Practical Horseman - - Rassing's lonoir -

NICK­NAME: Lono OC­CU­PA­TION: Dres­sage HOME­TOWNS: Hay­mar­ket, Vir­ginia, and Wellington, Florida BA­SIC STATS: 13-year-old, 17.2-hand Dan­ish Warm­blood geld­ing SIRE: De Noir DAM: Lo­rani LONOIR’S PEO­PLE OWN­ERS: Olivia Lagoy-Weltz and Mary Anne McPhail RIDER: Olivia Lagoy-Weltz GROOM: Ni­cole Ardito-Ng

AS­SIS­TANT GROOM/EX­ER­CISE RIDER: Micah An­drews BACK­GROUND: When Olivia im­ported Lono from Den­mark as a 7-year-old, he was ex­tremely sen­si­tive both on the ground and un­der sad­dle. Flags snap­ping in the wind es­pe­cially set him off, she says. “We’d turn across the di­ag­o­nal, for ex­am­ple, to do an ex­tended can­ter and he’d squeal and ac­cel­er­ate, then launch into the air at X.”

In the barn, Lono was ini­tially very head-shy and fre­quently pulled back on the cross-ties. Olivia spent a long time teach­ing him to lower his head to be bri­dled. She also learned to choose his sup­port team care­fully. “He’s very spe­cific about how he’s han­dled. Any new vet or far­rier has to earn his trust.”

As Lono ma­tured, his con­fi­dence grew and his be­hav­ior im­proved dra­mat­i­cally. He now adores at­ten­tion from those within his trusted cir­cle. “He loves go­ing on the road

and be­ing the only horse that we’re fo­cused on. He knows he’s spe­cial.”

Now that he has reached the top level of the sport, Olivia com­petes him only as much as is nec­es­sary to qual­ify for ma­jor in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions. “I don’t want to put any un­nec­es­sary wear and tear on him,” she ex­plains. Af­ter the Florida sea­son or trips abroad, she gives him three weeks off from train­ing. “But then he gets bored,” she says, so she grad­u­ally brings him back into work.

DAILY ROU­TINE: Lono thrives on a pre­dictable rou­tine and a sim­ple train­ing pro­gram. In ad­di­tion to ring­work, Olivia rides him al­most daily on a hilly loop around her 20-acre prop­erty. “It’s good for his brain and his body,” she says.

Lono’s team does lots of car­rot stretches to keep his body loose. They also “re­ally dig in” when they curry him to re­lax and loosen his mus­cles. He par­tic­u­larly en­joys this on the gluteal mus­cles of his rump. “He will wig­gle around and po­si­tion you where he likes to be rubbed,” Olivia says.

In Vir­ginia, Lono is turned out for three to four hours each day. He doesn’t go out for quite as long in Florida, be­cause it’s sandier and less grassy, so he gets bored more eas­ily. He does, how­ever, love to roll in the deep sand in the round­pen.

Dur­ing their 2017 Europe tour, in light of mul­ti­ple vari­ables—the cooler weather, for­eign barn and un­fa­mil­iar sit­u­a­tion—Olivia de­cided not to turn Lono out. His team hand-walked and grazed him fre­quently in­stead.

NU­TRI­TION: When Lono was younger, avoid­ing high-starch food sources was crit­i­cal both for con­trol­ling his ex­citabil­ity and for treat­ing a bout of ul­cers. Un­der the guid­ance of a lo­cal nu­tri­tion­ist, Olivia found a high-fat, high-fiber grain for him. He’s an eas­ier keeper now, so her fo­cus is more on main­tain­ing his strength and en­durance. She also con­tin­ues feed­ing him some of the prod­ucts that are al­lowed in Europe so she doesn’t have to dis­rupt his diet when he trav­els abroad.

Lono eats three meals a day: a com­bi­na­tion of Nutrena ProForce Fuel and Cavalor FiberForce, plus Plat­inum Per-

for­mance ® CJ and Pro­gres­sive Nu­tri­tion ® ProAd­van­tage ® Grass For­mula pel­lets. He has 24/7 ac­cess to a hay mix of or­chard grass and ti­mothy served in a Nib­bleNet ® , which re­duces waste. Dur­ing less in­tense train­ing pe­ri­ods, his lunch is a light mash.

OTHER CARE: “I try hard not to have him live in sta­ble ban­dages,” says Olivia. Af­ter hard work­outs at home, Ni­cole cools his legs with ice boots, then leaves them bare the rest of the day. When the weather makes horses’ legs get puffy—as it does some­times in Vir­ginia—she ap­plies sta­ble wraps. In Florida or on the road, she of­ten puts ei­ther a poul­tice or cool­ing gel un­der his wraps—or uses Back on Track ® Quick Leg Wraps, with noth­ing un­der­neath them.

In ad­di­tion to his rou­tine stretch­ing and mas­sage, Lono also re­ceives a gen­tle chi­ro­prac­tic treat­ment (noth­ing ag­gres­sive that might alarm him) about once a year.

One of the most crit­i­cal com­po­nents of Lono’s care rou­tine is his shoe­ing. “He has two dif­fer­ent front feet: one up­right and one flat,” Olivia ex­plains. To keep him sound and healthy, it’s im­por­tant to make the two feet as sim­i­lar as pos­si­ble with­out dis­turb­ing each one’s nat­u­ral bal­ance. Pe­ri­odic X-rays help to en­sure that his breakover points are biome­chan­i­cally ideal. “That way we can check that what his feet look like on the out­side matches the an­gles of the bones on the in­side.”

Lonoir, who adores at­ten­tion from those he trusts, pauses with his peo­ple for a quick selfie in Rot­ter­dam.

Olivia and Lonoir at the World Eques­trian Fes­ti­val CHIO Aachen in July

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