Friday, May 29, 2020

Quick Things That I have Learned This Spring

1.  For the horse that is not putting on weight as it should. Now keep in mind I am not talking about making a horse get fat. Doing so is the most commons form of equine abuse and leads to a host of health problems. I am talking about the horse that is thin to the point of perhaps effecting the strength of his immune system. For years I always followed the same pattern to put weight on those horses. (Keep in mind that the horses have hay around them 24/7, so I am talking about the horse that looses weight when others in the paddock are not)  Deworm the horse, check the horse's teeth, added 13% protein feed with a handful of mineral, add vegetable oil in increasing amounts until I am up to about a cup a day. This worked in the past for 95% of the horses. When it was not working I called in the vet. Unfortunately, in the cases for which it did not work the diagnosis was often cancer.

This spring I had several horses that were eating a great deal of greasy feed and yet not putting on weight. The problem was a protein deficiency. Adding high protein balancer to the feed mixture of mineral, oil, and 13% feed coupled with hay or pasture is promptly restoring the weight.

Lesson--boost fat and if that does not work boost protein.

2. Trotting and cantering five miles a day helps a rider who has been out of the saddle for a while get back into comfortable riding. Doing so in addition to lifting weights on a farmer's walk circuit and doing tabata on a heavy bag, while adding in one weekly ride of at least 20 miles conditions one for serous riding better than anything that I have ever done.

Lesson--push your body as much as you can and you will be able to enjoy long summer rides better than you ever have.

3.  Always be aware of your emotions. Few things stress a horse as much as being around a stressed person. Nothing has illustrated this better than this pandemic.

Lesson--take some time to relax before you tack up or one can simply hop up there and let gravity take its course.

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