Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A pleasure ride; more nutrition stuff

I like to take a little time off, mentally, after a Big Ride. Today was the nicest day all week (high in the 70s!), so I put on my neon smiley tights and took Dixie and Cers out for a pleasure ride. We went 5-6 miles, out at a walk and back at a lovely gait, and it was just what I needed.


Dixie still makes me feel like the Queen of the World. I bought her on a whim - my biggest impulse purchase ever - because I loved the "screw you" look in her eye, and because she made me feel like the Queen of the World when I was racking down the barn driveway on my test ride. She had that never-give-up look in her eyes, even after what she'd been through, and it's like riding a unicorn (what with the gaiting and all the white hair flapping around).

Today, Dixie moved out away from home pretty well, with a few extra-looky moments at deadly trash alongside the trail, and she was a raging dragon turned for home. She was extra-spicy. It was hella fun. If I insisted, she'd slow down to a running walk, but mostly she did some fast gait going home. Wheeeee! I know, I know, usually I don't let her barge off home at top speed, but like I said - pleasure ride.

Cersei went with us, with much excited barking at the beginning and much tongue-dragging at the end. She likes to drink too much water after a ride, then wait til I let her in the house to barf it on the floor. Today I kept her outside for at least 30 minutes, while I curried a blizzard of white hair off of Dixie, but she managed to barf foamy water three times on the floor. She puked, and I thought "at least it's not carpet" and by the time I made it in the kitchen to get the paper towels she barfed AGAIN, and I thought "well surely she's done" and while I cleaned up the first mess she barfed YET AGAIN and I evicted her. She barfed a fourth time on the patio, but eventually I let her back in and she kept her innards under control. Dogs are the best pets. You must keep repeating that or you'll cry and go insane. Dogs are the best pets.

Sadly, the cheap caged stirrups DEFINITELY make my feet go numb. I think I'll put the uncaged easytread stirrups back on, just to double-check that it's not the barefoot shoes making my feet go numb, then at some point real soon I'll spend the $90 on Easycare's caged stirrups. (I did also get a coupon for free shipping from Action Rider with my top-ten hoofpick!)

My smiley face tights are super comfortable. I may be a convert! But... A couple women lately have talked about boob containment - Bird and Ashley off the top of my head - but I'd like to talk about panties. My panties are all old and rather uncomfortable, and I'm thinking about seeing what REI or Sierra Trading Post has to offer. Maybe - gasp! - those heinous looking boy cut hipster brief things. Something that gets the elastic away from my crotch? Any suggestions?

Before we left, I put a double handful of beet pulp to soak in a bucket. When we got back, I dumped the BP in her feed bucket and went to get her vitamin supplement / Vit E / salt, and by the time I got back out to her, she'd eaten half the BP. She's like a damn cat, novelty is terrible until she decides it was her idea in the first place. I guess beet pulp is now an Acceptable Horse Food. Mission accomplished!

Rice bran: I was talking to Mel, and she reminded me that beet pulp is also moderately high in calcium. I mainly wanted to use the rice bran to give Dixie a slightly increased (but not too high) blood calcium level, but I think a double handful (half a pound? I should weigh it) of BP daily will give her what I want. So no rice bran for me right now.

I'm still thinking about working her onto a fat supplement in the form of liquid human-grade oil. But the problem is that we're moving, in about 7 weeks, and I don't know where we'll end up - if I find the perfect barn with great trails but they're not willing to feed oil, is it all for naught? I've heard that it's still beneficial even if the horse doesn't get the fat 7 days a week, so I might go for it anyway.

Again, Dixie is in great condition. She's not a cresty insulin resistant "easy keeper" but she's certainly not doing poorly on hay alone, so I'm not supplementing fat to keep her weight on. I know that a lot of yall have nervous feisty Arabs who need fat to keep weight up, but if I do feed oil, it'll be just to get her metabolism partially adapted to burning fat, which is the most efficient way for an aerobic endurance horse to metabolize. Do you think fat is a fad? Is it worth getting her on a skosh (1/4 to 1/2 a cup?) of vegetable oil?


  1. I have GOT to get me some of those tights. (Do you think they come with unicorns on them?)

    The fat thing- definitely a fad. If she's working well- and looking fit- why change anything? She definitely doesn't look thin to me. She looks just right for an endurance horse!

