May 23, 2016

The Trot Out

Trotting out for the vet is an integral part of this crazy thing we call endurance. Like any skill, it is one that can be taught and Gem has come a long way from her shuffling gait of the past.

While there is no rule against someone else trotting your horse out for you, I have always internally judged those who don't do it themselves. I'm not sure why, but for some reason it always felt a little wrong for the rider to not jog the 100 ft down and back.

Of course, since I never had anyone around to do it for me, it was never an option anyway.

Two weeks post 100 and into her pasture rest period. Wondering why we aren't having fun on the trail anymore
That was until Biltmore. I had planned to do all my own trot outs unless my energy was such that I was impeding Gem's ability to trot out well and had warned Liz of this in advance. I had figured I might need her at the last two holds, but then I came in off the 3rd loop extremely overheated to the point of being dizzy and I didn't want to hold Gem up by taking the time to strip 4 layers and guzzle ice cold fluid. I asked Liz if she would mind taking Gem to the vet and, being super crew, she didn't mind at all.

Once I was cooler by about 15 degrees, seriously why on earth did I wear 3 shirts and a heavy winter vest??, I wandered over to the vetting area and I watched as the vet examined Gem and then watched the trot out.

And I will fully admit that I was hooked on having someone else do it and it had nothing to do with me being lazy or not being able to jog the 100 ft down and back.

For starters, I actually got to watch my mare trot. I never get to do this even at home. I'm the only one who handles or rides Gem, so I never get to see what she looks like. When performing the trot out, you need to move out and stay focused on forward motion to get the horse moving freely beside you. You don't really get a chance to watch them move.

Two weeks post 100. She looks amazing and the shine is undeniable. I can't get over how shiny she is!! She was galloping around her pasture having fun. 
Standing back by the vet, I could actually watch Gem move and it was great. I could see for myself that she wasn't lame. That she was happy and moving freely. I didn't have to wonder if she was hiding a lameness. I could see for myself that she was dong just fine. Likewise, if she did have a lameness, I would have been able to see that as well.

I also got to actually talk to the vet for the first time ever. I mean like a real, interesting and educational talk. You don't get a lot of time in the vetting area. You need to move along to allow others through and to take advantage of the rest for your horse and yourself. With someone else holding and trotting, I could actually take 3 minutes and discuss Gem, her behavior, her ability and her personality with the vet.

I loved it so much that I had Liz do it for my for the remainder of the ride. I went over with her each time and watched, took a picture and chatted with the vet and learned a lot.

Pete is also looking really good. Shiny and happy on his Triple Crown Lite. He has lost some weight which is nice. Dusty commented that Pete looks like a couch potato using dieting to control his weight whereas Gem looks like an athlete. That is one heck of a compliment from the hubby who typically calls Gem my boring brown horse. 

For future rides when I am back to being solo, I will be back to doing it all myself and that is fine. I am capable of trotting my horse out, but the luxury of having someone else do it isn't so much for my own stamina and physical capability, but for the education it gives me watching her move and talking with the vet. If I ever have crew again, I will take full advantage of letting them do it.


  1. It's definitely nice to be able to watch your horse trot out!

    1. It was! Wyatt needs to hurry up and grow so he can do it for me

  2. I'd be happy to have someone trot for me. I had to at my last ride as my ankle gave out and I was limping walking let alone jogging.

    1. Oh no! That was my fear during the ride. Then I just really liked it.