Olympus Ranch Stables

Saturday, November 23, 2013

It Is Raining!

It has been raining for 2 days now! A soft, steady rain. We need the moisture so bad! What does this mean to you? Well, it means I do not have any exciting rides to report.... So, you might be a bit bored reading this post.

I thought I would solicit some advice about winter feeding and share what I feed for winter. Each of my horses have their own custom diet/feed so for this post I will focus on Varro. Varro is a 13 year old Swedish Warmblood x Arabian. We ride nearly everyday and he is currently in very good weight. The foundation of my feeding program starts with quality Bermuda hay available 24 x 7.

Let's start with morning feeding: Varro gets about 1 pound of Safe Choice Original, 1 cup of dry beet pulp shreds that have been soaked in warm water, and 1 scoop of Smartlyte (electrolytes by SmartPak). I also add enough warm water to make it the consistency like oatmeal, mix it all up and serve! Varro LOVES it!

The evening feeding goes about the same way. He gets about 1.5 pounds of Safe Choice Original, 1 cup of beet pulp soaked in warm water, 1 pound of AB Pellets, 1 scoop of Platinum Performance Equine and last but not least, 1 flake of alfalfa. I also mix warm water in the evening feed, my boy is so spoiled!

What do you feed to help maintain your pony during the winter?
Wooly Woobie!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Frisky Horses

What a gorgeous day! My friend TB came over for a trail ride today. I was prepared for a bit of an attitude from Varro as we did not have a workout in the arena first. However, I do live close to the Marine Corps Training Area and helicopters have been low flying overhead all day long! This does NOT make for a relaxed Varro! I should have done some arena work first....

On our ride, I swear I was riding a giraffe!!! Varro's head was sooo high I thought he was going to end up with whiplash. hahaha Anyway, he chose to snort and spook at every little thing during the first part of our trail ride, so I put him to work! I asked him to trot then walk then trot then walk for about a 1/2 mile... ALL collected! By the time we were done he was "begging" me to give him a loose rein to stretch his head down! The rest of the ride went much better but tomorrow will be a serious arena workout!
Run first. Snort second. Don't let the monster get you!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Less than stellar

So today, Woobie was less than stellar for our arena workout this morning. He was LAZY and argumentative. It has been MONTHS since our last "Bad Ride," (by no means am I going to label this morning a bad ride) so I was a little surprised when Varro was tossing his head, resisting contact and very sticky with his transitions. He wasn't bad but wasn't willing and forward either. I ended up doing my "45 min" exercise.

Let me describe it: As you are riding a 20 m circle at C, think of C as 12 o'clock (as in the face of a clock) Mentally mark 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock on your circle.
Once you have your mental markers, start trotting at 12 o'clock (C) and continue trotting for "45 min" until you get to the 9 o'clock mark, then transition into a walk. Continue walking for "30 min" until you get to the 3 o'clock mark and transition back to a trot. Continue the 45/30 pattern until you have made it all around the clock markers. This pattern will give you 4 circles. I then do a free walk on a loose rein across the diagonal and around the "A" end on the arena then back to "C" and start the 45/30 pattern going the opposite direction.

It is a bit tedious but the repetition of trot/walk transitions really helps Varro to relax and just go with it. By trotting the "45 min" pattern, Varro has no idea when the stop and walk cue is going to be given, so he doesn't automatically stop at "C"

We finished up our workout doing a little canter work and then a lot of free walking. My friend TB came over when were just finishing out arena work for a trail ride. Nice cool down for us both! We went down a new route today and both boys were VERY alert but the ride was uneventful and relaxing for us all!