Monday, April 12, 2010

More Strategic Planning the ride on Saturday didn't go fast enough for me to feel 100% sure I could complete a 30 mile ride in the allotted time. However, I am 100% sure I could complete a 25 mile ride on time! I am flipping back and forth between what to do.

Things I know I'm NOT going to try: the 30 on Friday (distance), or the 25 on Saturday (too many other riders on the trail for our first experience)

I may POSSIBLY do the 25 on Sunday....yes, THIS Sunday! Or I will wait until the end of May.

I am so torn!

Reasons why doing the 25 on Sunday is a good idea:
  • the weather all this week is supposed to be sunny and dry, which means the trails should be as dry as I've ever been on them. Drier trails = less mud!
  • I know that unless something crazy and weird happens that I could finish the 25 mile ride on time.
  • Horse is fit enough to complete, but not so fit that she'll be hyped up the whole time. (I think)
  • I really want to do it!

Reasons why riding on Sunday is NOT such a good idea:

  • It's kind of a last minute maybe not thought out quite as well as it needs to be
  • The last 2 times I rode I was dumped. Not too good of a confidence booster!
  • I am not in that great of shape right now, physically, and will be SORE after 25 miles.
  • I'd have to miss church, and also a portion of a fun family get-together with relatives I love and haven't seen in a LONG time, though I'd still get to see them all on Saturday.

On the other hand, this ride this weekend is just the first of many rides in my state. If I choose not to do this one, there's the one at the end of May.

Why I should wait until the end of May:

  • I'll have another month of conditioning and training so that both myself and the horse will be REALLY, really, really READY.
  • ummm, waiting is good at building patience, which is a good thing for everyone to have (yes...I really had to stretch to find more than one good thing about waiting!)

Okay...maybe I need to itemize the things that I'll be working on the next month, whether I ride the LD this weekend or not:

  • Rider fitness: jogging, abdominal strength
  • Horse fitness: continued work on a sustained trot
  • Training: building confidence at the canter (whether or not it's actually used at rides)
  • Horse Health/Soundness: annual vaccinations (next week or 2, always do them in April), clearing up the scratches COMPLETELY although mostly they're all gone except her left hind, getting rid of the thrush that just won't go away due to the sloppy muddy conditions in the winter lot and transitioning to 24/7 pasture turnout, vs "dry" lot wintering.
  • Finding a source for beet pulp w/out molasses
  • other stuff as it comes up

Soo, decisions, decisions. My plan of action for M, T, W of this week is: Hand jogging w/ Arabee and aggressively treating those scratches and thrush (Her frogs are really in good shape, just can't seem to shake it yet this year, but hopefully with treatment this week and the dry weather and pasturing now instead of "dry" lotting she'll have clear hooves by the weekend)

I'll be praying about it and really hope to make a good decision when it comes to when to make our endurance debut.

If anyone has any input, I'm open to hearing your thoughts on the matter!


Anonymous said...

I did one or maybe two Sunday rides and have felt bad about it ever since. I just don't like missing church. I know Lois McAfee doesn't do Sunday rides. And when she is ride manager she only has her rides on Friday and Saturday for that reason.

But I KNOW it is hard to wait!!! So hard. I wouldn't hold any judgment against you if you did. Like I said, I did it myself a few times.

Our forecast is saying rain Friday night and cooler with chance of rain on Saturday. But Sunday does look good. I just see all those days of dry sunner weather and don't believe it's really going to stay dry for the weekend as well but who knows!

Really after Top of the Rock and that one at the Hoosier national forest it seems like a long while until the next close rides in September.

It's too bad Friday's ride is a 30 miler.

What time is your get together on Saturday? Because you live so close you may not miss the whole thing or any of it. I'm sure the ride will start at 7 or 7:15 and you'll have to be done by 1pm. Stick around about an hour after wards to make sure Arabee is okay and then go home. You'd be back by 3 I'd say or before. (assuming you live an hour away)

Sure there will be a lot of riders, but you can always start later. Which may not be smart because there will be a lot of riders that will be waiting to start later and you'll be with them. I'd, personally, suggest starting in the middle of the pack. Be wary of any hyper looking horses and stay as far away from them as you can. Nobody starts out at a canter. This is really the first ride of the season for everybody. So they are just using it as a conditioning ride for all the others.

