Geez...what a weekend. Even though my intent was to crash early last night, I couldn't sleep after putting Molly down. Thankfully, I did not have a work day today. So I've puttered along and read what I could on equine exertional rhabdomyosis or some call it rhabdomyolysis, but either way IT STINKS. I'm going to wait until May 1st and call my vet, Kelli Cobler. At that time I'm going to ask that the muscle enzymes and selenium levels be tested, and see if I can get a green light to get her back into slow work. From what I've read a mild case can be brought back into normal work in 5-6 weeks, but since we have other issues to work out anyway, I'm not going to rush the process. We will spend May just easing her into work, and focusing on rating her at the trot for short sessions. I'm really hoping that Kari can offer me a little advice on how to slow her down, and get her moving collected, and relaxed. To move down the trail like that young lady would be absolutely joyful. In June we will start some 5 mile slow distance, building to 15 by the end of the month. July there is a ride at Salamonie, both LD, Endurance, and a novice CTR. I may attempt that novice CTR with her, as it will give me a good handle on where she is at, it will force rating because if we finish to quick we are a done deal. I've ridden that ride before and the terrain is not too challenging, though the temps are hot. The goal will not be any kind of placement. All we will go there for is to walk, trot, and NOT COME IN TOO EARLY. If she can successfully handle that we will continue LSD into August, and begin adding trotting speed in September as the weather cools. Then maybe....an LD in the late fall and early winter. I'm going to present my strategy to the vet when she comes out, and I may email an endurance vet and see if they will give it their feedback.
The ugly finger of blame on this points right at me. I'm not beating myself up, but I'm certainly taking responsibility. I knew she had issues with rating, and I'd been working hard at it, with some good improvement. But the problem was not fixed, or she would not have found the fifty horses moving out on the trail just too overwhelming for her. I was over confident in her fitness, and if I did one crucial thing wrong, it was that I did not ride "my own" ride.
*DING* *DING* *DING* Wake up call!
I had also added alfalfa to her diet over the past month. It was making her eat well post ride, and this may have factored into upseting her calcium phosphorus balance, or just may have been too much good stuff. She also had the week prior off, without a reduction in feed because I was trying to put weight back on her prior to this ride. She was gaining weight and looked really good, but this was for sure another change that may have helped to set up the chain of events.
The other thing I've wondered over too is her frantic pace, all that tension in her body, she not collecting but traveling in a hollow frame at the trot, and the impact of all that jarring around over a technical trail, with me not balanced worth crap on her back. So that is also a goal if I can find someone local to help me, is to get my lousey riding style fixed. That may take awhile, but if I can get even a couple of lessons a month, I can use her arena time working on what I'm taught.
Phebes is moving around okay, but I think she looks a little off on her left rear, and that muscle is still very firm. The right side is softening up. That is the plan as I know it today. ~E.G.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association