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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 29, 2005
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    Default Help me decide what horse to ride next Ride

    I ended up with a youngster- a coming 5 yr old "unbroke" gelding. He was started as a 3 yr old and hadn't been riden in a year.

    I have a ride next weekend, was planning on taking my seasoned horse, but he's the one with "lameness" issues. Left front, mysterious lameness shows up after hard work- haven't been able to diagnose it (not bad enough to block out, and exrays of hoofs show nothing). On adequan and seems ok with it. I bought the young horse because I know he can't hold up for endurance, just to hard for him. He's a pleasure/weekend riding horse now.

    Both horses are being riden 10 miles 1-2 times a week, 24/7 turnout and are pretty fit.

    So what horse would you take- one that might get pulled for lameness or the young new guy who hasn't a lot of experience?



  2. #2
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    The one horse doesn't have the experience needed. The other horse will be lame.

    Why on earth are you considering either horse. I wouldn't risk myself with the youngster. I wouldn't risk the health of the oldster.

    Good Luck with whatever you choose, but I wouldn't ride either one. It is too risky, in my opinion, with either one.

    MTR



  3. #3
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    Jul. 12, 2008
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    Louisville, KY
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    You have a 5 year old who is ridden 10 miles, 1-2 times a week and is pretty fit. If they were my horses, I would downgrade to the limited distance ride, and do a slow 25 miles on the 5 year old. Look at it as experience camping and trail riding with strange horses for him. Decide after the first vet check at about 12 miles if you feel like he has another 12 in him. If so, go on. If not, pull. It is good experience for him either way. I wouldn't ride the older horse in another endurance race until you have a handle on the lameness.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.



  4. #4
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    The 5 yr old has been working for 2 months now.

    The 10 yr old is at worst a 1/5. It is too difficult to block out to locate what it is. He is just not bad enough. It shows up after 18-20 miles, buthe recovers after some rest.

    I would plan to do a slow 25 regardless. I guess I will just sit it out, but when do you know when a youngster is ready for their first ride?



  5. #5
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    Jul. 12, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishKharma View Post
    The 5 yr old has been working for 2 months now....

    I would plan to do a slow 25 regardless. I guess I will just sit it out, but when do you know when a youngster is ready for their first ride?
    Well, 2 months isn't much, either physically or mentally. I agree that he doesn't have enough experience or fitness. Muscles, tendons and bones all mature at different rates. My horse is ten now. I got him as an almost 4 year old and brought him on slowly, with lots of long, slow distance and some shorter fast distances too. However, even when he was ready physically for the faster speeds (canters and slow gallops), he wasn't ready mentally and we had a few good crashes (well I did - he was fine and waited for me up the trail) until I figured out I was overriding him mentally. After that, I backed off for a year with the speed and didn't ask him to lead trail rides either. That year really helped him grow up mentally. Every horse is different mentally, but physically you should probably put a year on him of long slow distance in order to let all parts of him develop. Of course, that is just my opinion.



  6. #6
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    I have yet to do an endurance ride. I am taking my mustang that is 8 yo. I have had him for 6 years, riding solid for 5. He is amazing. He is awesome. I have put him through his paces of solo riding, group riding-small and large, riding from home, riding away from home, trailering out and riding in groups, to and from home....you name it, I have put my boy through it. He handles it all well. He has even done fox hunting. He has been to fairview plantation, hitchcock woods, the preserve, friends places. He is amazing. He has even done a few local shows.

    I am even nervous for our first ride next weekend. I would go and watch. I would start trailering your horse to different locations. I would ride him to and from groups, have other horses pass you. I would ride to and from home. I would put your horse in a variety of situations to see how he handles it.

    I would think that you could trailer your horse to the event next weekend to see how he handles it. I would not plan on riding. It may be too much for him. I am thinking if you are asking if he can do it, he isn't ready. Put him through his paces. When you know, you know. He will let you know that he is calm and attentive.

    Good Luck. I have yet to do one, but I know my boy well. He has been there and done that. He rarely if even ignores me completely. He is attentive and focused on scary cars coming at him with the headlights on. He did that to me today. That is what he does now when he gets nervous, he focusses on the object. I wait him out and he will go forward.

