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View Full Version : How long before a ride do you stop riding? And some other questions.



Jess!
Jun. 8, 2008, 01:52 PM
I do have a ride next Saturday that I am going to go on [mare did break her tail, but she can now be ridden].

I rode yesterday 12 miles, and I think I'm done with riding her until the ride. So...that's 6 days until vet in.

What should I do? I plan on sweating her legs thursday night [friday is vet in].

I'm trying to get as much long-stem forage into her with beet pulp and her hay, so that she can have good healthy gut sounds.

I have a probiotic [probios], should I give her that friday morning or thursday night? I also ordered some electrolytes through Slypnergear.com and they should be here soon, as well.

Wednesday I want to give her a full bath and massage with thermaflex, would that be a good idea?

Also should I preload with e-lytes? I've heard so many different opinions.

Sorry for all the rambling and questions, I haven't ridden a ride in a year and I'm doubting my usual routine for some reason.

wateryglen
Jun. 9, 2008, 07:52 AM
I don't get the sweating legs thing but I digress....!!

You can't preload electrolytes. Only maintain the normal levels. Their kidneys will naturally maintain the levels and pee out the excess. So once you have them at proper levels; anything given is wasted. But definitely during & after an exertion is a good idea.

saratoga
Jun. 9, 2008, 10:57 AM
Not riding her again is fine. I will usually do a last workout type ride 7-10 days before and then just ride lightly once or twice during the week.
Some people give e-lytes a few days before but I give them only during the ride day, and usually only if the ride is very tough or it is hot. Arent you only doing 25s? I've never given elytes for LDs. I've never done pro-biotics either, I generally keep things simple. Also its probably not a good idea to give a horse lots of new things during a ride.

Romantic Rider
Jun. 9, 2008, 11:20 AM
We do give our mares probiotics and elecrolytes starting the day before we leave for the ride. If it's going to be a cool ride, we might not give elecrolytes until the day we leave. But I feel my mare needs them, as she tends to already wait longer than I'd like to start drinking. We like to bathe our horses before rides. They get so dirty and the grit can't be good under a saddle. I don't think I would ever give my horse a week completely off. Even after a ride, I find that four days is usually plenty of time off. I used to give her that many days off before a ride, but she gets so hard to handle. I wouldn't take a conditioning ride any closer than a week before a real ride. But I do ride her just lightly up until Thursday, if it's a Saturday ride. She's much easier to handle the first loop, and still performs as well. My Mom's horse actually gets dangerous if she gets more than three days off. These horses are so fit they just don't know what to do with themselves if they get too much rest.

Diamond Jake
Jun. 9, 2008, 11:22 AM
I rode yesterday 12 miles, and I think I'm done with riding her until the ride. So...that's 6 days until vet in.

What should I do? I plan on sweating her legs thursday night [friday is vet in]. Not sure why you would want to do this unless she has a tendency for trouble.

I'm trying to get as much long-stem forage into her with beet pulp and her hay, so that she can have good healthy gut sounds. I have read it takes 2-3 days for forage to reach the cecum. I would feed her regular regimen until then. Do not bulk up her feed a lot. I think the theory is to replace what you took on the ride, not preload.

I have a probiotic [probios], should I give her that friday morning or thursday night? I also ordered some electrolytes through Slypnergear.com and they should be here soon, as well. If you only have one, give it to her the night before the ride. I think the theories are mixed on this one. Some say it is useless too early before the ride, and some say th bacteria is still helpful in there.

Wednesday I want to give her a full bath and massage with thermaflex, would that be a good idea? She would probably love it. Have you used Thermaflex before? As the other poster said, you may want to refrain from using new things just before a ride. Consider a conditioning ride with an extar loop at the end!

Also should I preload with e-lytes? I've heard so many different opinions.Night before and day of, is what I do. I do not do full doses- just partials when I knwo my horse can have access to water. You may not see much drinking until they start peeing.


Everyone's ride is different. I will not claim to be a know-it-all for any of this.. just telling you what I am learning and what I do right now. It sounds like you are a very conscientious horsewoman, but do not wear yourself out doing all these extras that your horse may not even need!

Jess!
Jun. 9, 2008, 11:26 AM
Thank you so much everyone. I normally always sweat the legs two nights before the ride, just to be on the same side. I wonder if I shouldn't? I just like to pull out any swelling or heat that may be present there, but now I'm rethinking that.

I've used thermaflex before, just not on her. I was going to give her a full body scrub/wash, then mix some thermaflex in a bucket with water and use a sponge. So not full strength, just something to feel good.

