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holds and feeding

I think we are all agreed that feeding a horse something wet at a 
hold is a good idea.  The trick is to get them to eat it.  I learned 
something from my personal trainer.  Human athlete's need to drink 
and eat while they train so that when they compete, food actually 
looks good to them.  I have watched ultra marathoners (100 miles) 
eat the most amazing array of foods!  I do a lot of my training and 
conditioning at CTR.   I send out a measured "happy meal" (beet 
pulp, bran, handful of sweet feed, apples and carrots) in a quart 
sized plastic bag.  As soon as I get in I pour water into the bag.  I 
then get my pulse taken.  I have even had my pulse taken while the 
horse was eating since CTR allow 10 minutes to reach a 60.  (hold 
time is only 20 minutes, time is a factor).   I use a small bucket for 
the horse to eat the slurpy from.  It did not take long for my horses 
to "focus" on eating.  In fact, the mere sight of my "happy meal" 
bag has them dragging me to it!  They have all learned what to 
expect at a hold now and are very relaxed, even the nervous one.  
A big help was to have a horse that already knew about the "happy 
meal" to teach the new horse.  Of course, this could be done at 
home by leaving food out on the trail while conditioning and 
teaching the horse to eat.  
John and Sue Greenall

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