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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2002
    Location
    Florida,
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    3,024

    Default Question for VSE owners-

    At Great Oaks HDT, (which again I commend the organizers for doing a bang up great job!!!)--There were VSEs, Great that this venue was offered for them.

    Usually when I have seen VSEs at CDEs, etc, their course is fairly short, a very direct route from hazard to hazard. Not the full length of course of the larger equines.

    I was surprised to see that the VSEs went the entire 5 k course as all of the others. I know zip about VSEs other than they scare my big horses!!!
    There were 2 entries--a single and a pair. Both finished. I asked the single howher pony went and she said he handled it just fine.

    Just how far can a VSE go?

    This is NOT a criticism of the Great Oaks DT, I am just curious about the ability of a VSE (read minature) in endurance of this sort.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2006
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    411

    Default

    In the West here 5km was a pretty standard course for a VSE until last year when the rules were changed to allow them to compete on the full course for their level. My 33.5" VSE went 11km at Happ's and came in not even sweated, then went 13km at Lincoln Creek and after the vet check at the end literally bounced back to the trailer at a perky little trot. I do not condition as well as many of the other local mini drivers; most of their VSE's were ready to go out and do it again! Mine was tired...for all of five minutes.

    I worried about the longer distances because of my difficulties with finding linear places to train (I live in the suburbs and can't drive more than a 1/2 mile one way or the other before crossing major roads) but even my little guy did just fine. At every single one of our four CDE's last year somebody would see him on the way back to his trailer and ask when we were going out. They were always shocked when I said we were coming back in.

    These little guys are amazing when properly harnessed, trained and conditioned. Breanna Sheahan just won Overall Best Intermediate at the Ram Tap CDE in California and her mare was one of the only horses to make it up the massive hill that stopped half the Intermediate ponies cold. I swear their hearts are bigger than they are.

    Leia
    Hey look, I joined ANOTHER forum! And you thought horses were addictive.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2004
    Posts
    1,710

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hobbyhorse23 View Post
    I swear their hearts are bigger than they are.

    Leia
    My little ponies can get down and scratch with the best of them. A man once commented that the one pony couldn't weigh more than 400 lbs. I laughed and said that 399 of it was heart.

    A properly conditioned pony is one hard piece of horse flesh. LF



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2005
    Location
    Gaffney, SC
    Posts
    468

    Default

    Cartfall,

    I took my little mare out, in pasture condition, did a slow trot for 3 miles, had to FORCE her to walk, she wanted no part of walking, we got to the barn spent about 2 hours at the barn then came back home at a faster trot, and again didn't want to walk, she was not breathing hard at all, a little sweaty but not bad. Took us 40 minutes to get there and 30 minutes to get home. I did convince her to walk down the driveway back home. Now some of ya'll on the board have met my mare, and I know most of you haven't but her walk is about as fast as a slow trot and she can get pretty strong, she's a powerhouse that likes to go. She will listen, she can just be opinionated about it.

    Karen



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2008
    Posts
    59

    Default

    My girl has been in training since Dec. She is pretty green. We are going to our first HDT the end of May the marathon is 4K. She is up to driving 30 minutes without hardly breaking a sweat, I have her up to 45 minutes trotting next to the golf cart, she comes back fine. She had a pretty good work out/lesson with Bob Giles the other day and did great. Kathy



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
    Posts
    11,568

    Default

    I wasn't sure if you'd done a typo when you did this. You did mean to type 5km?? as in just over 3 miles?? If so, then that's no distance at all. Of course providing the carriage and passengers aren't over heavy for the size of the pony. The pony is fit and the terrain isn't such as deep mud or huge steep hills.

    Now I keep forgetting what a VSE is. Well that's not strictly speaking true: I'm determined never to call a pony anything other than a pony! But what size are they?