Shadow14
Jun. 9, 2008, 11:29 AM
If this is a 25 why worry about it so much??? I would ride easy right up to 2 or 3 days before and only give electrolytes on the day of the ride.
25 is not a hard ride. I also change nothing in the feeding.

Jess!
Jun. 9, 2008, 11:47 AM
If this is a 25 why worry about it so much??? I would ride easy right up to 2 or 3 days before and only give electrolytes on the day of the ride.
25 is not a hard ride. I also change nothing in the feeding.

I worry about it because she's is only half arabian, and this is her first ride. Plus, she's my baby and I worry about her. :D

saratoga
Jun. 9, 2008, 12:00 PM
I dont really get the sweating the legs stuff either...if there IS any heat or swelling, its there for a reason and you want to see it, not cover it up.
Dont worry too much about a 25 (or really any ride, just ride like you normally do). Trying to do all sorts of new and different things will probably not help and may hurt. If you are really concerned, the best thing would be to ride conservatively. that will probably safeguard the horse more than sweating legs or probiotics or anything like that.

Auventera Two
Jun. 9, 2008, 12:07 PM
I totally disagree with the notion that 25 miles is nothing. I've been told by several long-time competitors with thousands of miles that the first 25 miles is where most of the metabolic failure happens. They've also told me that you care for that horse the same whether you're doing 15 miles or 100 miles. Horses have died during 25 mile rides just the same as they have on 100s or 50s. I tend to listen to what the knowledgeable, long-time competitors tell me.

If 25 mile rides were "nothing" then we wouldn't have vet checks because the horse wouldn't be working hard enough or long enough to warrant it. But the fact is, we have 3 vet checks, for a REASON.

To say that "25 is not a hard ride" is giving out false and possibly dangerous information Norval. It depends on SO MANY THINGS. Heat, humidity, fitness level of horse, terrain, how many hills, how fast is the rider pushing, weight of rider, experience, etc. etc. etc.

What I do with my horse is give elytes the day before, the day of, and the day after. I don't ride her too terribly much anyway, so she normally does have 5-7 days off before a ride, just because that's how my schedule works out. This weekend I also gave her probiotics the day of the ride and she got As on gutt sounds versus the Bs she normally gets.

I bathe before rides because I read some study some years ago showing how horses can't sweat efficiently if the pores are clogged with oil and dirt. No clue how true it is, but if the option is there to bathe, I will bathe. If nothing else I try to sponge the shoulders and neck thoroughly to clean up that area.

I hate Thermaflex. That stuff is wicked. I would be really careful with it if I were you. I burned my arms so badly with that stuff, it was miserable, and my horse hates it also. She started stomping and kicking after it was on her skin for a couple of minutes.

Auventera Two
Jun. 9, 2008, 01:03 PM
Not worries at all - just being prepared and using good judgement and horsemanship. A lot can happen, even in 25 miles, if you don't use good judgement and preparation. No different than anything else.

Shadow14
Jun. 9, 2008, 01:06 PM
To say that "25 is not a hard ride" is giving out false and possibly dangerous information Norval. It depends on SO MANY THINGS. Heat, humidity, fitness level of horse, terrain, how many hills, how fast is the rider pushing, weight of rider, experience, etc. etc. etc.

.


Vickey to you it might be a hard ride but to me it is nothing. If I was walking out the lane tomorrow morning on Shadow and a neighbour rode along and asked me to go for breakfast 12-15 miles away I would only turn back to get my wallet. I wouldn't prepare anything, do anything different then a normal 10 mile loop..
In the winter with the snowmobile trails open a 25 mile run is a normal saturday and sunday run and he will do it both days.

Again I feel 25 miles is nothing to get worked up over.
I did 30 this weekend just for pleasure.

If you want to ride distance you need to get out and ride more. A 50 mile week is a normal week so don't try impressing me with a 25 miler.

Shadow14
Jun. 9, 2008, 01:09 PM
If 25 mile rides were "nothing" then we wouldn't have vet checks because the horse wouldn't be working hard enough or long enough to warrant it. But the fact is, we have 3 vet checks, for a REASON.

.


We always had just one at the 12-15 mile mark. That and a 30 minute hold. You will have to come to Ontario to buy your next endurance horse. We breed them tougher here.:)

Auventera Two
Jun. 9, 2008, 01:14 PM
You are totally missing the point, as usual. I didn't say that I cannot ride 25 miles because it's too hard. I said that a lot can happen TO THE HORSE in 25 miles. Hell it could happen in 5 miles also. You have to use common sense and good judgement on 25 miles the same as you do on 100 miles. That's all I was saying. You saying a horse never needs electrolytes, or you don't need to do do ANYTHING at all different for a 25, may not be the best advice FOR THE HORSE depending on the conditions surrounding that 25 miles.

