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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tevis - '09 Last thoughts & and looking forward to '10

I was a little conservative sponging her this year. She was really hot, but I felt like she would chill easily so I sponged lots on her flanks, shoulders, belly, neck, but didn’t sponge her back or hindquarters. It never got really hot, but think she built up too much cummulative heat. After the race she did seem very hot and was dissipating a lot of heat, the veins stayed visible for a long time, so I think next year I will sponge more aggressively, but also bring lots of coolers to try and balance cooling her off without getting chilled. She didn’t sweat much except going up the canyons.

I did electrolyte more aggressively on the trail previous to Robinson than I did after Robinson. I think she may have benefited from another dose or two after Robinson.

I think our pace was perfect – exactly according to plan.

I LOVE my skito pad – especially now that the trim is stitched up. I wish the pad wasn’t so long though and there was a way to shorten it.

I may switch to front packs for part of the race. I like pommel packs better, but one vet said she was starting to get a sore back and I worry that the packs were causing pressure, even though they were light. At the next vet check she got all A’s on her back though, so maybe it was a non-issue.

My crew didn’t have any suggestions except that we will continue to make the fairgrounds the base camp. (As opposed to Foresthill).

I think I’ll ride with front boots during next year’s Tevis to try and prevent what happened this year. I did have some rubs from the hind boots, but I think being more conscious about getting them, and the legs completely clean would help with that.

How I’m going to prepare better for next year:
This years prep went like this: 55 in November, 4 LD’s at Death Valley, 65 at 20 MT, 2-50’s at wild west.

2010 Tevis prep will look very similar, but up the ante a bit more: 50 in November (Oroville?), 4-50’s at Death Valley, 100 at 20 MT, 3-50’s at Wild West. I’m going to start letting her go a bit faster too. I’ve really held her back all this year. I’m not going crazy, and you still won’t see our name in the top 10’s (probably), but during the speed negotiations, I’ll let her have more of a say.

I think I’m done with Tevis thoughts for 2009. On to my next event! National Cavalry Competition (information coming soon…).


  1. Amazing Tevis story - I enjoyed reading it.

  2. It would be hard to think of much that could have gone better, as far as planning and timing etc. When on-the-spot decisions were called for, I think because of the good planning and communication, they turned out well. Being able to delegate and then let it go probably contributed a lot to your ability to concentrate and our peace of mind.
    Now that we have all done this (novices this year) I expect next year will be even smoother.

  3. My mother commented on my blog! :) You guys did great! No one would have known you were novices....if I hadn't told them.

    I just took a look at your blog and linked it on my sidebar. Very cool. I can't wait for more homemade gingerale. I must admit that I might make it my official Tevis 2010 beverage.

  4. like i said earlier.. you'r e my her(oine).. looks like you learned alot.. like we say in ultrarunning land... "you dont know unless you go".

    Just for my own education.. what kind of elytes and how much do you administer do/did you use?

    happy trails

  5. I used the same elytes and protocol that I did for the wild west ride, described here:

    As for human elytes - I ate food and got all my elytes through food. Gatorade etc doesn't seem to work while riding, (but it's find if I'm running).

  6. WAIT!!! Why do you want to go faster?

    I think if you do the 100 at 20 MT you should go *slower* than you did the 65 this year. Or at least similar, but....faster???

    From a stats perspective (since I'm working on them for the WST website) - you averaged 7.2 MPH at 20 MT this year. In 2007 the winner of Tevis averaged 6.89 mph. Last finisher: 4.59 mph.

    Not that speeding up isn't good, but build a good base and consistency first.

  7. Heyo, great post (even for someone as unhorsey as I)
    I just got the CM, loved your list of ways to get used to having a horse :P I had lots of fun..and I'm hoping that *next* time, I WILL be able to coordinate the final finish. Go Mely!!!

  8. I'd be cautious with letting your horse set the speed to faster paces. What often happens, and I have seen it WAY too many times, is the horse does a bunch of 50's, gets to go fast, goes to a 100 and fights the rider so much to go faster, as they have been allowed to do so, that they end up blasting too fast in the beginning, and then burn out early when trying to get through a 100.

    I worked for a woman who is one of the handful that has 20 Tevis buckles (in 23 starts). She never did speedy rides with her horses. Always long slow 50's. But her goals were different than others, and if one wants to "race" as to RIDE, as she did, then the training is indeed different. But she was still the one who set the speed, not the horse.

    Looking forward to heading about your Tevis FINISH next year! I might just come out to ride it again myself. I do love that trail.

    Great blogging on the event!

  9. Sorry! I should have clarified - I want to go a bit faster on any 50's I do - I completely agree that I don't need to go any faster on 100's etc. Right now during a 50 I make her walk up hills etc. I was thinking by letting her slow trot up the hills it would improve her conditioning and also give me the option of going slower on the downhills (which she usually scoots down, but I worry about wear and tear). During her conditioning I keep her at a walk/trot, but I've noticed that during rides, she seems refreshed if I let her canter a bit (uses different muscles etc.). So I want to do a little more cantering on my conditioning rides.

    I'm not looking to race and I enjoy being out on the trail! Just completing is just fine with me!

    Since she is my 100 mile horse, I do want to be careful with her mind. I started her out on LD's which was probably a mistake....but sometimes you don't know 'til you try. My standardbred would ahve benefited from LD's.

    My goal this season is to get several SOLID rides. Because Tevis requires so much continuous trotting, my 50's times are probably going to speed up, only because I'll be trying to duplicate tevis conditions, but I'm hoping to get an even, steady trot so it shouldn't make THAT much difference in my overall times - right now we alternate walk and VERY extended trot.

  10. Hey Mel, I'm sorry I am a bit behind on commenting! But I have been reading very avidly!
    Sounds like it was a lot of fun, and a good learning experiance (well everything is!). I loved reading about it. Getting to go to Tevis must be so exciting!
    I can't wait till next year to hear all about it again!

    Good luck on your next adventure!

  11. Loved reading about your Tevis run!
    I have always been interested in endurance riding!

  12. Oh gawd. I just wrote a really long post and it lost it!!!! Well, I'll tell you in person, lol. Sheeesh.

  13. Karen - don't you HATE that! I'm assuming you wanted to comment on further conditioning for Tevis/speed etc.? I would be VERY interested in hearing it - I want to make my odds of finishing Tevis BETTER not worse.....I have a tendancy to over-ride my horses so it's always a good thing when I go slower/ride less than I think I should etc.

    As an update I think Death Valley is off the table for this year. My gut tells me that Oroville+Desert Gold+DVE+20MT is just too much....


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