I know what you are thinking – gaining weight AND getting fit?? Yes, that’s what is happening – not to me, but to Copper.
When I purchased Copper, I had a pre-purchase exam (PPE) done by a vet. Part of the exam is a body scale ranking where weight, fat and muscle figure into a score. Copper didn’t score highly on the chart, the vet advised that he was going to need weight in order to be able to comfortably do the riding I would be doing.
Finding the right balance of calories/fat to match what he is burning with exercise while keeping him nourished enough to not lose weight is a bit of a balancing act. Copper is turned out in a field full of grass, he’s getting unlimited hay, breakfast, lunch and dinner – which is a combo of grain, hay stretcher, alfalfa, & beet pulp – plus some corn & coconut oil – all good stuff to help him build muscle and gain some fat.
Once the nutrition has been figured out, now comes the exercise. Similar to humans, if you aren’t used to exercising, you can’t just go and run a marathon. You have to train for that. You have to gradually build up to those 20 miles. The same is true for horses. Copper is being lightly worked between myself, my trainer, our barn manager and a few child riders. How is he adjusting to the increased work load?? He’s loving it!
This past week he participated in kids’ week where he was ridden during some group lessons by children – he loved the lessons and all the attention the kids were giving him. I’m riding him 3 times a week and lunging him the other days. Today we worked on the lunge line and followed it up with him and I jogging around the arena together. By the end of the 25 min of work, he was tired – so was I lol, but his muscles are starting to appear so I know we are on the right track.
He is such an amazing soul, I’m so glad he’s loving his life with me so far.❤️🐴