Good luck deciding.


Nicole said...

Michelle -
I hate to miss church. BUT....I think sometimes so much emphasis is put on being there that it becomes the main thing sometimes for some. Not saying that's true for you...

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while I really like to worship at church in the more structured format, I still plan on worshipping Sunday morning even if we do go to the ride. Whereever two or more are gathered in Jesus' name counts as worship, I think, and since I'll have both my husband, my mom, and myself there Sunday morning we'll probably still do a devotion/prayer, maybe even sing together, so we'll still get our worship in! :-)

And you said that CC is a conditioning ride for most folks in this area - that's another good reason for me to go ahead and ride this weekend! Most people will be slower and it'll be more relaxed, I think.

It's my grandpa's 85th birthday, and it's really a whole weekend thing, since he was born in Michigan a lot of family is coming from there and other out-of-town places, and will be around from Friday to Sunday afternoon. I guess there is an "official" open house where non-relatives will be around and probably cake...but its really more of a head up and spend all day visiting and catching up sort of thing. Plus, it's at my parent's house about 1.5 hours away.

BUT....if we do end up going, we won't be camping...just trailering in the morning of since it's really not that far from home. I figured if we left home at 4am we should be there by 5:30ish - enough time to sign in, pay, vet in, tack up, and go.

I sure wish I could just decide already!!

Anonymous said...

I don't know for sure if everyone is looking at Chicken Chase as a conditioning ride. I figure it's the first ride for the majority of the people this season. So I can't imagine they are going to do it blazing fast. But I don't know!!!


~ C said...

Why do you feel 100% confident you can finish a 25 on time but not a 30? You do realize that AERC gives you 7 hours and 15 minutes to complete a 30, instead of the 6 hours for a 25 right? Is there additional hold time on the 30? If anything, you usually have MORE trail time to finish a 30 instead of a 25, hold times being the same. For example, a 25 with a 1 hour hold means 5 hours to complete the course, or at least 5 mph. A 30 miler with 1 hour hold means 6:15 to complete the course, or 4.8 mph.

Endurance Granny said...


OH! I hope you do the 25 mile! I know you two can finish. In the fall I rode exactly the walk trot pace we were doing last time at Clark and finished in plenty of time.

As for where to start in the pack? I have very STRONG opinions on that. Having started two rides at the middle of the pack (and yes they did canter, and canter, and canter, very stressful for me as a beginner in that big crush of horses to get any control). Everyone and I do mean everyone said don't start in the back. The horses back there are squirrely, there will be nobody to help you, etc. etc. etc. I guess it depends on your riding style and where your horse focuses best. But Phebes did 100% better starting after the "rush" with a scattered out group of newbies. When I found myself sometime mid ride on the first loop stuck behind a group I passed, but they kept catching as I tried to get her to drink at water holes, so I let them go on and a few minutes tick by so I wouldn't catch them AGAIN. She ended up placing ahead of them even though we had an extra long hold time, so good decision! Just always remember to do what is best for you guys. What works for me, might not for you.

I'm going to cross my fingers and hope to see you guys there.

Nicole said...

~C - I did NOT know that! I just figured that ride times were the same for LDs across the board. That is interesting information! THANK YOU for commenting and letting me know!

And E.G., I think you're right about finishing. And I actually think that on ride day we'll end up with a much faster pace than what we had on Saturday for that solo training ride, because of the excitement and the fact that there will be other horses on the trail. Hopefully not so much faster that it's out of control...but I expect a closer to top speed at both walk and trot and that she'll be wanting to canter. But I don't plan on doing any cantering at least until the second loop on the first ride unless it feels right.

Anonymous said...

Nicole - If you have a longer ride time on Friday, might you be considering riding CC on Friday? Mom

Anonymous said...

Hey, I also wanted to tell you that if you drive in in the morning. Don't come in ridiculously early. People don't appreciate being woken up too early I've found, he! You really only need one hour before start time to get ready. Especially if you are going to have help.