Saturday, March 9, 2013

One week till ECHO!!!!

This time next week, I'll be taking a lesson on Echo, just before stuffing him in a trailer and bringing him home.

And not a moment too soon, either. The working student who is riding him wants to keep him. Adopted Horse Dad says he's going to find another horse with the same markings and give me THAT horse, so he can keep Echo for himself. Adopted Horse Mom is probably tired of my calls, but has nothing but good stuff to say about how smart he is, how willing, and how calm.

How I wish this were me riding him.

Hopefully he'll stay that way once I get him home, lol!

Yesterday (Friday) was his sixth ride. He's really pushing from behind in the trot, very balanced and steady. They have started him over poles on the ground, and yesterday did a tiny X. Adopted Horse Mom says he approaches everything carefully but boldly, figures it out, and then does it. He's careful with his feet and doesn't rush things. He also now eats carrots, and yesterday was his first time to use a mounting block - which he apparently did like he's done it all his life.

It's kind of like having your child come home with all A's on their report card, you know?

Love the canter!

The only thing of concern is that he doesn't have much energy. We're not sure if this is just him being really laid back (not a bad thing!), or if he needs a different feed. He's currently getting 12 lbs of TC Senior per day, which is what is most comparable to the feed he was getting at GoldMark. I contacted Triple Crown (LOVE their online chat feature) and asked for a recommendation for a higher-energy feed. When he gets here, I'll be moving him to TC Complete, which is about the same in terms of fat and protein as the Senior but has a bit more calories per pound. We'll give him a few weeks on that, along with all the hay he can eat, and if things don't change, we'll add in some ground flax.

I feel like a kid at Christmas or something. I can hardly wait till next Saturday!

PONY PONY PONY PONY!!!!

25 comments:

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    1. I KNOW! I'm bouncing quietly...

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  2. Better check his tattoo when you pick him up!

    It is great that they are working him for you. The trial period for any horse can be an interesting time, so the fact that he is in good hands and getting rave reviews could not be more excellent!

    A high fat feed/supplement is a good choice. His energy may just come back when he is fit and excited about jumping all those fences and logs with you. :)

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    1. Haha, Val, I will be sure to do that!

      I'm super glad he's getting a few rides too. They have lots more people and better facilities than I do, so hopefully the transition will be easier for him. It's funny, you don't realize how much you take your own horses for granted until you're looking to welcome a clueless OTTB!

      RE the feed, he's pretty unfit right now, so the hope is that he'll have a bit more go when he gets back into shape. Although, I'm OK with a really laid-back horse that requires more go than whoa! But I bet if I get him out on XC or take him hunting, it'll be a whoooole different ballgame. ;)

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  3. He is so beautiful! I'm so excited for you! I have known some really calm/quiet OTTBs and nothing was wrong with them. Maybe he's just settled in and feels comfortable. Glad he is doing so well! :)

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    1. Adopted Horse Mom keeps saying what a great brain he has, so hopefully he's just got a relaxed world outlook and is saving the get-up-and-go for when it really counts - like on XC!

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  4. So exciting! I will tell you the pokiness could just be him. Charlie is ridiculously pokey (he gets a very high fat grain along with a 50-50 orchard/alfalfa mix) to the point that I couldn't even get him to canter when I first got him and that was 6 weeks post-track life. Friends who randomly hop on still can't get him to canter at times. Maybe Echo is like Charlie and is out to break the 'hot thoroughbred' stereotype. Either way, can't wait to see video when you get him home!

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    1. You know, I would totally be OK with a pokey TB. And I'm glad to know that they exist!

      If I have trouble keeping weight on, I'm going to be drilling you for your feed schedule for Charlie - sounds like he and Echo may be two peas in a pod in that sense!

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    2. Absolutely! I love talking nutrition! And it's been really neat to see Charlie go from looking like a cow because his hip bones stuck out so much to looking like a real athlete. I'm still working on packing another 100lbs or so on but it's no longer embarrassing to take him off the property. ;) I will also tell you his attitude has never changed - he is still the same horse I bought - the feed and conditioning have not made him any hotter. He's quite possibly the most level-headed horse I've ever had; even when he gets a little wired at the shows, I still feel like he's brain is totally engaged. Very nice feeling.

      I am so excited to follow your journey! Very, very happy for you. :)

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  5. Very excited for you!

    Also the owner of a non-stereotypical tb who can be la-zy... I assume that was the reason for his lack of success at the track. ;D

    I tried to add some pep to his step (and calories) when he first arrived, with a higher protein feed. That backfired completely - let's just say the pendulum swung way too far the other direction...

    What has worked for us is Ukele's Cocosoya oil, 2 oz top dressed on his TC senior rations. Now he's round and silky, has the energy to move out but still maintains his amiable disposition.

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    1. As I said to Sarah, I'm OK with a pokey TB! Better than crazy forward for sure. If the TC Complete doesn't work, or wreaks havoc with his feet (it's higher in NSCs than the Senior, which I do not like), I will be switching back to Senior and try your top dressing option. Mind if I ask why you chose Cocosoya over ground flax? Just curious - I know they're both good but have never used Cocosoya. I'm glad it works well for Val, though!

