ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: Recommended rations

Re: Recommended rations

Robert J. Morris (bobmorris@rmci.net)
Tue, 9 Dec 1997 11:01:57 -0700

Must say we agree with Sarah in the case of feeding the endurance horse. We
have been feeding and riding endurance horses for more than 20 years now
with a modicum of success (over 26,000 miles in top ten, one AERC Hall of
Fame Mare, several more with 5/3 and 2,000 miles on them.

We feed the same ration every day of the week with seasonal adjustments and
some minor ones for work load. Plenty of exercise and free choice of the
vegetation growing in these sparse foothills. Right now the horses will not
come for the morning feeding as the cheat grass is sprouting, the rabbit
brush has snow on it and there are some cottonwood leaves under the snow.
They get their grain (1 to 2 pounds of rolled barley) and some fair quality
hay in the evening feeding.

I still do not feel the average horse needs all the fuss that is going on
concerning feeding unless that horse is being placed in upper level
competition. In fact I feel (personal feelings no scientific backup) that
many of the problems the average horse encounters is caused by the owner
looking for an easy way (read special feeds, additives, shoes etc.) to get
better performance with minimal preparation.

Face it people, we have found over the years that not only does it take
several years to develop the physical necessities for top competition, it
can take several years to teach a horse to eat properly for the same
competition. Still say, start out with the basics, when competition level
requires more then add very slowly or better yet drop back and condition
more slowly.

I await the flames, it is cold here today so send them on.

Bob Morris
Morris Endurance enterprises
Boise, ID

Bob Morris
Morris Endurance Enterprises
Boise, ID

> To: ridecamp@endurance.net
> Subject: Recommended rations
> Date: Tuesday, December 09, 1997 8:20 AM
> In a message dated 97-12-08 16:11:58 EST, ti wrote to me in
> a private E-mail (much of the rest of it I left out):
> >Ok, so what, then, is your overall nutrient prescription for the four
> >leading up to an endurance ride and the nutrient intake on the day of
> >competition.
> a reasonable request-though Wendy, Susan and others including myself,
> have been over this many times in the past:
> Ergo, An abbreviated form, check the archives for details:
> leading up to an endurance ride and the nutrient intake on the day of the
> the ride?
> I do not recommend changing the horse's diet before a competition
> other than giving electrolytes the night before and morning of
> and, if it was on 24 hour pasture (as so many are, unlike your
> racehorses), adapting it to the type and quantity of hay I planned
> to feed at a ride. If it was training successfully on a ration, don't
> with success! During the ride: electrolytes as necessary, mashes
> with bran, soaked whole corn plant cubes, carrots, apples, n
> maybe a handful of grain (more for taste), let graze or munch
> hay as much as possible. After ride, once gut sounds returned to
> normal, small frequent meals of grain (1 lb an hour for up to 6 or 7
> if the horse was really pushed (not necessary after limited distances, as
> rule) or a hard keeper.
> If the horse has been properly conditioned this works well. Yes, some
> horses are fed large amounts of grain, but in numerous studies on
> type work, even though some get away with it and even excel, there is a
> significant increase in the risk of colic and metabolic problems with
> grain rations. Some of the "top" competitors do all sorts of weird
things for
> that special "edge" , however their horses usually are not around after
> two or three years of competition. Many others of us in this
> sport look at our equine athletes as a long term investment,
> not a disposable commodity. Will your racehorses still be competing
> successfully 10-15 years from now (or even be serviceably sound?).
> Sarah Ralston, VMD, PhD
> Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Nutrition

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