From Endurance to Dressage
Considering that I live in a pretty "horsey" community, we're not exactly brimming with feed stores. We do have a Tractor Supply, but it's a 30 minute drive (or more). There are also two or three other feed stores to my west, but they too are a solid 30 minutes away. The river corridor, where my boys live, is home to at least a thousand horses. With such a concentrated group of equestrians, you would think we'd have more feed stores nearby. It's a good thing that the one closest to the barn is fabulous.
Fred C. Gilbert Farm and Ranch Supply is a short, ten minute drive from the barn. It's also directly on the way to the barn from work. For me, convenience trumps most everything else; within reason of course. It's also family owned and operated. Whether or not that's the reason for the excellent customer service, it keeps me coming back for more.
Even though I love Fred C Gilbert's, I hate taking the time to stop in. Most months, I pick a weekday when I think my boys need a day off, and I buy everything that I think I'll need for the entire month. That usually means two bags of this, two bags of that, throw in two of those, and maybe a small bag of that one.
The first week of the month tends to be pretty crowded as last month's feed is still in the rotation. Both horses share the rice bran, but the Senior CarboRaider is all Speedy's. The beet pulp is mostly for Izzy; Speedy gets a handful. They both get the peppermint wafers as well as the Horse Guard Vitamins.
About a year ago, maybe more, I started realizing that "stockpiling" posed some small risks, namely stale or old feed. Before I bring in the new bags, I always move my old bags and sweep the area clean. I then bring in the new bags and place them in the back against the wall. The old bags get placed in front. While I rarely keep bags for more than two months, it can be easy to lose track of which bag is oldest.
About 6 months ago I realized that it was possible to keep shuffling the same bag to the back, especially on a month where something is on sale and I buy three or four bags of the same thing. I keep a Sharpie on hand to make notes on my calendar, so I decided to start writing the dates on the corner of each bag when I buy it.
Besides helping me use the bags from oldest to newest, it also helps me know how many bags I should buy each month. As the seasons change, I feed more or less depending on my boys' needs that season. By noting the date I purchased something, I can tell how quickly I am using it. It seems like a good idea, and since I do that same thing in my own refrigerator, I was surprised that I hadn't done it sooner.
Anybody else have a system for feeding the old stuff first?
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%