Saturday, June 29, 2024

Confessions of a Tevis Volunteer (Or: Why I Keep Coming Back) Blog - Full Story

August 9, 2014
By Elizabeth Speth

The annual Western States Trail Ride, popularly called the Tevis Cup, is a grueling 24-hour horseback ride over 100 miles of exceptionally beautiful and punishing terrain. Sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference, it is a horse-centric event, designed around the safety and well-being of the animal.

It’s an amateur race against the clock, no cash prizes, only a coveted buckle. Started in 1955, it is considered the founding event in endurance racing, and is still known as the most difficult. Over the years, it has evolved into something that requires nearly a thousand people to make sure up to 200 riders and their horses make the journey safely.

The psychology of the riders — why would they do such a thing? — is the subject of another blog. They are a breed apart. The training of their magnificent steeds for such a trial is also another discussion entirely.

All I’m qualified to address is the volunteerism aspect of this. For a large handful of years — I’m fuzzy on the exact number out of sheer fatigue — my husband and I have braved miles of rocky, narrow roads to report for duty in the early afternoon at the rugged Francisco’s outpost, at Mile 86. We remain there until the pre-dawn hours of the morning, sometimes pulling out as the sky begins to lighten. This is where we put the exhausted horses and riders back together, hydrate, refresh and encourage them, and send them on to the last part of their journey. This is where we marvel at the freshness of the front-runners, who breeze in and out and look as though they are in the middle of a leisurely ten-mile trail ride. All of them have come from the high peaks near Lake Tahoe, and will end their journey in Auburn, CA, if they make it that far...

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Thursday, June 27, 2024

Mongolia Trek on Horseback for Charity - Full Article

By Merri Melde - June 19, 2024

Seventeen intrepid riders from five foreign countries gathered in Ulaanbataar for the ultimate horse riding trek: 3,600 kilometers (just over 2,200 miles) across Mongolia in 84 days. The idea, developed by Julie Veloo, combined ultimate adventure with fundraising for the Veloo Foundation, serving underprivileged people in Mongolia. The trek for horse and riders across Mongolia began at the end of April, 2022.

Gobi Gallop

Just 12 years ago, however, Veloo had never been astride a horse. She tried it for the first time at age 50 when she and her husband, Chelvan Veloo, first moved to Mongolia.

“I was already learning the language,” says Julie. “I realized if I was going to understand this culture and history, I was going to have to sit on a horse. I thought, ‘If these kids can do it, how hard can it be?’ Twenty-however-many times of falling off later—it can be hard! But I was determined to ride.”

Her persistence paid off, and by 2013, she and a group of six friends rode 707 kilometers for fun across the Gobi Desert over nine days, in what officially became known as the inaugural Gobi Gallop...

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Sunday, June 02, 2024

Forage-Focused Diets for Sport Horses - Full Article

May 10, 2024
Posted by Madeline Boast, MSc
Regularly monitor your horse’s condition and workload to ensure his energy requirements are being met with a forage-focused diet this show season.

Q. My 7-year-old Thoroughbred has recently started training as an event horse. We’ve found that he does best on a forage-focused diet, but I’m worried that might not be enough as he starts his first year of competition. Should I consider changing his diet? How can I be certain his needs are being met with a forage-focused diet through the competition season?

A. Forage-focused diets are fantastic choices for many horse owners because horses have evolved to consume a fibrous diet. If a forage-focused diet is best for your Thoroughbred, there is no need to change that simply because he will be competing this year. However, there are a few steps you can take to ensure his diet supports his increased nutritional needs. The Base Diet for Horses

Typically, dry hay comprises most of a horse’s diet throughout the year. Unlike forage products such as hay cubes, hay does not come with a nutritional label...

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