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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Default What is involved in a 50???

    I thought some might be interested in what is involved in a 50.
    You need a coggins test. Then enter and if you don't belong to a club you pay a penelty for registration.
    Anyway we , usually ment 3 riders and 1 pit crew would pack the day before if the ride was only an hour or so away and if longer we would go and camp out the day before.
    If we were going the day of the ride the 3 others would come to my house about 4-4:30 for breakfast. It was a waker upper, a quiet time before the day began.
    We left for the ride by 5:30 or so.
    Get to the ride. Unload the horse, go to the registration tent and get your pre entery forms. Take the horse for his vet check. Bring him back, tie to the side of the trailer, brush, feed grain, pack what the riders want to carry, saddle up , go to the start line.
    A typical 50 is divided into 4 parts or roughly 12.5 mile segments. If the horse is working at a nice trot he is travelling about 8 mph or 90 minutes per quarter.
    I often let the 3 girls ride and I was the pit crew.
    The start is hard, everyone heading out at once. Got in the habit of waiting an extra 5 minutes but too many did that and it was just as bad at starting with the first start.
    We started out with the pack at a good clip but after a few miles I would gather my group if I was riding and get them to let the main group go and settle the horses into a nice working trot, relaxed as we could get them. I tailed up every tall hill by jumping off and grabbing the tail of the horse in front of me and the person behind did that to my horse.
    Every water trough none of our 3 horses had a problem with drinking so they usally took a drink.
    If I was pit crewing I would meet the girls at the road crossing, sponge the horses off quickly, give the riders a quick snack of junk food or whatever drink they wanted, nothing to hold them up for more then a few minutes.
    Anyway about 90 minutes into the run you should be approaching the 1st gate.
    It is just a holding area where your horse may not enter until his P & R's are below a set parameter set by the ride. 64 for both P & R was normal.
    Anyway about 100 yards before this area/gate I would pull out of my nice working trot and jump off, loosen the girth and hand walk the horse into the check area. I could usually call for a check right away. If I had the heart rate monitor on I have to shut it off before the check.
    A horse works at about 135 bpm at a working trot if he is fit and you do not want to run past 150 for long or the horse is fatigueing.
    Anyway you call for a check and if you meet the 64 P & R your official time is written on a card. You may not leave the holding area before this 1/2 hour, not one minute early but late as you want.
    In this 1/2 hour you water the horse, we give electrolites in a syringe with apple sauce, offer him some food, bath him off with water, present him to the vet for inspection, give the riders junk food, drink, a chance to relax.
    The rider does not have to present the horse so a crew member can while you relax.
    At about the 25 minute mark you start getting ready and present at the exit gate to the time keeper. He looks at the card, at his official clock and when the time is up allows to run the 2nd quarter.
    The second quarter is often back to the home base or trialer.
    Again a 90 minute run if you are at a good working trot and 8 mph.
    Again repeat the walk in, P&R's under the 64, vet check , 1/2 hour rest and do the loop again.
    If you run 90 minutes per quarter you finish in 6 hours with a strong horse if he is in condition.
    As for winning if you finish you win. To top ten you need about 4 1/2 hours instead of 6 so the pace is just faster.
    Big dinner afterwards with awards, good food, visiting with other etc etc.
    Wife is calling , we are heading out. Talk to you later.
    Norval
    Last edited by Shadow14; Apr. 19, 2008 at 10:54 PM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    Really it is not that difficult if you have a fit horse and someone who can keep your spirits up. Think of it as only a 90 minute ride and do each quarter as a seperate run. Recovery in 1/2 hour is easy.
    The hardest part is leaving the trailer for the second loop. Leaving home base seems hard after doing the 25 but once you reach the 3rd vet check it gets easier since you are in the home stretch.
    That said I have seen lots of people run into a wall in about 40 miles and want to quit, they are tired, the horse might be starting to wear down. At that point a good mentor starts talking, cheering you up.
    I have never personally run into this wall but i have certainly done my share of talking others through it.
    Never ride without underwear, no matter what other say. I have seen the woman ready to tear someone's off at the first vet stop.
    It was fun but I lost all my riding partners due to time, health and just moving away. It is also getting very expensive. It use to cost a dollar a mile. No more with gas prices, club feas and cost of the ride.
    I would love to take someone through a 50 but I guess that will never happen, no new riders coming up that I know, no one interested anymore in my area so I am stuck just having fun running the miles alone, well not alone. Shadow is with me.
    Have a good night
    Norval



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 11, 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    1,154

    Default

    Thanks for taking us there, Shadow. Do you ride in the southeast? Sounds like it because of the Coggins (there is only one ride here out west where we have to have it for the ride officials), and the pulse requirement of 64 (we usually have a 60 bpm requirement except at the finish where it is 68 - true everywhere). The rest is the same as here out west.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    1,108

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by prudence View Post
    Thanks for taking us there, Shadow. Do you ride in the southeast? Sounds like it because of the Coggins (there is only one ride here out west where we have to have it for the ride officials), and the pulse requirement of 64 (we usually have a 60 bpm requirement except at the finish where it is 68 - true everywhere). The rest is the same as here out west.

