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Tales of Taco the Wonder Horse and his ammy rider on their way to a Training Three Day

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

My friend Megan has a photo of her dogs lying flat-out in front of a fan at the barn.  That's about how I feel.  I went to Rhode Island on vacation and I had thought that getting a week away from the Tennessee heat would make it easier to come back, but it's worse!  It's very difficult to motivate.  There has been little rain and things are starting to get brown.

Fortunately, having goals supplies motivation in these kinds of situations.  I have worked out my conditioning schedule for the T3D in October, since it is about 11 weeks out, and now I need to execute it.  Nobody pointed out to me that doing a fall three-day means conditioning in August!

Taco is fairly easy to get fit to begin with, and he has a nice baseline.  He recovered in the blink of an eye, it seemed, after our XC run at Penny Oaks.  Admittedly, we were treated to mid-80s and low humidity that weekend.   His resting temperature is barely 99 degrees (normal for a horse is 99-101), his normal heart rate is 36-40, and he recovers quickly after exercise.

Today was yet another hot day, and I decided to try a conditioning ride with the idea that I would pay close attention to how he was doing.  It was the first week on the schedule and it was a pretty light workout: 3 sets of five-minute trots and a couple of two-minute canters at 350 meters per minute.  He does more than that in many of our dressage schools.  To make a long story short, he seemed to find this quite easy, although I myself really felt the heat!  Ten minutes after pulling up from the second of our two short canters, his temperature and heart rate were only slightly elevated, and after his shower they were normal again.

As the workouts get longer, the weather will get cooler, or at least I hope so.  Here is our plan.  If you, dear readers, have some feedback about it, please tell me!  It contains elements of several conditioning schedules, two of which have appeared in EVENTING USA magazine (by Nancy Koch and Gina Miles).

T3D Conditioning Schedule- Taco

1. Week of 8/8            3x5@220; 2x2@350

2. Week of 8/15            3x5@220; 2x2@400

3. Week of 8/22            3x5@220; 2x3@400

4. Week of 8/29            3x5@220; 3x3@400

5. Week of 9/5            AECs; 1x5:30@470

6. Week of 9/12            3x5@220; 3x4@400

7. Week of 9/19            3x5@220; 1x6@400; 2x1@500

8. Week of 9/26            3x5@220; 1x6@420; 2x2@500

9. Week of 10/3            1x10@220; 1x2@520; 1x20@160; 10 min rest; 1x6@450

10 Week of  10/10            Taper—hack and normal dressage/jump schools

Week of 10/17 Midsouth T3D

Each week:
Day 1            Dressage plus walk
            Day 2            Jump plus walk
            Day 3            Hacking out/Hill work OR rest and add hills to 2nd dressage school
            Day 4            Dressage plus walk
            Day 5            Jump plus walk
            Day 6            Conditioning/Canter
            Day 7            Rest


Event Horse said...

Hey Stacy, I have dropped the 400 mpm to 350 mpm with the OK of Mogie, on days when footing is hard or it's very hot. We've had similar weather, you know. Now this morning the weather is good and the footing excellent due to heavy rain storms twice yesterday, so he's going to do 4 min. 400mpm canters. If I think he needs more I do give him up to 4 min. between to breathe, last time I conditioned the humidity really was tough on him. Also Rug is 13 and I think Taco is younger -- that does make a difference, too!

Anastasia said...

Thanks Retread, that is great to know! I will substitute 350 in more extreme conditions. Taco is actually 14 this year! But he seems to act and feel younger than that.

Hope you have a great canter today!