Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The New Fitness Challenge

As I may have mentioned before, Izzy did lack a bit of "spunk", as Cathy put it, in our lesson. I credited it to having worked pretty hard for six days that week. I was in a hurry when I was out on Sunday, so I didn't have time to get Izzy out to do anything. Apparently, while I was gone, the mares got turned out in sets (first time this year!!), but Miss Izzy did not. The reason? She's a psycho alpha who tends to go after other horses and Cathy can't trust her with anyone. Trust me. We tried this last year. Sigh...

As a result, Izzy had a conniption yesterday when I went to get her out. She pranced and nearly reared when I was just leading her over to take off her blanket. Usually, I turn her out in the arena to run and she just meanders around unless I chase her. Not so today. She took off bucking immediately. I went to get my old mare (Izzy's mother and the only horse more dominant than she is), and Izzy freaked out. When I brought Cassie back, Izzy was so excited to have a friend to play with that I couldn't get her away from the gate to actually let Cassie in without unsettling Cassie. Ugh. Mares.

Eventually, I got both girls out together and they ran like idiots for quite a long time. Remember, Izzy has been worked 5-6 days a week all winter long. I think Cassie has worked 3 times, none of them hard. When I went to put the girls away, Cassie hadn't even broken a sweat and her amazing recovery time meant that she was barely breathing hard. Izzy, on the other hand, was almost completely drenched with sweat. Her shoulders and neck were dripping and she was sweating around her eyes. And puffing. I walked her, groomed her, and tacked her up, and she was still puffing.

It's ridiculous. I know Cassie has a ridiculously fast recovery time, but she hasn't even worked. That's probably why she always did so well on cross country, despite our lack of schooling and conditioning opportunities. She has incredible endurance and recovers faster than most people can blink, especially when fit. Izzy looks like a different sort of challenge. I'm not going to be able to take any shortcuts with her, fitness wise. Yes, part of it was a warm sunny day and Izzy's winter coat, but Cassie has a thicker coat than Izzy does.

So now we know.

In other news, it was fascinating to see my girls together. Cassie is very compact for a thoroughbred. She has some nice hock action, but very little overstep, tends to be high-headed, and is wicked fast. (Did I mention she ran 58 races and is sound to this day?) Izzy is like Cassie on steroids. Izzy has a natural overstep, gorgeous suspension, but is longer and leaner than Cassie. I really should have taken pictures. Sorry... maybe this afternoon. Izzy looks really fast, but I still think mommy would beat her in a footrace.

I did ride them both yesterday. I figure it's time to take advantage of having little-to-no job. Ride! Izzy was tired and fine. Cassie was wired. It's weird to me that with 1 year of training, Izzy is probably farther along in dressage than Cassie will ever be. It's about what comes naturally to them, I guess. Cassie loves speed, endurance, and jumping. Izzy hasn't quite figured those out yet.


  1. TBs are very well known for their endurance and fast recoveries. I'm always surprised on a warm day when I work the TB for an hour and he barely seems tired. On warm days the Warmblood and the pony break a sweat just standing in the pasture!

    Glad to hear how well your lesson went! You're making a lot of progress, you should be proud. If you keep up riding six days a week, Izzy will be fit in no time.

  2. TB's are born fit. *G* I'll be having the same challenge getting my Chance (American Warmblood) fit. Tucker, TB, will be a cinch. But Chance does romp and frolic a lot on his own, so he does do some of the work for me.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...