Friday, June 5, 2009

Horses and weight management

One thing the barn owner and I talked about on Wednesday was the horses' weight. They all seem to be losing weight, and I am concerned.

I think it mainly has to do with the last load of hay the barn owner got. This hay was terrible stuff — not very green, and apparently so bad that the horses would leave it uneaten when they weren't super hungry. I suspect the nutrition content wasn't very good, either.

The barn owner did get some better hay to mix with the bad stuff, but he wanted to use the bad stuff up. And, really, what do you do in a situation like that? You have to do something with it.

Luckily, the bad hay is gone now, and the horses are eating from a fresh batch of nice green hay. But all the horses have lost weight. Panama could afford to lose some, as he was quite round from being overfed this winter; but the barn owner's mare (Panama's girlfriend) is ridden several times a week, so she took it the worst. You can see her ribs and her spine is sticking out of her rump near the base of the tail. (The alpha gelding has a little of this too, but not as bad.)

I suggested to the barn owner today that he start giving each horse an extra flake of hay every day until they gain back the weight they've lost, and he immediately agreed. I don't think he would have made the decision on his own, though, so I'm glad I brought it up! Poor mare!

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