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Re: RC: Karen's XP Storey

At 09:47 PM 8/1/2001 -0700, Barbara H-B wrote:
>All during the winter and spring there was a lot of discussion between you 
>and mainly Susan G. regarding feed etc.  I would really be interested in 
>finding out what exactly you ended up feeding, where you got the feed 
>from, how did you find hay, etc., was there always a farrier, and most of 
>all, how did you ever get up on that horse each day!! (let alone get out 
>of bed!!).  There must have been so many little ordinary things that we do 
>at a ride automatically that you had to do over and over - what a puzzle 
>to put together!  Congratulations!

Thanks Barbara -- and thank you to everybody else who has written, it's 
been great to know that you were all following along.  I haven't had time 
to write back to everybody---I actually had to work on Monday morning after 
getting back and I've got some over-stuffed mailboxes (as you can 
imagine).  So thanks you guys!!! :+)))

Susan G. gave me a lot of advice on feed.  About 10 or 12 weeks from the 
start of the ride I started the horses on fat pak -- worked them up to a 
couple of cups a day so they'd be used to it.  I was riding or ponying them 
both several times a week so their average weekly mileage was 50 or more 
miles so they were getting worked and acclimated to the fat at the same 
time.  (we hadn't done a single endurance ride all year)

Along the way we'd planned in several spots where we were going to get feed 
-- mostly it was at Purina feed dealers.  Sometimes people would show up at 
the ride with a load of hay and we'd buy local hay for $3 to $5 a bale 
generally.  We tried to stick with mostly grass, prairie grass, timothy or 
some hay mixed with a little alfalfa.  I think I bought a total of two 
bales of straight alfalfa during the entire 9 week trip, and that was mixed 
in with the other hay.

Once the ride started, the horses didn't want to eat the fat pak.  I kinda 
knew that would happen, since I'd never gotten them to eat it at any other 
regular one day ride.  I tried getting Rocky to eat it at Silver State last 
November and that was a no go.  So I wasn't surprised.  I waited a couple 
more weeks into the ride, and then started slipping in a little here and 
there and by the midway point they were eating 2 cups a day nearly every 
day without balking.   I eventually had to stop giving any to Weaver, 
simply because he was eating all of his feed and then cleaning up whatever 
Rocky wasn't eating so he was getting too much and it made his stool soft.

In addition to hay, we fed them nearly everything we could get them to 
eat.  Beet pulp, oats or barley, omolene and the mainstay was Complete 
Advantage.  That comes in 40 pound bags and by the 4th week of the ride the 
two horses were consuming a bag every two days (10# a day each). Normally I 
wouldn't feed them that much, but hey -- they were eating it AND also 
eating a huge bale of hay every other day between them!!  (SuG says that is 
why Rocky may have been turning into an idiot--because of the molasses)  I 
learned a few things -- the horses like a bit of variety, just like we 
do.  We don't want the same old sandwich for lunch day after day, and they 
were the same way.  If I gave them beet pulp soaked with oats every day, 
they would just ignore it.  But give it every 2nd or 3rd day and they 
inhaled it!  I also discovered that they like Equine Senior.  Early in the 
ride, Bob Verhuel picked up a bag of that for us since the feed store was 
out of Complete Advantage -- and then there I was alternating the Equine 
Senior, beet pulp and oats, and the Complete Advantage.  Once or twice a 
week I also gave them a nice sloppy bran mash with omolene in it.  They 
also got at least 2# of carrots each per day, as long as we could get them.

I also gave the horses extra vitamins -- esp. vitamin E and C, to help them 
deal with the stress of the ride and of hauling.  Remember, each day I 
didn't ride a horse he was hauled or would spend hours in a trailer in the 
summer heat.  I don't know if this helped or not, but neither horse ever 
got sick.  I had also given Rocky the new flu shot prior to the ride and 
all his regular vaccinations.  Weaver cannot be vaccinated, so he had none, 
that's why the extra vitamins for his immune system.  (and since the only 
thing he's ever been sick from was a vaccine, I'm not too worried, 
especially now!)

As far as farriers go -- there were a few at the ride, and found along the 
way.  I'm married to mine! <G>  So that made it easy.  Dave wasn't real 
thrilled about having to shoe the horses so many times (2 or 3 each) in 
such a short time, especially in the heat.  I used easyboots on all four 
feet the entire way on both horses but they still had to be reshod because 
their feet grew so fast!  I remember most recently that he shod Rocky in 
Casper, Wyoming -- and then he had to reshoe him again in Austin, Nevada.(3 
weeks?)  The shoes weren't worn (heck, he reset them again and again 
because of the easyboots they never got any wear) but the foot was growing 
so fast it was unbelievable.  I'm probably one of a few people that can say 
they never lost a shoe on the ride!  ha :+D

There were days that I would have really enjoyed staying in bed --  it 
wasn't always easy to get up and sometimes I barely made it to the start in 
time.  Sometimes I'd get it right and show up on the right horse with the 
right tack and be in the right spot, and other times 
<G>...well....uh.........I'd forget something like my electrolytes or my 
camera or my helmet, or.......something important, and have to go 
back.  One morning (and this is probably the worst thing I did the whole 
time), I went off and left ice boots on the other the time I 
remembered it was way too late to go back, and lucky for me (or I would 
have felt really bad), Dave (the best crew!) got up right after I left and 
took them off for me.  After that I never did ice the other horses legs 
while I was tacking up the horse I was going to ride that day.

Mixing electrolytes became quite a chore.  Lucky for me, Sportack shipped 
me more Lyte-Now syringes in a couple of spots and that was a 
lifesaver.  The rest of the time I used enduramax and went thru a 40# tub 
of the stuff during the whole ride between the two horses.  I went thru a 
few dozen Lyte Now syringes, I'm not sure how many but it was at least 3 
dozen or maybe 4.  I gave the horses loose salt too, free choice.

I remember one comment Dave made (my crew).....about how he'd always 
dreamed of being on a vacation where he could get up at 4 a.m. and shovel 
horse poop.   rofl   (I guess you had to be there)   Are we warped or what?

I finally got around to taking the horses easyboots off, last night.  All 8 
of 'em.  Their feet look great (remember, I was told that it couldn't be 
done/wouldn't work). Well guess what.................:+D    It worked out 
great foaming them on without a heel strap every two weeks -- I didn't have 
to pick their feet out and never had to worry about loose shoes -- when we 
were having such long hard days, the time it would take me to clean out 8 
feet would have been just too much.  I think their feet were better off 
being in the boots (clean and disinfected), than they'd have been stomping 
around in poop every night.  I had a good excuse, I needed every extra 
moment so I could sit and work on the computer!!  :+)

Happy Trails,

in NV  (8,200 miles I think.......we'll see when the XP results come out 
for sure)
& Weaver....I lost count, just give me another carrot!
& too!!!

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