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Need advice-must work Chico HARD! soon.
O.K. my advice is treat him like he's in his first week of basketball
training...or at boot camp. Any pre-riding you can do to help him out is
good, but it takes 2 weeks for any conditioning to take affect, so don't
try to "get him in shape" 2 weeks before, that's just adding to the
problem. Just try and keep him from getting too sore.
The main thing to worry about, seems to me is muscle soreness. I'm
assuming the speed will be pretty conservative. I've observed a neighbor
working their field trial dogs and the horses seemed to be sort of just
casting around the field like the dogs. If the chance is there to let
the horse grab bites of grass here and there all day, electrolytes won't
be as big of a deal. I seldom electrolyte even on 25 mile training rides
if I can let him grab grass along the way. If he's anything like me, the
first day he'll feel fine. The subsequent days are when soreness will set
in. I'd say it's very important to have him where he can move during the
night....on a picket line or in a large electric corral, even take him
out and walk him some (it'll help you too). I'd really watch the saddle
area. If he's gaited you probably ride with your weight more back so
check him for sorness around the loins. Some massage and stretching
would probably be good. If he wears a Walking Horse bit, keep an eye on
his mouth and notice if he shows soreness. I'd switch saddle pads when
one got good and wet. Take two so you can let one dry. I'm sure the
folks who've done multi-days could tell you far more usefull information
than I could but common sense should prevail. Start slower every morning.
Plenty of warm-up if he's getting sore, and if he starts to get sour
acting...quit. Somebody will show up with something else for you to
Angie (off for the holiday, promise not to post so much tomorrow)
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