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.
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