Wednesday May 16 2012
When it comes down to preparation, I can't really count the last 100-mile ride I did. That was Tevis in 2009, and since I got the mount on Nance Worman's horse Quinn with only 5 days' notice, I had nothing whatsoever to do with his conditioning.
The last 100-mile ride I did before that was 2003, and since I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, I sure don't remember what I did to get a horse ready for a 100. This time I had about 3 weeks' notice, since the idea popped into Steph's head that I should ride Jose (Steph's horse and My Pal) on the Owyhee Fandango 100 with Connie and Carol.
All three horses have a base this year of two 50 mile rides in April. We are lucky in that the horses have plenty of room to move around day and night - and they do this, walking at minimum several miles every day. (Well… except for Finneas who's on a diet right now - more than anything he needs to lose weight before the ride!)
The first thing we decided is that we aren't riding to win or Top Ten; we're riding to finish. We had a total of 4 weeks between the last 50-mile ride and the 100-miler on May 27. Here's some sound conditioning advice we followed. Going on the theory that the last hard ride before a 100 should be 11-14 days out, we did that on Monday (13 days out), taking our three steeds (with Judy subbing for an absent Connie) on a 22-mile brisk ride. We motored the 11 miles to Regina's house, had a lunch break, and zipped the 11 miles back home.
Now, we'll ride them twice more, 4-5 days apart, easy 5-6 mile rides. This also fits with the theory that a horse won't feel the effects of a conditioning ride till 5 days later - hence there's no point in trying to put more condition on your horse within 5 days of a ride.
At this point it's more about getting me in condition. I am riding 1 or 2 horses a day, but I'm shrinking away from going out and hiking in the heat of the day… I figured I'll either put that off till later, or, hope and pray like heck that it is not a hot day in Owyhee on May 27th!
10 days to go!