18.10 miles of running this week. 20 miles total. At the end of June I still wasn’t able to run. I was walking 12 miles a week. At the beginning of July I started running a 1/4 mile 3-4 days per week. It has taken 15 weeks to build up muscle and endurance to run this far without creating new injuries.
There is a reason I don’t start 2yr olds anymore. That would be like expecting a 6yr old human to run this distance with me. I don’t get on them anymore until they are 3.5 to 4yrs old and I keep the work light. The equivalent of a 10-12 year old human running 2 miles. My job is to build them into functional horses not break them down.
There is a reason I don’t take horses for 30 day wonder start under saddle garbage. I used to. But it just is not the right thing to do. The horses have to work on correct posture before a rider gets on them. For horses, humans riding them is an extreme sport. They must be fit and conditioned for it over time. They are not physically prepared to walk, trot and canter the first time someone sits on their back. It is our job to prepare them, develop good posture, and prepare them to carry us without damaging themselves. It is our job to help them maintain that posture for their entire extreme sport career of carrrying people. Poor posture leads to pain. Horses hide pain very well because they are a prey animal. We as humans miss the subtle signs of pain. We only stand up and take notice when the bucking, rearing, bolting, resistance, or lameness come into play. By that time your horse has been painful and breaking down for a good period of time. Rehab is necessary and rehab, just like mine, takes time. If you want your horse to work for you, you must put in the time working for them.
One of the horses in this picture I started at 2yrs old. At 17 he has bony changes he shouldn’t have. I mistook his behavior for disobedience not pain. My job now is to keep him comfortable by maintaining his posture and do better for horses I come in contact with because of what he taught me.