Thursday, January 15, 2015

State of the Union

I haven't looked at this blog in years. I think it's time to pay a wee bit of attention to it.

I looked at my last post and boy has the food I'm feeding Kid and Rupert changed. They are still living on dry lots but they get a lot more hay and less grain. Since it's winter time, they are getting 1-1/2 quarts of grain twice a day and 1/4 bail of hay twice a day. While the hay is 2 strand, the bales are very heavy and tightly packed. When the hay is thrown on the ground it poofs into a huge amount.

The  boys are a great weight and covered in fur. The vet is coming out on Monday to draw blood for their Coggin's test.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Feed - Fall Update

Last spring, we were boarding at a different facility that had turnout but a very sketchy feeding "schedule". They horses were fed once a day supposedly late morning. Because it is important horses get fed at least twice a day, Steven and I would come out every night and feed K/R again. Several times when we arrived in the evening, the herd was just getting their food. I loved the fact they did get pasture time, but seriously having to buy extra food and hay on top of what we were paying as well as the 50 mile round trip every day was getting expensive.

We moved to a new facility in June which is cheaper and they get fed twice a day at the same time every day. We buy the hay/food/supplements/medicine and they feed it.  The ranch hand has been very accommodating with putting the food and the hay where we want it (out of the sun). Kid did not do well with eating in the direct sun when it was so hot. He had several small HYPP attacks so we moved the food to the shade of his shed with good results.

I was looking at the feed we gave in the spring:

3 quarts pellets
4 pounds timothy pellets (pre-soak weight)
7 pounds coastal hay
Joint supplement - Rupert
2 tablets Acetazolamide for HYPP - Kid

3 quarts pellets
2 pounds beet pulp shreds (pre-soak weight). Beet pulp is drained and then re-rinsed to get rid of excess potassium.
7 pounds coast hay

All Day
Grass in the field

They were so thin this time last year which accounts for the large amount of food they were getting in an effort to put weight on them

The fall schedule has changed because K/R were FAT which didn't help Rupert at all because of the extra weight on his feet. The lack of exercise because of lack of pasture definitely didn't help either.

2 quarts pellets
2 quarts beet pulp pellets (pre-soak weight)
7 pounds coastal hay (R-small hole hay net, K-nibble net)

2 quarts pellets
2 quarts beet pulp pellets (pre-soak weight).
7 pounds coastal hay (R-small hole hay net, K-nibble net)
2 tablets Acetazolamide for HYPP - Kid
 Joint supplement - Rupert

2-hour turnout about 3 times per week.

If they start to look thinner, we will up their hay. We eliminated the timothy pellets because I think Kid was getting too much potassium in his diet and again, they were fat.

K/R have plenty of room to move around since their runs are 50' x 130'. They are next to each other and their hay nets are back to back. The east-facing sheds are nice and deep. I know Kid spends a lot of time in his because his coat is so dark.

Worms - Fall Update

At the end of March, I posted about fecal updates. Kid had a lot, Rupert, a few. Wormed as directed by the vet at the beginning of April and in June. Did a fecal again in July with both horses still wormy. Since it was so hot, Dr. M recommended not worming with a special note that it could kill Kid because of his HYPP.

Fall shots were due in September so when Dr. J came, we did another round of fecal tests. Again, both came back wormy - Kid moderately so and Rupert with a few. Each was given a dose of Quest Plus at the beginning of this month and we will test again in December when their Coggins are due.

Since I have owned Kid, he has NEVER come back with less than a moderate strongyle level. The good thing is he doesn't look wormy, his coat is seriously shiny, and he poops great.  I look forward to seeing what December brings.

Good Kid

We free-lunged again today, working on voice commands and increasing exercise time. Kid exceeded all my expectations in that he lengthened his trot (no more floppy hooves) and took to voice commands like he had done them before. His movement seems more fluid now than its ever been. Any stiffness he had in his hips in gone.

In the next few weeks we are going to work on desensitization because Kid is still Mr. Spooky. I walked him in the covered arena and he freaked when he walked past the blue tractor. I also want him to get used to the wind noises in the arena so there are no surprises when we start riding again. Good news is that I don't think he is afraid of the neon green jolly ball anymore. We had thrown it in his paddock a few weeks ago and now he doesn't snort at or shy away from it.

