Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More In-hand Work

Yesterday I walked Arabee in hand about 2 miles. Really easy for her, but good to help keep (get) me in shape since I haven't been riding since Thursday due to the girthing/chafing issues. Also good for her to familiarize with the area around that I'd like to be riding for training rides once we both get comfortable. I am just such a big chicken when it comes to riding, I want to know it's going to be as safe as possible, even though I'm sure I could've saddled her up and got her around the same 2 miles that way, I'm hoping preparing her this way will prevent some spooking under saddle.

Towards the end of the walk we worked on crossing this ditch - typically she jumps over these things the first couple of times, then will walk through them. Well, this ditch was a lot softer and muddier than I realized, Arabee just would NOT calmly walk all 4 feet across. She'd walk her front legs in, then leap across, and actually as I continued working with her on it, she began doing spectacular standing leaps across the whole width (easily 10, maybe 15 feet!). She was sinking in pretty deep, so I decided to let that one rest, and I was able to get her to walk through a more shallow section of it that didn't have quite the hoof-sucking mud that the other section did. This was actually a good workout for her! She started to sweat, and was certainly breathing hard. Unfortunately, I'm thinking it was a strength training (anaerobic) workout rather than aerobic conditioning, but it couldn't have hurt anything to build some strength.

We finished up and I hosed her muddy legs off, and paid special attention to her girth/elbow area. I applied some aloe, hopefully that will help some. All the swelling is gone now, and the chafed areas do not seem to bother her as much when I touch them.

My new girth will be here on Thursday. I really can't afford to wait until then to get some good riding time in - I'd like to put in a good hour or two on her tonight, and I could try the fleece backed girth. BUT, if I try that and it rubs her raw, then I'm back to hand-walking. I can't afford to let this problem get worse, but at this point with such little time left, I have only 2 weekends left of training time before her first 25 competition miles, so I need all the ride time I can squeeze in. I hope I make the right decision.


Anonymous said...

I say don't ride her until you get the new girth. I'm afraid it will rub and then you will be starting all over again. She'll still be okay for Chicken Chase, since your just going to complete and not to race.

Michelle Detmer

Nicole said...

I think that's what I'll do. Giving her more time to heal would be good anyway before I try the new girth when it comes. But, like you said, if I tried, and the rubbing got worse, then Chicken Chase may be out.

Tentative plan looks like:
Thursday: 1 hour workout w/new girth
Friday: a 2 hour morning ride (Matt's off) as practice for ride start in early morning, then set up and practice in electric corral until after lunch.
Saturday: Either more of the same or haul out to ride. Would LOVE to ride at Clark, but I'd also consider riding at Versailles to do the 20 miles Jacke and I wanted to do last week but cancelled due to the forecast.
Sunday: OFF
Monday: 2 hour workout at home
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: 2 hour workout at home
Thursday: 1 hour of either hills/fast work
Good Friday and Easter weekend: I'd like to get one last training ride in (15 miles +) on Saturday before taking the rest of the week off except for maybe a session or two of hand walking (to keep her mind focused) before CC.

Can't wait to finish up the last few weeks of training before competing for the first time!

Boots and Saddles 4 Mel said...

I wouldn't worry about the lost riding time. I have found that by going slower (less training) I am getting there "faster" (less injuries, less forced time off). Conditioning is built during the rest periods.

Endurance Granny said...


Hoping that the new girth solves your troubles with rubbing. Haven't checked weather for Saturday but really WANT those 20 miles. Even if the first half is at a nice trot, and the last half is slow work. It still builds the horse. If we can start by 9:00 ride A+B that would be 12 miles planning on a nice working trot. Lunch Break. Head out to XYZ about noon, depending on how you want to pace it, trotting more or less....figure we are out of there by 3:30 and heading home by 4:00? That would give us about a 24 mile ride day total, but we will use the extra miles for warm up and cool down at the walk. You game? ~E.G.