  2. If she's going well do you need the fat? That's the game I'm playing at this point. Still tweaking feed and trying to figure out what gives me sane pony but still pony with lots of go when we need it. ... And those tights are awesome... in a I can always find you kinda way. Just think, looking for Funder at ride camp? Just ask anyone where the ride with smiley face spotted tights is! Are they Evelyn's?

    1. Yes, they are!

      It's not like I need to be any more distinctive. I am always the only person on the enormous spotted TWH. But it's fun :D

    2. Come on down to the SW region! We've actually got several TWHs doing rides around here.

      Re. panties: I'm a fan of seamless microfiber ones. Or go commando. (Which, in my experience, really works best if your tights are padded.)

  3. Funder, Funder, Funder... you're such a wallflower :p

  4. Oh, and on the feed topic; my advice, if it ain't broke don't 'fix' it. Especially so close to a major move.

  5. I'm using Start to Finish Cool 100. It is a dry stabalized fat and smells so good you almost want to dig in yourself. Post ride we use a liquid fat called AniMed CoMega Supreme added to her recovery ration.

    How on earth do you keep the weight on her? Journey would shrivel up, and turn into a ball of dust, and go *poof*!

  6. THOSE. ARE. AMAZING. (enough said)

  7. I'm going to disagree with the "fat is a fad" idea... more like a "we're finding better ways to feed our horses" idea. I would HOPE anyway that we wouldn't leave the "fad" stage and go back to our good old coffee can's worth of sweet feed instead. I feed fat in the form of a tiny bit of stabilized rice bran, or in a pelleted fat supplement, or in a 1/2 cup of ground flax per meal (my favorite way) and my horses have been disturbingly shiny and healthy.

  8. "She likes to drink too much water after a ride, then wait til I let her in the house to barf it on the floor." That made me laugh WAY more than it should have, fortunately I did so fairly quietly so I don't think my office thinks I'm a complete raving idiot! =)
    Dogs are the best pets.

  9. ...and experience with boyshorts - unless they're like mini hot pants - they ride up into your butt and create the most wicked wedgie EVER. I like the Patagonia active hipster underwear for all outdoors pursuits on horseback and off. Little pricey, but worth it.

  10. I found that boy short undies actually ride up into bad places. They don't have tight leg elastic and its just a bad idea... The most comfortable undies? Some granny panty style padded crotch things specifically made for riding I got from Dover. SO UGLY. Also, so comfy.

  11. Now I want to ride Dixie at the rack. I've never ridden a gaited horse. Sunny's got the long white mane and I sometimes think of him as a little girl's fairy tale horse, but no fancy gaits there. But nope, sorry, don't envy the tights. I smile when I see them on you (!) In a good way, I mean. I could SO not carry those off.

  12. Looking forward to hearing what your readers suggest re the undies. The only ones I've found that are consistently comfortable are Jockies for Her, the briefs with the band not the elastic leg. But they are getting harder and harder to find around here. I did try some boycuts, but they were horridly uncomfortable - I always felt like I had my "knickers in a knot" as my mama would have said.

    Love the tights. Fun colourful stuff is good!

  13. Awesome. You rock those tights.
    I have some of the Jockies for Her that I wear in the winter to help keep my narrow little butt warm and they are very comfortable. About the only full-bottom cotton ones that don't creep and wedge. I am stuck with cotton as the microfiber makes me itch.

    As for the fat is a fad...I dunno. We have come a long way in understanding how a horse's digestive system works and how performance horses utilize their energy. There will always probably be changes as time goes on and for every 100 horses that something works well for...there's always one that it doesn't work at all. You know your horse well and don't just blindly feed stuff because it worked for someone else. You'll figure out what works the best for Dixie. Sometimes it just takes a little trial and error.

  14. I love making a fashion statement in the barn, and those are perfect for the job!

    I have to second Heather's comment. Boy short undies tend to bunch up at the tops of your legs and make things worse. I've always preferred a minimalist approach and gone with the classic thong. Seriously. They are so minimalist that they tend to not have much for elastic and there is the added bonus of no funny lines anywhere.

