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[RC] Levitating horses - Karen

At 12:42 AM 10/7/2003 -0700, David LeBlanc wrote:
So just curious - what do you recommend for the horse that zings off the
walls while levitating down the trail?

I try not to feed alfalfa before the ride starts, and stick with grass hay and beet pulp with crimped oats, or complete feed (the one with low % of molasses). Once the ride starts then I can feed a little alfalfa and increase other types of food, and let the horse choose. I have found thru trial and error that Rocky is affected by feeds with molasses, so by paying more attention to what he eats, I alleviate the problem. He doesn't tend to get excited about ride starts or anything like that, it's just the feed will cause him to spaz once we are going down the trail. He also does better on rides with trail, and not road. I don't like to go to rides that are roads with him for that reason. He is much better on technical trails. I try to get him focused on "riding our own ride", if I need to I will get off and walk on foot so I can separate from others, or get ahead of them, whatever it takes. Probably the thing that got him to really figure things out was doing multidays. He learned how to really take care of himself, eat when there is food and drink every time there is water. Don't waste energy, you'll need it tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that. On one of the morning starts at Bryce last month, John Parke said to me, while Rocky had his head down grabbing grass, "you can sure tell which horses went on the 2001 XP because they never miss a chance to eat". When I think back a few years I can remember rides where Rocky would not even touch food of any kind until maybe 42 miles. He always had A's on gut sounds, but he would not eat, or if he did he would just nibble. Now you have to forcibly stop him from eating, and I really think that going on multidays is what made him into a good endurance horse and helped get his brain in the right place. Once you can harness all of that 'energy' into going the right way, it's pretty cool!



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Re: [RC] molasses - was tying up question (long), Susan Garlinghouse
RE: [RC] molasses - was tying up question (long), David LeBlanc