Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Panama is getting plump!

I noticed today that Panama was looking a little plumper than usual, so I pulled out the handy-dandy weight tape. Luckily, I'd taken Panama's weight just before getting kicked out of the barn, so I had something to compare today's weight to.

To the best of my memory, my readings a couple of weeks ago said that Panama weight around 680-700 pounds. Well, today I was getting readings of around 730. That means the little rascal has gained between 30 and 50 pounds since he moved to his new home about a week and a half ago!

I think the weight gain is a combination of a couple of things:

1. Lack of exercise since I don't have as good a place to work him, since we're no longer going on trail rides several times a week, and since he no longer has a big pasture to play in during the day.

2. All that alfalfa! The horses are being fed straight alfalfa at this place, which has a higher protein content than grass hay. I also think they throw the horses quite a bit of hay at each feeding.

3. Free choice alfalfa pellets the last few days. The property's owner had leased a couple of horses during the summer, and therefore had a ton of leftover alfalfa pellets. He's been giving them to the horses to try to get rid of them.

Since Panama is in the same pen as the other horse (still just the one other), there's not much I can do about changing his diet without changing the other horse's too. She is an older horse and looks a little skinny, so I hate to have their food cut back, since she so obviously needs it.

Instead, I am going to cut back on Panama's grain, and start lunging him every day to give him a little exercise. I'll check his weight periodically — mainly to make sure he doesn't gain any more, as he's looking rather tubby right now!

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