Originally, I meant to include this in the first post. Oops! It should be easy enough to write lots just on the mileage, though, so I think that worked out well.
Instinctively, I want to consider my “short rides” anything between 1-3 miles or so. Long rides are 8+ miles. The reality is that our usual few loops are 5-7 miles, and at least half of those don’t qualify as real conditioning rides when they’re done at 3.5-4mph.
Relevant note: tracking applications are started once across the river, generally once we’re in the park. Any given ride has a half-mile warmup and cooldown that doesn’t get tracked, and ‘Fetti knows it’s time to move out once we’re on the park trails. That decision came about when I was first tracking our rides, and we would frequently spend 20 minutes getting to the river even before we got on a real trail. Made for really terrible time comparisons! Any hissy fits happen in that first half-mile, so I don’t stress over speed or consistency there at all.
1-3 miles: 3 rides
3-5* miles: 3 rides
5-7 miles: 5 rides
8+ miles: 12.55 miles, 8.24 miles, 18.03 miles = 3 rides
1-3 miles: 2 rides
3-5 miles: none
5-7 miles: 8 rides
8+ miles: 8.17 miles, 8.92 miles, 12.50 miles = 3 rides
+ 25LD mid-month
1-3 miles: 6 rides
3-5 miles: 3 rides
5-7 miles: 7 rides
8+ miles: 7.89 miles, 8.40 miles, 7.44 miles
1-3 miles: 7 rides
3-5 miles: 4 rides
5-7 miles:7 rides
8+ miles: 13.10 miles, 7.41 miles, 11.52 miles
October LD the first weekend.
*They need a category since clearly some rides fall in that lovely gray zone of 3-5 miles. So.. there it is. Looking at it, I think most are probably 5-7 mile rides where I forgot to start tracking for a mile or two.
Longer rides are hard for me to do for a variety of reasons. I tend to ride in the evenings; longer rides mean I need to allow several more hours at the barn, and mean I need to get off work early enough for that to work. I think one of our loop-trails is around 9 miles, and is back up on my to-do list after seeing these numbers! Also, anything much beyond that (without adding loops – probably what I should be doing) takes me out of the park and into further sections of nearby park/forest land. There’s always a risk involved when going out solo on the horse into mountain-bike popular trails and crossing the highway. My compromise has been to do those rides only on mornings/afternoons, when I know there will be people around if something goes terribly wrong. That unfortunately makes late afternoon longer rides somewhat unappealing.
A handful of the monthly 3-7 mile rides are those out with friends and don’t count as real conditioning – I’d figure probably 4 a month at least. 5 in June, 6 in July, 6 in August, 7 in September – although some of those may have been rides on a different horse, too. So with those numbers in mind, I started doing a lot more ‘real conditioning’ at speed in August/September.
Due primarily to my work schedule, I mostly ride Tuesday/Thursday/weekends. I rode more with a week off in September, but tried to keep to lighter works (or different horses!) on our usual off days. Sometimes another gal comes out and does dressage lessons/rides, which is good for everyone involved – same thing there, I try to ride lightly on the other days since I know she gets worked pretty hard then.
We’ll taper off the next few months as it’s muddy, then work back into it in the spring.