 3 horses and keep her there. The more I try to hold her back the madder she gets. She'd get hollow and throw her head up. She was galloping up hills at top flight and having the time of her life. The great thing is that she was working so well I had time to just enjoy the trail and look at everything.

Romantic Rider - I think you need to teach me how to do 50s and I'll run with you. You're always in the top! :lol: :D

I don't know where the bottom of this horse is but it sure ain't in LDs I know that. Sheeesh. Maybe time to rethink "strategy" I don't know. LOL

I'd planned to do LDs both days but I came home early. The footing was pretty deep and two days on that might be too much for her. We don't ride in anything deep at home and that's just asking for a bowed tendon.

matryoshka
May. 24, 2008, 06:01 PM
Sounds like you are both ready to move up to the 50's. I look forward to hearing how that goes!

Auventera Two
May. 24, 2008, 06:07 PM
Well, she is but I don't know about me. That's a huge mental hurdle. 25 is no problem, but the thought of doubling that is scary. I'm a wimp! :lol:

Auventera Two
May. 24, 2008, 06:10 PM
We had all As on her back with the treeless saddle so I was very pleased with that. I saw a couple other LD horses flinch under pressure. Yikes.

Romantic Rider
May. 24, 2008, 10:57 PM
Hey that's great, A2! The first ride of the season can be a challenge, so it's always nice to finish. Sounds like you have some kind of horse. She'll be ready to do a fifty this year. Vets don't hand out many compliments, so if your mare got one she had to be looking good.

I dont' know if I deserve your trust. :D:D I don't think I've fully figured out my strategy yet. I try to keep Pasha just behind the frontrunners the first loop, (I either let her run there or fight a very fit 1100 lb. horse for 15 miles, which is not fun). After that I see how motivated I can keep her and how much food I can stuff into her. She is sooooooo picky. Unless she's with another horse, she's mentally lost interest in the race by the last loop, which is so frustrating because she's a big, strong, very capable animal. Unfortunately she'll never be a frontrunner because she hates to run alone. I remember one ride last year where we rode the whole 60 miles with a group of 5 to 7 riders, highly unusual. She was happy and fresh and strong as could be the whole ride. Galloped the last two miles (another rider's trial to see if I would race or back down), and she looked awesome at the final vet check. Too bad that isn't the norm.

I just finished two fifty mile rides the last two weekends, in just under and just over 6 hours. So she's doing well so far. What's your next ride, A2? Will you be at Palmyra in June?

Romantic Rider
May. 25, 2008, 05:12 PM
Pasha never drinks on the first loop, and very rarely eats during the first vetcheck. Which was kind of scary this last ride since the first loop was 25 miles. Oh well. Somehow she does it. And even when she does eat well, her gut sounds are never that great. I've gotten used to it. Her attitude is harder to get used to. But it's just her personality, and I don't think that can be changed. Boy do I wish my other horse had Pasha's body. THAT would be a horse. Sugar is so independent and gutsy and willing, her legs just can't keep up with her. There must be horses somewhere that have it all together. :winkgrin::winkgrin: Yeah, we'll have to team up sometime and see how it goes. You go for that fifty.

BarbeyGirl
May. 27, 2008, 02:47 PM
No I can not point you to the article I read on this. It might have been 20 years ago but if I read something that really interests me I retain it for life.
They took some long distance runners and using them and some fit horses and rider they conducted tests.
Some horses were lead by the runners and some were ridden by riders and they went down a long hill. P & R's were taken immediately at the bottom and it was found that ridden or not the P & R's were the same.
They then switched the horses, ridden now lead and lead now ridden and again the P & R's were the same.
So for this it is recommended the heavy weights make their move on down hill slopes where the light weights don't have the advantage.
Again sorry I can't direct you to the article but the results of the test stuck with me forever.
I weigh 193 and rod at 220

Hmm, ok, thanks! I'm the same way about retaining information, so I understand what you mean!

I wonder about impact on the horse's joints carrying a heavyweight downhill at speed. Still negligable if you only do it during competition, you think?

matryoshka
May. 27, 2008, 09:43 PM
I wonder about impact on the horse's joints carrying a heavyweight downhill at speed. Still negligable if you only do it during competition, you think?This would be my thought as well. As long as you don't run down the hills all the time in training, it would be okay to do it in competition. I believe a lot of impact injuries come from repetetive impact, not just brief poundings. So the fewer hills done at speed, the less damage will be done over time. Reserveing that tactic for competitions makes sense. Of course, one does have to make sure that the horse knows how to move on down the hill safely at speed. Just not over and over and over.

psidio
May. 29, 2008, 11:23 PM
It is simple..

We ride our own ride. We try to never hurry and never tarry. Steady pace on trail. In and out of vet checks on time. #1 priority is taking care of my horse. Gut, hydration and feet. Without those working right, I am afoot.

We try not to be aware of placing during the ride. When we finish, the timer will tell us.

At Tevis last year, at the 50 mile mark, (Deadwood) we had just come up a steep canyon and now we have the second big canyon coming right up. It was the hottest part of the day. We took a nice 30 minute break to rehydtrate and refuel Piper. A bunch of horses came into the vet check after us and left before us. We caught most of them on the far canyon wall. They were walking and out of horse. (Tevis only has two holds. There are six gate and go vet checks. Many of the people who got caught up in racing often didn't spend enough time taking care of their horse, and ran out of horse before getting to Auburn)

Paul N. Sidio

matryoshka
May. 30, 2008, 11:08 AM
I like that last post. Makes sense and is how I want to ride, if I ever get there! This is how we approach CTR. I honestly don't worry about the time, since I'd rather finish with a sound, healthy horse than place. If I had a horse who could top 10, I sure hope I wouldn't lose sight of my horse's health in my competetive drive.