Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Beginnings of a Little Story...............Turnouts....

One thing about Rhet at this time he just doesn't really adapt well to change. The horse likes his routine and reacts negatively by having it disturbed. Even if that change means more turn out time, Rhet just doesn't know how to deal with it. Instead of spending the time enjoying his time out, Rhet works the fence line wondering what's up.

Anyone who's dealt with such a horse knows they can drop weight in the blink of an eye. One episode of fence walking can burn the whole day's critical calories. Sometimes you can almost see the weight rolling off as the horse runs the fence and Rhet is definitely one of "those types" of horses.

Some people will give up on turning a horse out that runs the fence line in that manner but not me. I've learned over the years if I just let them be sooner or later they get it figured out and they relax. That is the case with Rhet. It takes a couple a days before he figures out there's nothing to worry about. Then he goes back to being a horse enjoying his loose time playing and chasing cars.

That week right after Labor Day was Rhet's week to get his new turnout schedule figured out. By Thursday, when I turned him out into the paddock in front of my house I was shaking my head at his weight loss from fence walking, well running, would be more like it for Rhet. The progress I'd made earlier was gone and he'd done another back slide leaving his ribs obviously exposed, a condition I'd seen before on this horse and will probably see again.

I watched him for a little while making sure he really was settled in. I didn't want the fact I'd changed the location of the horses he could see to have an impact on him too. Rhet seemed content there were horses out there and didn't seem to mind which ones so I decided I'd leave him out for the entire day, instead of the shorter session he'd had the rest of the week.

Before the horse had come to me he'd spent most of his time outside. It was interesting to see he'd adapted so comfortably to life in a stall that he wasn't really sure he should be out. I guess it just shows it's not what the schedule is the horse seeks as much as it to be consistent. Now Rhet sees life in a stall as his schedule and he is always happy to go back inside.

The next day's turnouts we put out all of the mares. There are sixteen of them and the only ones that are thin at the moment are Scarlet and Vee. Vee has been stewing her weight off worrying about Solidare's foal as she watches him out with Dare and Scarlet is in a growth spurt.

The other horses I put out were Doc and Trouble in the round pen so that they can get acquainted with Solidare's colt. I give hay to the two in the round pen. Doc needs it but Trouble does not but Trouble is in charge so he's constantly running Doc off from each pile. Sometimes I think that Doc is walking off his extra calories just trying to find a pile that Trouble will let him have.

Dare and Solidare's colt rounded out the group turned out that day. Dare's weight is awesome but the colt needs some weight. He's got that baby belly going from being weaned and he is a bit light but not bad for a foal weaned at three months and he was a bit thin when he was weaned. I'm pleased with his progress even if he's not picture perfect at the moment.

Later that afternoon, I was taking a break in the house. Dave had gone to get hay a while before and I was waiting for his return. When the phone rang, it was Dave all right but he wasn't saying the usual, "I"m home." Instead he said, "We have Animal Control pulling into the yard."

To be continued....................

Animal Control

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  1. rut rho......

    I have a horse that will worry her weight off and it is amazing to me how much feed she needs to keep her weight up. This mare can really put away the hay/cube/beet pulp/pellets.

  2. We have quite a few horses at work that do the same thing as Rhett. They will just run and run and run. I also just leave them out for a few hours. Sometimes it'll take them a couple weeks to finally calm down and relax. I totally understand!

  3. Not words that warm your heart! Hopefully it was not a big issue ,growing youngsters and hormonal stallions make for slim ponies at times.I soo understand that , you can onyl do what you can do!

  4. I remember reading somewhere that horses can drop up to 50 pounds in one night (day), and I agree absolutely that it is a much harder task to keep weight on a stallion.
    I haven't tried them, but I keep hearing positive things about Black Oil Sunflower Seeds. They're supposed to be really good for helping to keep the weight on and also for skin and coat. I want to say you can feed up to one cup a day. It's on my wish list, but of course as a non-profit we're kinda broke all the time (I think it's a rule *grin* :o) so I haven't been able to buy a bag yet.

  5. Yikes! not animal control, what now!
    I had a mare that was thin for years, and we just kept feeding her and feeding her and she was just like that, some just are.

  6. NO WAY.

    Seriously, people.

    I'm really hoping you are just building up anticipation and will let us know it has to do with something else, and not that some idiot thinks your horses are too thin. SERIOUSLY :(

  7. Oh for heaven's sake, hopefully this visit from animal control wasn't bad.

    I had the hardest time keeping weight on my mare when she was stalled. She was so anxious that the pounds would melt off. Now that she's on pasture all the time she's relaxed a lot and is almost chubby.

  8. oh this is too good!

    and you couldn't just say, "oh, they're all old, that's why they're thin. " *ROTFL*

    but in a way i'm happy that animal control is responding even when unnecessary, rather than not responding when necessary. i'm an optimist, i like to think of them doing good work!

    good that you had hay out, i think. then the officer can just watch the horses ignore the lovely, fresh hay, and run the fence! i hope you got an apology.