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What are your strategies on a ride?

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  • What are your strategies on a ride?

    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?
    (¯`·._¤ Jess!·._¤ ´¯)

  • #2
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      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.
      "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

      Comment


      • #4
        To keep my butt in the saddle.
        "Humans will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple,
        or more direct than does Nature." ~Leonardo da Vinci

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by matryoshka View Post
          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.
          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. 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.
          (¯`·._¤ Jess!·._¤ ´¯)

          Comment


          • #6
            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.

            I guess I'm just anti-social. I like having the trails with just me and maresie.
            Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

            Comment


            • #7
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                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!

                Comment


                • #9
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I always love your posts Bonnie, thanks for that good insight!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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.

                        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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jess! View Post

                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Shadow14 View Post
                            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...)
                            Training and campaigning Barb endurance horses at The Barb Wire.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by quartersrule View Post
                                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.
                                (¯`·._¤ Jess!·._¤ ´¯)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Jess! View Post

                                  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.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by BarbeyGirl View Post
                                    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
                                    Last edited by Shadow14; May. 23, 2008, 10:36 AM.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                      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.
                                      (¯`·._¤ Jess!·._¤ ´¯)

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        That's what is so cool about this sport - there's something for everyone!

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