    Good Luck. Give horsie a few more experiences then you will know.

    MTR



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishKharma View Post
    I have a ride next weekend, was planning on taking my seasoned horse, but he's the one with "lameness" issues. Left front, mysterious lameness shows up after hard work- haven't been able to diagnose it (not bad enough to block out, and exrays of hoofs show nothing).
    I have a friend who is a very seasoned endurance rider. She has a good endurance horse who has been having some mystery lameness issues. It is starting to look like her horse is selenium deficient, and this shows up as lameness partway into the endurance ride. She has yet to work it all out, but a dose of Myo-Guard (selenium and vitamin E) along with some power walking and backing immediately afterward seems like it may be addressing the issue. Have you had your soil and/or your horses blood tested?



  8. #8
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    May. 29, 2005
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    It's worth looking into for the Selenium deficiency, I had not thought of that.

    I had also thought of using Durasole to help with any tenderness if that is it.
    The horse does have thin soles, but he is shod and doesn't appear to have stone bruises (not tender/ lame enough for that it seems). No real head bob, just every couple of strides there is a little "humpf".



  9. #9
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    Sep. 25, 2005
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    I would ride the 5 year old and do a slow 25 if its relatively easy trail. You can get off and hand walk for a while too. If you're worried that he will be completely nuts, ask the ride manager if there's someone else you can ride with. If you've been doing 10-20 miles a week, for 2 months, there is no reason why he should not be fit enough. Provided he's healthy and sound.



  10. #10
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    Dec. 20, 2000
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    Agree with the above, I would also take the young horse, unless he's likely to get really nervous, or its a hard trail, and just go very slow. Hand walking is a great idea too, it will give him the idea of "endurance" as just being out there trucking along all day.

    Definitely dont take a questionably sound horse to an endurance ride. Theres not much point to that.



  11. #11
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    Oct. 26, 2007
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    I cannot offer much help except to put in my vote NOT for the lame guy.

    I know we all have different experiences, but my guy was about a grade one lame last fall. After nerve blocking and shots not doing the deal, I figured out during the winter he was saddle sore from a poor fitting saddle. This after NEVER vetting in with back soreness. Go figure.

    He has gone sound since.

    I sure hope you can figure yours out!



  12. #12
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    I think the young guy can do it, I wouldn't consider it if I didn't feel confident that he was capable. I trust him and he is very calm and quiet. Unlike most of my other horses, I am pleasantly suprised!

    I wanted to get the young guy going and what better way than to just do it? I will walk alot and just go to see how he does. We would start way after the start and let him think it is a trail ride.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishKharma View Post
    I had also thought of using Durasole to help with any tenderness if that is it. The horse does have thin soles, but he is shod and doesn't appear to have stone bruises (not tender/ lame enough for that it seems). No real head bob, just every couple of strides there is a little "humpf".
    Your horse may have an abscess. I spent most of last summer thinking I was going insane because I could feel a very subtle lameness in my horse, who is also thin soled (I have finally given up and padded him). He tends to stone bruise easily. My horse was never 3 legged lame or anything close to it. In fact my friends thought I was nuts. You couldn't really see anything, but I could feel it very subtly when we rode at a fast trot or faster. Again, I thought I was imagining things, but I started riding with my friends grandkids on the slowpoke rides all summer. About Halloween he blew a HUGE abscess at his coronary band. He had not had any verifiable lameness to that point, and he was completely sound after. I was so relieved (1) because he was OK, and (2) because I was not nuts!
    Last edited by ToiRider; May. 18, 2009 at 11:28 PM.



  14. #14
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    Toi- Would an abcess show up on an exray? We exrayed his hoofs, to try to rule out the hoof for lameness issues (I know, working backwards, but I insisted...)

    Sounds eerily familiar though. WOuld I try soaking or ichthamol just in case?

    I want to ride him hard to make it worse so we can isolate it to treat it. I have been doings 30/35 on him and he will not get lame enough to block out. So perhaps I should take him?



