Monday, September 07, 2009

Slow and steady wins this horse race - Full Article

Horse's health a key factor in Caja del Rio endurance ride

by Staci Matlock

9/6/2009 - 9/5/09

Winning a 50-mile endurance ride depends a lot on knowing when to go slow.

The first horse and rider across the finish line is the victor, but only if the horse stays healthy.

The 17 horseback riders in Sunday's sixth annual Caja del Rio endurance event west of Santa Fe knew coming into the veterinary checkpoint too fast would raise their mount's heart rate and cost them valuable time. Marcelle Abbott and Philip Langenscheidt of Alamogordo finished the first 21-mile loop in two hours, but walked their gray Arabian horses toward the end and dismounted 100 yards from the check-in at base camp.

Their horses quickly met the "60 in 60" required pulse rate (60 beats in a minute). They were given a time 45 minutes later to start the next loop of the 50-miler. Horses that don't meet the test have to wait until they do, delaying the start time for their next leg of the race. "That penalizes a rider who comes in too hard," said Larry Nolen, a Pojoaque-based equine veterinarian who checked the horses as they came through.

Abbott and her 13-year-old gelding, Natta Lotta Gold — aka "Junior" — finished two 55-milers back to back in mid-August at the six-day Fort Stanton Pioneer endurance race. This was her first time at the Caja del Rio event. "I ride conservatively," she said, after Nolen had checked Junior over for any signs of lameness, dehydration, and digestive or heart problems.


1 comment:

Deirdre said...

I do not know who added this link, but thank you so much! We had a great time, a good ride, and nice riding weather, despite rain the night before. Thanks again to all the volunteers, especially Debbie and Bob Bulcock, Roger Taylor (who managed the ride for me on ride day) and Dave and Ann Podlesak. Thanks to everyone's help the ride went well. This is a great area and will only get better as we get our new trailhead installed. Think 67,000 acres of National Forest just 20 minutes from Santa Fe, New Mexico!

Call me if you want to come ride. Deirdre Monroe, ride manager (505-455-2624).