  15. I know someone who started feeding her horse some vegetable oil once a day, and it made her horse's coat all shiny and soft. Before, her horse had a rather cow-like coat, and after it felt great! I don't think that's really what you're going for, but it may be a nice bonus.
    My dog likes to eat horse hoof clippings at the barn, and throw them up in my car/at home. Dogs are the best pets. :)

  16. Ok, no boy shorts.

    I tried boy shorts once, years ago, but I am more of a fat-bottom girl and they looked SO BAD on me I never wore them again. But having given up my dignity with my riding Wranglers, I figured if horrendously ugly panties were more comfortable I'd go for it.

    The thing that bugs me is the leg hole elastic. I think I'll get a new pack of cotton thongs and look for some seamless granny panties and try both options. I might try commando, too - riding tights really are remarkably smooth where it matters! Thanks, everyone :)

  17. I'm late to the party, and only scanned comments. If you don't/can't feed oil at the next place, try Amplify. My vet recommended it for Sug, and at 30% fat, it didn't take much daily to see results. And a big bucket lasts what seems like forever!

  18. I absolutely LOVE those smiley tights. So jealous lol!

  19. Tights totally rock. Those tights, doubly so.

    And yes: commando, esp with padded tights. Cotton knickers will get/keep your buns chilled in wet weather--which, in the more maritime climate to which you are headed, is devoutly to be avoided! Knickers of ANY kind turn into floss of the most annoying kind for THIS plush-bottomed gal.

    Fat: I feed them what needs it...which is Fiddle when she's working hard and almost never Hana (who is a rocket-butt Arab, but a plush-bottomed rocket butt). My vet (and Susan Garlinghouse) recommend corn oil, so I use that, 1/4 to 1/2 cup daily when she needs it, and not in camp. I feed Fiddle a bunch of beetpulp as well (2 cups dry beetpulp + water twice camp, the beetpulp supply is endless and she devours it).

    Fiddle is very food-oriented but not a tremendously easy keeper. Pasture helps: she is on pasture 12-16 hours per day, and in a stall with hay and beetpulp at night, and that routine is keeping weight on her better than anything else I've ever done with this mare. But she is no "rocket-butt Arab, either: she's got a big machine and needs a ton of fuel to keep it going!

  20. For any ride longer than 2 miles or faster than plodding, I wear Smarty Pants ( a liberal application of body glide or chamois glide. The latter has a nice minty smell too!

    I've heard that triathlon shorts are also very comfy for all-day wear.

  21. Panties.... seamless microfiber cotton ones. I have bikini style. they stay put, don't ride, don't show lines, don't rub in the wrong places.

    Fat - Fat has been used for ever to add extra calories to Draft horse diets without adding any more sugars. Which is important in the world of a type that is prone to EPSM. I would suggest flax over vegetable just for the added coat shiny.

    As for boarding facilities - most now readily supplement - or at least say they do. If you can put the fat into some sort of pump type container it would be easier for them to dispense as there would be no measuring. Instructions would be like "2 pumps 2x's a day" or whatever. Just monitor to make sure they are giving it.

    LOVE those rock'n tights!!!! I need something fun like that.

  22. Love the tights.. even if your having a bad day, just look down at those and you won't be able to help but laugh at yourself... the dog thing... Really? It took you four "episodes" of barfing before you evicted her!! You are much more tolerant than me! ofcourse, I have to remember that animal vomit usally causes uncontrollable gagging and potential barfing of my own..! Fat: well Dixie is an easy keeper much like Maggie. If her energy level is good and she is maintaining her weight, I would keep things "status quo"..
    Panties? They all suck.. haven't found one that doesn't end up causing some sort of painful rub somewhere!

  23. I neeeeed those breeches. Also... to switch to caged stirrups.

  24. We are unicorn riders with our big-maned skewbald horses! That's it. Of course that confirms that we're pure enough in soul to have caught unicorns. They don't present themselves to just anyone.

    Heaving up water is nothing! My dog used to specialise in shitting in my truck. We'd walk her up and down until it seemed that she was empty, then ten minutes down the road out it came. Ugh!

    Can't comment personally on knickers being male (we have other issues) however my hard-riding trail guide ex used to go commando all the time and said that was the best way. She was keen on staying comfortable too.

  25. Those pants! OMG! I want them! Would I be brave enough to wear them, even out here on the ranch where I see no humans? Maybe!


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