Well, winter's coming on. The days are short, and the temperatures are getting cold. All this gloom and cold has me thinking one thing-
And with that, longer days, time to get out for good long drives, and shows! Woot! Which I am looking forward to.
I'd like to try my hand at competing in a marathon. It realistically probably won't happen next year, but I can at least think about it.
So, my question is, how do you practice for marathons? Do you have your own obstacles set up? Do you haul to a facility? Do you just not pratice them, and "wing it" when you show up? Do you just use cones as a substitute?
I know I can practice the distance & speed part, and I have a basic understand of lower level dressage from 7 years riding dressage. I also have small 6" tall cones that I use as gates for pratice, and I have 36 of those.
But since I board my horses, I can't really clutter up the arena or the faciilty with barrels or gates or any other type of hazard. I can't imagine competing in something I can't practice at home? There are a few small ADT's with marathon-type hazards around, but again, those are shows.
When I was preparing for my first CDE I used anything I could to practice hazards - a neighbor's jump field, trees, etc. If you look you can find lots of things to trot around. I was very concerned that my pony would spook but was told by an experienced driver not to worry about that. She said once I got in a hazard my pony wouldn't even look at anything - and she was right!
As long as you have control and good communication you should be fine. You shouldn't be going for speed to start with; just nice long lines at a good trot. Don't try for the tight turns. And be sure to have fun