Monday, March 14, 2016

Quiessence Part II

Ok, so Quiessence gets an A++++.

Because I had this view:

Floppy ears!

For both rides this weekend. Which is pretty standard, except I've never had so much floppy eared goodness. Majority of both rides had floppy ears. We got to ride outside both days, one warm and sunny, the other cool/windy/rainy. I thought the warm and sunny day might have been a fluke, but the cool and windy day didn't bother him. To be honest, he was too quiet! Attentive, but really super quiet. He usually plays with me a little in the outdoor- hiding behind the bit and being looky. Not this weekend! He was an extra happy camper to work.

Short trail ride with Fiction on Saturday!

It has really helped his in the barn behaviors already - very little stall walking (even though he trashed his stall Friday night, aka tromping all over his hay instead of eating it). There was a pee spot and poop piles Saturday morning, instead of the usual churned unidentifiable mess. He ate all of his breakfast, for the first time ever (except when we used a feedbag). He usually loses interest or gets distracted before he finishes. Instead, he ate all of his breakfast, and stood there, waiting quietly, for me to get the horses all set to turn out.

When he was in the barn on both days: he called a couple times, but nothing like the frantic screaming he's prone to doing. He stood quietly in the cross ties and even went to sleep (while alone in the barn!). It was warm enough Saturday that he sweated quite a bit under his saddle, so I hosed him off when we were done. Since we've been at this barn, I usually have to have a discussion with him about walking into the wash stall, and staying in it, before I can actually get around to hosing whatever part of him needed washing. Saturday, he walked in, took a quick peek, then stood quietly while I fiddled with the hose and getting the right temp, etc. Then I made him stand in the barn with horses going in and out for probably an hour while he dried fully.

I am super happy with Quiessence. It worked a little too well!

So the dosage he got: The bag said to feed 1 scoop per 250 lbs of body weight until a difference is noted. Then the horse should get 0.5 scoop per 250lbs of body weight as maintenance. Penn weighs about 1000 lbs, so he should have gotten 4 scoops to start. I couldn't fit 4 scoops into his baggies (I use snack size and there was already a scoop or two of his other stuff in there), so he got 3 scoops instead. I noticed a difference already (I see him almost every day and know him pretty well by this point. Also, other people like BO noticed a difference). I filled his supplement baggies according to the following plan: 3 scoops for the first week, and then 2 for the next two weeks. I'm hoping that at the end of those two weeks I can drop him down to 1 scoop for maintenance (especially since 3 scoops did the job so quickly). At the 1 scoop level, I would buy the 50lb bucket from SmartPak, which is 400 scoops. With my USEf discount, it would cost $207.05, or $0.52 per day, or about $188.93 per year to feed it to him. I am looking into a couple cheaper options, but for now I'm going to stick with Quiessence. It comes in pellet form, and I love pellets and gladly pay more for that.

Just two short ride recaps:

I ran through the trot work from 1-3 on Saturday and had our first successful leg yield zig zag! And after he got through that, on the short side he got extra bouncy and puffed in the trot! Super excited. Along with floppy ears, he was so light in the bridle in canter, and fairly light in trot. All his canter work was great, his trot work was good, and we went for a short walk in the woods with Hawk ad Fiction.

I rode the entire 1-3 test on Sunday (except the stretchy trot because I forgot it... I see some errors in my future), and it went really really well. I was excited that he made it through all the canter work- I've been afraid that there's too much canter. The left lead canter shallow loop was tough for him, and I had to put in 4-5 trot steps at the simple change from right to left to make sure he got the correct lead. I'm not sure how many trot steps are allowed before points start being majorly deducted. From my previous education, it's anything greater than one. Though from watching other people ride that part of the test, it looks like 3 or 4 might be acceptable? I'm sure a better change with more steps is better than a hurried one with one step.

I leave you with what I found when I got to the barn on Sunday: Penn sleeping in a pile of hay that Cappy the pony was trying to eat.

"Nom nom, eating and laying in hay while the disgruntled pony looks on."

Penn thought about getting up when I got close enough.
Cappy was already coming to see me to look for treats.

Nah, Penn decided to give the hay a good roll before getting up.
Cappy is still hopeful for treats.

Penn gets up, which exposes the very nice fluffy green hay on the ground.
Cappy says, "Nevermind! I can get to the hay!"


  1. Wow that was really fast acting. I might have to look into that. Thanks

    1. I think it might take the nerves out of your guy and let him be more open to learning! Dover has the wee 5 lb bag that you should be able to get a month out of for $25 or so. Smartpak doesn't have that one, but you can get it for a decent price in Smartpaks.

  2. Wow. Crazy that it worked that fast. I'm looking at using something like a Perfect Prep on Pig for shows. He's not crazy, and nothing he throws at me isn't handle-able, but I think for his own mental well being some calming assistance when I need to put pressure on is just a good idea.

    From my experience with the canter-trot-canter change, I think you're okay up to 3 steps. More than that and they start hitting you pretty hard. That said, I'd rather take the hit from taking too long than take a hit from a crappy transition.

    1. I'm impressed that it worked that fast too! Though from what I've seen of other supplements, if you don't notice a difference in the first week or two, you're not going to.

      I feel similarly about giving it to Penn- I don't need the help while riding him, I'm happy to manage that on my own. But he gets anxious whenever he doesn't know what he should be doing and paces (why else would he be uppity on the ground and literally sigh when I get on and put him to work? I've had the same nervous reaction when he doesn't understand under saddle too). There's no reason he needs to be nervous, so I want to try to nip it in the bud before he gets a complex!

      That's probably a good number of steps- 1 is probably exceptional, 3 is good. But like you, I think a good change with too many steps is better than a crappy change (or not changing at all, which is my risk right now).

    2. I've actually seen more complaints doing 1-2 steps ("not enough steps") than I have doing 5-6 steps actually! I'd say do at least 3 no matter what, up to 5 or 6 is okay. After that you run the risk of getting called out on it, but like you said, more steps with relaxation and throughness > less steps with tension or an error.

    3. Huh, that's interesting! I guess it makes it more about a successful transition to trot and a separate successful transition to canter than simply getting to the other lead. What about the number of steps through walk? I've always tried to make it happen ASAP, but I've watched several riders who linger in it much longer than I did.

    4. A judge told me 3-4 steps when she also told me not to walk it the first time I did it. Durrh, I really love errors in tests. They're kind of my thing.

  3. Hmmm, I have never tried the Quiessence, might have to look into that for the Baconator. He looks so cozy on his hay pile!

    1. Well this was my review of it 4 days in, so I might revisit in a couple weeks to make sure this is still my review, haha. He was sooo cozy in his hay pile! And he's found his inner "badass" because the pony kept trying to eat the hay from around Penn, but he'd pin his ears and that was enough to chase the pony away, hahaha. I felt bad bothering him, but that was some nice hay that's better off in a belly that smashed into the wet ground!

  4. Glad you had such success with it!

  5. That's amazing he had such fast success with it! So happy that was all it took to get him a little more with the program!

  6. I have Courage on the cheap feed store magnesium and I think I might actually keep it. I'm not super in to supplements in general, but this one makes me go hmmmmmmm instead of meh.