    No I live in Canada. I am about 60 miles from Toronto, ontario or 80 or so miles north west of Buffalo.
    A coggins is required everywhere around here even though there has never been a single case. This is from our vet.
    The pulse rate changes per the weather but 64 was used alot.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    221

    Default

    Every ride in the Midwest that I know about requires Coggins. You are right, Shadow. There are too few new riders in the sport. People around here keep talking about how the rides are so much smaller than they used to be. This year, what with gas prices and hay and grain prices, they'll be even smaller. And there are no young people coming into the sport. I am eighteen. But I have only seen one other girl my age in this region doing actual endurance rides (CTR, LD doesn't count). I think this is the most realistic horse sport, but it's probably also the hardest. It's sad.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
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    The Land of the Frozen
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    Default

    Thanks Norval for taking the time to write all that up!

    The rides I've been to have been a little different than that though. You camp over the night before because there is usually a Dawn start, or early like 6 a.m. There is no way in heck you could get everything done on ride morning - checking in, paying fees, vetting... no way. I get up at 4 just to get my horse fed and tacked, eat something, get warmed up, and to the out timer.

    I love the time overnight because the horses just chill. They rest, eat all night, and there is no crazy rushing around in the morning. We just take our time and have fun, enjoy the sounds of ride camp in the morning light.

    Also, each ride and each vet stop can be different. Sometimes there may be only a check and go without a hold, sometimes 30 minutes, 45, or 1 hour.

    I've never heard of tailing up on someone else's horse? I do it at home ocassionally for training but have never seen somebody grab another horse's tail?? Ordinarily you get behind your horse and grab their tail. So that's different than what I've seen.

    Coggins are required in the midwest too.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2001
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
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    4,567

    Default

    Thanks for taking the time to write that up -- it makes a 50 sound do-able, even for me, who has expressed the desire to do only LD, though, yes, I know, it doesn't count.

    (I have to disagree with that when you compare to all the people out there that ride, but think that 25/30 miles done in less than 6 hours is lunacy I am still impressed every time I finish one!)

    The good news is that at the SE ride this weekend that I attended (Million Pines) there were a LOT of juniors, which is very encouraging!

    If we want the sport to grow, we need to make the LDs seem like fun and do-able, because many, many people start there. There are some folks we ride with that make accomplishing an LD seem like nothing, which is pretty discouraging and really can lock new people out of trying the sport.

    Right now, I don't have a horse that could do a 50 and stay sound, hell, I don't have a horse right now that can do an LD and stay sound! But, I'm keeping happy, healthy horses that can trot for 25 miles as my goal and try to convince as many others who want to try it to join me.

    Your next 50 and 100 milers will come from within that group, I'd bet.

    Libby (who just can't be convinced that I need to go that far, but who thinks LDs are a blast and wishes her horses would quit breaking)
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
    **********************************
    I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Auventera Two View Post
    I've never heard of tailing up on someone else's horse? I do it at home ocassionally for training but have never seen somebody grab another horse's tail?? Ordinarily you get behind your horse and grab their tail. So that's different than what I've seen.

    Coggins are required in the midwest too.
    These are horses running in OUR group. I am grabbing my partners horses tail and another of my partners is grabbing mine.
    On really long long hills we take turns running out front since there is no tail to hang on to.
    Camping overnight is fun but my wife is NOT into it so me going camping with 2 or 3 other women is not always an option.
    I have seen some guys get in trouble grabbing their own horses tail and having that horse take off.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    I have found the best training tools for LD is BREAKFAST AND ICE CREAM?
    When 3 of us went into this sport in 1989 we were making Breakfast runs every Saturday and every Sunday before we ever got into this sport.
    Make training fun. We picked 2 different places to get breakfast. Each was about 12 miles ONE WAY.
    We would meet at the barn about 8 am, saddle up and head out for breakfast. It is cooler in the morning and we would pick a good pace and ride to the restaurant.
    We all carried neck ropes and we would tie the horses under a tree by a picnic table and the 2 girls would go in and order a large breakfast to go and then come back out and sit under the tree, the waitress would bring them out and we ate breakfast and it gave the horses a rest and off we would go for home. The horses got a 25 mile run, broken up in 2 stages and we got well feed.
    Sunday we did the same thing but in a different direction and it was a burger king or McDonald’s. Again a picnic table, girls get breakfast to go and we eat on the picnic table.
    Teaches the horses pacience and we get fed.
    Again another 25 mile run, in 2 stages and we had fun.
    That is a 50 mile weekend having run .
    The Dairy queen was 6 miles away for come Tuesday after supper and Thursday we would meet and head out for ice cream. Again a picnic table, retaining wall, curb, anyplace to sit, one baby sits the horses and 2 go in.
    We often tied the other 2 horses to my saddle and my mare at the time would stand ground hitched so tying was no problem. Later my horse Strider became the hitching rail.
    Find some place to go for food, someplace about 10-12 miles away and find a place to put the horses, keep a baby sitter, get takeout and just have fun.
    We were covering about 70-80 miles a week having fun, not training, having fun .
    Once you have covered a distance the next time it seems so much easier.
    In our first 25 at Crosshill in October 1989 with me riding my jumper the 3 of us walked away from anything else winning by miles and I got the best condition.
    Sold that horse and bought an Arab.
    Got best condition again at Crosshill, Oct 12/91/ Echo
    Best condition, Crosshill October 24/92/ Strider
    I was moving around on horses at that time.
    Strider carried me for 17 years after that and turns 23 this next month and over 30,000 miles in his personal log book and never a day off for illness or lameness.
    He is retired, became the barns loaner horse, everyone from 8-80 rides him and he goes out 3 or 4 times a week with up to 250 pound men on his back.
    NOTHING gets to him.
    Again I feel anyone with a little training like I outline/ Breakfast/Ice cream runs are the secret.
    Get out , have fun, don’t train. Just ride.
    The weight you gain eating is lost in the ride.
    Better not keep rambling. So much comes to mind.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Just thought of another training tool we used.
    SWIMMING HOLES.. We found this remote swimming hole, sandy beach, water only about 4 feet deep but there was one deep hole where the horses had to swim.
    We would ride over there, about 5 miles one way, off came the saddles, a stirrup leather was removed and put around the horses neck for something to hold onto, off came a lot of cloth and into the water we went. With oneleading the other horses followed and we would swim across the deep section. You would be surprised at how hard the horses work swimming, towing you, they came out of the water hot, steaming.
    We would let them dry off grazing while we ourselves dried off enough to put some of our clothes back on.
    Great time, good exercise and again we were having run.
    Kept riding fun.



