Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Conditioning the Gaited Horse* for Endurance: *and Other Horses, Too! - Nancy Morgan Reed

Conditioning the Gaited Horse* for Endurance: *and Other Horses, Too!
by Nancy Morgan Reed, 2015

Conditioning the Gaited Horse for endurance: Morgans 3rd book of horses, this one specifically geared for conditioning a gaited horse to success in endurance competition, with a narration of conditioning rides on 5 different gaited horses, and graphs for you to print and make your own conditioning graph for your endurance prospect.. The gaited breeds are gaining in popularity in the sport of endurance, largely due to their special middle gait which is smoother than most other, non-gaited horses, whose middle gait is a trot.

One quarter of all members of AERC are over the age of 50, and the smoothness of the gaited horses is becoming more and ever more attractive. But it is admitted that conditioning of the gaited horse for endurance is a little different and perhaps more challenging than it is for the other, more popular breed of horse used in endurance. And so people are starting to ask questions and are looking for answers and guidelines for any special needs for conditioning the gaited horse for endurance competition.

I outline in the workbook some exercises that will increase 2 fold the fitness of your horse. In diagrams I show the differences between a fit horse, and one that is not ready for competition and how to tell where your horses level of fitness lay. And the final graph shows with scientific certainty that the conditioning ride improves heart rate and recoveries. The work will be all worth it in the end. These intelligent animals become the best of friends and give it their all when confronted with difficult tasks, and when their bones harden and their grow strong and their hearts and lungs work to improve efficiency, the reward is great and one very worth the hard work.

And there may be few people more equipped to deal with these questions than the author, who has been riding horses for almost 50 years, and who has ridden, trained, and bred Tennessee Walking Horses during most of her life, and who has completed endurance rides for the last 12 years on almost exclusively gaited horses. Her mile count might not be as large as others, because she has dedicated herself to training and writing, and recording her experiences, rather than traveling to a lot of rides, due to her 3 year fight with uterine cancer. But with improved health, Morgan is back on the trail, training the horses she loves, and keeping track and recording her experiences so others can learn, and go out there, have fun, and excel at endurance competition on their gaited horses, too.

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