As some of you may remember, last November when I went to get Miss Beretta, I found that she had developed "lumpy joints"...
Well as soon as I got her here to Colorado, I put her on a grass hay diet and started feeding her supplements to combat those lumpy joints.
Or so I thought...
About a month into her being here, I noticed that her joints looked even larger and she had a front leg starting to bow. I immediately called mom and asked her if I should start feeding her MORE of the supplements. Mom didn't think so and asked me about her hay? There is only two choices for hay in the immediate area here, alfalfa and brome. I supposed that if I needed too, I could drive about 90 miles and find some native mountain meadow hay, but neither of us thought that the brome hay should be causing any problems.
Well, one day, the BO and I happened to be visiting in front of Beretta's stall and he asked me if I liked my filly.
I do like Beretta. I don't have the heart-to-heart connection with her that I do with Shooter. But he's kind of a special boy(..and he KNOWS it), so it's really impossible to compare the two. It's like apples and oranges.
So I simply told the BO what I thought. Yes, I do like her. But there are a few little things I won't really know until she grows up. And I pointed out that I was concerned about her legs. I really thought the grass hay and the supplements would be making a difference in those joints. That's when the BO told me he wasn't feeding her grass hay, he was feeding her alfalfa. Uber-rich alfalfa!
I put a stop to that, that very day.
Now, bless my BO's heart. He had the absolute best intentions. There is not a horse on the place that can cry hunger. And I really think that he thought we fed Shooter some kind of a super, special diet for him to look like he does at his age. I'm sure he didn't want me to feel like my little girl was getting slighted.
So I explained to him that a young horse, particularly one with Beretta's condition does much better on a grass hay diet and also that I was feeding her a supplement specifically designed to be fed with grass hay.
I'm sure that I caught it in time, but a month ago Beretta's front legs weren't looking so hot...
She was very splayed out in front and her right front cannon bone was starting to turn. The splaying was not due to possible foundering, the poor little girl was just getting too heavy. She is not the long and lean model, like Shooter. She is very much her mother's daughter-thick and stocky. Besides the alfalfa giving her too much calcium, which is very bad for unstable joints, it was packing the pounds on the poor kid.
It's been a month now, of definitely being on a grass hay diet and Beretta has lost a few of those extra pounds, she's not splaying anymore and her right front cannon bone looks pretty normal again. The bow in that leg is gone. We still have lumpy joints, particularly on her right rear. That leg also has a few bumps on the back of the cannon bone. But she is coming around. And I got her feet trimmed. It's going to take a few trims to get them "right", but I got those underslung heels nipped off and leveled her out. Getting her angles right is going to do a lot to relieve the stress on those pastern joints. (Sorry Mrs Mom-I was going to get before and after pics...It all went a little too smoothly and I was done before I knew it.)
I have also ordered some Basic Mineral, another Lampley product that has Diatamatious Earth in it. It is an excellent source of trace minerals, that I have found has really helped the horses we have fed it too.
It's going to still take several months to get Beretta's joints strengthened up and straightened out. Heck, it could take all of her yearling year to get her right, but we will get there.
And that is sometimes how things go when raising horses. Sometimes you are lucky and everything is fine and goes smoothly and sometimes you have to work a little extra hard. But ya know, in the process, I have become quite fond of Miss Beretta. She is a super, sweet little girl. She'll have to grow up before I can decide if I want more like her. But all in all...I'm pretty darn happy with the one I do have.
And my BO? Well, he listened and he watched. Guess what he is feeding his yearling now?
Yep...switched her over to grass hay too! ;-)