Thursday, September 8, 2022

Tweaking Your Riding Experience By Closely Monitoring Speed

When hunting season is not in several of us condition horses with five mile trot rides two mornings a week and we recently added in a 10 mile trot/canter ride on Wednesday mornings .My Garmin watch is worth more to me than are my boots for these training sessions. 

As the horse and rider become better conditioned both should become more relaxed and comfortable with the sessions. I find that the horses that I ride generally begin to move slightly faster at any gait. The Garmin tells me the slight changes that are occurring. the changes are often so subtle that, without an objective measure I would not be able to pick them up. The most significant difference that I found was that while cantering on Janie, a wonderful Colonial Spanish horse of Grand Canyon lineage, at a speed of 9.9 miles per hour my lower abdominals were barely engaged and certainly were not becoming fatigued. However, at a speed of 10.1 miles per hour my lower abdominal muscles were strongly engaged and that gait at that speed was significantly more taxing on my body than when the speed was ever so slightly reduced

. Of course, the watch lets you know exactly how far you have been and at exactly what speeds. These things matter to me not because I regularly complete in endurance events, but because I want to maximize my fitness levels and those of my horses. Few people despise technology as do I, but this is a piece of technology that can actually improve your riding experience.

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