No, it's nothing to get "worked up over." All I said is that the horse MIGHT need elytes or probiotics, or whatever, depending on that particular horse, the speed, the trail, etc. That's not getting "worked up." It's just having common sense and doing what you have to do to protect the horse and keep him safe.

Auventera Two
Jun. 9, 2008, 01:15 PM
We always had just one at the 12-15 mile mark. That and a 30 minute hold. You will have to come to Ontario to buy your next endurance horse. We breed them tougher here.:)

So you never had a pre-ride vet in, or a post-ride vetting plus the customary one at the halfway, equaling 3 total for the entire ride? Interesting.

Shadow14
Jun. 9, 2008, 01:44 PM
So you never had a pre-ride vet in, or a post-ride vetting plus the customary one at the halfway, equaling 3 total for the entire ride? Interesting.

Your right Vickey. We had a pre-ride and post ride inspection. I was mistaken. I just never thought about them.

As for electroyles I already posted in the past I used smooth apple sauce and a large syringe and gave him doses of electoryles in the apple sauce but not until the day of the ride and during the ride.
Drinking was never a problem and he tried to empty the water trough at every watering hole.

I repeat I never looked at 25 as that far and just considered it a nice trail ride in a new enviroment. I rode the horse up until 2 or 3 days before the ride to keep him from getting stale.
A 25 is a long way from a 100. If you have to worry about every little thing in just a 25 mile trail ride you are going to die when you hit a 100.:)

Auventera Two
Jun. 9, 2008, 02:17 PM
Oh for god sake Norval, it's not "worrying about every little thing." It's just doing what's right by the horse given the conditions and the circumstances. You should take care of your horse at 25 because at the end of it, the horse should be "fit to continue" meaning he could go out there and do another 25 or 50 or 75. If that means electrolytes, sponging, warming up, cooling down, then so be it. Each rider gives their own horse the care they think they need - even at the 25s.

BEARCAT
Jun. 9, 2008, 02:31 PM
I never realized people stopped riding so long ahead of time (6 days). Is that typical?

BarbeyGirl
Jun. 9, 2008, 02:50 PM
I never realized people stopped riding so long ahead of time (6 days). Is that typical?

Many sources suggest that the last hard (long or fast) workout be at least 5 days before the race. They also suggest daily 5-mile jogs to keep the horse sane and loose up until the day of the ride.


A2, I get what you're saying, and I agree. 25 miles isn't that far. It's a fun little ride. BUT, for a horse that isn't adequately fit for the distance, terrain, and/or conditions, it can prove too much. Aaruba and I did our first 25 after 12 weeks of conditioning, and it was a good distance for us -- safe but challenging enough at his level that it was worth keeping a good eye on his condition throughout.

50 would have been too much for him at the time. That doesn't mean it won't be very appropriate and managable later in the season, and at that point, 25 miles will usually be "no big deal " for us. However, it is true that most episodes of tying-up syndrome occur early in a race, so even 100-milers are wise to pay attention during a "mere" 25 miles.

BEARCAT
Jun. 9, 2008, 02:52 PM
Okay - that makes sense - I just pictured no riding or exercising whatsoever at all and that seemed an awful long time...

saratoga
Jun. 9, 2008, 04:01 PM
Absolutely true! I've seen more horses in the Limited Distance that incurred problems -- simply because their owners treated the ride with disrespect -- going too fast, pushing too hard. That can also happen on the front end of a 50, too, when "racing syndrome" takes over one's brain.

This says it all to me- a 25 is truly not that difficult for the vast majority of horses if it is done at a sensible pace, considering your horse's conditioning, mental state, the weather, the trail, etc. I think the OP races 25s- if you want to make sure your horse handles it well, riding your own conservative ride and not getting caught up in racing is the best place to start.

Diamond Jake
Jun. 9, 2008, 05:25 PM
Coming from just starting to do 25's this year:
25 for the first couple of rides DOES seem like a big deal, and DOES seem like a long time. Until you get a few under your belt, you just do not know what to expect from yourself or your horse.

Now they seem pretty easy. Depends on what end you are looking at it. For a person who had only done Novice rides, I thought 25 seemed monumental, now they just seem like a fun day ride, with the regular precautions.

