When's the last time he had a complete physical that included a CBC, a chemistry panel, and checking for anything that makes a horse feel like they suddenly hit a brick wall ------ early onset insulin resistance will do that, I've seen it happen.
I have seen big motored horses with never-ending "go", fall down on the trail after a hill climb. Both horses had insulin issues, one had insulin resistance and early stage Cushings.
IMO, it would be prudent to do all the blood work to be sure he is healthy before I did anything else.
He hasn't. It's not that he's getting lethargic he just seems to be distracted and I literally compare it to taking a stroll through the park. Still very go but not paying attention as much. He's having his coggins pulled next month anyway so I might just ask for a panel to be done. At his last check up in October he got a clean bill of health and that was after running all summer.
Strategy is a high calorie feed, so less needed fed. So you have a easy keeper....if you overfeed you will have a fat horse... A fat horse is undesirable as a gaming horse and not going to be faster running with excess wear and tear on his joints let alone his heart and lungs working harder... I would suggest endurance conditioning....build his stamina and yours for that matter. It might help...it might not!
I would offer a word of caution in trying to feed for energy you not bring on health issues....
Be careful in what you do.
Maybe changing up his training and not
doing the pattern except at competition..
Work on a spot of trouble like motivation but keep the "excitement" part for when you need it.
Make it fun for him..not boring routine?
You need to decide if the horse you have you can have fun on and enjoy or if you need to sell to buy a different tempered animal to meet your idea of fun..
A large stride and controllable horse....speed to the first barrel then boredom....sounds more training changes and routine are needed to me...
Decisions, decisions and more decisions...
And yes I agree completely that a thorough exam and bloods done to make sure you not have a issue taking the drive away...
When we are in competition season he is no where near fat, he is nice and muscled and is worked 5-6 times a week sometimes out on the trails, sometimes in the arena, and sometimes in the round pen. He already knows the pattern so I go nowhere near it when we have our work outs. We do A LOT of conditioning on the trails believe me.
I hope you don't mean to think that I was trying to compete on and push an overweight horse haha that is something I would never do! On the contrary my boys don't get pushed until they're lean mean muscled machines!
I refuse to sell him, I have a ton of fun on him, he's won me money, and you don't sell a car because it's got a chip in it's paint. I'm saying he has the drive to do it it's just after the initial excitement he comes down like it's nothing. He's very blasť about most things. And as for training changes I switch it up so much. We do English, Barrels, mounted archery, slowly getting into mounted shooting, trick training, trails, cows, in other words I'm saying that he's not a one trick pony by no means. He likes adventure and new things and I do my best to give him what he likes.
Per strategy's website... for a 1000lb active horse you should be feeding 3.3-5lbs a day I. Order to be getting the right amount of vitamin/minerals and protein. A performance horse should be on significantly more.
He might be not getting enough macronutrients for what he needs. Sometimes fat helps increase endurance. If he is an easy keeper, you might want to look at something like a ration balancer so you can feed less but he can still get his macros and perhaps add a fat supplement on top of it for burning power.
Right NOW he is getting a pound and a half as he's been out of work since October and he could get fat on air. I am slowly increasing it as his workouts increase to bring him back into shape. Over the summer he's probably getting about two and a half pounds per feeding, if not more. My apologies I should have specified.
At times I feel like it's a confidence thing. The pens we've just begun running in last season are smaller than what he's used to and usually they're indoors. He shoots to the first and then it almost feels as though he doesn't have confidence in himself to make the turn so he pulls up in the middle of the barrels. After the third barrel he shoots home as fast as he shot to the first. It's between the 2nd and 3rd barrels that we lose the speed BUT I can still feel it all coiled up underneath me he just doesn't let it out.
Sorry my first post wasn't as detailed, I was on my way to work and typed it as fast as I could.