Monday, February 13, 2017

Continuing Ripples

One of the other parts of camp was a chat with a vet. During which my Mom asked about feeding a stallion, a pony one at that. We noticed that yet again Roscoe dropped weight in January. Every year we try to stay ahead of his stallion cycle, but we missed. The blankets tend to hide the slow loss. Anyway we bumped his rice bran up just before camp to help. In talking to the vet we found out that breeding stallions are part of that high work category on the feed bags. Since he is a pony we would need to increase his fat intake rather than carbs. He recommended different oils, but we will stick with the rice bran even though it has the carbs. I don't think we feed enough to cause an issue in that area.
Looking good, but on the lighter side

That said, Roscoe has been on the higher fat now for just over a week and we can see a difference in his energy level. Both trainers remarked about his fitness, which I was well aware of. Hopefully with this energy boost he will be able to increase his overall fitness. Under saddle he is quicker off my leg and seems happier doing the work. I really like taking lessons where the exercises are ones I can recreate at home. Plus, the more relaxed with less distractions environment of home means that I get the answers quicker. The ten minute battle of the final lesson, was down to like a minute at home.

My new Pony who listens :)
I swear the Cobs take time to think about what we do with them in between rides. More than once I have seen marked improvement by the next ride. I told Mom I feel like I am riding a new pony. It is like he matured over that weekend. We knew he was ready to move on, but I needed the reassurance that the ugly giraffe impression and stomping feet were a natural progression. What I still was not sure about after the weekend was whether I would be able to get his canter consistent. We did not work canter at all, which I was glad in one way, but worried they thought we could not. I seriously dread asking him to canter. I work too hard to get too little. I started to wonder how much a training ride would be so someone could break through. I figured I reached my limit to doing things myself.

But I underestimated the continuing ripples of the weekend and changing his feed. My third ride after the camp was with Mom mounted on Comrade. She helped me figure out when he was going behind the vertical since his stallion neck is a different view. Then she pushed me to try his canter. The dread settled on me as I expected the ugly transition ahead. The ugly never came. He picked up right lead with little additional encouragement and maintained enough I could actually work on his frame. He did not fall in and I did not lose my stirrup. In awe I changed direction to his bad lead. He did need a smack with the whip and he was not as put together, but he was moving under his own steam. I seriously felt like I could ride my horse and there was hope for three gaits.
Roscoe needed gas in the tank. Stallion cycles and playing with your son burn way too many calories. Now we know and can keep track to see if he needs another bump.

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1 comment:

  1. that's so awesome that he's continuing to hold the lessons from the clinic!! i love that feeling when you can tell that a horse has 'studied' in between rides lol. also, idk if this would be the same with a stallion crest or not, but my arab mare was notorious for ducking behind the vertical. someone once told me that if i couldn't see the crown piece of the bridle any more, we were in BTV land, so that was my go-to indicator. maybe it's the same for Roscoe?