Hi there and Happy New Year to all!
I have a question. I've got an arab/pinto I'm trying to condition for endurance. I introduced her to the sport with two LD rides last may. I wanted to see how she would handle it, and if she'd like it. We did the Quicksilver Classic and CFW. She did seem to like it and do okay. But I'm concerned about a few things and would like to gleen some opinions from you more experienced riders.
Firstly, for her natural weight she is built husky for an arab. She has pretty good conformation, and nice feet. However, her hindquarters are a bit larger and seem to be a bit more muscular than what I see in other arabs in endurance. I'm worried she may have some "tie up" episodes if I don't care for her properly. She hasn't done that yet-but I'm wondering if she is higher risk for it due to her build. I take good care of her and do watch her closely. She gets good quality hay and is wormed and trimmed regularly.
Currently, she is on free choice grass hay, with no more than 10% alfalfa (I personally don't like the stuff and usually don't give it at all-but decided this little amount might be okay)
I also feed her a small amount of LMF, corn oil, strongid C2x. She also gets-according to ride schedule some beet pulp and a little rice bran once in a while for a treat. I make this very watery and put apples, and carrots in it.
This horse has much natural stamina and endurance. But I still need to build her correctly. I did take her for a lot of long walks with a little trotting the first year I had her. She had had an owner who only rode her 2x's a year if she was lucky. So, I wanted to build her skeletal system and strengthen her tendons and ligs.
What sort of diet would any of you suggest for her at this point. I'm going to do a couple more LD"'s to keep my eye on her but would like to progress to 50's and eventually do the Tevis with her. She is not to spooky and listens pretty well to her rider, though sometimes she can be strong. But if quietly correctly she says "okay",,,sorry...lol.
Actually, Maryben, you've seen this horse I'm training now...what do you think? Any ideas?
Secondly, we get a lot of rain up here. I have a nice sand arena to ride in and also some trails in our neighborhood. Many of the trails get slippery though and errode easily so we tend to stay off some of them in the winter. These trails have some great hill climbs, but due to to slipperyness of them I feel they may not be safe, even though I have her barefoot most of the time. If I ride her in colder weather (high 30's-40's) are there any risks involved? Special care issues I need to be aware of etc? I do warm up and cool down. But I've read some posts on "cramping". I don't want to cause any harm or damage to her, yet she loves to get out.
I ride most of our horses thru winter in some way as they get bored. I also read somewhere that if not exercised during winter at all that they lose bone density? Is this correct? Any vets out there have thoughts on this? My neighbors never ride in winter and think I'm crazy. In the worst weather I at least get them out for a walk around the block (3 mile loop-lots of sightseeing).
Anyway, I'm riding Cira differently than my others because I do want to ride endurance on her. That's why I'm seeking additional knowledge.
Thanks for helping in advance!
Get more from the Web. FREE MSN Explorer download : http://explorer.msn.com