ridecamp@endurance.net: [endurance] Tired horse

[endurance] Tired horse

Wendy Milner (wendy@wendy.cnd.hp.com)
Mon, 1 Jul 96 11:19:47 MDT

Saturday Drake and I did our second 50 mile ride. Unfortunately
we did not finish. Got pulled at 41 miles.

Question for those who don't like to read "stories".

1. How do you get your horses to eat and drink before and during the
ride? I think a big factor in getting pulled was a tired horse
that didn't eat his dinner, breakfast, or snacks.

2. At a FEI type of vet check, you go direct from P&R to the vet.
You cannot go back to the trailer and cool off the horse at all.
This was a first for me. For those of you who've done it before,
what's your strategy to cooling down the horse during you're very
short time before seeing the vet?

The ride was up at Beaver Meadows, north and a bit west of center
Colorado, in the "lower" elevations of the mountains, 8-9,000 feet.

The first loop was 25 miles, through some real nice forested areas, lots
of water crossing, all up and down, but mostly gentle slopes, and cool.
After about 20 minutes to get Drake's attention, we settled down to business.
Drake started his power trot, slow canter up hills, moving out.
After a couple of water crossings, he actually stopped to drink.

We had begun pretty much last, and during our "discussion" phase,
everyone had passed us. Then I started passing others. Drake would
see some one ahead, and move past them. He hates to have them
in front, but doesn't mind leaving them behind. Still, he would
listen to me as we came up to them, I always made him slow down
and pass nicely, and several times had to come to a complete stop
because a group was stopped in the trail for one reason or another.

Towards the end of the loop, there was a bit more down than up.
During training rides, I always walk down hill. This time, there
was a nice stallion in front of us (He had a red ribbon on because
the rider couldn't find a blue one. He said the stallion was nice
and did not kick.) This stallion wanted to trot on home. So,
Drake tucked in behind and trotted after him. Didn't take long
before Drake found he could trot nice, round, slow, balanced, and
down hill.

When we came to a water crossing, we had our first very discurteouse rider.
A 25 miler raced passed the water crossing instead of waiting for the
horses to finish drinking. Drake won't wait to drink if some one is ahead.
So, I went on. A bit later, we passed the 25 miler, trotted on another
mile or so, came to another water crossing and stopped to drink. The 25
miler raced passed again. Grrr. Shortly thereafter was camp. Came in,
found a water tank and drank very deeply. Walked to the check in point.
During this loop, Drake never seemed tired at all.

We passed P&R in a minute or so and had to go directly to the Vet.
Those of you who have done this type of check, do you have your crews
waiting after the P&R so that you can cool your horses down while
waiting for the vets, or do you just present? This is the first ride
I've been on where you could not leave the area, unsaddle and cool off the
horse before seeing the vet. I didn't like it. I didn't have a crew to
help with bringing stuff to me. The vets were quick. Drake came through
the CRI with at 15/13. Dropping after the trot. He looked good to me.

But he wouldn't eat. He drank from the tank, but not from his bucket.
I even brought water from home, but he wouldn't touch it. He didn't
eat his hay, he didn't want cookies, he barely touched his grain mix.
And he thought he was done.

I saddled up again, and started out. Drake was not happy. He drug his
toes and pouted. Then a young lady came along. It was her first 50
and her partners had been pulled at the check. She had a trotting
machine for a horse and Drake perked up. She would lead for awhile,
then I would lead. We picked up a third a bit later. This was a
16 mile loop. And it was not nice. First the weather was not hot.
There was a lot of road, then a horrid part with "water bars" across
the road. You had your choice of make your own path through downed
timber, or going up and down these ditches. Forest service made the
ditches across the road so 4-wheelers couldn't get through. No where
could you do more than walk. It was safe, but ugly. Then a bit on
nice trail. Then this very long, endless seeming, dry, hot, dusty,
up hill pull on road. Drake started to get tired. We did a lot of
walking here too. His attitude started to say, enough. Came to the
down hill finally, did some trotting, then came to the forest again.
Drake was tired. We walked quite a bit. Then the young lady asked
to trot on. I pulled over and let her by. As soon as she went off,
Drake wanted to go on. So I let him. Later, a faster 50 came by,
passed and Drake really wanted to go on. And I let him. (Mistake here)

At the vet check, Drake came down for the P&R in a couple of minutes.
He was drinking well, and ate the grass by the water tank. Came to
the vet, and the CRI went 16/20. I was a bit surprised that the
first rate was still 16. He usually starts dropping. The vet was
inexperienced and called the head vet over. The head vet happened to
be my vet. He says, go back to the trailer, untack, cool off and come
back. I do so. Drake comes down and passes the CRI. But, he's one
tired horse. His gums don't look too good. And, he'd pulled a shoe
some where along the line. That was the final straw for me. The head
vet probably would have let me go on. He looked to me for an
opinion, and I shook my head. Enough for the day.

Back at the trailer, I finished cooling him off, tried to give him
my water but he wouldn't take it. He still wouldn't eat. I let him
rest for awhile and then went home. Once at home, he'd eat and drink
everything. Next day he was still hungry, but he looked good.

While waiting for Drake to rest, I laid down under a pine tree.
Pretty soon I was buzzed by one angry humming bird. Seems I was
sleeping under her nest.:-)

Good parts - Drake was not a muscle tired horse as he had been
on the last 50. He was sound. And the next morning, he still wasn't
sore. And I wasn't as sore either. I hurt one ankle, and found
a rub spot on the saddle. But I could still trot out.:-)


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Wendy Milner HPDesk: wendy_milner@hp4000 Hewlett-Packard Company e-mail: wendy@fc.hp.com Mail Stop A2 Telnet: 229-2182 3404 E. Harmony Rd. AT&T: (970) 229-2182 Fort Collins, CO, 80525 FAX: (970) 229-4292