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Re: RC: DVE/LSD (Long)

At 07:58 PM 1/6/02 -0500, Jim Holland wrote:
>I agree...must be nice to have two horses to compete on.  Unfortunately,
>I don't have that luxury. Maybe in a few more years when my new guy
>Magic grows up. Wanna load me Weaver or Rocky til then? <grin>

Ummmm....sure, which one do you want?  Half the kids like Rocky, and the 
other half want to ride Weaver.  I haven't had very many grownups ride 
them. :^D  I have a third horse (how stupid is that) that I hope to be 
starting at Ft. Schellbourne this year.  I figured I'd do a 5 day ride on 
him, then do Tevis a month later. Whaddya think?  {just kidding}

>One other question on multi-days while we're having this conversation.
>What kind of electrolye regimen do you use on a horse who will be doing
>5 days in a row?

It depends on the ride.  On rides like Death Valley, I electrolyte more 
than I do on a ride like Fort Schellbourne.  At DVE, there isn't any green 
grass, and not a lot of water on the trail.  I think if the horses are 
eating green grass (like at Schellbourne) and drinking more frequently they 
don't need as much.  I usually give about 1.25 oz. of enduramax mixed with 
applesauce (and sometimes with probiotic) everytime the horse drinks.  On 
rides like DVE, that will be once an hour or two before the start, once 
when they drink on the way to lunch, once at or right after lunch, once on 
the trail between lunch and the finish, and then another one after we 
finish.  Once we are done I try to walk the horses every hour or two and if 
they drink when we go by the trough I'll give them another dose back at the 
trailer, before they start eating again.  Both my horses are easy to elyte, 
usually I do it from their backs -- this works great because I can zap them 
as we head to the water (once they see the water, there is no stopping 
them), as I prefer to get the dose in them before they drink.  I only do 
that if I know they are going to drink (if they ever don't drink and I have 
dosed them, then I guess I'd be stuck <G>).  I also pre-pickle them before 
the trip for two or three days, a 1 oz. dose twice a day, and post ride I 
also keep elyting them for a few days afterwards.  On some rides I'll go 
thru a pound of elytes in a 24 hour period per horse.  I buy them in 50 
pound containers.  I usually do at least go thru a cup (8 oz.) per day at a 

>Maybe just Tevis and OD...what do you think? :)

Do the first ride really really slowly.  We can send Trilby out for you to 
ride with, or maybe John Parke <G>.  If you do that, then you can do the 
ride the following weekend and not worry about it.  It is nice to give a 
horse a few weeks off after doing a 100, though if you did it all right 
your horse should be able to do another ride the following weekend (doesn't 
mean you have to, just that if you finish the 100 and your horse still 
ain't FTC/start a ride a week later, you learn from it and try 
again).  When you are wearing your Tevis buckle, or your 5-day XP jacket, 
nobody will care about how long it took you to get it <G>, just that YOUR 
HORSE DID IT!!  :+))

I think that endurance horses need to maintain a high level of activity -- 
even after an endurance ride.  Time off is often NOT the best thing for 
them, especially once they get fit.

>Type A.  Just can't help it....but I worry about the possible
>consequences sometimes. I just try to do my homework, err on the side of
>the horse, and hope for the best.

Things can go wrong no matter how careful you are.  You just have to know 
your horse and pay attention -- and not get too wound up in the 
competition.  Also, know who you are competing against and don't try racing 
against a stronger horse/more determined rider.  Sometimes it ends up a 
contest of who is going to be the most stupid (or, who is willing to take 
the greater risk); it's always better to lose that contest!

>Do you ever START a ride with the intention of finishing Top Ten? Does
>it just happen? What factors determine your pace for a particular ride?

It depends on the horse and how things are going.  Sometimes with Rocky, my 
intention is to *not* top ten and that is a lot more work than the other 
way around.  I tend to keep the horses at a consistent pace -- usually 
between 8.5 and 10 mph (trot).  If I am running up front I'll let them trot 
at 12-14 mph sometimes.  Our overall average speed is usually in the 6 to 
7.something mph range.  We do better on the more difficult trails with lots 
of elevation.  Lately I've been riding with juniors a lot so I can only go 
as fast as the slowest horse (or kid) in our group.  One benefit of riding 
with juniors is that you learn to read their horses as well as your 
own.   This last year my goals were a lot different because I wanted to 
ride the Pony Express trail, and that wasn't going to happen by trying to 
be competitive.  Since then, we have not tried to top ten even though we 
have several times --it just happened -- everything seems *really* easy for 
the horses now.  They are so fit and strong it's unbelievable.

>to Top Ten, I'll either try to hold my position or catch the 10th place
>rider on the last leg.

That's the best strategy.  Let them tire their horses out, then do a 
blow-by <eg>.


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