Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

Re: [RC] Ride/Race After-care - Truman Prevatt

Frank asked what do we ( I ) do in post race care of my horse.

I guess if this is a question I'll respond.

In the SE we have a livestock scale at most rides. The first thing I do is weight him and compare it to his weights he has been running through the day. I weight on Friday when we check in and at each check and record it. I also weigh him a couple times after the ride to see how he is recovering weight. I have a pretty good idea where we stand from the weight loss and regain.

I start back to the trailer and if there is a nice patch of grass around, we stop and let him munch. I normally put a heart belt on him with a watch on it so I can eaisly monitor his heart rate. We wonder on back waking some and munching some. When we get back I wash him off if I hadn't already done that and check him over - looking for cuts, heat etc. If it's been a particularly hard ride I put the ice boots on each leg for about 10 minutes and them put on a clay poultice on each leg. He has hay and alfalfa out as well has he feed ( a beet pulp based compete feed ) with electrolytes. He regularly gets feed with electrolytes so it normal for him to have electrolytes in his feed and eats it just fine. He can eat what he wants. I also note the level of the water in his tub so I can tell how much he has drank. I also clean out his pen of any manure so I will know that a pile is new.

After this initial exam I head down and pick up my stuff from the check and bring it back. I get a cold beer and check on him look at his heart rate to see how he's doing. He should have munched some hay, nibbled some feed and drank some water by now. At this point it is about an hour. I get him out and take him for a walk again looking for some good grass to munch and keep him from getting stiff. Spend a lot of time BS'ing while he munches on grass. I go and weight him again to see how much weight he has put back on. At this point the weight gain will be mostly water.

If all seems okay, put him back and make sure he has hay, alfalfa feed and water and make mental note of the water again. A this point I give him some electrolytes if he has not eaten his feed (which contain electrolytes). Many times he will prefer hay and alfalfa to feed which is fine by me. But if he does he gets a syringe of electrolytes the same amount that he would get at a vet check.

At this point I get I cleaned up myself. After that look in on him again, check his heart rate, check the hay and feed levels, check the water level and look for fresh piles and take him for another walk to also munch grass. I weight him again and note the gain - again mostly water weight. If it has been a particularly hot ride I will probably give him another dose of electrolytes at this point.

By now I have a pretty good idea if he is doing fine or if there may be an issue. If he's eating and gaining back weight then I am pretty certain he's just fine and will recover just fine. If there is an issue or if he hasn't put back on weight, I take him back and have the vet take another look. Normally everything is fine and he gets his normal feed and then another walk and maybe another weighing. I will check on him again in the evening after the awards and make sure he has a lot of hay and alfalfa. He may get more electrolytes at that time - again depending on how hot it was but I'm probably down to half a dose by now. I make sure he has plenty of water (again noting the level) and clean out his pen so I can see fresh piles put on his blanket (if needed ) and tuck him in for the night.

At that point I'll grab some refreshments and head off the the party - in the SE there is usually a party somewhere. Before I go to bed I do one more check, check the heart rate and take the heart belt off if things look normal, noting any fresh piles, level of the water and make sure he has something to munch on during the night.

The next morning he gets a walk to loosen up and to munch on grass if he wants and a good once over. If the scale is still up, I'll weight him again. I always stay till Sunday morning to give him a chance to get a good nights rest with plenty of food in front of him to recharge himself. We feed and head home. In the trailer he always has hay and alfalfa in his manger and stop often and check and offer water.

He gets elevated levels of vit E (and sometimes C) in his feed after the ride and for a few days. He gets electrolytes in his feed twice a day (starting with a full dose tapering off to half a dose) Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (and on Wednesday if it has been a long drive home). It takes a while for the stress hormones to come back to normal and when they are high, the system has the tendency to dump electrolytes. I keep an eye on him at home for a few days and usually try to get out for a short ride on say Thursday to loosen up the cobwebs and to make sure there are not issues.

That's more or less what I do.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net. Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!


[RC] Ride/Race After-care, Roger Rittenhouse