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Running Intermediate as a 1day

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  • Running Intermediate as a 1day

    Is it just me, or does running all 3 phases of an upper level event on the same day seem excessive for the horse?

    It seems fine for the lower levels...but honestly...isn't that a lot to ask? Isn't that just asking for accidents to happen?? Especially these recognized events that have the same length of an XC course as a more typical event that runs over 2 or 3 days.

    Probably should zip up my flame suit now.
    Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
    Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
    Take us to print!

  • #2
    It's less length and speed than an old-format endurance/XC day used to be.
    "Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom" Barack Obama

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    • #3
      Horses are capable of a lot of hard work with zero ill-effects, given that they are fit enough to run the level. This past weekend the horses looked super at the end of the day on cross country . If anything, it was a few of the riders looking a little peaked, but not the horses. At all.

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      • #4
        They have been running all three phases at all levels in one day for a HT for as long as the sport has been around.

        No...not too much. In fact, I used to remember people getting ready for the big long formats coming off xc at the end of a one day HT at Intermediate and Advanced and keep on going (adding more trots and a canter sets) as that competition was their gallop day and the horse still needed more fittness work.

        Most horses at those one day events come off the xc course still fresh...unless the weather is extreme or not enough fitness work has been done.
        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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        • #5
          A good interval day for a horse getting fit for a CCI* might include 3 x 8 minutes cantering at near-competition speed, 30-45 minutes of trotting, and a half hour of walking. That's probably close to what a horse doing an Intermediate HT on one day would get, if you include warmup, cool down, and a bit of jump schooling before the 2 jumping phases.

          One assumes the horse is fit for this type of work and that stiff interval training has been part of the regimen for many weeks in the runup. No, I don't think it's excessive for the horse, although I personally hate one-day HTs just because it's really tough to prepare with all 3 phases coming rapid-fire!
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          • #6
            I have no problem running all three phases of an Intermediate in one day. The dressage and show jumping are not at all taxing and an intermediate horse should be plenty fit to do it. It has not been a problem for me or my horse.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              I'm not an upper level rider, so it's really interesting to hear the responses. It SEEMS like a lot to me, but I've never had a horse that fit before. I have a friend that events at UL's and she said she wouldn't ever do it with her horse...but she is really careful with him & he did have a breathing issue when he was younger.
              Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
              Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
              Take us to print!

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              • #8
                One day events are very common in the UK. Less common here, but they are quite efficient. I've run the intermediate one-day at Surefire and Full Gallop, and it's really nice to have all 3 phases done in a couple hours! The horses don't have to ship in and out for 2-3 days, or stable on show grounds for 2-3 days. They only need one bath, one braid, jump, and go home. Less stress, if you think about the idea that they'd rather be home in their paddock or their own stall.


                You actually jump LESS, too; warm-up once for show jumping, and then head directly out to xc in most cases. A SJ course is maybe 13 extra jumping efforts before xc; nothing that should stress a horse fit enough for the level. I certainly felt no difference in the effort/enthusiasm/stamina of my horse running the 1-day vs 2-day events. If your horse is overly tired at the end of a 1-day, it would probably be just as tired after xc in a 2-day format.
                “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                ? Albert Einstein

