In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.

Torn

Oh, geez.

Consolation looks good.  She feels good.  And Fandango is this weekend.  I’m actually considering going for a slow 50.  Considering, debating, wrestling, wrangling…  What to do?  Is she ready?  Better to wait?

Reasons to go:

  • A month ago, just before she went NQR, I’d have said she was ready.  We’d enjoyed a couple 30-35 mile weekends and one 28-mile ride.  Horses don’t lose much conditioning in a month, and Consolation’s rest has been active (turnout plus 30-60 min. of light exercise most days, ranging from handwalks to ring work to hacks).  Also, I know my own tendency to worry overmuch about conditioning. 
  • Her body condition is excellent.
  • Her hooves look good, her boots fit, she’s landing decidedly heel-first, and I got her some comfort pads just in case.
  • Her attitude is normal.  She plays and bucks at liberty, and is relaxed and forward (not fast, but that’s standard for her) under saddle.
  • Nothing was ever really, definitely WRONG…just Not Quite Right…

Reasons to wait:

  • NQR is still NQR.  It matters.  Consolation seems back to normal, but I haven’t tested her on a real conditioning ride.  I wish I had one more week to experiment, but I don’t.
  • We’ve done a total of 20 miles of “conditioning” in the last month — two 6-mile rides and one 8-miler.  Everything else has been very light activity.  Also, I’d like to have climbed more hills with her before her first ride of the season.
  • She’s still acting hypersensitive when saddled.  This is not uncommon for her and doesn’t disturb me terribly in and of itself; nevertheless, it’s worth considering.  I can’t locate any back pain, but it could still be there, or it could be be ulcers, or it could be just “her.”
  • EHV-1?  It seems quite unlikely that an exposed horse would be at an endurance ride and that any given horse would perish, even if there was an exposed horse present.  On the other hand, all the ponies all share water troughs, have the same vets’ fingers in their mouths, etc.  All things considered, I don’t think this is a good reason not to go.

So.  What to do?  I’d like to do the ride for the fun of it, and for its conditioning effect on Consolation.  There’s no reason to miss it if taking it on won’t do any harm.  But I’m perfectly willing to wait until the next ride (June 25) if that’s safer and wiser.  Wish I knew…

Thoughts?

Just for fun, here she is modeling her new rump rug.

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11 responses

  1. my first thought in the Troubleshooting post, when you said her behavior was similar around this same time last year – hormones and heat cycles. just curious if you’ve taken her temperature at all? maybe she has a low-grade… something.
    If she has no fever, I might lean towards doing the endurance ride. if boredom in training is her problem, a ride would likely change that. If she acts the same way at the ride, that would maybe tell you something… or just add another piece to the puzzle!
    Robert Washington had a good post on EHV-1 on Ridecamp just yesterday, did you see it?
    don’t you just wish the horses could tell us outright what they are thinking and feeling!

    May 23, 2011 at 7:44 am

    • Thanks, Merri. I hoped you’d comment on this one. I agree that boredom is almost certainly a factor, especially since we nearly always condition alone and in the same ol’ places. That has to change! Estrus issues are certainly suspect here…

      No temperature issues (or any other sign of illness), nor any possiblity of exposure (thank goodness!) I’ll go check out Robert’s post — I didn’t see it yet.

      May 23, 2011 at 7:49 am

  2. Jackie

    You can always pull if things don’t go right at the ride.

    May 23, 2011 at 8:42 am

  3. You could try the limited distance and see how she does, use it as an acid test… so to speak.. Either way, I am sure you will make the right call.

    May 23, 2011 at 9:05 am

    • Hmm, I considered it, but I can’t get excited about spending so much effort and $$$ for an LD these days! 😦

      May 23, 2011 at 9:08 am

  4. sj

    I’m a great believer in small steps at a time and erring on the side of caution.
    Thing to do is to compare the cost of the worst case scenario if you DON’T go with the worst case scenario if you DO go. Gives you a good sense of what the risk is, I think.

    If it was me, I never go into a fight with any doubts about my readiness for it. I don’t want to guess I’m ready, or hope I’m ready, I want to KNOW I’m ready. A loss can set you back a lot farther than a pass will.

    Just my opinion.
    🙂

    sj

    May 23, 2011 at 10:13 am

    • I hear you all, and I tend to think the same way (comparing risks/worst case scenarios). On the other hand, at some point you have to acknowledge that ANY endurance ride is a risk. Each ride entry requires a judgement call. Does that mean we shouldn’t engage in the sport?

      Methinks not everyone would answer the same.

      May 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm

  5. My opinion…If I thought there were any risks, I would not subject Consolation to them at this point. She is such a special mare. The differences in her are signals. I’m sure you are anxious to get back in the groove, but is it worth it? I too, think you will make the right decision.

    May 23, 2011 at 10:32 am

  6. Rosanne

    I have to agree with the poster who said to compare risks when making your decision. Rest is always a great healer for a horse that is NQR. I’m sure you will make the right decision for you and your horse.

    On a side note…I just read an interview with Al Dunning (well-known in my neck of the woods). He was at the show in Ogden and ended up with sick horses. He has spent over $11,000 on meds for these horses so far. I can’t make the link work-but if you’d like to read the interview-it’s on Horse Talk with Juli Thorson.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm

  7. Dom

    You won’t know until you try, right? If she doesn’t feel right first loop, you can RO.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm

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