Saturday, March 12, 2011

It Is a Mental Condition

Trot On Hank Blog

March 8, 2011

We know we must do physical conditioning of our horses for distance riding, but how many of us think about MENTALLY conditioning for the conditions?

We are faced with many challenges at a distance ride, and the more homework you can do ahead of time, then hopefully the better prepared one will be. While I think those new to the sport are more often finding some of their pre-ride training end up with a few holes in it, I have seen experience riders have some issues that they might have been able to lessen had they done a few extra preparations before heading off to a competition.

When we prepare and condition for rides, many of us have a tendency to only ride in weather that is more perfect, as we have a choice. If it is windy, or cold, we can wait a day or so for something better to head out to enjoy some trail time. But when we get to a competition, we do not always know what the weather is going to do. If it is not to our liking, we can always choose to not ride. And that is up to each individual. This has to be fun, and if riding in less than wonderful weather is not to ones liking, that is their choice, and theirs alone. This is recreation for us. But if one does choose to ride no matter what the conditions, then consider training for those conditions. On the physical end, consider doing some training in muddy conditions to be prepared and know how your horse might handle that footing before you end up at a ride and the sky opens up and changes things from dry and perfect, to muddy and slick...

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