We are getting ready to go racing at 20 Mule Team ride in Southern Ca in two weeks. Because our goals are different for each horse we will approach each one differently. Most will probably not agree but a taper from your normal work load can be important. I do like to have a hard work 7 to 10 days out from race day, but sometimes, depending on how important the race is I will forgo that work, just to help keep weight. Not sure I will have to do that with Ambrose as he is a eating machine.
Ambrose is a unknown, he will start the 35 mile LD with Shannon Constanti aboard. Hard to predict how a new horse will act in his first endurance ride. I have had a multitude of attitudes and behaviors, most of which I was not expecting. Shannon is a seasoned rider so we will let her call the shots on how she will deal with Ambrose.. We know that he is very competitive with MONK, but will he be that way with other horses, more then likely, he is after all a horse who has raced at the track. So you have lots of decisions you have to make in that 35 miles, most of it schooling, getting his head right, more then likely. I have no worry about his fitness for this length of a ride he is MORE then ready. If I had another two or three weeks on him I would of put him in the 65. I am thinking FEI for this horse, so he has to have 3 fifty mile rides at a speed of less then 10mph, that may take some doing. We will try and pick some hard rides for those qualifying rides.
Our goal for MONK this year is to prepare him properly for the Tevis ride. One of the things that we have to do is modify our training program, Ambrose will be following along so more then likely I will post all the rides that we do with both horses. We will be doing lots of work on the Tevis trail itself. We will be doing much more hill/mountain work then just flat fast work. The ride at 20MT is mostly flat and fast but it will still work great for tune up on some of the things that we need to do on a 100 mile ride. I assume that we will do well, but again, we will take it as it comes... I am a believer in doing the best that you can do that day, if you have to actually race make sure it is worth it, which for me is 1st.... and that is it. The first year MONK did 20MT, it was his first 100 mile ride where he was 4th. We had occasion to watch someone canter their horse the last few miles to the finish for a non win, top 5 position????
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