Opinions...would he be ready?

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Opinions...would he be ready?

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  • Can my horse do a 12 mile trail ride if he doesn't exercise regularly

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    08-10-2012, 10:02 PM
Opinions...would he be ready?

I got a new horse about 3 months ago. He was very thin when I got him and I have slowly been getting his weight up. He's feeling a lot better so I've started doing some light riding around the pasture and just yesterday did a very easy 2 mile ride. I do intend to do longer distance rides on him in the future once he is more up to par. My question is this...a friend asked if I would like to do a 12 mile ride coming up at the end of September. It's 6 miles of a flat trail through the woods to a creek, will have a rest at the creek for lunch and horses to drink, then go back the way we came in. Could he be ready for something like that in just barely over a month? I'd like to go, but I'm still trying to get his weight up and worry if 12 miles would be too much right now. I'm putting some pics of him that I took today so you can see where we're at condition-wise.
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    08-10-2012, 10:05 PM
For some reason it's only letting me post the one pic, I don't know why.
    08-11-2012, 01:10 AM
Green Broke
2 months is plenty of time to get up to 12 miles, you can have him there in a couple weeks just by riding him 40 minutes a day to leg him up. 6 miles of flat in with a rest then back out again really is an easy ride.

Your biggest hurdle is to balance his caloric intake with the extra exercise. Up his feed with more exercise and watch his weight closely. If he starts dropping weight again back off the riding.
    08-11-2012, 01:17 AM
Twelve miles really isn't as long as you think it is. I'm sure he'd be fine so long as you keep him ridden in the time you have.
    08-11-2012, 06:21 AM
Green Broke
Twelve miles at 3 miles an hour is a four hour ride.

I don't see any reason he couldn't be ready, just ride him.
    08-11-2012, 09:43 AM
This sounds like a good goal for you, and 12 easy miles with a long break in the middle sounds fun for you both.

But, the only way you will know how he is going to handle it is to start conditioning for the ride & see how he does.

What are you using to bring his weight up? Adding some fat to his feed works really well & doesn't make the horse "hot" so the weight stays on.
    08-11-2012, 01:01 PM
Thanks, I thought that it should be fine just needed some others to say it should be okay, too :) I plan on riding him at least 5 days a week to get him in better condition and also to get him to respond a little better to cues.

As far as feed, using a 64 oz scoop, he gets half Strategy Healthy Edge and half alfalfa (chopped and compressed kind) twice daily. He's also on 24/7 very good quality pasture. He's been picking up nicely. If anyone has a suggestion of anything to add/subtract from his feed I'm open to hearing about it. When I got him his ribs were more prominent and angles were much more sharp. He's filled in nicely over his rib area and he's starting to get a little padding. His croup was also much more prominent and sharp with a "valley" between the bone. It's padding up and filling in...and really is the most noticeable sign of his weight gain to me. It's hard to see how much they pick up when you see them every day!
    08-11-2012, 01:30 PM
Take a picture every week, so you can see the difference. Don't forget worming either, cause worms can make it hard for them to gain weight.

I don't like to ride more than three days in a row before giving them a break.

Doing interval training will increase the lung strength and long slow work in each gait will increase the muscle strength. Bone takes a long time to build up, so it is really inportant to have good muscle strength until then.

Oh, and remember to have fun!!
    08-11-2012, 02:49 PM
Green Broke
I like rice bran to help add fat myself. Shines up their coat and doesn't make them hot.
    08-11-2012, 03:00 PM
I have been doing pictures, and worming, too. It's been a long time since I've had to pretty much start something from scratch condition-wise, but we'll get there! I used to do some competitive trail riding when I was younger and I'm so happy that I'm finally back where I have the time to get into it again. This will be my first ride in probably 13 years of any real distance so I'm going to have to get myself prepared, too, lol. I'm looking forward to it though. I've missed it!

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