my ranch manager thinks i am exhausting my horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 05-10-2012, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Angry my ranch manager thinks i am exhausting my horse

I have a 13 yo Arab mare, who was given to us 6 weeks ago. She was thin, had been standing in a terrible corral for 8 or 9 months when she was given to us. She is not a large Arab so I don't ride her very much. ( I weigh 200 lbs ). So here is the problem.. we feed her alfalfa twice a day. She also gets oatmo every day for the calories to fatten her up. And it has done a great job of that. She is now at a pretty good weight. No ribs are showing. Her muscles were soft and undefined when she came to us... so after about 2 weeks of this feed routine I started exercising her lightly.. she worked fairly well free lunging in a round pen.. every week I would increase her time slightly in the round pen and after two weeks of only round pen, I started free lunging her in a large arena.. and she has done wonderfly. Her coat has slicked out muscle tone is significantly improved. Her weight is really good now. So I began giving her crimped oats. Started slowly, about 2 cups a day for a few and then began to increase it to where now she gets 32 oz. Of these oats daily. But only on the days she works. Now her exercise routine is this. Get her out of her 12 by 24 corral, meticulously groom her, pick hooves etc. in round pen, 5 min of walking, followed by 15 min. Of jogging, (slow jog ), followed by 15 minutes of a little faster trot. Then to the arena where she trots and canters for an additional 15 to 20 min. She really doesnt get breathing hard at all. Barely sweats, ( and its warm here in san diego ).. I believe she looks and feels 1000 time better than when we got her...her ground manners are superb and she is a real doll.... my ranch manager thinks I am killing her by overwork... really she says she should only beworked 10 min every other day... REALLY... I have never heard of anything like this.... help me.....
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post #2 of 25 Old 05-10-2012, 02:36 AM
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Do you have pictures of your horse?

Honestly it sounds fine. As long as she is 100% sound and keeping her weight on, then her workout shouldn't be a problem.
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post #3 of 25 Old 05-10-2012, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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that's what I thought. I was starting to doubt myself,,, ha ha.. she is keeping her weight on and is 100% sound. Hoofs are perfect..... no signs of stress or tiredness,, is that a word...
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post #4 of 25 Old 05-10-2012, 02:47 AM
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I just have a little suggestion. Not sure how often you're working her but make sure to have some days a little less involved than others. Some days off, and some days that are without ground work (or dedicated solely to ground work.)

That will help her stay interested and not burn out over doing the same thing.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #5 of 25 Old 05-10-2012, 02:50 AM
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Just make sure you take it easy and be very mindful of her soft tissues - tendons + ligaments.
If she was standing around in a yard for nearly 12 months not doing anything, and getting skinny, her tendons/ligaments will not be terribly strong. She may be fit enough, but I'd be extremely careful about her legs, particularly after sending her in circle free lunging for periods of time.

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post #6 of 25 Old 05-10-2012, 03:57 AM
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How big is she? While that sounds like a good workout, I agree with others that if you've built up to it gradually & she's coping fine, chances are, she's... coping fine! Fitness/exhaustion-wise anyway.

I agree with Kayty about soft tissue & considering her previous lifestyle tho, particularly with a heavy-ish rider. It's not just soft tissue though, but bones & joints too. As astronauts have found in space, if you don't use it, you lose it - bone density & therefore strength will need to be considered in the work you ask of her, for quite a number of months at least, not just weeks. Aerobic but not high impact exercise will be good for her. I wouldn't personally be doing any cantering or other high impact work with her for a while yet.

A few thoughts on your feeding...

Quote:
Originally Posted by f5775beach View Post
we feed her alfalfa twice a day. She also gets oatmo every day for the calories to fatten her up. And it has done a great job of that. She is now at a pretty good weight.
What else does she get? Pasture or hay? If not, I'd definitely be adding that, along with a good nutritional supp that fits her diet. Lucerne/alfalfa is a great high energy feed for horses generally, but it's very high in protein, calcium & other nutrients so it's important to feed it as *part of a balanced diet*. Feedxl.com is one great resource for sorting out that confusing subject.

So far as can see, 'oatmo' is just oaten chaff with molasses added. If that's the case, I wouldn't be feeding it at all. High starch/sugar diets are not good for horses. Bit like living on junk food. If you need to feed chaff, to mix nutritional supplements or other hard feeds with, you could use straight unsweetened chaff, or alternately soy hulls or beet pulp or such, which are also high energy feeds for weight gain but low in sugars.

Quote:
so I began giving her crimped oats. Started slowly, about 2 cups a day for a few and then began to increase it to where now she gets 32 oz. Of these oats daily. But only on the days she works.
Why are you feeding oats? If the horse is a good weight now, why give extra energy? And while oats are more easily digested than other cereal grains, they're still high starch & not the best generally. While you're not feeding a huge amount, horses need to be fed little & often, particularly of starchy type feeds, in order to get much from it, but more importantly, to minimise common problems which come about from feeding a sugary/starchy diet. If you're going to continue feeding them, I'd make it a bare minimum of 3 small meals daily, not just on the days she's worked.
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post #7 of 25 Old 05-10-2012, 09:00 PM
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The way I am adding this up comes to almost an hour?

I think that is pushing it. I don't see the sense in doing it this long.

I agree with your BM, and would not think this amount of time is good even if horse hadn't been in dire straits. No horse needs an hour, give or take, of round penning each day. You are overworking the whole concept.

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post #8 of 25 Old 05-10-2012, 09:04 PM
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Based on what you are saying, if it is all correct. I don't think you are overdoing it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
How big is she?
How is this relevant?
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post #9 of 25 Old 05-10-2012, 09:12 PM
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How big she is may be very relevant considering a 200lb rider.
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post #10 of 25 Old 05-10-2012, 09:14 PM
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Maybe cut back on the round penning, and keep it in the arena because a circle is hard on horses.
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