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My endurance riding!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
well I thought I would put fingers to keys and write you all about my endurance that I did yesterday morning. It was not a race as both myself and my horse Hashil have to do 4 qualifiers before we can compete, we need to do two 45 kms qualifier and one 60 kms and one 80 kms. So yesterday was the first of the four.

I went to the farm on Wednesday night and sorted out all the stuff to take to the endurance village. On Thursday I woke up at 3:15am and had some breakfast and then went up to Hashil and groomed him so he looked all nice (and took the staw out of his tail and mane) I put his travel boots on and his rug to keep him warm as it was quite cold this morning (as it is most mornings) at 4am finally my groom (Awad) and another worker on the farm (Omar) came to the barn and we finished the last few things to do and loaded Hashil into the box and left at 4:20am, I wanted it to be earlier so we did not have to rush when we got to the village as the check in time was at 5:15am and it takes ages to get to the village from the farm.

Finally we got to the village at 5:25am and Awad and I took Hashil to the vet as soon as we arrived to get him vetted and checked out, while Omar unloaded all the stuff from the van and the car. We finished vetting at about 6:20am and we had time to sit and relax for a little while as the qualifier start time was 7:15am. when the vet was cheking him Hashil was a little nervous and would not stand still. He knocked the vet and the vet dropped his stethoscope, so I bent down to pick it up as I was worried Hashil was going to step on it, just as Hashil swung around he stood on my foot and put all of his weight on it, god the pain went straight through me. I checked my foot when I got back to where we had set up all of our stuff and I have a swollen middle toe what is black - the nail is also slightly discoloured and I have lost the skin at the base of my nail - it is bloody sore :o(

At 6:50am we tacked Hashil and at 7am I got on him and he was all excited jogging around the place jogging sideways and bounching this way and that. Finally at 7:20am we started. I got to the first water stop and I was roasting hot so I had to get off and take my jumper off but in the process my bib (with our rider number on) came off and I put my bib back on and was on my way then I thought...sthe I checked my card and I had lost it (we are all given cards like time cards) so I took the chance and Awad and I went on. I got back to the the village, and just before I went throught the gate I decided to walk Hashil through the gate to give him a rest and also in the hope that we can vet him straight away, and just as I got my leg over the saddle and just before my feet touched the ground Hashil decided he wanted to trot a little way and my legs and feet were taken from underneath me and I fell onto my knees and went along the floor for a few of his strides before he realised there is something wrong and he stopped to let me get up. It took 2 hours on the dot to do 29kms and I told the federation guys as I went through the gate that I had lost my card some place and they handed it over to me - seems as if someone handed it in which was great.

We vetted Hashil 8 minutes after we arrived and we then had a 30 minuted break where Hashil had some food and we both had a bit of a chance to have a rest.

At 10:04am we were off again for the second loop of 16kms. We did that loop in a good time of 1 hour 10 minutes. It was a good loop with not too much soft sand, infact there was no soft sand at all, the only thing we had to contend with was a good couple of kms of really hard really stoney track where everyone - well nearly everyone walked their horses, the ones that thought that trotting/cantering them was okay soon found out that their horse's feet could not stand it and they were stopped and taken in because they got stones in their feet and came lame!

We arrived back at the village and we vetted Hashil in a time of 6 minutes and he passed all the vet checks - although the very first check of the morning the vet said he had a sensitive back - I told the vet it is because he was nervous. Then the last 2 times we vetted him he passed and there was no sign of a sensitive back!

So we finished at 11.14am and we showered Hashil and I made his food and when he came back he look really really tired but not exhausted. I am so proud of him, he did just so well.

Right now I am hurting rather badly as I did not ride for 3 weeks, two weeks I was in Ireland and then last week Hashil was in Abu Dhabi at the horse sale. I have burst blisters on my right leg behind my knee. And I will see how my foot is over the next few days, and if the swelling does not go down and if walking does not get any easier then I will get it checked out.

Well that was my day yesterday. I am really pleased I have done it and I am really looking forward to doing the next one which will be in February
post #2 of 6
Hope Hashil is okay after enduring all of that. He deserves some really nice treats after that and you deserve a hot soak./
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hissy I actually made him some treats.....wheat, oats, barley all mixed together with some molaces and i made them into bite size peices for him, he loved them. I also made sure he had plenty of polos and carrots to munch on. And I also made sure that he was fit enought to do it and I always take care of his wellbeing so if at any point I thought he was too tired I would have stopped and pulled him out of it. Turned out at the last vetting he had so much energy - the vet said obviously I had not pushed him hard enough. I told the vet I was not there to push him I was there to qualify him
post #4 of 6
It sounds like you two had quite a ride! I'm glad that everything turned out pretty much ok.

I hope that your foot and your knee heal quickly.

Let us know what happens with the next race!
post #5 of 6
That's pretty interesting. I didn't know horseback riding could be an endurance sport, I tend to think of it as a skill sport with all those obstacle courses and such.

I was actually going to ask about your thighs and the friction of riding for so long, but those blisters are my answer! Do you wear protective clothing to guard against that kind of thing?

When is the next qualifier? Do you compete regularly? Do you use Hashil every time?

Hope your foot is feeling better soon!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
The only protective clotthing I wear is a speacil light weight endurance helmet - it has air vents in the front and back so the air can go through so I don't get so hot.

My next endurance qualifer is at the end of Feb. Once we have completed all 4 qualifiers we will start competing but that will not be until next year as the season comes to a close here in April as it gets too hot. So we will just train all the way through to next season start which is October.

And yes I only ride Hashil. he is my boy and we train each and every day together - although at the moment he is on holiday for 3 days just resting and kicking back.
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