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    2. Flax has a surprisingly high level of protein, which jacks Val up more than sugar. The supplement (Amplify) that I tried had lots of ground flax. Also - I question the stability of flax... it can easily go bad or at least lose it's potency.

      The Cocosoya is cold calories, keeps well and is very cost effective.

      Ditto on no telling about the 12 lbs of TC senior - Val gets a measly 18 oz. He has to satisfy his gluttony with beet pulp / bran mashes. ;D

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    3. CFS, are you supplementing with another mineral supplement since you're feeding such small quantities of Senior? I ask because every time I talk to TC they remind me to feed at least 5 lbs/day to get enough of everything. Not trying to say that Val is at all undernourished - he looks FAB and what you're feeding is clearly just right for him. I'm just curious about how everyone else has arrived at the right feed mix for their horse is all!

      Good to know about the Cocosoya. I've tried to stay away from soy products in the past because Saga seemed sensitive to them in his feet. I fed ground flax to all the boys for a while and never noticed a difference in behavior - isn't it interesting to see how different feeds affect different horses? I've also stayed away from high calorie supplements because many of them are rice-bran based, and RB has TONS of NSCs. But Echo will be a whole new ball game - for all I know he'll plump up on free choice hay, soaked BP, and a mineral supplement. I sort of hope so - it would be a LOT cheaper than 12 lbs of Senior per day!!!

      Thanks so much for the nutrition input, I really appreciate it!

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    4. I agree - very interesting to see what works for each horse. I don't have access to TC but I did try Charlie on Purina's Equine Sr with not very good results. He seems to do better on a higher fat food like Nutrena's High Fat Performance Pellet or Seminole Wellness Show and Sport (he's on the Seminole now) - both have fat of 12-13% and protein is about 12%. I just started Charlie on the cocosoya as well for the some of the reasons CSF mentioned.

      I have a friend who's had excellent luck with barley instead of beet pulp but have heard barley can give some extra energy in addition to weight.

      And if Echo is one of those TBs that can exist on only hay and beet pulp, I'm going to have to hate you! ;)

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    5. Probably I'm a feed snob, but I don't like the ingredients in the Purina senior. I know lots of people that feed it with good results, though. We don't have Seminole down here but I've heard GREAT things about it, so lucky you! I'll definitely keep the cocosoya in mind and do a little research on it. I love Blogland - where else can you get such great advice on feed!

      And I have NO illusions that Echo will subsist on hay and BP. That was just a fantasy of mine!!

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    6. Rice bran is another ingredient I try to avoid due to protein and instablilty...

      And yes - I also give Val 1 lb of Legends Omega Plus Gold ration balancer along with his TC senior and beet pulp mash. We have next to no grazing so I additionally supplement magnesium, vit E + salt.

      Apparently it takes a village to raise a horse! ;D

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  6. I can't wait!!!
    Please don't tell our boys that Echo gets 12 pounds of Senior! They will feel so abused. They get (gasp) 2 cups a day. Easy keeper Paj gets a cup and a half. Mean horse mommy, mean!

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    1. I probably shouldn't mention that Cash also gets 12 lbs/day (if he eats everything), and Red gets about 8. However, Taran and Oberon, who are easy keepers, get a mere 2 lbs of TC Lite per day. They are super abused, that's for sure!

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  7. I'm so excited for you! He's such a good looking boy, I can hardly wait to see him all muscled up. Coming from the owner of a slightly crazy TB, the prospect of going hacking on a calm, level headed TB seems really appealing. I'm sure he'll fire up some more as soon as he learns how fun his job is.

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    1. I hope that he's eventually going to look like the picture when he's 3, in racing condition. He's just so HANDSOME in that shot! And yeah, having a level-headed horse is not a bad thing. I'm a little spoiled with all of our current horses - I mean, they all have their buttons, but for the most part they are confident and not spooky. Hopefully Echo will end up being similar in temperament!

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  8. I silently gasped when I read 12 pounds... wow! Can you imagine Lilly if she got 12 pounds of feed? OINK! That's a lot of feed! The TB at my barn gets about that, I think. He also gets all the hay he'll eat and he's still a little on the thin side, but he is definitely NOT lazy. Sounds like your boy has an easy going personality and just want to enjoy life. :)

    I'm so excited for you! Only one week left to go!

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    1. Look at the bright side - think of how cheap your feed bill is! With Red, Cash, and Echo, I'm going to go through a 50 lb bag of feed every other day. $$$$$!!!

      Perhaps I should buy stock in Triple Crown?

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  9. My OTTB had no energy, I'd talked to the vet and they thought that he was just flat out lazy. I often joked that they cut out his race horse brain and implanted an old donkey brain instead. But upon talking to his breeders/first owners it sounds like he was just always that way...
    Here's to hoping I can find myself another lazy one on my quest this spring. Because as much as I like to complain about lazy horses...I'd much rather have one than a horse that is go, go, go!

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