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Feeding Toc

>Well, I'm not Susan/Sarah, but there may yet be some non-nutritional things
goin' on here ...>

Any advice is welcome, Abby!

>I'm not a great fan of longeing, unless there's an important
training-related reason for it.  Not that I think the longeing is a big
factor in your problem (gotta chew on that one for a while) but unless you
have something specific to get out of it on a daily basis, I don't
think I'd keep it up.>

I do it to keep him fit.  I'll onl be able to ride him for one hour per day
from now on, and some days not at all, but if I plan on eventing him (which
at the moment there is zero chance of, but anyway...) then he'll need to be

>>At the moment, he is on 500 grams of concentrates per day.  He looks like
a million bucks.>>
>I'd leave him where he's at, at least as a trainer ...>

Will he get enough from his food?

>> My concern is this : as this horse gets fitter, he gets worse, and worse,
and worse.
So, how do I balance his nutritional needs against my need to survive?  Do I
keep him slightly less fit, and if so, am I being cruel by asking him to do
the work I'm asking for.>>

>Answering specifically the conditioning question here, I'd say "do what you
have to do to keep him fit enough for the job at hand.<

Okay, then he's going to need to be fairly fit.  Even when I'm not
competing, I do at least one relatively fast 3 hour ride per week (not sure
of the distance, but it's hilly and ditchy, with jumps and a gallop), I jump
him at least once a week and then do dressage.

>To do a couple of miles at 400 m/min, you don't have to have him fit enough
to do 25 miles over hill and dale, so don't bother.  With most horses, I
would say "the fitter the better" but if it's *really* fitness that's giving
him fits, then you don't have to push that envelope.  Also, sometimes you
can do "hours in the saddle" without pushing speed for fitness.  How does he
do just walking (some horses, when they get fit, just can't WALK without
bursting)? <

Hmm, when I just walk him, he can go for ages without incident, then he'll
explode from nothing (and I mean nothing : he launches himself into the air,
does a huge capriole-style buck, lands and keeps on walking as if nothing
has happened, which is a bit irksome) but other days he will buck the whole
way, jog and generally be a brat.  When he's like that, I MAKE him work in a
frame and move on from the leg, so that I can at least get something useful
out of all that energy.  We do shoulder-in, quarters-in, etc.  He still
bucks like a demon, but I feel better :+)

>The only other thing I wonder about is how much turnout time vs. stable
time he gets.  >

He gets turned out at about 8 am (weather permitting, I don't mind the rain,
but don't turn out in a storm).  When it's really hot, he comes in from
12:30 to 2 pm for a zizz and a nibble of hay (no grain at lunchtime), and
he's out until 4:30 when they come in.  Of course, I then ride him for an
hour, so in fact he's out until about 5:30.  If it's been a hot day, and the
evening is nice, I'll turn them out in the garden until about 7pm, to make
up for being in over lunchtime.

He's not much for playing in the paddock.  If he's pissed off about
something (like me taking PG out for a ride, or if he's just been bathed)
he'll tear up and down the fence line, bucking, farting and trying to kill
the dogs, but generally he just puts his head down and grazes.  I used to
worry that, when we put him out in the morning, he didn't tear around like
my neighbour's horses, but I guess he likes to conserve his energy for me!


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