After last weekend’s uber cool HDT, I have the itch to compete for myself something awful!
Unfortunately, (as usual) my great plans about how I was going to show in that last event crashed in on me, but I’m not giving up ! I’m back on the docket to compete in a show in October, another HDT.
This will be a small show and I’ll only be taking 1 horse. I actually am torn between which horse to bring. I can’t show both because of time allotments, and both Luke and Chewbacca have several reasons why I want to (or not) compete them.
Either way, I’ll continue to work them both as if they were both going, while I am leaning towards Chewbacca. He could use the experience, and it will be a small, casual, and relaxed show. Luke has so many show hours on him, that it’s just “another show”. Even though he’s never done a CDE event before either. So in that way, both Luke & Chewie are equal.
Today I started, for the first time, actually timing my training workout with them. I mapped out the trail and found that I can make a 1.5km loop. This is roughly just short of 1 mile. Taking into account that an HDT has a 3km marathon (1.86miles), and at training level, the speed for a horse to complete 3km is roughly 13:30. So that works out to be a speed of roughly 13 kph (or 7.6ish mph).
So, since my grass trail access is only half that length (or .93 miles), I just cut the time “allowed” in half.
Have I lost you yet?
Basically, suffice to say, my goal was to trot the whole 1.5km (.93mile) loop in about 6 1/2 minutes with Chewbacca.
I have a fun GPS app on my phone that records all kind of data, including km traveled, speed traveled, average speeds, high and low speed, you name it. It even drew a little “map” of our trail. I had fun playing with this app! I’ll be using it plenty in the future!
So, given that we were supposed to complete (with Chewbacca) our loop in 6:30, we needed to maintain a speed of 13ish KPH.
Can Chewie do it?
Well, according to my app, he hit a top trotting speed of 14.78kph! Woo! Go Chewie.
Unfortunately, while accomplishing this, he broke into canter 4 times (lol!) which means we would have seriously dq’d for too much canter. So, I now have a goal for the next 2 months to work on.
Our average speed was 11.7kph, making us complete our loop in 8 minutes flat. Which means, we’d be over our time by about 3 full minutes in a real HDT, doing the full 3km.
He did good, though, really. For him, that was fast. I’ll be asking for a little more each time I work on speed with him, and I’ll be setting up the heart monitor I bought him earlier in the spring so I know exactly how his pulse is and how well he’s tolerating the conditioning. I could do the whole loop twice, to make a true 3km. Maybe I’ll work on that. Maybe I’ll bring along a 2nd person to work the GPS and keep track of time for me (the navigator’s job, lol!)
Today was the first day that any of this really made sense to me — why you need a heart monitor, why you need a navigator, and how important that position really is. That person isn’t just holding on to the back of your carriage (if you have a marathon carriage), they are working 1-2 stop watches, and literally using a marker to keep track of times, plus keeping an eye on the map to make sure no one gets lost and that the whole team makes it through the gates in the correct order. The driver just drives, lol! They’ve got the easy job.
So after my timed session with Chewbacca, I cracked out Luke.
Do I have to state here that Luke is only 12.2 while Chewie is 16.2 hands. Luke is a pony. Ponies are alloted a longer amount of time on that 3km course. In fact, ponies are allowed 15minutes max, with a minimum time of 12 minutes.
In marathon, you need to come in after the minimum, but ideally before the maximum. If you come in too late, you’ve gone too slow, and if you come in too early, you’ve gone too fast. Simple, right?
So, allowing Luke to do 1.5km, basically, he needed to be working at about 10kph to come in at around 7 1/2 minutes…
Yea… this is Luke we’re talking about.
He rocked. He’s a hackney!
Luke completed the loop in 6 minutes flat (lol!) and had an average speed of nearly 16kph (about 9MPH). He hit a high speed of 19.80 kph!!! (That’s 11miles an hour!)
It’s safe to say, Luke would have no trouble doing a marathon. He was awesome every step of the way, and he just was having so much fun, I could tell.
I’d love love love to compete him, but I’d also love love love to compete Chewbacca.
Next year, I’ll be planning on doing 1 HDT if it is offered again (the one I missed this year), and possibly a second one. So it’s not like I’m training to go FEI next year or anything, lol.
Just looking to have fun with this.
I’ll be doing more work with times over the next 8 weeks, and I am also working to reach my goal of 100 driven hours this year.
Hopefully I can do all that I hope for!