The marathon- The distance is greater, there are usually one or two more hazards (Including the WATER hazard) and the times allowed are different. Your times IN the hazards COUNT!
In all fairness to my pony, I question if we are ready for it this year. He has had all summer off, we only worked a few times and here we are a month and a half away and haven't really done squat yet. He handles the water like a pro now, between our work at home and all the water at the event last year, but he hasn't been in or near the hazard they use for it at all, ever.
Since they also may use the covered wagons hazard and it has covers on the wagons, I took him through it from all angles at the Darby. He had no problems with that, so I hope the gazebo in the water wouldn't be a problem either, but you never know, until you try it. We all know, once you try it, you have to finish it no matter what, no matter how, you have to finish it and hopefully on a good note...
Since we haven't done any real 'work', is he really in shape to be out there, cruising along for X kilometers, without any bad effects later on. Training Pony is usually 5-7 miles overall. Section's A and D (D is walk only) is the same for all horses. Section E is he hazards and where he excels. He tries harder, goes faster, pushes for more and really enjoys it. I know he will try his hardest, give me his best effort and just go and go and go. He definitely has a lot of heart and is Always willing to give it, but is it fair to ask that of him on short notice? I have seen a horse 'pulled out' of competition because the horse was done. I don't ever want to be that horse.
This one is a whiny excuse- I need to get serious if I am to be taken seriously out there. I don't have a stopwatch yet to help calculate our times out on the course. I use my goofy old glow in the dark skeleton watch I bought at K-mart after Halloween, like 17-18 years ago on clearance for like $3. I know, it's time to move on. I'm not a good 'gator to myself that way. Small pony entries don't require 'gators, so it's all up to me.
Last year on section A, I just couldn't seem to figure out where we were at on time. I couldn't see the horse ahead of us to use them as a 'marker' like we did the year before, sooooo I just let my pony run. We ran almost the entire section and only came in within the time allowed by 3 seconds because he balked at the end, didn't want to approach the person standing there and was walking, swerving back and forth like a dork. We were 3 seconds over the Minimum time allowed. We b.a.r.e.l.y. missed getting any time penalties there.