    I routinely take small ponies out on a 5 mile and 8 mile circuit - albeit for the latter as a pair. But then I am in a VERY hilly area.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2008
    Posts
    59

    Default

    Thomas,
    Its a schooling show, and I'm told a great place to start because the distance is short 4 kilometers, I believe thats about 2 1/2 miles. There are only 4 obstacles in the marathon for the training level division. Its in Florida where the heat at this time of year can be in the high 80's to low
    90's and humidity through the roof! The show season here is pretty much winding down, other than schooling shows, its too hot. It will fire back up in the fall. Kathy



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2008
    Posts
    59

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    They have to be under 99cm. And beware Thomas there are some mini horse people who get VERY offended if you call them ponies! (present company excluded)

    Hills are hard to find here, especially if you live close to the coast.
    Kathy



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
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    We've got a breezy 48 F today

    Its a short distance though with high temperature and high humidity you'll need plenty of water (for drinking and cooling) to keep the pony comfortable. You'll also need to encourage the pony to drink and I'd suggest adding a little salt as an electrolyte to his drinking water and to improve fluid absorption.

    Important to ensure good preparation and aerobic and muscular fitness and that the pony is kept cool and in shade prior and ensure rapid cooling afterwards by drenching with buckets of cool water as well as hosing to lower body temperature quickly and effectively.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2008
    Posts
    59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    We've got a breezy 48 F today

    You'll also need to encourage the pony to drink and I'd suggest adding a little salt to his drinking water and which is an electrolyte
    I've tried that, shes not a big drinker, I've also tried apple juice, sugar, and molasses. I water her grain and hay. I was told to try adding Root Beer to her water. I put loose salt/minerals in her feed to encourage her to drink. I also take water from home when I show so she has her OWN water.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2008
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    59

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    We've got a breezy 48 F today

    Important to ensure good preparation and aerobic and muscular fitness and that the pony is kept cool and in shade prior and ensure rapid cooling afterwards by drenching with buckets of cool water as well as hosing to lower body temperature quickly and effectively.
    Thanks for the tips Thomas, At the risk of sounding like a b**** (which is not my intention) I'm new to driving but not new to horses, I've had them for over 35 years and lived in Florida all my life, except the time I went to Meredith Manor a horse college in West Virginia where I realized I could NEVER live where it snows! Ice balls in their feet! Down jackets thermal underwear, WHAT! Talk about culture shock!
    Kathy



  12. #12
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    May. 3, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy14727 View Post
    Thanks for the tips Thomas, At the risk of sounding like a b**** (which is not my intention)
    My posting was intended for the OP who likewise is not new to driving but asked genuine questions about working ponies and it later transpired.... in heat and high humidity.

    I'm new to driving but not new to horses,
    I grown to appreciate that time served with horses doesn't necessarily mean knowledge and capability and competence.

    I've had them for over 35 years and lived in Florida all my life, except the time I went to Meredith Manor a horse college in West Virginia where I realized I could NEVER live where it snows! Ice balls in their feet! Down jackets thermal underwear, WHAT! Talk about culture shock!
    Heck Kathy, you should come here. We can have sun, snow and everything in between in one day and of course with the associated changes of clothing! That's what happened Thursday: bright blue skies and sun, then torrential rain and a flash flood and with intermittent hailstones (4 times!) and back to sun and a pleasant evening to top off a typical day in the Cheviot Hills in the Scottish borders !!!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2008
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    59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    I grown to appreciate that time served with horses doesn't necessarily mean knowledge and capability and competence.
    HOW TRUE!!! Which is why try to keep an open mind (unusual with horsey people, their way or the highway!), you always run across someone who has had different experiences with horses. There is ALWAYS more to learn. The day I stop learning is the day I die.

    I think I'll stay put here, although I think my mother told me I have ancestors from scotland, I grew up in a town called Dunedin it was named after something scottish (cant rememeber now) And my high school band had kilts and pipers. Kathy



  14. #14
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    May. 3, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy14727 View Post
    HOW TRUE!!! Which is why try to keep an open mind (unusual with horsey people, their way or the highway!), you always run across someone who has had different experiences with horses. There is ALWAYS more to learn. The day I stop learning is the day I die.
    True but I was thinking something else.


    I think I'll stay put here, although I think my mother told me I have ancestors from scotland, I grew up in a town called Dunedin it was named after something scottish (cant rememeber now) And my high school band had kilts and pipers. Kathy
    There's no place called Dunedin in Scotland.

