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...
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!