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My 1300 lb cold-blood completes a 25 (CTR) !!
Barb Peck firstname.lastname@example.org
This may be boring for alot of you, but it's a big accomplishment
for this horse, and I wanted to share it with you'all, especially
since I've conversed with some of you on this list about this horse's
This horse was over 1400 lbs when he came to me. He was so bulked
up and stiff, he couldn't turn around in my barn isle, touch his
nose to his barrel or chest and he looked like an over-fed Cleveland Bay.
(He's a reg. 15:2 foundation QH.. no thoroughbred blood)
His custom made endurance saddle has a 10.5" spead between the front
part of the tree ( behind whither width) which is as big or bigger than
a 17 hand warm blood would wear.
He'd been kept a stallion till 4, never been out of a stall, paddock
or arena, was ring-sour, had never eaten grass, and was so un-balanced
he spent the fist year I had him wearing vet wrap, duct-tape and
bell boots (barefoot) on his front hooves in the pasture.
He over-reached badly enough to slice off big chunks of heel bulb.
I didn't start riding him till he could walk in the pasture
without slicing up his heels.
He also had a few behaviour problems we won't get into now.
Poor guy. When I said someday he'd do a 25 miler, people just rolled
their eyes. He had alot of knick-names that weren't very flattering..
But I saw something in his eye. A "pig" eye, by the way, that
over the years has actually gotten big and soft, and he's now
complimented on his beautifull head and eyes.
Well... it took 4 years to turn him around, about a year on his
feet, another year just to get him flexible & about 2 years of
trail riding to get him to the point where I thought he could do a 25.
To give him every possibility to succeed, I entered a fairly easy
ECTRA scantioned 25 close to home in the fall.
I hauled him to the ride last Sunday, and his size raised alot of
eyebrows (on average he outweighed the Morgans & Arabs there by
400 to 500 lbs). Plus he's base narrow behind, has over-angulated hocks
and is also bow-legged behind when he moves.
Almost all the other horses at the ride were slightly toe-out & cow-hocked behind (which
good distance horses should be IMO). He definately stuck out as
"different". His fore-arm is as big around as MY thigh.
The net of the story is, my "Sweet Leo Silver" completed the ride
(we were 4 minutes late coming in) without a sore back, nor any marks
on his legs. He had a small girth swelling.. my fault, wrong girth, and
galloped around the pasture with his stable-mate the next day.
The thing I really worried about on the ride was drinking:
People were dunking their sponges in the watering troughs set out
for drinking, and he wasn't gonna drink that stuff. SO he didn't
drink the whole 25 miles.... and even so, he didn't have any points
off for dehydration. He peed 3 times that day, and sweat pretty
heavily (winter coats have started here).
30 riders started, 23 or 24 finished.
This was also a competitive drive, but I'm not sure how many
driving horses were there.
At the 1/2 way point his HR was 36, resp. 12 and at the end he was
38/12. I was happy.
I think my farrier is as happy as I am. This was a horse with
severely under-run heels, who landed toe first 4 years ago and
now goes flat or slightly heel first and has *finally* learned how to engage
his back end.
Oh yah... it also took acouple of years for Leo and I to
like each other.. now we have a very good trusting relationship
and we look out for each other. He's now solid, fearless and
pretty bomb-proof guy.
He's going to stay my pleasure trail horse, and I'll go back
to a lighter breed for any future competitions!
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