  15. #15
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    Sep. 25, 2005
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    Default

    There is a "catch" to starting after everybody else does. First, most rides only allow you to wait 15 minutes, so you can still catch up to other horses if your guy is moving at a nice trot, and somebody else ahead has gone back to a walk. Also, you're usually on the trail with the 50 and 100 milers and Competitive Trail riders at the same time, and you'll meet them head on, or they'll come up behind you after leaving their vet check, etc. Not to scare you, but the plan of leaving 15 minutes later does not mean you'll be on the trail all alone and your guy will just think it's you and him out on a trail ride. All it means is that you'll miss the big adrenaline rush of 10-30 horses leaving the start line at a trot and canter. Which is a good thing to miss if your horse is ok being alone. Mine is happiest and best behaved when she's right up front with only 1 or 2 in front of her, but obviously you can't do that with your guy at this time. But sometimes holding them back makes them even more nuts. It all depends on the horse, and the ride.



  16. #16
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    Aug. 7, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auventera Two View Post
    I would ride the 5 year old and do a slow 25 if its relatively easy trail. You can get off and hand walk for a while too. If you're worried that he will be completely nuts, ask the ride manager if there's someone else you can ride with. If you've been doing 10-20 miles a week, for 2 months, there is no reason why he should not be fit enough. Provided he's healthy and sound.
    What AT said. They've got to start somewhere. Have fun. I wish I were going.
    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.



  17. #17
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    Aug. 26, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishKharma View Post
    I think the young guy can do it, I wouldn't consider it if I didn't feel confident that he was capable. I trust him and he is very calm and quiet. Unlike most of my other horses, I am pleasantly suprised!

    I wanted to get the young guy going and what better way than to just do it? I will walk alot and just go to see how he does. We would start way after the start and let him think it is a trail ride.
    the only problem I see w/ that is the fact that they think they are being left...

    my horse HATES being held back... but I ride a stallion and gets SUPER irritated, but we ride w/ a buddy and we take off middle pack and are fine no issues.

    I have in the past stayed at the trailer, not even gone anywhere close to start and started, the OMG I"M BEING LEFT feeling sometimes is avoided, but like A2 said... .you will never be 'alone' on the trail.

    Try to find a steady eddie to link up w/ and start w/ them. That would be good too!

    Good luck!



  18. #18
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    Dec. 20, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auventera Two View Post
    There is a "catch" to starting after everybody else does. First, most rides only allow you to wait 15 minutes, so you can still catch up to other horses if your guy is moving at a nice trot, and somebody else ahead has gone back to a walk. Also, you're usually on the trail with the 50 and 100 milers and Competitive Trail riders at the same time, and you'll meet them head on, or they'll come up behind you after leaving their vet check, etc. Not to scare you, but the plan of leaving 15 minutes later does not mean you'll be on the trail all alone and your guy will just think it's you and him out on a trail ride. All it means is that you'll miss the big adrenaline rush of 10-30 horses leaving the start line at a trot and canter. Which is a good thing to miss if your horse is ok being alone. Mine is happiest and best behaved when she's right up front with only 1 or 2 in front of her, but obviously you can't do that with your guy at this time. But sometimes holding them back makes them even more nuts. It all depends on the horse, and the ride.
    I guess it depends on the ride. All of the rides that I do, the LDs leave 30 or 60 minutes behind the endurance riders - they are the last people and wont see anyone else until they get to the vet check 12 or so miles later. Unless of course, there is someone in the LD who is also going out late. We dont have CTR people out on the trail at the same time and never have people going out-and-back so that you'd see anyone coming towards you.



  19. #19
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    Jan. 7, 2009
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    I'd take the young one too. Just tootle along and take the maximum time allowed to complete but don't be so slow that you have to dash the last bit.

    As others have said, it's a great way for him to get used to the ride environment, and you'll learn a lot about him too.

    Here, we have 'pleasure/training rides' of 15/20ks . They have all the rules of a regular ride, and minimum time limits, usually set at 10kph or approx 6.2mph.
    Good for young horses and beginner endurance riders.

    Enjoy your ride!



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