    Rather its a perversion of Dun Eideann which is celtic gaelic for "Citadel of the slope" and its what Edinburgh (and lots of other cities on hills) used to be referred to.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2006
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
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    411

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    I wasn't sure if you'd done a typo when you did this. You did mean to type 5km?? as in just over 3 miles?? If so, then that's no distance at all. Of course providing the carriage and passengers aren't over heavy for the size of the pony. The pony is fit and the terrain isn't such as deep mud or huge steep hills.

    Now I keep forgetting what a VSE is. Well that's not strictly speaking true: I'm determined never to call a pony anything other than a pony! But what size are they?
    No, you're absolutely right- 5km is ridiculously short but that's all a lot of people thought the little guys could do until recently! VSE stands for Very Small Equine and it's what the American Driving Society decided to call the division for ponies under 99cm at the withers. My guy is about 8.5H, give or take a little as I've never measured him at the withers. American Miniature Horses and American Shetlands have been bred to be very refined these days so unfortunately often lack the power of a good sturdy British Shetland. A good old-fashioned Shetty I would expect to be able to do just about anything on sheer attitude, conditioned or not!

    Leia
    Hey look, I joined ANOTHER forum! And you thought horses were addictive.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2002
    Location
    Florida,
    Posts
    3,024

    Default

    Okay, so I am seriously underestimating the heart and stamina of these little guys. Lesson learned.,

    Thomas--this was a Horse Driving Trial. A shortened CDE with only section E in the marathon. Sections A and D having been removed. So yes 5 km is a short distance, a mere 3 miles. But to me --that seemed a big distance for the VSEs. As I said, I know nothing about them.

    My flat lander Arabian met those 5 km and he was not conditioned well enough. We literally have NO hills in the area I live in Florida. The Great Oaks HDT was held up around Atlanta which is pretty hilly, small mountains to us. I did not prepare him well enough and he was tired at the end of the marathon. We took some minor time penalties. But our dressage was great!!!

    I literally live at 45 feet above sea level.

    That said, I was impressed by the little guys, they handled the 5 km very well.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
    Posts
    11,568

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    Send him over here. I'll get him fit for you

    Or else contribute $20 to Leukaemia Research and obtain my driving horse conditioning programme.

    An additional $20 and I'll throw in details of a Fly Repellent that really works too...

    http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=104176



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2002
    Location
    Florida,
    Posts
    3,024

    Default

    Sure I just drop him right off.

    Actually condition a horse is something I know well--I used to ride endurance.

    There was no excuse for his lack of conditioning other than I have so concentrated on his dressage work that time just got away from me. I have had to work very hard with a trainer to improve his dressage and my driving techniques. We are making headway--just focusing on the dressage and conditioning got side lines.

    Thanks for the offer!!!lol



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 23, 2004
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    1,930

    Default

    This is a bit off topic...

    Most if not of our events in the West offer a VSE division. The first one I took my retired horse to (Leia I think you remember my black horse Harras) I couldn't figure out why he was so fascinated by the little guys. He would just watch them go about the grounds. It finally dawned on me, I had a Great Dane that would gallump along with us as we drove, zooming hither and yon. When he got tired I would stop and he would get on the back and ride the rest of the way. I can only imagine that Harras was thinking, well gee, ours doesn't have to work that hard, what the heck, and is one of them going to get on the back of our carriage! (Seriously anthropomorphizing here)

    carry on...



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    12,855

    Default

    A little off topic too but funny as heck.

    Last week I took both my mini's to the clinic where I work so we could draw coggins. I unloaded them and was walking toward the clinic when the resident clinic cat, Jack, got in his perfect "Halloween Cat" raised hair, curled up body, sideways walking, pose as my two mini's walked toward him!!! Jack pays no attention to the variety of horses and farm/food animals that arrive at the clinic but I guess my two guys (one sporting a now 8" tall white mo-hawk from being a roached mane last year) looked like big dogs to him as dogs are the only critter that raise his hackles.



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