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Re: Susan...Sarah...heeeeeelllllppppp!!!

Short answers:
1) If he's not losing weight, then you don't need to up his concentrate ration.  Forget what the nutrition books are telling you---the extra concentrates are only to provide enough calories to maintain body weight, if he's doing it without high grain, then you don't need it.
2)  He's probably getting more than enough vit/mins just from the ration without the added supplement---but as long as you don't go overboard with it, that's fine, but don't increase it.
3) The oil won't make him hot, just the opposite in every sense of the word.  It doesn't create glucose spikes and because it doesn't make the body 'work' to digest it, tends to lower the core temperatures, very handy in hot weather.  If he does start to lose weight, increase the fat, not grain.
4)  Cut the lucerne.  You don't need it, and excess protein does make quite a few horses loopy, probably as often as grain does.
The bad news is that if he's a perfect gentleman on the lunge line, then this really isn't a nutrititional problem---there are a few things to minimize dietary goofiness (mentioned above), but they aren't going to turn Toc into a rent-string pony.  He's just fit as hell, having a fine time and making you hang on for dear life to go along with it.
Good luck,
Susan G
----- Original Message -----
From: Tracey
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2000 6:59 PM
Subject: RC: Susan...Sarah...heeeeeelllllppppp!!!

Hi, all.
I'm at my wits end with my blasted horse again, and I need advice desperately.  The first three years I had him, he was in livery, and basically was fed a helluva lot of concentrates with a little bit of hay.  He was a lunatic 90% of the time, so I was kind of used to it.  When I moved Toc home, I cut out most of the grain, switched him to a 12% protein, maize-free, added some vegetable oil to his grain, and upped his hay and added lucerne.  He looks absolutely gorgeous, is easy to keep weight on and not nearly as hot as he was.  However, he is still, at heart, an obnoxious sonofa....well, you guys know the story.
Anyway, last year, the first year he was home, I worked him lightly for the first six months, then decided to give this eventing thing a bash.  I began working him quite hard : he was being lunged for 45 minutes in the morning and worked for between 1 and 2 hours every afternoon.  Hard work, too : roadwork or intense schooling coupled with a hack out afterwards.  Naturally, I upped his concentrates as his workload increased, because...well...that's the way it's done, right?  I increased his grain to a max of 2 kgs per day and he went absolutely ape pooh on me.  A real terror to ride.  Unfortunately, this is not a horse that you can tire, so "working him through" his brain farts didn't work.  The funny thing was that there was no outward reason to up his grain : he didn't lose weight when his workload increased, and he wasn't "flat" (Oh, I yearn for flatness.....)
I increased his grain because every book / article I have read on nutrition said that a horse in that amount of work should have at least 40% grain in his diet.  He went ballistic when I increased the grain to 20%, let alone 40%
This year, I've decided to do it differently.  As he's just come out of Horse Sickness, and not been worked for a while, I have started lunging him for 20 minutes per day.  (Please bear in mind that this horse is an angel on the lunge : you can free-lunge him on voice commands only and he behaves like a's ridden work that gives him his kicks) and upped it this week to 30 minutes per day.  He doesn't break a sweat and at the end isn't even blowing, so I could up it.  I've been doing ground work with him, but want to start riding him again because he is horribly, horribly bored, and is making PG's, the dogs' and my goat's lives a living hell.   I rode him on Saturday for an hour and a half, including 20 minutes of uphill trotting, 20 minutes of flatwork, 20 minutes of jumping and a warm-up and cooling off.  He was positively explosive while I was cooling him off, so I didn't even come close to tiring him out.
At the moment, he is on 500 grams of concentrates per day.  He looks like a million bucks.
Do I need to increase his grain as his work increases?  Will he get sufficient trace minerals / vitamins from the Super Codlivine I add to his diet.  I've cut the oil out of his diet completely, as I'm worried it might make him hot.  My concern is this : as this horse gets fitter, he gets worse, and worse, and worse.  By the beginning of the eventing season last year, he looked like a fire-breathing dragon : all rippling muscles and veins protruding, but it felt like I was sitting on that bloody great fault running through California, waiting to be thrown into the middle of next week!
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.
And before anyone asks : yes, I've checked teeth, tack, back, feet, etc.  He's fine.  And no, it's not that I have a hot seat.  On the contrary, I'm usually asked to ride hot horses as I'm quite laid-back.  This is a problem that seems unique to Toc.

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