Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Conditioning Stats

As our first recognized event draws ever nigh, I am checking off the skills I believe we will need to be successful at Beginner Novice. And by successful, I don't mean winning or even placing. I mean being safe, prepared, and having a rather pleasant time of the whole thing. So here's the list:

  • Dressage - Check! Training level is just fine.
  • Jumping - Check! Schooling 2'9" to 3'. Shouldn't be any combos or anything trappy.
  • Cross Country - 75% there. Need more schooling at speed to make sure he's forward over unseen fences
  • Conditioning - er...
Conditioning is important for both horse and rider, even at the lowest levels. This is doubly important for the big guy, to make sure he's up to the wear and tear of a full course. And for me, to make sure I am up to the wear and tear of riding Brego.

So today was conditioning day. I borrowed my sister's heart rate monitor to see how the rider half of the equation is holding up. Brego did some arena work yesterday and we focused on energy to little fences. It was, um, not very successful so I am moving "Find a Jumper Trainer" higher in my priority queue.

Ah but anyway, today was conditioning day. We did three 5 minute trot sets, with 3 minute walk intervals. Then two 3 minute canters with 3 minute walk intervals. I finished with one 4 minute canter. Brego was fully recovered in 11 minutes after the last canter. So that's a big improvement, especially in relatively warm and humid weather. Plus, our conditioning track is up and down a pretty steep hill, much more steep that the hill cross country schooling. Lots of good hind end work.

As for me, during the ride, my max heart rate was 186 beats per minute. My average rate was 144 beats per minute. I burned 700 calories.

I then rode my bike 5.3 miles home from the barn in 25 minutes. For reference, that ride burned 300 calories. So conditioning sets are a pretty serious work out for both of us.

I am not the fittest person around, but my blood pressure is around 103 over 60. My resting heart rate is 45 beats per minute. I could stand to lose 20 pounds. When I played ice hockey in college, I worked out 2 hours a day and played 5 days a week and was about 30 pounds lighter. That level of fitness is just not sustainable for a (young) 30-something full time computer nerd.

I also wore the heart rate monitor for my jumping session yesterday and burned 600 calories over an hour. So for people who say the horse does all the work, they have not ridden MY horse. :)

As a cute aside, there were three 5-6 year old kids playing in dirt piles. Each time I rode by at a canter during my sets, I heard them squeal "Brego! It's Brego!" I just get a kick out of his fan club. I felt like I was at Rolex. :)

Brego (and I) get tomorrow off. Then Dressage on Friday. We have a Hunter trial (Ratcatcher division) on Saturday and then back to cross country school on Sunday. Good thing we're getting fit!


Maybe Mae said...

Yay for biking to the barn! :) Sounds like you have a good conditioning plan,and I can't wait to hear how you guys do at the recognized event.

I wish I could work Mae up some hills/inclines, because I think her hind end could use it. And maybe mine, as well...

Tripple Spring said...

Good luck! I know how hard it can be getting those larger horses into shape! Can't wait to hear about your successful first recognized event!!

Anonymous said...

I love reading your conditioning posts :) I've actually taken Klein running with me before. I went for a run on the trails and took her in hand and she just trotted along like a good girl. It helps her learn a nice slow trot too I think. It took me a while to fine tune that on her. LOL @ the jump and squeal. I correct her as soon as she acts like that. She knows better and she stops as soon as she does that little sillyness. I think she's trying to tell me "Hurry up and take my halter off mom!" She knows the word "QUIT!!" VERRRRY well! It's so hard not to laugh at her though.
We should be coming back to the mainland in about 2 years. Not sure where yet though. I'm going to retrain and my new job will determine which base I get next.