Hi Ridecampers. A friend at work just gave me Horse and Rider Magazine from July. It was interesting reading compared with the things we talk about on Ridecamp. I'll just give you a few ideas why, I was chuckling.(okay, maybe being a little catty, but having been slammed for owning Arabs may times, a person gets that way)
Someone asked how to know if their horse was "too fat". The writer talked about being over a "7" on the condition scale, and cutting the horse down to 20 lbs of hay a day! Ha ha, we feed about 14 to get our horses that plump.
They showed a world championship horse walking over the poles, and I kept thinking, "We'll he's about an 8 or a 9 on the condition scale, and his cannons are NOT 8" per 1000 lbs, maybe 7" per 1200 lbs would be a better guess." His Cannon bones were smaller than the wrists of his young lady handler.
They had an article about building a better horse---i.e. raising youngsters so they were lifetime strong and fit. The article recommmended that the readers keep their youngsters in a big area so they can run, at least 14 FEET in one direction! On flat even footing and gentle uphill slopes. Don't let them run downhill! Be sure and give weanlings continuous creep feed so they don't get ulcers, and maybe they should be on ulcer medicine. This have to be show horses I guess.
Then there was a six page article on the Chief Joseph Ride, which is in the most gorgeous country, and I'd love to do it. Problem is, they go 100 miles in one week, and they'd run me out of camp with my Arab . They ride 15 miles a day. It's grueling. At one point there is a climb of 1800 feet. On one particular day they started out at 8:30 and arrived 15 miles later at 3:30 p.m. 7 hours. Isn't that about 3 miles an hour or less? The riders did pack all their traditional gear on the horses though. Big western saddles, Big saddlebags, sitting heavy in the saddle, wearing chaps. Gorgeous chaps of every color with silver and fringe. They said they have had a few injuries due to poor conditioning, "cause riding 15 miles a day isn't like 2 miles around the park"
Okay, my question is this. Why aren't rides like the XP in every horse magazine? So incredible an athletic feat, we don't even hardly think about it on RC. We woulda done the Chief Joseph ride in 2 days, and sat there barbequeing for 5 days afterward, waaiting for the other guys to catch up. I wish some of these big fancy magazines would cast an eye upon the accomplishments of people in the AERC, and do away with these stupid myths I hear, "Arabians don't make good trail horses". Fie!!!
yours, Beth Glover