From Endurance to Dressage
Putting on a Few Pounds
Well hallelujah. Speedy has finally put on a few pounds. It took all summer, but he finally filled out under my leg again. It was when I saw this picture from our show a week or two ago that I noticed.
We all know that I've got some weird position thing going on in that photo, but ignore that. If you'll notice, Speedy's badonkadonk is looking nicely rounded, and he actually has a bit of a tummy.
Here he is in early May when I really started to worry.
He's obviously not emaciated or anything, but I like the flesh to cover the ribs and not stop half way. By mid-June, his ribs were covered in flesh, but just barely. He looked like this.
When he went to see the vet in early August, Dr. Tolley gave him a 4 on the Henneke Body Condition Scoring System. I am not comfortable with a 4. I want my horses flirting with a 6. Contrary to what I thought, the doctor assured me that he looked quite healthy and that there was no problem with Speedy's weight.
Here he is this week.
No, he is not pregnant. This is just an awkward place to take conformation photos as his front feet are in a hole. That makes his belly seem lower than it is. But since all three photos were taken in the same place, it's a good way to see the change in his form.
I don't know that he's put more on weight since Dr. Tolley last saw him, but he's definitely a bit rounder than he was earlier in the summer. Dr. Tolley agreed that he could easily carry a few more pounds, but putting them on was going to be a challenge.
Speedy already gets as much alfalfa as he'll eat, 3 pounds of LMF Senior each morning, 1 and a half pounds of beet pulp with another pound and a half of LMF in the evenings, and 2 scoops of Platinum Performance. Dr. Tolley said that if I really wanted him rounder, my next option was to add in a fat source that doesn't have any volume. When I've fed him rice bran, he just eats less hay. Speedy just can't fit any more in.
So far, I think I've settled on flaxseed oil, but I haven't ordered it yet. Platinum Performance has a product that I want to investigate further - Healthy Weight. But as with all things from PP, it's expensive.
If you've tried it, or something similar, let me know. Now that Speedy is nice and round, I'd hate for him to lose it all once it starts to cool off.
9/8/2017 07:33:07 am
He's look awesome!!!
9/8/2017 12:45:28 pm
Better, for sure. :0)
9/8/2017 07:53:19 am
I have the same problem with T... he just won't eat any more, no matter what I put in front of him - and he doesn't eat nearly as much as Speedy. Curious what others have to say, and I'm reticent to put oil or something like Cool Calories in his feed because horses really aren't designed for stuff like that.
9/8/2017 12:47:17 pm
That's why I am being slow to choose. Cool calories is made with vegetable oil which concerns me. If I am going to give an oil, I'd like it to be of good quality.
9/8/2017 09:34:59 am
My name is Aryelle Stafford and I am currently starting a website called Better Dressage Scores (betterdressagescores.com). The website is an online dressage show where riders can enter for less than $20, film their ride at "A," and then get feedback from a rated judge as well as earn points toward year end awards. Dressage riders as well as eventers can enter.
9/8/2017 12:47:59 pm
I checked out your site, and it looks quite interesting. let me think about it. :0)
9/8/2017 09:46:27 am
Very timely that I came across your post today. We have an older Arabian that we're trying to put a few pounds on before colder weather sets in. Also not emaciated at all, just needs to be a little rounder. Is there any way for you to feed a higher calorie grain? I also don't like feeding too much grain or dealing with oil or powders, so I've been looking for a feed that has more calories in a smaller volume. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I've decided on anything yet. Good luck with your decision!
9/8/2017 12:50:35 pm
I don't feed any grain. Beet pulp and LMF are roughages, but he simply can't consume any more "food." If I increase the concentrated feeds, he quits eating the hay (which I pay for in my board). The only way to add more calories is in a super dense form that doesn't add to the volume of feed. Too bad he doesn't like peanut butter! lol
9/11/2017 06:46:43 am
9/11/2017 08:07:08 am
You got me all excited until I crunched the numbers ... :0)
Comments are closed.
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%: