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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    12,792

    Default How will I last?!? One more month of Toby vacation

    Ugh. I am itchy to truly ride again. But I said I was going to give Toby off until mid December. We're ending the 3rd week, I've been on him three times (2 of those 3 were ). And all I can think about is going back to work, since there is so much to do!

    Any thoughts on getting through the next few weeks without doing a complete nutty? Any commiseration? I keep telling myself he's earned every second of his vacation this winter...but that's not working! It doesn't help that he is twice as wild as normal without consistent, engaging work (he nearly committed a double homicide last night while I was bringing he and his long suffering companion in).

    HELP ME!!!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2001
    Posts
    5,099

    Default

    I guess the key question is why are you giving him the vacation in the first place? With the ones who have gotten 3 and 4 star fit or done a long format, we used to kick them out in the field for 3-5 weeks to let any lingering issues heal and their bodies let down. Of course, for every horse who was dying to wallow in any available mud patch and be completely left alone, there was usually one who couldn't stand not having a program, and those ones usually started hacking out earlier.

    In contrast, for the youngsters and the horses at prelim and below, I don't recall ever giving them that much time off - we just transition them to several weeks of light hacking and walking on the roads with lots and lots of long time out in their fields. Helps keep their base up, their mind engaged, but takes the pressure off and lets them be horses. So unless there's a specific reason to give him this long a break, if he's really pulling a nutty being off, why not bring him back to several weeks of long hacks? Good for his brain; good for your head, no?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2009
    Location
    Gray Court, SC
    Posts
    620

    Default

    I'll commiserate though you will roll eyes at me. I was given the riot act by my vet for not listening to him and giving Sterling two weeks of uninterrupted rest after jumping Branch (but he did sooo good). He had just healed from a bone splint and I had gotten a cautious "okay to go" with the requirement I not ride for two weeks. I lasted a week then I rode. Nothing long, nothing hard and I wore splint boots...Vet was not amused and stated two more weeks. But Doc, he'll forget everything we've learned in two weeks...yeah, no, that didn't work either.

    Thank goodness I have this wonderful Mercedes to help me through this time off, but I am jonesing for jumping If there is no other mount you could try my alternate distraction, I groom him to death. Be strong, it will end soon.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    I'm a BIG believer in horsey down time, but if it's just not working for either one of you, then SKIP IT. Mine seem to earn their down time the hard way, by getting injured, lately. So when all is well, everyone's sound and I have the time to ride, I ride.

    Just because it is theoretically a good idea doesn't mean your square peg will always fit into the "conventional wisdom" of a round hole.
    Click here before you buy.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2010
    Location
    Area 1, Connecticut
    Posts
    707

    Default

    My horse doesn't get a vacation. He would kill me if I did. He would also destory his paddock, his turnout buddy, and his stall during the process. My horse can't go for more than a few days without work. Otherwise, he is just psychotic and destructive. So in the winter when we don't have anything to work toward, he might work five days instead of six and more of them might be more relaxed stuff, like hacking out or just a stretchy flat school, then jumping or serious dressage. As long as he works at least a half hour, he's good.

    So as others have said, some horses aren't cut out for vacation. And what good is giving your horse a vacation if he isn't enjoying it? You can lighten his work load as a reward but if the whole vacation thing isn't working for either of you, don't do it.
    Blog: http://movingonupeventing.blogspot.com/

    Don't believe the hype.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,453

    Default

    Come down to Florida and ride mine, YB! After various issues with both my girls this year, I now have (knock on wood) two sound, rideable horses, and only time for one! (I do appreciate that I have an embarrassment of riches.) My young horse trainer can't make it out this way for a while, so legging up/ progressing with the 4 year old is totally up to me. Meanwhile, my older mare is in fine fettle and gets really cranky with no job...just did great in a SJ clinic....



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,655

    Default

    Hey, at least yours is voluntary vacation. Mine is, as of today, FOUR WEEKS into an abscess that has been popped, drained, and then somehow plugged itself up again (twice) and is now, *hopefully* finishing up for good. He looked less 3-legged last night, but now he's lost quite a bit of weight from dealing with this. He refuses to do much more than stand in one spot and his appetite has been very low, despite primo top-o-the-line hay in front of him 24/7.

    I can't even haul out and ride Mr. Heinz' cowpony - trailer needs a bearing repacked and I haven't had time to get to it yet. The cabin fever is killing me!
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2009
    Location
    Out West
    Posts
    245

    Default

    I don't know how you do it! My guy is older and I worry that a layoff would do more harm than good at this point. I was considering it, but I just don't think I'd make it and I'm not convinced it would do him any favors.

    We're lower-level competitors, so no hard, serious work going on.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    12,792

    Default

    Heinz, I feel ya! This time last year, Toby was just starting back to flatwork after 6 weeks of stall rest and tack walking. I'm thankful he and I are both sound this year!

    I am a bigger believer in 4-6 weeks of down time (when not forced!) at the end of the year...with the definition of down time varying for each horse. Toby IS supposed to be hacking, though he did get two weeks completely off, unintentionally (a few days off for Sandy turned to a week...then the week grew to 10 days, then next thing I knew, it was 14 days since the last time I'd swung my leg over!).

    And I DO think he deserves the mental rest, as we worked hard this year, due to my multiple hiccups.

    But, dw, you are right. If we can't handle it, so be it. But I'll at least try to see if we can settle into a routine of hacking for another week or two before giving up, and breaking out the dressage saddle.

