From Endurance to Dressage
Not things I eat, but the five things my horses eat every day ... Click images for captions and to enlarge.
1. Both boys get alfalfa hay as the bulk of their roughage diet. Our alfalfa is bright green with an even mixture of stems and leaves. Speedy gets alfalfa/oat cubes at night to help eliminate waste. I think he actually prefers the cubes to loose hay.
2. As a supplementary roughage, both boys also get approximately 1½ pounds of soaked beet pulp each day. I like beet pulp for several reasons: it adds calories without amping them up. I soak mine with a lot of water which is great in the summer time, and just as helpful in the winter when water consumption tends to go down. I can also "hide" electrolytes in the beet pulp during the summer when needed.
3. Once the beet pulp has soaked, I add another pound or so of rice bran to each boy's ration as an added fat source. Sydney seems to need the extra fat more than Speedy does, but since Speedy's weight is just right, the pound or so he gets must be helpful. At the very least, it's not causing any harm.
4. Both boys also have access to salt 24/7. I know Speedy eats his every single day, but Sydney doesn't seem to have much of a taste for it. Speedy starts his beet pulp/rice bran mash, and within 2 minutes, I know because I've timed it, he begins to alternate eating his mash with licking the salt rock. He only licks the salt when he's eating his mash. I think he really likes his food salty. Sydney just pushes the block around. He also had a Himalayan Salt Rock, but he showed no interest in it.
5. The last thing my boys eat are a few treats each day while I am grooming and saddling. Most of the time they get the Manna Pro Bite Size Nuggets, but lately they've been hooked on Purina's Horse Treats. I gave these a try myself. They were pretty tasty and have a distinct carrot flavor. They also have an airy crunch much like Cheetos do.
And that's it. That's the whole gamut of what my boys get. Sydney no longer gets a daily calmer; he's actually better now than when he was on it. Go figure. Neither of them require any kind of joint maintenance or other health-related supplement, thankfully. I hope we can keep it that way.
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
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: