Friday, September 2, 2011


By now, speak of the CDE in October is pretty much an every day occurrance at our house. While I am still getting Kat ready and trying to build up his endurance for the marathon course, I don't want to push him too hard just yet.  Before going full bore at getting him in shape for the event, I am going to have the vet give him a once over and make sure there are no underlying issues nobody is aware of. I would hate to get half way there, send in the entries and discover a huge flaw that will prevent him from ever going any further, if not ending things altogether.  That would just plain Suck!

Some people may hate me for saying this, but maintaining horses in performance type competition is a lot tougher than maintaining the average show horse.  Think about it. Which sports or competitions place higher demands on a horse and us, as competitors?  Which events have a higher risk of injury? Which horses need more energy, more power, etc. to compete? There you have it. Maintaining an arena horse is a breeze. 

For some horses leg wraps are pretty much decoration and a bit of support. Different events- leg protection is everything.  I used to use polos and/or typical splint boots on Kat.  A lot of times for lunging, he did fine with either one or nothing at all. I have used Toklat boots, Pegusus boots, Showman brand boots (which I like, but not for this) and even went the route of SMB's.  Now with the Roma boots, I am loving them and they are holding up really well. Kat pretty much travels straight enough, but the quick turns and lateral movements- these boots are taking a beating! Glad it is them and not his legs...

As far as ridden dressage vs driven...  OMG! Riding is soooo much easier!  At the lower levels of ridden dressage, you can have a 'caller' stand along the rail and call out the movements and where you should be making them. Driven- all tests are to be done from memory. End of discussion.  

Riders have their hands, seat, legs, weight, voice and whip to guide the horse through the test. Drivers- hands, voice and whip.  Although your posture does tend to carry through the reins somehow, you are not afforded the use of your legs.  Driven- some competitions use tests that require handling the reins with one hand, even in training level. ADT Training Level Test 2  Ridden- yeah, not so much. lol  And sure enough, I can hear it now, "It's only a straight line across the arena at a diagonal a few strides past X." Dressage riders can attest to how difficult achieving a straight line can be.  Driving- it can be a beast. Any deviation and your wheel tracks show it.

Since it is going to be a long weekend for a lot of us, everyone stay safe and have fun. I will be getting Kat out and about so hopefully when I come back to blogging, there will be a lot to discuss. I also remembered I still need to post the Darby course and explain it.


Rising Rainbow said...

Sounds like things are coming along pretty well. Good boy, Kat, about the garbage truck.

It's my understanding that a good way to build up stamina is to work a horse more than once a day. If that's not possible, then heating them up, cooling out, then heating them up again. cooling out and so on will also build up stamina.

I'm not sure that I agree about the stamina needed for pleasure horses verses what you are doing but I will agree that most people don't build their pleasure horses up the same as what your goal is. Me, I like my horse not to be exhasuted so I try to have him super fit so he'll stay happy about the work.

While that was not the case last year, it has been most of his show career and it was certainly the case for Dandy. We did lots of trail and hill work to be sure the horse was fit and it didn't hurt that mixing things up also helped keep their attitudes fresh and willing too.

Cut-N-Jump said...

RR- It's good to see you posting!

I have been involved in the show ring aspect for a lot of years. The stamina required there can be pretty high, depending on your schedule. If you are showing in the morning, then again in the afternoon or evening, or say two or three classes in the morning session, sure your horse has to be fit in order to do well in each class... but, with the show ring, you can sort of 'pick your schedule' by which classes you choose to enter. Driving- not so much, unless you get into the pleasure driving type shows.

The heat up/cool down sounds a lot like Interval Training which I have recently discovered. It is much like the excercise programs used in military boot camps to get you fit in no time. Work hard, rest a few seconds, work hard, rest a few seconds and push to work hard and fast, then rest a few seconds before doing it again. Not sure we are going to go that route, but it is supposed to provide excellent results.