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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

May 2, 2009

Never thought it could feel so good! Trotting total=5

I saddled Phebes up today, and had a very low key ground work session for about ten minutes. Then I mounted (she tried to bite me, sure sign she's feeling good) and I did a five minute warm up, a five minute trotting session, and a five minute cool down. She did not sweat!!! Her butt was nice and cushy soft. Considering she hasn't been ridden in two weeks, she was excellent behavior-wise. Usually a few days off and you have to almost start over, but I think the daily handling, and short long line sessions helped her mentally. My butt hitting that saddle definitely gave my spirts a major lift.


She is just so "hurried" at the trot under saddle. When I work her from the ground she is very soft, and relaxes into a really sweet little trot. Under saddle she wants to push into a driving, reaching trot of about 7-8 mph. She expends too much energy.

If anyone knows how I can get her into that 6 mph sweet spot, I'd be eternally grateful...I'll trade a box of tall bearded iris for your trouble (shipping in July) for an answer that works. I need to know how to collect her, get her to round her back, and RELAX at the trot, using a hackamore (I ride bitless). This is key to our getting back on the trail. I have no incentive to go back out, unless I can help my horse travel at the speed, and rate she needs to go.

About nine days until the vet comes out. We are researching a different feed that is higher fiber, and lower starch than the one she is on. It is called Cool Command by Ridley Equine Products. This feed is reasonably priced too ($7 less on the bag than I'm currently spending). Here's what they say about it:

Cool Command Lower Starch feed contains lower levels of starch and sugars. High fiber ingredients like alfalfa, soy hulls and beet pulp make up the bulk of Cool Command. Quality ingredients help to ensure a blend of highly digestible nutrients are available to the horse. Cool Command is a corn free formula.
Contains complex minerals. Addition of organic minerals are beneficial to increase the absorbability of the minerals into the body.
Contains high levels of vitamin E. Studies have shown that vitamin E helps to provide for optimum immune function under stress and breeding soundness. B-complex vitamins are also added to help during times of stress.
Pellet form. Minimizes sorting and delivers the same nutrition in every pellet.
Part of a coordinated Front Runner product line. Offering a program of products helps to more correctly support the nutrient demands of different life stages and activity levels. It also prevents the need to change brands of feed and the off-feed problems that sometimes result.
Contains yeast. Helps increase digestibility of forages and the absorption of nutrients.

The feed breakdown:

Crude Protein 13.0% (This is just a little higher protein than optimal 10-12%)

Crude Fat (min) 7.0% (This is way low so I'll still supplement fats)

Crude Fiber (max) 17.0%

Calcium (Ca) (min) 0.7%

Calcium (Ca) (max) 1.2%

Phosphorus (P) (min) 0.7%

Copper (Cu) (min) 50.0 ppm

Selenium (Se) (min) 0.6 ppm (this seems a little low, I'll check with the vet)

Zinc (Zn) (min) 190.0 ppm

Vitamin A (min) 6,000 IU/lb

Vitamin D 600 IU/lb

Vitamin E 150 IU/lb (this is WAY low, she needs about 1000 IU daily)

My thought is to give her a reduced feed ration that is supplemented on non-work days. A full feed ration on heavy work days (I define heavy as at least a two hour trotting work out or slow long distance of 10 + miles). Plus electrolytes as soon as we get up to any real distance, heat, or humidity.

I've located a Selenium supplement that is very high in vitamin E, I won't order it until I get the outcome of her bloodwork. This feed also doesn't have any of the B vitamins which are good for calming anxious horses. So I may need to look into that.

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