No ride for an up and coming horse an rider should be considered lightly. All the extra prep? You'll find it tedious after a while, I think. This is defintiely a discipline where you really have to learn as you go, once you get the basics down. Every horse, every rider is different, and Shadow and A2 have demonstrated.

The most important thing is to take in any and all information that you can, and the rest is up to you and what you think is best for YOUR horse.... not anyone else's.
I think we are all in agreement on the basics- some good basic conditioning, making sure the horse is drinking before, during and after the ride, making sure the horse is eating before, during and after the ride. Making sure your horse is acting within the standards of normal that you are familiar with.

In doubt? DO NOT hesitate to ask a vet! They will appreciate much more a false alarm as compared to you waiting or being afraid to ask and them which leads to taking extra time to administer treatment later on.

Do not be afraid to post questions here. This is where we all learn!

Have fun,
Steph
:)

Jess!
Jun. 9, 2008, 06:31 PM
Thank you everyone.

I think I need to clarify a bit here - this is not my first ride by far. However, this is my mare's first rider ever, and yes even though it is only a LD at 25 miles, it's still a big deal to my mare. She's never been at a ride before, even then she's been ridden and conditioned enough for the ride.

I want her to be as comfortable as possible, which means eating and drinking well. She doesn't eat or drink well at home most of the time [very fussy with her food, takes forever to eat it - this is because of her last owners, they hand fed her and fussed over her] so I want to make sure I can get her to eat and drink. Since this is her first ride, I'm going to take it easier.

I usually ride a 25 miler in 2 hrs to 3 hrs, depending on the terrain and the weather. She is no exception, she will be ridden that fast because I know she can handle it. However, I do have my heart rate monitor and I will be keeping tabs on how much she is eating and drinking, peeing and pooping. She's a really good pee-er, so I'm not too worried about that.

I am not going to use the thermaflex, or sweat wrap her legs. I will probably just poultice her legs after the ride, and after the last vet wrap.

Does anyone have a preferred brand of poultice?

I appreciate everyone's opinions and help. :)

Diamond Jake
Jun. 10, 2008, 09:37 AM
Jess,
Thanks for the clarification. Hope I did not insult you with the basics!

Good luck,
Steph

Auventera Two
Jun. 10, 2008, 09:58 AM
Jess - About the picky eating -

Last year my mare ate and drank GREAT. But she had her big fat buddy along with her ;) This year I'm making her go solo to rides and her eating and drinking really slacked off because she's stressed to be alone. I have found a couple of things that have seemed to help. At the ride this weekend, she ate and drank really well.

I feed her in a flat rubber pan that's like 4" deep, instead of a feed bucket. I figured out that in a strange place, the horse didn't like immersing her head in a feed bucket because I think she felt threatened, or vulnerable when she couldn't see. She would try to flip the bucket over and dump out the feet to eat it off the ground. She's much happier eating in the flat pan because it doesn't impair her vision at all.

Also I bought a small jar of mild molasses at the grocery store (next to the pancake syrup.) I just pour on a couple of tablespoons to her grain/beet pulp mixture for a little extra flavor. I also add maybe 1/2 a cup of apple juice.

The extra suger can't be good but I only do it at rides, and only in modest amounts for just a little flavor. I wouldn't go overboard on those for sure though.

Also, as someone here suggested, I tried Acculytes because it has probiotics in it.

She wants to face the other horses and stand on the side of the paddock nearest another horse. If I put her feed right there, she'll eat. If the feed/hay is on the opposite side of the paddock from where she wants to stand, she won't go over there to eat. At the last ride I parked as close to other horses as I could, then gave the feed and hay on the same side of the paddock as the other horses so she didn't have to turn her back to them in order to eat.

When everything else fails, try to get the horse out on the grass to graze, even if it means hand walking. I can get her to graze when she won't even touch grain.

Jess!
Jun. 10, 2008, 10:46 AM
Jess,
Thanks for the clarification. Hope I did not insult you with the basics!

Good luck,
Steph


No no no! I always love reading about endurance, you can NEVER know enough so it's wonderful to ask others their opinion on different things! :)

It's just a lot of people don't think a 25 is worth making a fuss over, but to me it is. It is still an event I have to haul to, and it's stressful for my mare as she is still a novice. That is what I was trying to clarify. I'm not trying to make a bigger deal of the rider than it is, because it IS only a 25, but I still treat each and every ride as if they were going to do more miles than they are. :)

Jess

Auventera Two
Jun. 10, 2008, 01:03 PM
It's just a lot of people don't think a 25 is worth making a fuss over, but to me it is. It is still an event I have to haul to, and it's stressful for my mare as she is still a novice. That is what I was trying to clarify. I'm not trying to make a bigger deal of the rider than it is, because it IS only a 25, but I still treat each and every ride as if they were going to do more miles than they are. :)

