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  1. #21
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    Mar. 6, 2002
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    Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by trubandloki View Post
    Seems like such a silly thing to get offended about.
    She's new to dressage, and I didn't get the impression that she has worked with a trainer at all to help her get started. Her scores were in the low 50's and I think it was more of an "adding insult to injury" moment than anything else, if I had to guess.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  2. #22
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    Jun. 25, 2004
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    Carolinas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinz 57 View Post
    She's new to dressage, and I didn't get the impression that she has worked with a trainer at all to help her get started. Her scores were in the low 50's and I think it was more of an "adding insult to injury" moment than anything else, if I had to guess.
    Also keep in mind all we (USEF and officials) are more pro-active regarding horse care. In eventing a dressage judge has certain requirements. If a horse is questionable, the judge advises the competitor to have the horse checked by the competition vet and report to the TD before continuing. If the horse is obviously lame the judge eliminates the competitor.
    And there is no recourse to the judge's decision.
    So my "guess" is this judge voiced their opinion on the horse's body condition with the horse's well-being in mind.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  3. #23
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    Mar. 6, 2002
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    Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by fooler View Post
    So my "guess" is this judge voiced their opinion on the horse's body condition with the horse's well-being in mind.
    Certainly, I wouldn't think otherwise. I was just trying to express what the owner had conveyed to me after reading her test.

    I don't have a problem with the comment at all. The horse was lean, and I thought as much after seeing him untacked, I just had never seen nor heard such a comment actually written on the test itself and was curious as to how common/correct it was.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  4. #24
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
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    Desert Southwest
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    I scribed for a judge a couple of weekends ago who noted (as an aside) one horse's extremely lean physique. She knew he was an event horse, however, and probably did not comment on it on the test.

    Just saying, most dressage horses, especially at higher levels, look more like body builders or gymnasts than distance runners...



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2009
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    Ive been experiencing the same sort of thing with my horse,but Im hearing it from my instructor. And.....Im looking at my mare and seeing the same sort of thing.

    How ever, Im a bit confused, but yet not confused at the same time.

    For starters we have had an unbelievable drought over the Summer. Usually I never have to buy hay during the Summer. I was riding her at least 4 times a week during this time and ever conscious and tortured by the lack of grass, meaning I was allways buying hay here and there, ok. I need more...etc.

    She was getting 2 pds of grain morning and night. She was late in being wormed but is now. This could be the problem how ever. By the way would the giving of sugar cubes as a reward at times help a horse gain weight. Look at people???
    But the amount is so small, probably not.

    Oh. and she was getting condensed Alf. on and off all Summer.too

    Then I considered her age, she's about 16. It isnt like I have just left her in a depleted pasture and come to visit every 3 months! God no, everyday out there, doing something.

    Then I have 2 horses, not mine in an ajoining property. Fat as hatters!!! WTF??? Never given attention. Neglected. I dont get it? thick buggers, never wormed. nothing.

    My issue now, or questions, is how do you know what to look for to constitute whether or not a horse is fit? or underweight? What are the key areas to look at? to decide this. Could my mare be fit muscle wise, yet too skinny at the same time? also, Im being told that she is not developed enough on her back, behind the ssaddle area. Well, Im doing all the exersizes that are supposed to deal with this. Coming up second level, but still... not enough. should I bring her inside and make her do yoga with me?

    Now Im feeding 3 times a day, just started this , is this ok, what suppliments are good for this goal of getting more weight on her?
    SkyDancer5000 --3rd Level



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2009
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    Montreal, Qc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly Micvee View Post
    Ive been experiencing the same sort of thing with my horse,but Im hearing it from my instructor.
    Since you have a trainer, I suggest you ask her/him more questions about it and how to solve the problem! If your trainer is knowledgeable, you should have enough suggestion as to what to feed, in what amount, supplement, medecine, and training schedule to upgrade your horse's weight and muscle mass.

    For starters we have had an unbelievable drought over the Summer. Usually I never have to buy hay during the Summer. I was riding her at least 4 times a week during this time and ever conscious and tortured by the lack of grass, meaning I was allways buying hay here and there, ok. I need more...etc. ... Oh. and she was getting condensed Alf. on and off all Summer.too
    Is it the first year you are being told that your mare was too thin/not fit enough?

    She was getting 2 pds of grain morning and night. She was late in being wormed but is now. This could be the problem how ever. By the way would the giving of sugar cubes as a reward at times help a horse gain weight. Look at people???
    But the amount is so small, probably not.
    It depends on the type of grain you give. 2pds of Fat & Fiber type grain and a mix of corn/oat/molasses won't give you the same result. And 2pds might not be enough at all depending on the type of horse you have and the training you do.

    Also, sugar can makes your horse more energetic but also more anxious and therefore won't gain weight.