                ~AJ~

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                • #9
                  What everyone else said! Our UL horse ran an intermediate one day on Friday, and finished XC with plenty left in the tank. Recovered quickly and looked great the next day. And he is no where near as fit as he will be in a month or so. I am not a huge fan of this format, as I am something of a traditionalist, but it certainly has it's positive aspects.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by leahandpie View Post
                    I'm not an upper level rider, so it's really interesting to hear the responses. It SEEMS like a lot to me, but I've never had a horse that fit before. I have a friend that events at UL's and she said she wouldn't ever do it with her horse...but she is really careful with him & he did have a breathing issue when he was younger.
                    The implication being that people who compete at UL one-days are not "really careful" with their horses?
                    Competing in a one-day horse trials doesn't require any additional fitness than competing in a two- or three-day HORSE TRIALS. A horse who is properly prepared and fit to run a horse trials XC course at its given level is also perfectly fit to do a dressage test and one round of show jumping on the same day.
                    Often, at one-days, horses warm up once for dressage, then come back again in their jump tack after a short break, jump a few fences to tune up, then do their show jump round and proceed directly to the XC start box, maybe doing a quick pipe-opening gallop or a few fly fences or angled approaches to get the horse going more forward and prepared for XC. The dressage serves as a warm-up for show jumping and the show jumping serves as a warm-up for XC. Horses aren't coming out and warming up for an hour before each phase.
                    Perhaps the misconception you and your friend have about the endurance involved relates to the warm-up required for each phase? IME, less experienced riders tend to spend much more time in warm-up than more seasoned riders, who come to warm-up with a plan and are efficient and effective in executing that plan and preparing their horse to go into the ring.
                    I spend a lot of time in the warm-up areas for an eventing series that runs elementary through CIC***/advanced. Even more so than when I was actually competing, spending this time on the ground I have been struck by the observation that many riders, particularly the less experienced ones, spend GOBS of time in warm-up -- often too much time, IMHO. They are in dressage warm-up for up to an hour before their test, then jump so many fences in show-jumping and XC warm-up that one loses count. I suspect this has more do to with the rider's own nerves, or just lack of experience/knowledge, than what the horse actually needs.
                    In contrast, most of the professionals and more experienced riders come out, have a plan for their warm up in each phase, execute that plan and may be on and off their horse in a half-hour or less. If you want to slam them, it's easy to say "oh, that's because they have eight other horses to ride!" but even the experienced riders who are on just one or two horses in a weekend are effective and efficient in their warm up, saving their horses for the competition, rather than "leaving it in the warm-up."
                    I don't think it's an exaggeration to say some BN riders, by virtue of overly long warm-ups, turn a one-day event into a far greater test of their horses' respective endurance than intermediate or advanced riders at a one-day show.
                    I evented just for the Halibut.

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                    • #11
                      Agree with the general consensus: one day events are in some instances easier on the horse because they don't have the stress of having to stable or ship back and forth. Of course, all depends on footing/horse's condition/the course/etc. but in general, one 5-6 minute and change XC at Intermediate or Advanced plus dressage and show jump aren't going to be an unfair question in a single day. Additionally, you'll find that a lot of folks may not be running for time at most early one-day competitions. It does make it harder if your dressage warmup involves a couple of pre-rides, but most of our horses do very well.

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                      • #12
                        I do a lot of one cay events and find that they are much easier on the horse. Not much easier on the rider/groom/owner/me... but much easier on the horse.

                        Like others said. One warm-up for jumping and that's it. And typically you can be done within 2-3 hours and on the road home.

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                        • #13
                          gallop 3x times 8 mins at near competiton speed - hmmm - conditioning will end soon because the horse will be dead lame soon... well you didn't mention the distance... but:
                          how did you come up with this schedule DW?
                          do you train your horses this way and if so can you publish their names?

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                          • #14
                            I'm pretty sure that's what JW recommends in his book. I don't think its too crazy, especially if you don't have a hill available.

                            Originally posted by kinscem View Post
                            gallop 3x times 8 mins at near competitopn speed - hmmm - conditioning will end soon because the horse will be dead lame soon... well you didn't mention the distance... but:
                            how did you come up with this schedule DW?
                            do you train your horses this way and if so can you publish their names?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kinscem View Post
                              gallop 3x times 8 mins at near competiton speed - hmmm - conditioning will end soon because the horse will be dead lame soon... well you didn't mention the distance... but:
                              how did you come up with this schedule DW?
                              do you train your horses this way and if so can you publish their names?
                              Seriously? Is interval training such a lost subject that it sounds so radical? Wow.

                              The only one I ever personally got to CCI* level with was EIGHTEEN at the time, and we only did 7 minute intervals, max, as a nod to her grand accumulation of birthdays. But she'd done and completed a number of long format CCIs with the very same (if not tougher) regimen in her younger days. Along with a majority of horses of her era.