Jess

:yes:

I found this on www.endurance.net (http://www.endurance.net) yesterday:

1) Attitudes about Limited Distance (LD)

Many times over the weekend, people asked what distance Aaruba and I were there to ride. The answer that jumped repeatedly to my lips was, "Oh, just the 25." After all, compared to 50's or longer on each of three days, or the 75 or 100 mile races, 25 miles seems paltry indeed! However, several times I was told to "Never say 'just' 25." One person went on to note that most horsepeople will never ride a horse that far in their lives.

merrygoround
Jun. 10, 2008, 01:18 PM
Bless the OP for asking questions.

The whole thing comes down to the magic word. Conditioning. For those who don't ride their horse "that much", a 25 miler should be a big deal. In the day of the life of an avid fox hunter, or a long format 3-Day Eventer, a 25 is nothing.

They and their animals are conditioned. The rest is hairsplitting.

Auventera Two
Jun. 10, 2008, 01:39 PM
I think people have forgotten what the original post was.

A horse, even if it is properly conditioned, still deserves elytes and proper feed and care on ride day - even if it is only 25 miles. I really don't get why people say the horse does NOT deserve this.

Being a "big deal" isn't the same thing as just giving your horse the proper care for the conditions and work at hand. If it's 85 degrees and you're running your horse for 25 miles to finish in the top 3 and you're doing hills and rocks, I would consider this to be hard enough work to warrant appropriate care.

If you're taking 6 hours to ride your 25 and you're mostly walking and enjoying the scenery, then no, perhaps the horse doesn't need elytes or sponging or a massage or any other special treatment. That's always been my point on these threads is that you can't just say a 25 is "nothing" because it depends on the conditions and the speed!

The OP runs in front to win when she rides. She isn't a mosier. Her horse probably moves in a big extended trot, a canter, and a gallop for 25 miles so she can finish it in 2-3 hours. That's a lot different than Joe Six Pack wandering around for 25 miles in the woods shootin' the crap with his buddies. :lol:

saratoga
Jun. 10, 2008, 06:30 PM
To me, giving "proper feed and care before an endurance ride" is pretty much what you do in your normal routine every single day. I would not change feeding routine with the exception of making sure the horse has their regular hay in front of them 24/7 the few days before the ride, during and after the ride (a lot of people do free choice hay all the time anyway.) And I feed pretty much anything the horse wants to eat during vet checks and after the ride- (lots of alfalfa, senior horse feed, whatever they really like but only get in smaller quantities on a normal day), to make sure they have lots of food in their system to recouperate.

I would be careful with going overboard with e-lytes or probiotics or anything that you have not given before. Giving lots of these supplements and changing up the food routine right before a ride is more likely to hurt than help. Just relax, listen to your horse, dont get too caught up with racing, and you will be fine :)

Diamond Jake
Jun. 11, 2008, 08:59 AM
That's a lot different than Joe Six Pack wandering around for 25 miles in the woods shootin' the crap with his buddies

Hey!!!!! I took 5 hours and 59 minutes to finish my last ride! (Granted, I was helping two people, one of which ended up pulling due to metabolic)

I have consistently this year taken more than five hours to finish a 25 or a 30. But this is my first year in serious competition. I have one horse, and one horse only, and cannot afford to have him break down, put him to pasture, and possibly have nothing else to ride. Well, I also love him to death and it would kill me if I caused something to happen to him.

So I could CARE LESS if I take a while to finish a ride. I am having an absolute blast, and have years to work us up into the placings.

Jess- I know what you mean. Granted, asking questions here can create some strong opinions, but we sure do learn from all of it!
:)

Auventera Two
Jun. 11, 2008, 09:12 AM
Hey, I was there last year DJ! :lol: :) It's fun no matter what though, isn't it? :yes:

Ghazzu
Jun. 11, 2008, 05:23 PM
I have read it takes 2-3 days for forage to reach the cecum.

More like 2-3 hours.

Jess!
Jun. 12, 2008, 01:22 AM
More like 2-3 hours.

So it's 2 to 3 hours? Not 2 to 3 days??

Ghazzu
Jun. 12, 2008, 10:46 AM
So it's 2 to 3 hours? Not 2 to 3 days??

Transit time for ingesta to go from oral cavity through the small intestine and reach the hindgut is measured in hours, not days.
Ballpark 2-4 hours, depending on what is ingested and how much.