Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Concerns about my horse's weight

I mentioned earlier that when I rode my horse bareback, I noticed how much weight he has lost since the last time I rode him bareback. I could feel his spine much more prominently than I could before. I knew he had lost weight, but it wasn't until I rode him bareback that I realized how much.

The barn's owner and I had hypothesized that the horses might have lost weight due to changes in the hay, so I exchanged a few texts with her, and was delighted to find that she has started giving the horses extra hay to try to make up for it. She thinks the problem might be in that the bales (and, subsequently, the flakes) feel lighter this time, meaning there isn't as much hay packed into each one. She is going to speak to her hay guy about it, but she doesn't know if he'll do anything about it.

I am also going to take some steps on my own to try to increase Panama's weight. In addition to the extra hay he's getting, I am going to change his grain to something a little more fattening. He's on sweet feed now, which my trainer said isn't a very good grain for putting on weight, so this week I will go down to the feed store and get something that is. I am considering put him on a youth formula until he gains the weight back.

Of course, any abrupt change in food can cause a horse to colic, so we'll have to make the change gradually. He still has some sweet feed left, so I'll probably have Karen spread it out to wean Panama off of it slowly while increasing the amount of the new grain.



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