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Discussion Starter #1
So I guess today is my day to get recent pictures of my horses, since I haven't posted any since last fall! *lol*

Here's Claymore. He's uber-grubby and in serious need of a bath, and only about half shed right now *lol* But at least I got some new pictures!

I'm a;so trying to figure out how much more weight he needs to lose. He's lost a lot, I mean really a LOT, but I think he still needs a little more general weight off, and a LOT more overall conditioning. He's now getting rode daily so that will help.






 

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My goodness that is one of the most beautiful horses I have ever seen. His markings are absolutely STUNNING! He has merle markings! I'm drooling.
 

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*wipes drool off keyboard*
He is on my list of top 10 favorite horses EVER!
 

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Id say he could stand to lose at least 50 more and be healthily svelte. The thing is he needs to gain muscle and lose fat, so lbs isnt really the thing to measure him on. He is an adorable guy though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Aww, thanks everyone! I think he's pretty cute too! He's got an excess of personality as well - he's hysterical.


Honeysuga - thanks, that's pretty much along the lines of what I was thinking. It's difficult to judge when he still has fat to come off, and muscle to be gained as well, you can't really measure by weight alone. I am just used to the fat QHs I have always had, and I am trying to get Claymore into shape where he can be really healthy and last a long time without obesity-related health issues - he's too big a horse to be carrying around much extra poundage. I'll just keep working him daily and see where we get by the end of summer. I have a lot of good suppleness/type exercises to do with him from the ground, but as for muscle building all I really know is riding, varying terrains, and lunging him. Do you have any suggestions for getting him conditioned?

(Also if anyone has any thoughts on how the saddle appears to fit him, I'd appreciate it! I haven't rode english since I was 10. It's a wide tree and to the best I can tell, based on my reasoning of how a western saddle fits, it seems to fit him surprisingly well, but I know there's more to it, my placement of the saddle might not be great etc. I'm grateful for any tips!)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
He is uber cute! What are you long term goals for him?
Thanks! I don't really have any show goals. As cute as he is, he's not really built in such a way to excell in any discipline, english or western, in the show ring. Right now he is just a trail horse, and that will probably always be his primary use. I do have the long term dream of opening a therapeutic riding stable, I'm in the process of getting certified as a therapeutic riding instructor right now. He might be good for that, but then again he might be too big to be used comfortably as a therapy mount. He was exhibited under harness before I got him, when he was still a stallion, and apparently did very well. I've never hitched him (I don't have a cart right now) but that might be something I take an interest in, in the future.
 

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The saddle is a good 2-3" too far forward. You want the front of the saddle to be behind the back edge of the shoulder blade.

Even placed farther back, I'm afraid it doesn't fit. It's MUCH too low in back. The front and back should be level, or a tad lower in front. If the front angles of the tree are good for his shoulders/back, then you might be able to get away with using a riser pad. Like this one:
http://www.carouselhorsetack.com/riser-pad.html

Move the saddle back and take more pictures, girthed up but no saddle pad. Take a side shot, a rear shot, and a 3/4" angle showing the WHOLE front of the saddle, flaps, and the horse's shoulder. Make sure he's standing on level ground with his head up.
 

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To condition him, you first want to evaluate his feeding regimen, how much work does he do? If he does very light to light work, he does not need grain or concentrates, just good free choice hay or pasture. This will help cut his excess fat too

Next you want to work out an exercise and work plan for him. When can you ride? When can you devote a good hour or two to work him? Work on lots of extended trotting to keep his heart rate up. Thy working up hills, over difficult terrain, over groundpoles and small jumps. Work on bending and flexing, suppling him up.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The saddle is a good 2-3" too far forward. You want the front of the saddle to be behind the back edge of the shoulder blade.

Even placed farther back, I'm afraid it doesn't fit. It's MUCH too low in back. The front and back should be level, or a tad lower in front. If the front angles of the tree are good for his shoulders/back, then you might be able to get away with using a riser pad. Like this one:
Riser Pad

Move the saddle back and take more pictures, girthed up but no saddle pad. Take a side shot, a rear shot, and a 3/4" angle showing the WHOLE front of the saddle, flaps, and the horse's shoulder. Make sure he's standing on level ground with his head up.
Gosh, I'm glad for your reply! Thank you!

I thought it seemed too far forward, but his girth line is so far forward so I wasn't really sure about the placement. It fits him width wise, or seems to, but I didn't even think about balance front to back, told you I am way beyond rusty :) I'll get some additional pictures, and if we need to get a riser pad from there you've given me a good link, so thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
To condition him, you first want to evaluate his feeding regimen, how much work does he do? If he does very light to light work, he does not need grain or concentrates, just good free choice hay or pasture. This will help cut his excess fat too

Next you want to work out an exercise and work plan for him. When can you ride? When can you devote a good hour or two to work him? Work on lots of extended trotting to keep his heart rate up. Thy working up hills, over difficult terrain, over groundpoles and small jumps. Work on bending and flexing, suppling him up.

Haha, he hasn't gotten a bite of grain since I got him, I think that is probably mostly responsible for his weight loss. He's on free choice good grass/timothy mix, and the pasture is just starting to sprout, but it's not a real lush pasture, I have a lot of roughage/weeds out there. I have considered even restricting some of his hay but I really don't like to do that if I don't have to.

He doesn't get rode real heavily, even right now he is getting between a 45 min to one hour workout a day, mostly just walking and trotting. I have been doing a lot of bending/flexing, and following the suppleness exercises listed in Mark Russell's "Riding in Lightness; The Art of Educating the Horse" because I am trying to get him lighter on the bit, he's coming along though. I haven't done a lot of extended trotting with him or a great amount of cantering since he hasn't been rode consistently through the winter, but I will be working him up to that. I had figured jumping would be something to avoid with him due to his heavy build - you think it would be good for him?

I had done some work with him last fall with groundpoles, and just trotting over them, but I hadn't done it yet this spring. This is encouraging though, I think I had been moving in the right direction with him last fall, just need to get him rode consistently and not take the winter off. What I wouldn't give for an indoor arena! Maybe someday. :D
 

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IndyHorse: If you have any questions, reguarding the theraputic riding program, feel free to ask me. We run a theraputic riding program.

Your horse is gorgeous. And he would be perfect for the program, there are a lot of larger kids that, having a large horse like yours is perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
IndyHorse: If you have any questions, reguarding the theraputic riding program, feel free to ask me. We run a theraputic riding program.

Your horse is gorgeous. And he would be perfect for the program, there are a lot of larger kids that, having a large horse like yours is perfect.
Hey, I greatly appreciate that! I'm still very much in the beginning stages, just now working on getting my own NARHA certification, and running my own program someday is a long term dream. But a chance to get your thoughts and opinions would be invaluable, thanks so very much! Pm headed your way!

And thanks for the compliment on Claymore :lol:
 

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Gosh, I'm glad for your reply! Thank you!

I thought it seemed too far forward, but his girth line is so far forward so I wasn't really sure about the placement. It fits him width wise, or seems to, but I didn't even think about balance front to back, told you I am way beyond rusty :) I'll get some additional pictures, and if we need to get a riser pad from there you've given me a good link, so thank you!
He's got a pretty well sloped shoulder angle, which will put the saddle further back than his girth groove. As he gets in better shape, it should be easier for the girth to be placed farther back. If you find the girth slipping forward, try a pro-choice girth with the textured neoprene, or a string girth. Both stay in place better. If your girth is angled forward, it will pull the saddle with it during your ride.
 
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