OK, it’s time to apologize for my April Fool’s joke article about banning dogs, mostly because it’s totally hypocritical of me. I love my dogs, and I just got a puppy two months ago, and I can’t wait to take him to shows with me. But don’t worry, he’s totally cool around horses, and he’s even going to a six week course in doggie obedience this spring, so he will most certainly not be one of those dreaded doggos that gets filmed chasing down a horse. Maybe we should just have mandatory dog obedience and horse training classes? Let’s get on it, FEI.
National Holiday: National Caramel Popcorn Day
U.S. Weekend Preview:
News From Around the Globe:
Southern California Equestrian Sports (SCES) has announced a donation of $3,000 to Aspen Farms Horse Trials. This generous donation will be divvied up, with two thousand going towards event enhancement, and the remaining thousand given as prize money to the top placing SCES members in the CIC1* and CIC2*. [SCES Supports Aspen Farms]
Twin horses are not very common. Twin horses racing one another is completely unheard of. Mr. Ping and Mr. Pong will be running against one another at Charles Town today, both out of a mare named Washingtonian and by the stallion Denis of Cork. Less than 1% of twin pregnancies make it to term with live foals, and nobody has ever heard of them both making it to the races, let alone the same race. [Twin Thoroughbreds Race One Another Today]
Horse people have a weirdly unique way of shopping in a tack store. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what discipline you ride, but if they have a wall of bits, you must go inspect it. Just in case you find something super cool! Also, items must be smelled, and if possible, opened and then smelled. We get you. You’re weird, just like us. [5 Things Every Equestrian Does In A Tack Shop]
Golden Spike Horse Trials in Ogden, Utah (Area IX) is hosted once a year, and offers Intro through Preliminary levels. Created and organized by the Wasatch Pony Club, Golden Spike was first run in 1987, and has continued to have recognized and unrecognized events as well as clinics and cross country schooling ever since that time. In the past few years, the event has received grant money to revamp the facilities, and fix the drainage on the cross country course, making the event better than ever. [USEA Events A-Z: Golden Spike HT]
Schramm Sesh of the Week
Jimmie and Dom Schramm have teamed up with Kentucky Equine Research to provide an inside look into their conditioning program using KER ClockIt Sport. Each week we’ll share an example ride and some notes of what the Schramms look for as their horses progress.
So far we have featured work programs for developing horses, but this week’s session illustrates Jimmie working Bellamy, an Advanced-level Thoroughbred gelding, through one of his last gallops before the Rolex (now Land Rover) Kentucky Three-Day Event. The session took place at the famous Nelson’s Hill in Chester County.
“Eventers have been getting their horses fit on this hill since the 1970’s and 80’s, which is pretty cool,” says Jimmie. “The hill takes about two and a half minutes to climb from bottom to top. The first half is steeper before it plateaus out and there is a little cross-country field. The second half is a long, slow hill that is almost slightly stair-stepped.”
Jimmie recounts the day of the session: “It wasn’t very cold, it was in the 60’s. Leading up to these gallops Bellamy had worked his way to a 20-minute jog with a 15-minute canter through months of interval training. When we got back to Pennsylvania from being south he was just going up the hill once a week and then it was bumped to two times up the hill.”
“For Bellamy, you can see I walked him down to the cross-country area and jogged for about 10 minutes around the jumps to make sure his muscles were warm,” Jimmie explains. “The first time up the hill I was aiming to get it done in 2:30 minutes and we got pretty close to that. I start at about 19:20 and finish and 21:56.”
Jimmie then hacked him back down the hill which takes about 10 minutes, enough time for his heart rate to settle back down again.
“The second time up I was trying to go a little bit faster to push him for a higher heart rate and higher speed, climbing the hill in 2:15 minutes. Then we had a nice long hack to let his heart rate settle back down and cool down his muscles.”
She concludes, “All in all, hill gallops are a really good way to get horses fit and this session shows how to execute a hill gallop for an advanced horse.”
Check back next week for another Schramm Sesh! Want to gain insight into your horse’s fitness? Try KER ClockIt Sport. The free app helps take the guesswork out of equine fitness by monitoring heart rate, speed, distance and altitude during rides. EN’s guides to the app explain all the details: 7 Reasons to Download KER ClockIt Sport and How To Get the Most Out of KER ClockIt Sport.