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Robby Johnson
Jul. 10, 2012, 06:12 PM
Is it me, or does there seem to be an air of desperation as we discuss final Olympic bids/strategies? I personally think Neville or any other listed horse could probably forego a gallop or two and be perfect if they were called up to perform. In fact, I almost think a slight rest would be of more benefit.

I had the same thoughts with I'll Have Another this year: that he probably didn't need those final workouts between Preakness and Belmont to be right on the third race day.

I'm more inclined to go into a holding pattern, as opposed to a push, where horses are concerned. 3 weeks isn't going to make the lungs expand more, or the range of motion at a critical joint increase, resulting in better performance. It's just going to stress the support structure and thusly compromise the joints on a body that has already peaked at world class level. The name of the game at this point is sustaining a level of fitness, not improving it.

Sebastian
Jul. 10, 2012, 06:36 PM
Agree completely!
Seb :)

hamsterpoop
Jul. 10, 2012, 08:46 PM
Robby I'm a little lost. Are they pushing the Olympic pairs too much right up to the Games in your opinion? I don't know how you "peak" for a competition like a 4* or an Olympic 3*, but at this point, (IMO) if they aren't ready, "pushing" them is probably not going to help. Agreed.

retreadeventer
Jul. 10, 2012, 10:01 PM
Some trainers push the horses right along at that level, Olympics or no. It's the way they operate. You can't second guess what they are doing now. I am sure the British or Germans are doing what they think is best, too, as are all the teams and individual riders.
When I trained stakes horses you really do want them to peak at the event, you don't want them on the downslide to the event. With event horses, same as racehorses, if you have them wound a bit too tight they wash out before they perform. It's a delicate, age-old, experienced horseman battle, and you can't sit on the sidelines and criticize. Each horse is an individual from day to day. You have to know where you are going and have some experience getting there, to know.

Robby Johnson
Jul. 11, 2012, 07:04 AM
Some trainers push the horses right along at that level, Olympics or no. It's the way they operate. You can't second guess what they are doing now. I am sure the British or Germans are doing what they think is best, too, as are all the teams and individual riders.
When I trained stakes horses you really do want them to peak at the event, you don't want them on the downslide to the event. With event horses, same as racehorses, if you have them wound a bit too tight they wash out before they perform. It's a delicate, age-old, experienced horseman battle, and you can't sit on the sidelines and criticize. Each horse is an individual from day to day. You have to know where you are going and have some experience getting there, to know.

Of course, thanks for that valuable insight. God knows I'm not nearly as amazing as you.

snoopy
Jul. 11, 2012, 07:13 AM
Of course, thanks for that valuable insight. God knows I'm not nearly as amazing as you.



:lol:

RiverBendPol
Jul. 11, 2012, 07:36 AM
I'm with you, Robby (as usual)...I don't have a clue as to (****) fitness but I do know that when I was prepping my horse for his first (**) (full format), I took him out for a "final" school. All I wanted was a trot and a drop into the water. I had been on for 25 minutes. I had popped an X and trotted up and across the 2' bank. He landed off that tiny bank and trotted away on 3 legs. That was the end of that. This was the Monday before shipping to Radnor on Wednesday. Glad it didn't happen on steeplechase......Holding patterns are a great idea, if you ask me...

yellowbritches
Jul. 11, 2012, 08:09 AM
It has always been my understanding, both with horses and endurance athlete humans (triathletes, marathon runners, cyclists, etc) that you want to "taper". You need the body (be it horse or human), to arrive at the event as fit as it can be, but rested and feeling good. When I have been involved with horses (and a couple of humans) getting ready for big events, their work-work tends to taper off the last couple of weeks- lots of hacking, maybe a gymnastic, some light dressage schools to keep them tuned up without drilling. They still gallop, and their longest, hardest gallop is usually 7 days out, but everything in between gallops is to meant to keep their minds and bodies fresh.

Now, none of the horses I have been involved with have been at this level, but it has always been my understanding that the same principle holds true straight through the top.

So, I think I agree with you. We need the horses to arrive fresh AND fit, not exhausted.

