The Eastern Mojave Preserve in California just south of Las Vegas, was the site of the Eastern Mojave XP Endurance Ride February 8-11, 2018. The XP rides are put on by Dave and Ann Nicholson and are always multi-day rides over historic routes. Many related to old pony express routes. They are always scenic and this one through the desert is no exception. Interesting rock formations and lots of Joshua trees and other desert plants abound. And beautiful desert sunsets.
The weather in the desert can change quickly and drastically – and it did! Mornings were cool and day times moderate to warm for the season. But the last night found the temperatures dropping and the wind chill picking up as the winds were gusting at 50 mph or more!
The last morning it started with a wind chill of 27 degrees…
There are several factors to consider in this kind of weather with your horse. First off they need to warm up more slowly to avoid muscle cramps/spasms and we started out a much slower pace than the previous days. Normally that kind of cold I would use a rump rug to keep the gluteal muscles warm, but with the strong winds I would have had a rump sail! Getting them to drink is a bit tricky when it is so cool and the winds dehydrate horse and human quicker. Luckily we use Equi-winner patches to balance our horses’ electrolytes and have their thirst mechanism work properly. So Desi stayed well hydrated. We do give apples and carrots for natural sugars, electrolytes and moisture.
At the lunch stop we put blankets on her and kept her out of the wind as much as possible, again to prevent muscle spasms and maintain body heat. After lunch the wind died down and the temperature warmed up nicely. Desi knew we were headed back to camp so she was a handful even though it was her 4th day in a row.
Desi came in 2nd place every day and looked and moved great!
She is one amazing Missouri Fox Trotter taking home top honors in the Limited Distance Event
Our program is simple. We feed grass hay, Thrive Feed, Redmond Salt. We use Equi-winner electrolyte patches and Matrix Mushrooms for joint health. We don’t push electrolytes ever – we offer them and the horses will lick them out of your hand if they need them, same with the salt. Our horses are barefoot and wear hoof boots during training and competition. They live in a large turnout with a wash running through which keeps their hooves tough and gives them some level of self-exercise.