Monday, December 7, 2009

Cold weather blues

The highest temperature I saw today was a frosty 11 degrees. That's cold! As my trainer said, Panama picked a good time to be off duty — we've had a lot of this cold weather lately.

Even so, he's been in a good mood. When I went down there today to check on him, he quite happily followed me into the cross ties, no hesitation whatsoever — a vast improvement from a week ago. After straightening his blanket, I cupped my hands around his muzzle and blew into them to warm up and loosen the tiny icicles hanging from his whiskers. To my surprise, he stood quite still and permitted this, though I've never done it before.

I think I have my sweet horse back again!

Even though Panama doesn't wear shoes, a considerable amount of ice and frozen mud had collected in his feet. I picked it out, being extra careful with his front left foot. I also checked on Panama's buddy Voodoo for my friend, and picked a ton of ice out of his feet. (Turns out Voodoo is a leaner — not only did he not help me hold his back legs up at all, when I picked his front he used my body to prop himself up. Boy am I glad Panama doesn't do that!)

The barn is feeding tons of hay to compensate for the cold weather. Sadly, a lot of it gets tossed on the ground and goes to waste, since the old folks are rather picky about their hay (read: all they really want is alfalfa) and Panama, though he tries his best, can't clean up all of it!

Horses in a December snowstorm in Denver

I worry about the old gelding. He is rather underweight as it is from being such a picky eater, and on top of it all he also doesn't get blanketed. He does have a pretty long, thick winter coat, but still, if he were my horse I'd be doing everything I could to keep the weight on him!

This weather is supposed to last a few more days. Another storm is moving in, and we'll be getting some more snow tonight and tomorrow. Wednesday is still supposed to be cold, but sunny, so I'll take the opportunity to hand walk Panama around the property a little!

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