September 29, 2014


Sunday morning I awoke in a funk. I needed to ride and with only three weekends standing between us and our first 50 miler, I wanted to get one last 20 mile ride in. I had zero motivation and just wanted to stay home playing with my son. The hubby reminded me that it is times like this that makes it "endurance" and not just trail riding and to get up and go ride.

I made it to the barn and the new BM (barn manager) came over as I was backing the truck up to the trailer.

"I was going to call you this morning. We need to talk." (BM will be in blue)

Oh...good...I'm getting kicked out of one of the best barns I have ever been at and it has only been a week. Glad I left the house this morning.

"Uh oh...what's wrong?" ( I am in red)

"Nothing is wrong. The horses are settling in great and they are easy to work with."


"Now I've been thinking ever since you moved in about this whole thing and if you want her to carry you 50 miles, I think she needs more groceries."

"Um...has she gotten skinny in the last week? I think she is really at a perfect weight right now unless she has dropped some. She has plenty of grass out there to eat."

"No, she hasn't lost any and she looks really great right now, but 50 miles is a long way and she needs more fuel. What do you think?"

"Well, I agree that I'd rather her go into it with reserves, but I don't want her fat. She is such an easy keeper and got fat last winter off air. She really doesn't need a whole lot as long as there is grass for her to eat. Do you want me to come over on my lunch break and feed her?"

"Absolutely not. That's what I am here for. She isn't getting any grain right now. Maybe a handful to get the stall horses in off the pasture in the morning. I think she needs grain."

"I have bags of grain from when we had to buy our own. Do you want me to drop them off and you can use that?"

"Nope. You can have all the grain here that you want. She is super easy to catch, so why don't I just bring her in with the stall horses and put her in an empty stall to feed her. Then when she is done, I will put her back out. Would that work for you?"

"Yeah, but that seems like an awful lot of work for you"

"Hush. That's what I am here for"

The BM is such a friendly, kind, good hearted man. He puts the welfare of the horse first and will do anything he can to make sure each horse and healthy and happy on the farm. I did warn him that I don't want her fat. She is pretty darn close to perfect right now and I am planning on starting to taper a good bit, so her work load is going down. I agree though that some extra energy and reserves would be a good thing leading up to this adventure.

I've just never been somewhere where they are so willing to do what is best.


  1. Thoughts:
    Muscles are fired by using the fat stored in the cells. Your mare probably needs to be about a 5.5 to have the reserves she needs to do a 50 (in my opinion). The only thing I would suggest is you do some research on what the BM is going to feed her. From listening to Saiph and Liz, a horse can lose 50 - 75 pounds on a hard 50. It would be better to have that in reserve then for her to have any metabolic distress.

    And it is really refreshing to find a BM that is concerned about the weight of their boarded horses, rather than pinching each flake of alfalfa for whatever they can get from it.

    Good luck with your upcoming 50.

    1. Karen - she rests at a lovely 6 on the BCS and that is with a *lot* of conditioning. The winter before we moved from WI she wasn't ridden all that much due to my son being born and the constant sub 0 temps. The BM up there fed everyone the exact same based on the hardest keeper regardless of need and she very happily ended the winter at a lovely 7.5 bordering on 8 in the cold without a blanket. The girl knows how to store fat :) To say the least she is a very easy keeper which is why I am slightly worried he will have her fat in no time. He did say that if I felt is was too much he would cut back to once daily or down to nothing again.

    2. WOW. I was not expecting a 6. I was thinking from the BM response she was between 4.5 and 5.

      I'm laughing my ass off right now.

  2. That is one awesome BM right there! We need to clone him! ;)