Over the last few weeks I have been living and breathing training: Fantom, Dilmun and myself. We have been so fortunate with the weather for the last two or three weeks that the ground has dried out enabling variety to be introduced into the training regime. Wizard had his first ‘endurance’ outing of the year in the shape of a 16 kms training ride around the westerly tip of Cornwall. The route took us past the mines and moors filmed in Poldark which was screening the first episode that night on BBC 1. However, visibility was a little limited with the mist swirling around us giving tantalising glimpses of the sea crashing against the cliffs hundreds of feet below us: awesome! The following week I judged that the ground had dried out sufficiently to venture up onto the moors for the much-needed distance training for Fantom. Here the idea was not necessarily to go fast but to use all the wonderful steep tors for hill work and to up the distance. In places the moorland was almost like a race track but care had to be taken with the still-sticky bits whilst looking out for the treacherous bogs that have been rumoured in bygone days to have swallowed horse and rider whole! It was a blissful training session with the sun shining and not a human in sight. Fantom started off steadily but, as is his want, got keener and keener as we progressed. We managed to do about 45 kms at an average of about 13 kph which included photo stops, pauses to get bearings and a chance meeting and chat with another endurance addict we happened to bump into in the middle of nowhere; all in all a very pleasant and profitable day. That weekend Fantom and I went to another training ride quite local to us. This time the idea was to do two circuits of the 17kms track to increase speed and cardio vascular efficiency. This was a quite different type of training ride, capitalising on the steep wooded hills and large open fields with no roadwork at all thereby minimising concussion. Again the sun shone on us, the going was almost perfect and we flew around the first circuit as quickly as we could safely go. I was happy with Fantom’s recovery rate at the end of the first circuit and, as we rode this alone, he was sensible putting in the minimum amount of effort needed for the desired outcome. The second circuit we rode with friends at a much more sedate pace but Fantom found this just so exciting and put in far more effort for less result – will he never learn? In the meantime we had two good training sessions using the 3.5 kms round field just 40 minutes trailer ride away. The first time was a little soggy, making Fantom work quite hard but by the second session the ground had dried out and we flew round covering 21 kms at over 21 kph with a heart rate of 63 as soon as we could get the stethoscope on him after halting. He is such an amazing little horse. Fantom has become very picky about his feeding, often leaving half of each feed so I’ve put him on Gastric Comfort which he seems to adore and is now polishing off his feed at the usual speed.