Sunday, July 20, 2008

Kill Them With Kindness...

I figured out why Woofer is so lame. My mom started feeding her twice a day while I was gone and the old mare just cannot handle that much protein. It took me a few days of racking my brain and I finally remembered last winter when mom said Woofer needed more feed. I went to feeding her twice a day and within a few days both her front legs has swelled up and she was very stiff. Now I don't think you could come up with a more natural feed program than what we have-grass hay, beet pulp shreds, rolled oats, ground soybean and a couple of cups of alfalfa pellets. The only processed feed we use is Woody's Equine Senior pellets. Everything is mixed with room temperature water, so it's a nice soupy mash. The horses love it. Moon is the only one that gets ground flax-he still needs all of the extra fat I can get into him.

Uh-huh...while I was gone, mom decided that Woofer looked a little peaked from the heat and nursing that colt and so she doubled her feed. Wham-lame horse again. Now, I listen to my mother very carefully when she discusses feed and nutrients. She knows a ton. Especially when it comes to old mares and foals. But she does get carried away and is killing her horses with kindness.

Last fall she decided that some of the horses that I was riding needed some extra nutrients-you know-because I made them sweat a little...She started her little vitamin program on those horses and within a couple of weeks, I was going backwards. Horses that were coming along nicely and losing a couple of pounds started acting like freaks and gaining weight. Needless to caused a HUGE argument between us, with me blowing up and telling her if she was going to feed them like this...she was going to be the one to ride them!!

It took her getting Megan bucked off of a horse that has never bucked in his life-EVER-for her to realize that sometimes to much, is just much! Now she isn't very happy with me that I have backed the old mare off to the amount of feed that I was feeding before, but I am not going to watch my old mare suffer pain in her legs, just so I can cover up the slight amount of rib she is starting to show. This morning-Big Momma is almost completely sound again-Problem solved!

Yesterday, Megan and I threw her little paint pony in the trailer and headed to RC to get his teeth floated. I decided to try the guy that my aunt and uncle use. The guy I use and love is hard to get on short notice and I was pretty sure that Strawberry didn't have any major issues, just some sharp edges. I was correct in my assumption and this kid did a fine job. He is just getting started in the dental work-has taken the schooling and is just finishing it up by working in the field before he has to take his test to get his certification.

He is a barrel racer too-which is why we met him in RC. They were having a huge three day barrel racing there. Originally, it was my intention to take Moon and run on Friday-but monsterous storms rolled through the western part of the state and I decided that I have gotten wiser(OLD) and didn't want to fight the weather.

I walked around all day with the camera in my hand and don't have a single picture to show you all. Why? I was to busy showing everyone pictures of my handsome Shooter and my last barrel run. No-I'm not a bit proud of that colt-;).

I did get to see my aunt and uncle's barrel horse run. She is coming along nicely. My aunt wants me to work with the girl that is riding the mare, but I didn't really see that she was needing help with her runs. The mare had a nice pattern and is really stretching out. Besides, what I did see could be the cause of this mare not really running yet-her shoeing job!!! (Sorry V.-of course you knew I would have to talk about this on my blog and we are on the same page with it right?)

OMG!! The poor mare was just reshod a couple of weeks ago and her feet are so long they look like she hasn't been reshod in 3 months. Also, the heels of her shoes are cranked in so tight that her heels are contracted. Literally, this mare looks like she has built up Walking Horse feet. No wonder the poor thing don't want to RUN. The other thing I noticed and pointed out is that she is starting to get windpuffs on her front pasterns. Not a good sign. I gotta tell you that this is not a shoeing job that my aunt approved of, even before I pointed it out. But sometimes knowing it isn't right and being able to tell someone what is wrong with it is two different things. So it was helpful to my aunt for me to explain all of the problems with this shoeing job to the girl who is riding her horse. We came up with a plan of correction. This next week, I am going to go back up, pull this mare's shoes and trim her correctly. When we are done with that-we will decide if she needs to be reshod(by another farrier) or not. Personally, I don't think the mare needs shoes. She does have an old scar and a bit of a quarter crack that they seem to think needs some support, but I think that when we trim off all of the excess hoof-the quarter crack will be gone. I think pulling these shoes and getting her hooves back down to the size they need to be is going to make a tremendous difference in the effort this mare puts into running. The girl riding her is a little worried that she is going to be tender, but I told them about 20M and Abu, so we will be finding some Durasole(??-gotta go back to 20M's posts and double check that) and Pine Tar.

Hopefully, we will be adding another one to the barefoot army!! I have to tell you all-walking around that barrel race-I saw some of the most god-awful shoeing jobs I think I have ever seen. I just feel so bad for those horses. It's no wonder a lot of those girls go through horses the way they do.


Mrs Mom said...

Right- is it just my imagination, or are the products of these six week shoeing courses getting worse and WORSE???

Get that mare balanced back properly, and using her body correctly, and those wind puffs will go down and disappear, too ;)

releive those quarters, and that quarter crack wont come back either... hehe

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Holy Crap MM-I cannot believe the poor quality in farriers out there. Nor can I believe that the people who have their horses shod can look at those feet and think that its right. WTH???
Now my aunt-she knew that was a bad job. She was not happy about it at all. Even the girl who rode the horse knew it wasn't that great-but she kept saying "well-we are trying to correct some of the damage done by the last farrier." I was like "WTH? Cut the hoof down where it needs to be and leave her barefoot. You can't correct contracted heels by continuing to shoe with crimped in heels." Duh!!
My opinion is that this mare will START running when we get the shoes off and the feet trimmed correctly because the pressure will be off.

20 meter circle of life said...

AWWWW thanks for the props. Cant tell you thr difference it has made in horse that COULD NEVER GO WITH OUT SHOES!!!! Durasole just google my friend, there is a link on my Shamless post as well. Do follow the directions exactly, another girl at my barn tried it and swore it did not work. Turns out she did not follow the directions and was putting in on like thrush buster, duh!! She is doing it the right way now and her 20 year ottb is sound. The Booster did an 8 mile trail ride today over some tough stuff and he was careful where he put his feet. But never gimpy and never a false step. I wont get started on the "know it all iron hangers that are out to make a buck at the expense of the horse"

Pony Girl said...

I am glad you figured out what was making Woofer lame.

I probably kill my horse with kindness, too. At least I am aware of the problem, that's the first step, right? ;)

Actually, I am switching his hay now and he's going to get worked harder! My boy needs some muscle tone!

Da Mouse said...

I just started reading your blog today and find it very insightful. I haven't had horses in years, but I want to get back into it...of course when I have the money means... :(
Anyway, the story about the barrell racers going through horses reminded me of the horse I had as a kid. The people were selling her because she wasn't fast enough. Now, I don't know if they knew the reason why she was slowing down, but we sure did find out and quickly. She was pregnant! She was pretty far along, too. I don't know why they didn't notice it, or if they didn't want to say. We bought the mare in March and then in August we had a beautiful, sweet, and curious filly. Needless to say, I learned a WHOLE lot about horses in just a short amount of time.
Sorry for the long post. Loving your blog.