  11. #11
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    Sep. 25, 2005
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    The Land of the Frozen
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    There's a bar that we ride to and we get sodas. There's a boat landing there also and we take the horses in. They love the water, and we feel good about a cold fresh soda before heading back to the trailers.

    We also take the horses in the river for conditioning. We can go downstream quite a ways and then we trot upstream in the chest deep water into the current. We never really found the horses to get tired or hot because they're in good shape to start with but also the water current is so cold. It's a great brace on the legs. Good way to condition their lungs and heart without the pounding on the legs.



  12. #12
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    Mar. 18, 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Vickey our water is warm , in the 80's and we are right in there too, right up to our necks. I have taken fins with me and using a boat landing in a river taken new untried horses into the deep. Using the fins I can swim by their head keeping them going where I want. I feel totally in control and swim them up the river and back down . When they come out of the water they are hot to the touch and the water just steams off them. I broke all the new horses for swimming and to start they really don't know how and bring the front ends really high up out of the water trying to walk on their hind legs. They catch on quickly.
    We don't trail, all this is done right out of the barn, makes for one less hassle.
    I do trailer in the hot summer to the green belt about 5 miles away if I am alone now. All my riding partners have passed on to something else so most of my rides are alone. Once a week a lady goes with me but I wear her out too much to ride more often.



  13. #13
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    Sep. 25, 2005
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    The Land of the Frozen
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    I wouldn't like that hot water! Yeeeesh. The river where we go is very cold. I don't swim. I'm terrified of water. So no way in hockey sticks would I be off the horse's back. I know the river well and I know where to go to keep the horse about chest deep. My riding buddy is a lot braver, and she swims, so she'll pony my mare into the deep water but I stay on the bank when she does that. I mean, I can doggy paddle the length of a swimming pool but I really don't like deep water. This year I'm going to start wearing a life vest on the days we go to the river, just in case.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    221

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bensmom View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to write that up -- it makes a 50 sound do-able, even for me, who has expressed the desire to do only LD, though, yes, I know, it doesn't count.

    (I have to disagree with that when you compare to all the people out there that ride, but think that 25/30 miles done in less than 6 hours is lunacy I am still impressed every time I finish one!)

    The good news is that at the SE ride this weekend that I attended (Million Pines) there were a LOT of juniors, which is very encouraging!

    If we want the sport to grow, we need to make the LDs seem like fun and do-able, because many, many people start there. There are some folks we ride with that make accomplishing an LD seem like nothing, which is pretty discouraging and really can lock new people out of trying the sport.


    Libby (who just can't be convinced that I need to go that far, but who thinks LDs are a blast and wishes her horses would quit breaking)
    I didn't mean that LD's don't count at all. I was just specifying what I meant by no new riders doing 'Endurance'. I have done LD's. They are great fun and the best way to start. And I know people who's horses can only go that far. I see young people, like my age, riding, but they are almost all riding CTR. And to me, that isn't real endurance riding.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    I don't see anyone riding anywhere. There are roughly 200 horses within the block where I am. That is about a 2 mile square and I am out there almost daily and it is deserted. I don't understand why no one is out? We have fantastic bush trails, groomed by me, kept clear of branches and very little use.
    I didn't see a single person out all winter other then the lady that sometimes accompanies me.
    These people pay board but don't use the horses.
    Endurance I feel has died in our area. It was strong at one time and competitions included the trails I have seemed to take over. I take the 4 wheel, a chain saw, my grandson and run the trails whenever there is a problem with growth or downed trees. I like to keep them open so you can pick up a little speed without constantly having to go around some obsticle.



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