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

April 17, 2011

Aarene asked..."so what's next"

Next stop is Top of the Rock at the same location, hotter temperatures held in June this year.   I'd like to attempt another two-day.  I like doing two-days so well, that it will be awhile before I attempt a 50 mile.  Want to try that someday, but want to build a more confident and fit horse first.  I will say though that on day two at the end she was power trotting at over 13 mph like it was nothin...of course we were tail end finishers, but that was the goal, and will continue to be the goal.  Our priority this year is to get our first mileage chevron and we won't do that unless we go slow.  Phebes may never be mentally able to really get out there and run, and my goals have meshed into something very different from our bad start.  I had my eye on some of the "fast" horses this weekend.  Some were very hot tempermentally, a woman got kicked at the ride and LSEGH said she dropped like a ton of bricks.  Thankfully not seriously injured.  I know any horse is capable of doing that, including mine.  But I want the whole package with my little mare.  I want her mind quiet and confident, a relaxed forward trot on the trail, and to establish a clear leadership and partnership with her.  All those things I feel are not possible if I take the trail too fast.  God bless those whose horses love it, and get good vet scores anyway.  I feel that our adventure is finally starting to mesh.  At her pre-ride check this time the lady vet asks "is she any better about this yet?" " Yes...I believe she really is I replied", and indeed she was.

This note for Funder on our electrolyte protocol and the eating issue:

On eating and appetite:  Phebes has been getting human food grade aloe vera juice prior to hauling anywhere.  It is not a drug, and is very soothing to the mucous membranes.  Since she has been having this no more cow-patty poop when hauling.  It also is not on the banned list of stuff they can have or not.  It isn't actually medicinal and they do allow Neigh-lox for horse stomachs, so pretty sure we are okay on that.  I'm also mixing it diluted in her electrolytes which are very hard on the stomach.

The electrolytes themselves:  She is getting the recipe I posted, in enough watered down aloe that it will still squirt through the syringe.  I gave a dose in the morning, a dose at the half-way, and a dose after the ride since I was doing a second day.  She began drinking at 15 miles on a not overly warm 70 degree day, and kept drinking.  The recipe we use is probably half the strength of Endura-max.  I also carry a little gator-aid bottle of the watered down stuff in case I feel she needs it, and I'm not past having her drink my extra bottle of whatever (she loves drinking from my bottles )....if I think she needs it.  Even if half of it runs out, at some point she starts thinking this gator-aid crap tastes pretty good!

It seemed like doing these things her appetite, attitude and such were much better than at previous rides.  I'm not sure how I'll manage it as the temperatures rise, because the more electrolytes the greater risk of them feeling funky.  You fix one thing and mess up something else.  Dixie's temperament is so much like Phebes that your troubles may be related, or not!  But I thought I'd share in case it was helpful on some level.  ~E.G.


  1. It sounds to me like you are both Getting the Hang of It.

    And that's a good thing.

    Interesting about the aloe + electrolytes, I may have to try that....

    And, most importantly: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

  2. Very interesting!

    This was the first ride (even training ride) where Dixie didn't have cow plops at some point. No aloe, just powdered elytes in applesauce. I don't know if it correlates, but I'll definitely keep an eye on it.

    I almost took a picture of the elytes when I was feeding today but I didn't for some reason. I gave her another half-dose after her dinner grain - I know she sweated out way more than she's replaced, and she disdains her salt block. After I elyted her, she glared at me then tore into her hay, so I don't feel too guilty ;)

    Actually, we both feel amazingly good by now. I felt like I got hit by an ATV this morning (an improvement from my usual "hit by a bus") but I've just felt better and better as the day's gone on. Dixie snoozed all morning but was demanding dinner grain at the gate at 6 pm, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

  3. Interesting about the aloe and the cow -plops. Maggie also tends to get the cow patty stuff whenever I take her anywhere alone in the trailer. She's still young and unsure about things so alot of it is nerves, like we often get a nervous stomach.
    I would think the aloe would tend to make them looser yet , but it sounds like it's helping Phebes not be so loose? I know Aloe is used for horses with ulcers as well to help soothe the lining but I would be interested in any info you can point me to about using aloe with the electrolytes. Thanks! Sounds like you are really getting this drinking thing sorted out with Phebes..

  4. Aloe juice is reported to soothe the entire intestinal track. I've never trailered Phebes without cow pattie poop, as she has so much anxiety with the trailer ride, until now. I've also noticed her appetite has picked up, she just ate like a chow wagon this weekend even though it was cold, blowing, pouring buckets of rain, and just down right miserable. The serving on this is four ounces, then how ever much water it takes to thin it and get it squirting through your syringe. And they like it!!!

    On the electrolyte recipe that is ONE SERVING. I mix it up in aloe juice thinned with water, sometimes it takes a couple syringes to suck it all up. Honestly I think you could "half-dose" most commercial brands of elytes and almost have the same. We've added black strap molasses which adds an electrolyte element and tastes pretty darned good. Regular molasses is too sugary.

    It's working for us, so I'm sticking to it until it doesn't. I purchased two gallons of Organic Aloe off of Amazon and had it shipped for about $40.

  5. Funder,

    Phebes about wears her salt blocks out. I keep loose minerals and loose sea salt in her stall as well. I had someone pretty much imply I was stupid when I said I had a heavily sweating horse (vet also concurred at rides, not that I was stupid *LOL* but that she sweats excessively), and the two vets have encouraged me to use electrolytes faithfully with my horse. The trick was figuring out how to not give an icky stomach.

    Now once it heats up...this dose may not be high enough, so I may have to give that mid-ride little dose to get the water intake going. But seriously she drinks so much better now, and I've quit fretting about the first 10-14 miles, it is what it is. Have had many people tell me their horse doesn't drink until 15-20 miles. Not ideal, but not unusual either I guess.

    I'm so seriously excited that we are starting to realize our goals for these two horses. It makes me incredibly happy. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face this weekend, and so wound up that I can hardly sleep!

  6. Thanks for that info.. I'll check it out.

  7. Me too! I feel like we're climbing different sides of the same mountain and we're gonna meet at the top real soon!

    I thought Dixie was going to get an ear cramp. She had her ears pointed back, listening to me, for hours and hours. I'm just so pleased at how it's really starting to come together for both of us!