FrittSkritt
Jul. 11, 2012, 11:06 AM
Something tells me we're going to see a bunch of exhausted US horses in London, no thanks to CMP's ingenious plans to screw over the Team.

RiverBendPol
Jul. 11, 2012, 11:39 AM
Something tells me we're going to see a bunch of exhausted US horses in London, no thanks to CMP's ingenious plans to screw over the Team.

Ain't that the sorry truth. T'was ever thus. TG he's done soon. Not soon enough but soon.

NMK
Jul. 11, 2012, 11:53 AM
Interesting Article:

http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=518

"It's also important to remember that fitness, once achieved, is not static. If regular exercise ceases, or is reduced in volume, your horse's fitness level will backslide, although in general, horses maintain their conditioning responses better than humans. Even when in regular, progressive work, horses cannot maintain a "peak" of fitness indefinitely. Riders and trainers at the highest levels of competition know this, and go to great lengths to tailor their horses' conditioning programs so that they reach their peak at the time of the most important competition."

Each individual horse is key here IMHO

Nancy

CookiePony
Jul. 13, 2012, 08:08 PM
Here's another article about tapering-- recently, a study suggested that it helps horses as well as human athletes.
http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=20247

"According to the results of a recent study, the effects of tapering--the practice of reducing exercise prior to a big competition commonly used in human athletics--could be beneficial to equine athletes as well."

teddygirl
Jul. 13, 2012, 08:29 PM
Isn't that one of the big complaints about CMP, that he works horses and riders both in qualifying for teams and in preparing for the big competitions? While I know nothing about preparing horses for this level, I've heard many people voice this concern. Anyone know how different our team's prep is from the other nations?

RiverBendPol
Jul. 14, 2012, 01:44 PM
Another example just came to mind...When my daughter was a YR and heading to NAYRC (Chicago, long format, I've forgotten the year) the team kids went to (10 days?) training session, followed by running the prelim at Stuart (think fantastic, super tough, very hilly course, extreme heat) followed by shipping to Chicago on that Tuesday for the jog Wednesday. I did quite a lot of head butting with the PTB as we thought too much was being asked of the horses before running a real 3-day. (haha, :-( there was no other kind of 3-day then!) We were told if the kid wanted to ride on the team she would jolly well follow through on the training/competing schedule set out by Team Coach and Team Mother. The horses had been going flat out all summer. Big surprise, 2 of the horses could not complete the training session (ours included)-one back and one stifle, and came home when the others went West. The last 2 weeks are really a very slippery slope and best managed with great care and caution. Way better to do too little than too much, I say.

vineyridge
Jul. 14, 2012, 02:25 PM
this is where, apparently, TBs and very high percentage TBs have an advantage. It seems to be pretty well accepted that TBs retain their fitness longer than non-TBs.

If you want to see a horse who has been run into the ground, take a look at Rutherglen's recent schedule.

canyonoak
Jul. 14, 2012, 02:46 PM
Don't the eventing riders/ horses do what I presume every other athlete does: ie, create a calendar and work backwards..?

You know-- I need to peak here for a qualifier, so period of time before consists of so many days of work in 3-day cycles, down or light day, build back up, small peak to check and fix, etc etc etc.

hamsterpoop
Jul. 14, 2012, 04:10 PM
Yes, do we know that's the case as far as the horses being pushed hard, or is it just speculation. -hp

ThirdCharm
Jul. 14, 2012, 06:47 PM
Don't the eventing riders/ horses do what I presume every other athlete does: ie, create a calendar and work backwards..?

You know-- I need to peak here for a qualifier, so period of time before consists of so many days of work in 3-day cycles, down or light day, build back up, small peak to check and fix, etc etc etc.

They used to, in the days of REAL 3-days.... You could not run horses into the ground and expect to finish no matter how game the animal, then. One of the primary reasons for the format change was it allows UL horses to be run more often, for the entertainment of the sponsors and owners and the checkbooks of the trainers. It is becoming more and more like a point-chasing circuit schedule....

Jennifer