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Re: Feeding Toc

Abby wrote:

>I hope y'all will forgive me.  I'm continuing this discussion on the list
in spite of the fact that we're drifting toward a discussion of eventing,
mostly because it's something we deal with in distance riding regarding
adjusting the workload to meet the horse's needs.  If y'all would rather we
go off list with it, let me know.>

I second that, and hope nobody minds me posting my original query.  It's
just that you guys know a whole lot more about conditioning and training
than my eventing buddies.

>What level are you eventing at?  How long is the x-c phase, and at what

Toc is such a moo at competitions that I'm only doing Training level.  If I
could get him to stop brain farting in the dressage, I could probably move
him up, because the XC phase is fine.  The XC phase is about a mile, and the
speed varies depending on conditions.  I have never really focused on the
speed at this level, just on getting round, because we're usually doing the
XC on an HC basis, having been eliminated (and humiliated) in the dressage!

I also plan on hunting him this season, if possible, which is another reason
I want to keep him fit.  And because, in all honesty, I can't abide the
sight or feel of an unfit horse.

>> Will he get enough from his food?>>

>If he's not losing, and you supplement with a balanced vit/min mix, then
I'd say that's enough.  Again, though, I'm not a nutrition expert.>

Gut feel says you're right, but I wanted to make sure.

>> >Answering specifically the conditioning question here, I'd say "do what
>> have to do to keep him fit enough for the job at hand.<
>A fast 3 hours is way more than we'd need to do even training level around
here.  Last year at this level, did he finish his x-c with gallons of fuel
to spare? (I assume yes.) >

Well, considering he competed at mid-day, in the blazing heat, and came off
the course without breaking a sweat and not even blowing, and bucked and
pranced all the way back to the box, I'd say yes <g>

>Sounds like he's just got way more energy than he needs ...>

Hm.  I'm beginning to see a pattern emerging here.

>Sounds like a reasonable schedule to me, for a stabled horse.  How much
turnout area does he have, and is there a way to give him access to his
stable from the paddock without closing him into it?  >

He's in about 3/4 of an acre.  I can't give him access to the stable, as the
stables are in my ducks' garden, which is closed off, to stop the dogs
getting in.

>> 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!>>

>My girls just like to be where they can see what's going on, and keep track
of it.  Very little in the way of playing, but they do cover a lot of ground
even in the paddock.>

I've noticed that Toc does, too.  He's very rarely still, even though he
doesn't get around all that fast.

>I think all told I'd probably recommend minimal concentrates and maximum
turnout - 24/7 if you can manage it.<

I wish I could, but it's too dangerous : By the middle of December, I'll
have to have them stabled from 4:30 pm to 8:30 am to keep midges away (Horse
Sickness) and our Summer Storms are so bad, and spring up so quickly, I
daren't leave them out at night in case one springs up all of a sudden.
We're on a lightning belt.  Also, I'm worried about horse theft, as we're a
bit close to a squatter camp.

>Depending on what your x-c challenge looks like, I'd go for a couple
gallop/jump rides (x-c
training) a week, 30 minutes each, and spend the rest of the time in the
school doing flatwork & jumping gymnastics. >

Do you think I should continue the lunging, or not?  And what about


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