Fall is a tricky time of year, at least here in Montana.
We have lovely cooler days with very chilly nights and mixed in there is some rain and even a little snow!
Horses with magnesium deficiency may…resent or even act afraid of being touched leading the owner to ask themselves, ‘Is someone abusing this horse when I am not around?’ Their response to outside stimuli is over reactive and they tend to become fractious, worried, fearful or resistant to training.
I am a firm believer in equine body work. I have been amazed again and again at how a little massage, some manipulating and energy work can make such a huge change in my horses.
Winter founder. Two words that you usually don’t hear in the same sentence. And yet Bonnie has foundered and my neighbor has a mini that has also foundered. Both within the last two weeks.
Oh boy you guys!! This clinic with Dr. Madalyn Ward was awesome!! If you would like to read more about her you can go HERE. Dr. Ward has two really wonderful websites absolutely bursting with information. She also does consultations!
Bonnie is doing so much better. She had a great day on Saturday, April Fools day. That seemed to be the turning point for her. Since that day she has been up and about, moving more and eating better. I’m so happy to see that! Since that day I have started walking her a little further and the last couple of days I walked her twice a day.
I have studied laminitis and founder many times over the years and dealt with a few ponies that had foundered and needed rehabilitation. I was very successful in helping those ponies. But none have been so severe as Bonnie, except Chloe and she gave up the fight. So the amount of stress I have been feeling has been great… so great that I worried I may become laminitic!
According to the research I’ve been doing my grass ‘should’ be lowest in sugar and starch early in the morning after a relatively warm-ish night. And yet my test came back high in sugar and starch. Sigh. I was so frustrated. It seemed that I wouldn’t be able to use my pasture at all for my ponies.
Trying to decipher the pasture analysis was very confusing.
Two things I won’t give up… keeping my feeding program as natural as possible and listening to my horses and not just science. Sometimes the feed companies, that have put so much time and money into ‘researching’ their feeds, are still not making a feed that agrees with my horses. So I won’t feed it.
In a perfect world we would all have access to a scale big enough to properly weight our miniature horses. Many veterinary clinics have scales big enough for a big horse and can easily help you weigh your little horse, but when you don’t have access to a scale what do you do?
Since Bonnie was diagnosed with Insulin Resistance I have been doing so much reading and studying. I thought I would share a few things I’ve learned.
I know I sound like a broken record around here. Feed your horses low sugar low starch hay because that is what they have evolved over thousands of years to eat. Low sugar, low starch hay, blah, blah, blah.
I talk about having your hay tested all time around here. This short video will show HOW I go about gathering the sample and then what I do with it!
I have been taking this online course about simplifying our horse’s feed program.
I have always tried my best to keep it as simple as possible… when I say simple I mean I feed what horses will find in their natural state.
Two months ago I took Sky and Zorro to the vet to have their teeth done and to have a blood test done. I like to keep track of their health by having blood tests run at least once a year. Especially since I lost Bonnie to IR and ultimately liver failure.
This shows how the development of certain muscles can completely change what appears to be the conformation of this horse. However in this case it's entirely about changing the posture and helping the horse develop the muscles in the correct way.
If you've been reading my blog for any length of time you'll know that I have been working hard to get some weight off of Zorro and Sky. They were both considered obese when I took them to the vet last summer.
I know I have been sharing a lot about weight loss here lately. But even with all these blog posts I still get quite a few questions asking HOW did I go about helping Sky and Zorro lose the weight. So I thought I would dedicate an entire post to the exact how.
Oh I am so excited!!! I finally could afford the solar powered charger, hot wire and insulators to put together part of my track! This side is for the girls, Sky and Chantelle. When Zorro is done being a stud then I can put all the ponies out on it together and the boys will help move the girls around. I am going to hide hay around the track to encourage movement as well! I’m so excited about all the things we can do on this little track system.
I have been loving my tiny horse track and so have my ponies! The changes I have witnessed in three of my mini’s hooves is amazing. And in just 3 short weeks!
I thought I would do an update of my tiny track and share how it’s working this winter.
I still love it. The ponies are moving around all the time. Right now they are not using the entire track because one side of it is a big, deep snow drift.
I like to do updates of the track through the seasons. It has changed a bit over the last year. It’s fun to see the differences.
I get questions all the time about how I care for my ponies when we are dealing with some intense winter weather. I thought a blog post was due!
Finally! The video of our new tiny pony track for my two tiny ponies. Track life has done wonders for the health and happiness of my ponies.
It's been a year since we built the little track the ponies currently live on. And I am happy to say everything has been working beautifully! The winter was so much easier with our current set up. That's my biggest challenge here, where we not only get feet of snow, but the WIND never stops blowing.
Why Feeding Low Sugar
Low Starch Hay Matters
How to Gather
a Hay Sample
Conformation and Posture
How to Help Your Pony
My Tiny Track in the Summer
Winter Weather and Ponies
New Hay/Tack Shed
and the Pony Track
My Tiny Track
A Year Later