UPDATE - ....we did 32 km in 2.40 (12 km ph) and he came home with a 42 heart rate so we got our first grade 1! The only non shod and non shaved horse around....Margaretha (3.3.11)
I bought Alex a nine year old 16’2” Irish draft X thoroughbred gelding 9 months ago. I bought him with the hope of doing some long distance riding with him. He came in shoes and as I always have had ‘barefoot’ horses I wanted him out of shoes too.
When riding him he was very right footed and I often came home with aches in my left shoulder. He was definitely not very balanced. My trimmer at the time did not want to take his shoes off and said I needed a farrier for that. As for getting him conditioned she was pretty unclear of what I needed to do. I was so disappointed that I started to look for another trimmer.
When I found Lindsay I was impressed how supportive and positive she was from the start even when it took her 45 min to take Alex shoes off! Although she said he had good strong hooves she thought me a bit ambitious about my long distance dreams.
Lindsay advised me to buy Alex some Old Mac boots and we started to build up slowly. Lindsay was very clear about how many sessions I needed to do with 4 boots, 2 boots and no boots per week and this gave me a lot of confidence. Whenever I was insecure about something she was always a phone call away.
Our first 25 km we did with all 4 boots on, the going was nice and dry and we did it in 2 hours 10 minutes. Our next ride was our first competitive 32km in Ludlow. We started out in boots but it was so muddy that after the first 10km one boot was totally destroyed and the others were about to slip off so I took them off and gave them to my crew. We did the next 22 km without boots! We were having a great time we came in at 2hours 55 minutes doing an average speed of 11.10 km per hour. At the end vetting he had a heart rate of 46 seconds a minute and trotted up beautifully getting him a grade 2.
After only 6 trimmings and with careful conditioning management and advice Alex has become a well balanced, fit and happy horse and although he will never be able to do more than a 40 km ride, just because he is too big, he loves his barefoot long rides. I have found Lindsay to be extremely professional in every department. The results of her hoof work and her advice to me have had excellent results with my horses. In addition to that, her willingness to always be there for my horses has been a great support. Alex and Margaretha
Copyright (c) Lindsay Cotterell DAEP 2010
AMAZING ALEX AND MARGARETHA COMING HOME WITH A GRADE 1 AFTER COMPLETING A
32 K. HE FINISHED AHEAD OF THE WHOLE FIELD WITH THE LOWEST RECOVERY HEART RATE
ALEX HAS SINCE FULFILLED MARGARETHA'S ASPIRATIONS AND FINISHED A 40 K WITH A GOOD TIME !
UPDATE - AUGUST 2011
ALEX AND MARGARETHA HAVE PROGRESSED FROM NOVICE, ADVANCE TO OPEN -
AMAZING ACHIEVEMENT !!!