Kid and Rupert. Kid's the one with the big butt.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hooves on the mend

Rupert's casts from last August. We got orange this time too, so no new picture.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
We have Rupert back in casts to try to correct the separation and wonky wear we have been seeing on both his front hooves. Andrea put them on Monday and he was still a bit off until today. We are trying to give him plenty of exercise to keep his muscles and joints loose. The good news is that we are seeing a lot less left leg shaking and his shoulder muscles and poll are not as tight. Exercise, massage, and stretches are paying off!

Both boys got round pen time to build up their endurance. They have had so much time off and are really out of shape - not overweight anymore, but definitely out of shape. Kid free-lunged first and cantered like I have never seen before. He used to be so lazy but seems to enjoy running now. Rupert was next and we decided to try voice commands for upward and downward transitions. He knew what to do! We were so excited and are going to try working with Kid tomorrow.

By the way, the bots are HORRIBLE this year. I'm going to break down and buy a bot knife. Kid's legs are covered in the yellow eggs - ewwww. :(

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Duh and Rupert's hooves

Today was day 3 of putting stuff on Rupert's thrush and I can already tell a difference.  The "butt crack" between the heel bulbs is closing and the thrush smell has lessened. Being consistent about using thrush products works - duh!

I've used Coppertox before but the smell makes me sick and Listerine doesn't work except to make hooves smell minty fresh. I have a recipe for some homemade stuff but haven't tried it yet. Right now we are using Cowboy Magic thrush killer that I bought last year and never used. So far, so good.

Andrea is coming out Monday to trim hooves and possibly cast Rupert's fronts. He has a mechanical separation that isn't getting better.

This is his left front from October 2, 2011 which is about 5 weeks after his very first barefoot trim:

This if from December 17, 2011:

The separation does appear to be getting bigger.

The way he stands and walks has really affected the shape of his hoof.  According to Andrea, "When he lands, he is landing and breaking over at that spot where the flaring is occurring, which is causing the mechanical separation issue. He also stands with weight more on the outside of his foot, causing another mechanical issue". 


Poor baby is pigeon toed, has a club foot, and pronates badly. Casting should make a difference and if not, we have lots of other options that don't include nailing a shoe on his hoof.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Stuck in Neutral

Today I realized why I've been stuck in neutral with the horses.  We moved barns back in May and I haven't ridden since. I know this sounds crazy, but perfectionism has kept me from riding and working my horses.

The arena is too deep, the round pen is too deep, there is grass in the round pen, etc.- I have plenty of excuses.  Because conditions aren't perfect like I think they ought to be, I shut down and give up. In the meanwhile, my Kid and Rupert are fat and out of shape (much like their owner). If you follow Fly Lady, you know perfectionism can ruin your life. I finally am working my way to a clean house

October 12, 2012

I started the paragraphs above probably 2 months ago. After the fall shot vet visit in the middle of September, I felt better about where we are. We cut back on the boy's food and now they look great. We started working them in the round pen (OK, just started yesterday) and it was a great experience.  The lighting is wonderful, the footing could still be better, the grass needs to be gone, but all in all the workout was good. Kid's cantering and trotting were better than I had seen in a long time.  He seemed excited to be getting exercise again. Rupert was spastic, alternating between nice trotting and cantering to full-out body twisting bucks.

Once the round pen time was complete, we turned them out for pasture time. One of the downsides of the place we're out in we are limited to 2 hours per day. Thank goodness, they do have big, individual paddocks.  While they were chomping away on grass, Steven and I bagged their food and meds for the next 4 days. Actually I did the bagging and Steven read Vice-Presidential debate twitter posts to me. Food prep done, we got the boys out of the pasture where they were treated to half-assed grooming by yours truly which means hooves were picked, thrush stuff applied, massages given, and fly spray sprayed. Both Kid and Rupert were VERY relaxed during their massages which made me happy.

What made me even happier was the entire process from leaving home to getting ready to leave the barn only took about 2 hours. I'm not saying this because I don't want to spend time with my horses, but rather I get overwhelmed and don't think I have enough time. Yesterday proved that there is time during the week to spend with Kid and Rupert to give them the exercise we all deserve. With lighted round pen and lighted/covered arena, we have no excuse.