    What you might need is a complete feed with lots of fat and fiber% in it. Ask for older horses food.

    Then I considered her age, she's about 16. It isnt like I have just left her in a depleted pasture and come to visit every 3 months! God no, everyday out there, doing something.
    You could also have a vet check on her teeth, her joints and talk about how you could improve her condition.

    I take care of an older horse who needs to be on the leaner side to stay sound. He has mild arthritis and really don't need extra weight.

    My issue now, or questions, is how do you know what to look for to constitute whether or not a horse is fit? or underweight? What are the key areas to look at? to decide this. Could my mare be fit muscle wise, yet too skinny at the same time? also,
    Look at her back, look at her top line. Look at the haunches, at the loin, and from behind. Look at her neck and look for her abs on the side of her belly.

    No. I don't think a horse can be too skinny and fit a the same time. If too skinny, the horse will get its energy in his muscles and that is no good. There needs to be some fat somewhere.
    Yes, you might see pretty well define muscles on a too skinny horse, but that doesn't mean it is truly fit.

    By the end of the show season my mare was more lean than usual. I'm now giving more food and changed my training sessions.

    I was doing the jumpers this summer so I needed more energy and endurance. Now, I want muscles! I changed my program from long galop in the field to shorter sessions of condensed dressage work. 30-45min. max. The muscles are popping out and her neck is getting bigger at the base.

    Im being told that she is not developed enough on her back, behind the ssaddle area. Well, Im doing all the exersizes that are supposed to deal with this. Coming up second level, but still... not enough. should I bring her inside and make her do yoga with me?
    Second level work is not usually enough to build up much muscles. And you don't need that much muscle in first so it is normal that you aren't there yet.

    For her back, you'll need to work both longer/lower and more collected work. You'll need to bring her back up doing both. Half halt is your best friend to teach your mare to round her back and come underneath herself.

    And make sure you are doing the exercices correctly! You don't want to built the wrong muscles...

    Have your trainer build you a nice training plan! Lunging, trail riding, dressage work, cavaletti work...

    Now Im feeding 3 times a day, just started this , is this ok, what suppliments are good for this goal of getting more weight on her?
    Find something that has fat in it. Less sugar. You can give up to a full cup of oil per day (or per meal?) or ask about beet pulp.
    There are supplement you can use like 'muscle booster' 'body builder'... but I would ask both your trainer and vet about supplements before trying anything out of the ordinary.



  7. #27
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    Aug. 27, 2009
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    Thanks!!! for the advise.. Yes, this is the first year she has been looking this way. I think its from lack of grass basically. This has been the worst draught we have ever had in this area. I thought I was living in the 30's during the dust bowl for awhile there. It was pretty bad. Weve had rain now, thank God! Thanks again.
    SkyDancer5000 --3rd Level



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun. 13, 2001
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    usa
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    For me this thread is an example of why the judge should make comments: if an owner doesnt have a trainer or know the difference of skinny vs fit, of what to look for as muscled up vs skinny. If the drought has taken down a pasture or the horse is aging then there has to be supplemental food, sometimes a lot. With a horse is active work feed should be heavier as is necessary to support it (grain...not extruded @#*@#), and ideally fed 3-4 times a day (so that there is always food in the gut which helps prevent ulcers as well).

    My mom DID live through the 30s droughts in ND, they lost their farm after 7 years of it!

    And all PROPER work should be building plenty of muscle as well as bulk the topline as well. By the horse is starting collection (a couple of years) the horse should be a muscle packet. Seeking the hand fdo is a TEST that the horse is properly 'on the bit' up/open/active. HH work because they compress all the hindleg joints and lower the croup and raise the shoulder cause the horse to arc out to the bit (not round the lumbar back which straightens the hind legs use).

    The whole thing about less sugars has a life of its own in this country. More FOOD puts weight on horses, food which isnt extruded mush stays in the gut longer as well. European horses get 10-15 quarts of crimped oats a day, have their pants work out, and are very rideable. It is what I have fed for 50 years, have horses in great muscle/etc and they are very settled mentally. They are also WORKED DAILY (sometimes 2x with a hack or jumping as the second).
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  9. #29
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    Apr. 9, 2012
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    I APPRECIATE that the judge did comment. Whether correct or not, clearly the comment was voiced out of concern for the horse's welfare, performance, or both.

    If a judge - or any professional - made this comment to me, I would take a close look at my horse. Without a trainer, maybe confirm with a vet.

    I'm of the opinion that ribs should be barely detectible, visible from the side when the light hits type thing. Hip bones should not jut out, though sometimes that's just conformational.

    My first horse was too skinny when I got him. Even after plumping him up, he was still underweight a bit. Wish I'd known better, or that someone had told me. When I see skinny or unhealthy looking horses at shows, I do wish somebody would tell the rider. Maybe they're working on it. And maybe not.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



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