I'm thinking of giving this to Phebes. Aloe Vera is supposed to be very good for soothing the stomach. Her stomach issues (lack of appetite) when stressed are beginning to give me pause for concern. Have been doing some reading on Aloe Vera and I believe that Arubaa (In the Night Farm) was getting this at one point for his propensity for ulcers. Of course GASTROGAURD would be lovely, but the cost is over $30 per day, in which case it would be cheaper to buy a new horse and be over all this angst. Not sure, but betting that Gastrogaurd probably isn't a legal AERC substance. Aloe being a plant actually, and a food grade product for humans, I'm hoping it is not considered a drug in any way? Phebes is eating grass today, did not clean up her feed ration this morning (maybe 80% of it). She's bright eyed, doesn't look depressed in any way. Giving the neighbor's dog grief. It is just her going off her feed and water when we go somewhere that is stressing me out. So Aloe or not to Aloe that is the question???
As far as the upcoming ride I'm feeling pulled to consider that the 30 mile over the tougher terrain may not be in her best interests this ride. A part of me wants to do this because it is a course I've not really ridden (have never been north of 160 at Clark), but on the other hand there is this not eating/drinking issue being revisited. I wonder if she would get to the point where she would HAVE to eat and drink and so would do so, or will she just become a sick horse. If we take the shorter ride we would have to ride another day, and it is over trail that we are somewhat familiar with having already ridden it about four times (rides and pleasure). If we take the longer course on Friday she will have 50% tougher terrain, unfamiliar trail, and 5 extra hilly miles.
I'm trying to remind myself of Mel's post earlier in the week that Endurance is HARD. I know this year will settle the issue of Phebes as a distance horse once and for all. So many questions in my mind. Will she get better as she goes along? Stress less? If things finally fall into place OH GLORY! If they do not...then do I set the dream aside? Do I search for another horse? Then what of my Phebes? I've put EVERYTHING into that little horse.
As for our true readyness for the upcoming ride? I don't have a good filter with which to judge. Is she fit? YES. Very little of what we did taxed her physically yesterday. But emotionally? She was a wreck. What to do?
We rode about 5.5 miles today at pleasure pace mostly. Just letting her loosen up from the hard work yesterday. The neighbor's do accompanied us both out and back. She's an adolescent black lab mix and I SO ENJOYED having her company while I was out there in the woods. So cute when she literally threw herself into the creek to cool off, and plopped down layed out flat outside Phebes stall while I was rubbing her down post ride. Puppies are so goofy and cute! ~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