                              Her name was Guinevere II if you want to look her up. She retired at age 20 after 12+ years at Preliminary with 3 different riders and with legs like iron and would *still* be dragging me to the jumps if it weren't for damned EPM.
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                              • #16
                                I respect JW and I would trust his teaching.
                                But I still ask is this correct - and what is the distance to gallop and condition an event horse 3x 8 mins at competion speed which I assume is close to 550 mpm?

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                                • #17
                                  Another one who thinks one days are easier. In large part due to the stress of traveling and/or stabling required for a multi day event.

                                  Another thing to consider....I took Vernon to Millbrook a couple of years ago (ran him prelim, so not QUITE the same level we're discussing, but he ran the same schedule as the I and A- three days). I rode the SNOT out of him while we were up there (4 days, total). At least twice every day, except the last (including xc day since he didn't go until late in the afternoon). Why? Because he and I were both bored out of our skulls, he was climbing the walls, and was highly unbroke for the first day and a half. I rode him more in that long weekend than I ever needed to at home, and I am pretty sure the easiest part of the weekend was COMPETING. I know I wasn't alone in what I did, because I had friends and acquaintances there, also riding the snot out of their horses, all at P and up. He got a lot of mileage on his legs that weekend, not to mention stabling in hot tent stabling, and 10 hours, up and back, on the road. In comparison, his local one day events were stupidly easy on him.

                                  Give me a nice, local one day any day.
                                  Amanda

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                                  • #18
                                    Cool, so DW you did your 3 intervals 7 mins gallop at 550mpm, at what distance I ask?
                                    Seriously? Did you personally ride the horse?
                                    We are talking us here on line trying to learn ...

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by kinscem View Post
                                      gallop 3x times 8 mins at near competiton speed - hmmm - conditioning will end soon because the horse will be dead lame soon... well you didn't mention the distance... but:
                                      how did you come up with this schedule DW?
                                      do you train your horses this way and if so can you publish their names?
                                      You should be able to gallop three times the length the xc course at your level will be, more or less at competition speed for your horse to be properly conditioned. There is nothing wrong with that. Plus there are walk breaks in between there.

                                      Being in Area 1, its weird for me NOT to do a one day. I think if I ever attended a three day horse trial I wouldn't know what to do with myself with all of that free time

                                      I completely agree that there is less warmup with one days. In the beginning of the season I start out with 40 minutes dressage warmup until he settles into the routine again and then we just do 20. I jump the xrail, vertical, oxer once in stadium warmup, it maybe takes 10 minutes. Then for xc I either go directly from stadium if the time in between is short enough or, at most, hand gallop the oxer, maybe angle the vertcial, and possibly pop over the solid fence if there is one. And thats it.

                                      One days can be stressful on the rider but its a big relief when you cross the xc finish line and you're completely done!

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                                      • #20
                                        Near competition speed is around 450-500 mpm. When I did intervals I would add bursts of faster speeds since my horse was not a terrific galloper. (shorter-legged warmblood) And as others mentioned, I had minimal access to hills or I would have used those. The purpose is to get the heart rate up near the anaerobic threshold and sustain, even push it over, then dial back and do it again, to get the horse used to this physiological state. So on a very hot day, the speed required to reach anaerobic threshold might be 400mpm, on a cold, crisp day it might take more speed.

                                        As to distance, well, it's simple--multiply 450 or 500 mpm by 8 minutes, or 7, or 6--it all depends where one is in the conditioning cycle. I never bothered doing the math, as the duration, heart rate, and recovery time were what I paid attention to.

                                        Cool, so DW you did your 3 intervals 7 mins gallop at 550mpm, at what distance I ask?
                                        Seriously? Did you personally ride the horse?
                                        We are talking us here on line trying to learn ...
                                        Not at 550, no, since I competed at CCI* level (as I plainly stated) and the speed is only 520, and "near competition speed" is not "competition speed". We galloped at 450-500 mpm. Yes, with me personally riding the horse. She was brilliant and keen, but probably would not have done this on her own. I don't know the distance. Do the flipping math. 7 minutes x 500 mpm. 3500 meters, right? Jeez.
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