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Friday, July 10, 2015

About Rest

We spend an incredible amount of time tweaking our schedules, ignoring the housework, missing out on family functions here and there in order to have the time to condition our horses for endurance riding.   It is easy to fall into a pattern of conditioning and overlook the horse's need for rest.

Quotes from experienced rider's in the sport:

There is a “safe-guard” guideline most endurance riders go by and that is, “give your horse one day off for every 10 miles.”~  Endurance 101 & Beyond

" Remember -- you are conditioning muscles and bones for endurance, and part of a conditioning program is a period of rest to allow the body to recover and become stronger. You should NEVER run your horse into the ground thinking it is training."  ~ Old Dominion endurance Rides

To try to explain this in basic terms, just like people who are trying to build strength and endurance, to do this the muscles are put under pressure and slight damage.  The following rest day allows this muscle damage to be repaired and for the muscles to rebuild stronger.  If you continuously strain and restrain over and over again you will at some point in time have injury or problems with the muscles because instead of having a chance to repair and rebuild stronger they are actually weakened and more likely to have injury occur.   ~Booted Endurance

  "Rest is as important as conditioning miles. One of the least used tools of endurance riders can be rest. Once a horse is a veteran (approximately, a three-year horse) he should have three months off during the winter. All horses should have a week rest after a fast 50 and a month off after the Tevis Cup. Conditioning should be completed weeks before the rides, not increased in the month preceding the ride."  ~Cypress Trails

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