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Re: Proper nourishment

Marge, thanks for the local input.  I believe the pasture is some kind
of coastal grass and there has been talk of seeding it with rye to
make it last through the winter.  I can see the last rib on my mare,
but barely - she does not look skinny or underfed.  Her exercise load
is down from what we did in Iowa because the move has taken quite a
bit of adjustment.  When she arrived here, the temperature was about
25 degrees higher than Iowa (about 40 degrees on the heat index), so
we really did nothing for the first ten days or so - we were both
pretty miserable with the heat.  I then started longeing her 20
minutes for the first few days and since, we have been riding for 40
minute sessions three times a week which is a little less than normal.
 She is good for the first 20-25 minutes of the ride and then seems to
tire quickly - she doesn't want to pick up her feet and stride out,
she starts laying on my hands, doesn't want to hold proper flexion,
etc.  I won't let her get away with this, so we end up riding on until
she minds her manners again and then we stop.  By this time, she is
fairly winded and hot, so I hand walk her for five to ten minutes,
untack and sponge her off.  By this time, she is breathing normally
again and mostly cooled out.  I have been careful to vary our routine
and to ride out in the field, do some ground poles or cavaletti, etc.,
to keep her mind active and try to make it interesting.  I have done
some 25-30 minute rides to focus on a particular task and she seems to
do fine with these.  I am always careful to warm up slowly with walk
and working trot.

I know corn is a high energy feed, but am not very knowledgeable about
oats.  Do oats provide comparable amounts of energy?  Also, she is not
stalled here and was not in Iowa.  The horses do have shelter in the
pasture and there are many large trees that provide shade.

It is possible that I have failed to consider something that is not
nutrition- or food-related, but I'm not sure what, so if anybody has
any ideas...

Thanks as always for the insight.

Kathy and Bala Fire

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