Thanks. I try telling my mom that he shouldn't graze with the bit in his mouth, but she says "he's working hard for you, he deserves a bit to eat" and ugh it's like, no he does NOT deserve to risk choking because you think he deserves a bite to eat. Anyway....
He does have decent conformation; not the best and not the stocky-frame-and-pin-legs they love in halter classes, but you think he's okay to go to the local county level on halter, and/or showmanship? It's all kind of vague what I'll be doing with him exactly at fair but in any case, conditioning will be good for him. My mom's boyfriend has his excercise rider work his TB's with 20-minute hard canters every day to keep them in shape for polo. One of his mares is 24 years old and still does great with it, so I don't think something close to that is too much to expect of my horse eventually.....that being said, his horses are built for speed and mine for other things.
I always walk him on the way back to the barn. That's one thing about his speed I won't compromise on. I know of someone my mom knew who let her horse canter on the way back to the barn and he took the bit in his teeth, ran into the barn, she hit herself on the low beams, and was paralyzed from the neck down. Safety first, IMO.
We actually have some hills in the second grassy meadow. They're semi-steep, nothing too dangerous. Should I be cantering or fox trotting him up those for best muscling?
And about the walking.....do you mean walking will help build muscle for better endurance, or were you referring to on the way home?
I didn't want to run him too hard yesterday because he'd just gotten his feet trimmed, so I kind of took it easy with slow cantering.
I have a question about gaited horses.....does fox trotting and cortos/largos/finos take up as much energy and help build muscle as well as regular trotting does?
Here's a before picture from this summer....btw, do you guys think he's a little tubby there in the winter picture? I think so but my mom won't let me feed him any less grain because we had a lot of trouble putting sttress-induced weight on him when he was freaking out over the mare being in proximity to the stallion ever since we bred her. Anyway, here's a few before pictures:
Last summer, a little less than one year ago:
This winter after being mostly idle:
Hopefully I'll have some good after shots by Fair. From these pics, do you think he would be a competitor and have a chance at winning a 4-H halter class once he has some better muscling?