    JP, follow those vet's orders! I think my lack of other rides is part of my antsiness. In years gone by, I always had other things to ride. I do have a second ride, but he's a rehab horse who's doing 30 min walk, 5 trotting, a few days a week. It's saddle time, but unsatisfying.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,655

    Default

    What depresses me most is that he looks just TERRIBLE! He was already a little out of shape, but a month of standing around and his belly and back are dropping, his topline is going to pot and his backside is that of an old man! He regains condition relatively quickly, but with a few ribs starting to show I'm not taking him out in public for a while.

    Did I mention I have TWO new saddles to use on him? I haven't been able to ride in either one.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    12,792

    Default

    Well, my very square peg seems to have answered the question for all of us today.

    As is typical this time of year, and went up to my house for lunch this afternoon, then, as I walking out, I called to Toby and asked him if he wanted to go do something (also typical). He was half or three quarters of the way out in his pasture, and GALLOPED to the gate. Then paced frantically while he waited for me to also get there (stupid, slow human), and tried to bite me when I wasn't fast enough with the halter. He marched in, puffed up to twice his size.

    I think the answer was YES, he would like to go do something.

    We toodled around in the ring, doing stretchy stuff and popped over a couple of teeny fences for the hell of it. And he was happy as a little clam. I guess vacation is over.

    That means I have to clip him again.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2009
    Location
    Raeford, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,714

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    Well, my very square peg seems to have answered the question for all of us today.

    As is typical this time of year, and went up to my house for lunch this afternoon, then, as I walking out, I called to Toby and asked him if he wanted to go do something (also typical). He was half or three quarters of the way out in his pasture, and GALLOPED to the gate. Then paced frantically while he waited for me to also get there (stupid, slow human), and tried to bite me when I wasn't fast enough with the halter. He marched in, puffed up to twice his size.

    I think the answer was YES, he would like to go do something.

    We toodled around in the ring, doing stretchy stuff and popped over a couple of teeny fences for the hell of it. And he was happy as a little clam. I guess vacation is over.

    That means I have to clip him again.
    Yay!

    I think it sounds like you did the right thing. Some horses just don't want the down time, and if they're going to act like imbeciles in the field with all that pent up energy the risk of injury is greater than just keeping them in light work.

    Glad you're back on

    (If you need to warm up your 'clipper muscles' feel free to come my way and practice a bit before doing Toby, I'll pm the address)
    "Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing" - Robert Benchley
    Cotton would fight.
    http://buildingthegrove.blogspot.com/



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 1999
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    2,066

    Default

    Um....I could be down tomorrow with something for you to play with for a few weeks...one is especially cool...Paddy-like (no, not THE Paddy)!
    One thing you can give and still keep is your word.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    12,792

    Default

    (If you need to warm up your 'clipper muscles' feel free to come my way and practice a bit before doing Toby, I'll pm the address)
    Ah, they are well warmed up but thanks for the offer!
    More importantly, I have to come up with some peace offering for clipping him....we usually hate each other for awhile once the job is finished (he hates me because I'm clipping him, I hate him because, even with better living through chemistry, he tries to eat me). I told the pro clipper today that I need to make more money JUST so I can hire her to do it!! (Keep in mind, clipping is in my JOB DESCRIPTION! ).

    Kate! Cruel! For one brief instance, I thought you were offering me Patty!!!!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 1999
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    2,066

    Default

    I am pretty sure if you met his twin, you wouldn't think me cruel! Paddy is busy hunting, being staff and leading field!
    at least I didn't offer you Skippy....that really WOULD have been cruel and downright mean!
    or you could have fun with Greenie-T liked him alot this summer!
    One thing you can give and still keep is your word.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    12,792

    Default

    ooooo.....tantalizing!

    I still have to set up the hound meet and greet (I did get your VM...just got busy. I remember her!!).

    And I love Skippy. I still kick myself I didn't take you up on your offer years ago!

    And I heard all about Greenie! It was all good, no worries.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 1999
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    2,066

    Default

    We can make all of the above happen!
    One thing you can give and still keep is your word.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2008
    Location
    Area II, the Blue Ridge Mountains
    Posts
    1,865

    Default

    Well, I'm chiming in late. Mick Dreamy has been turned out in a 20 acre, hilly field since we finished the season at VA Horse Trials, and he is getting furry. I think the down time depends on the horse and also on the turnout. I'm so so lucky to live on the side of a mountain with ample turnout for the horses to keep themselves occupied. Mick goes back into work in December and we will do just dressage and lots of lessons for a couple of months, with the hope of running around at prelim at SPI and back to Intermediate at Morven.

    I don't give greener horses (below prelim) off at all but if they have been prelim or intermediate fit for awhile, I like to let them down, let them be horses, and give their brains and bodies some rest. If I didn't have the group turnout that I have, I'd probably hack them out once or twice per week, just so their base level fitness didn't go to pot, and they didn't go stir crazy, pacing in a paddock. I also like to pull shoes for awhile, to give the feet some time to expand, unless the horse has feet that can't be barefoot.

    But I do think it all depends on the individual horse. I had a hotter sort of TB when I was in Michigan many years ago, and with paddock turnout, he never got time off. He probably would've torn the barn down if he had...

    Yellowbritches, feel free to drive down here and ride some of mine, if you are bored I've got three others to keep me occupied and with the short days, and a J.O.B., I'd love to have someone to hang with at the barn!



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