We've experienced a strong preview of winter weather the past two days, with today being the worst.
I chose to work from home this morning. Getting my car out of the garage would have been a challenge.
The wind was howling as the snow flew, swirled, and drifted. It was blowing into the stalls, so I closed the dutch doors and kept Misty and Marley inside today, entertained with a couple small snacks of grass hay.
"Marley, here comes our waitress."
"It's about time. Any longer and I might have lost a pound."
The wind and snow finally began to lighten, so I opened the doors to give the horses a chance to stretch their legs before dinner.
"Marley, are you under there?"
M & M are still dieting, but receiving warm, soaked & soggy beet pulp shreds with salt as their pre-dinner appetizer. I want to encourage water intake during these crazy days of fluctuating temperatures.
We're looking forward to better weather tomorrow and a nice Fall weekend.
Marley and I saw the vet today and received our fall shots and rabies vaccinations. Rabies has been found in skunks, mountain lions, a cow, and a horse in Colorado this year. Better to be safe than sorry, so we had our rabies shots. My Lady is keeping a close eye on me because I had a bad reaction to my last rabies shot about 20 months ago. But they tell me the vaccine they are using now is not as harsh. Tomorrow will tell.
The vet said we are very likable horses. She also said we are both fat. She took one look at Marley (who has been dieting) and asked him if he was preparing to hibernate for the winter. She said he needs to lose 100 pounds; I need to lose 75 pounds. I think we over indulged on pasture grass this summer because this same vet told us our weight was good at the beginning of June. Our equine dentist also complimented us on our weight earlier this summer. But now we are both fat.
Pardon me, I prefer the term "fluffy". I'm fluffy. Marley is fat.
1. The white foam a surfer finds himself in after the wave breaks. 2. Meaning "in deep trouble" or in over one's head 3. A pilot's expression for flying in bad weather with no visibility.
My dad was a private pilot with an instrument rating so we often flew "in the soup". All feet and hooves are firmly planted on the ground this evening, but we are nonetheless "in the soup".
Sunday we were in the 70s; mid 60s yesterday and this morning. The temperature is dropping quickly and we are shrouded in misty fog. We expect to awake to snow in the morning.
Misty and Marley are in the barn, impatiently awaiting dinner while I prepare soaked beet pulp shreds - a warm, moist treat on a chilly night....just a little though, since they don't eat beet pulp on a regular basis.
Do you feed anything special to your horses when there are sudden and extreme drops in temperature? I boarded at a stable that fed bran mash whenever there were extreme temperature changes; they claimed it prevented colic. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Is it helpful or harmful?
4. Where "The Beav" goes:
P.S. I love June Cleaver. I'm nothing like her, but I have to admire a woman who can do housework in pearls and heels and still be so pleasant.
It's a chilly day in the neighborhood and we awoke to a fresh layer of frost and overcast skies.
Baby Ponderosa Pine
Misty and Marley were eagerly awaiting breakfast. They have a rigid routine they follow every morning. They stare at the house, using their combined mental powers to lure me out.
"Come feed us. Come feed us."
Then as soon as I step outside and begin walking toward the barn, Marley rushes directly into his stall and waits to be served, while Misty invariably does one leisurely lap around their paddock before strolling into her stall. It never fails; she always does that one lap.
Each horse gets fed in their own stall and I open the paddock gate so they can have access to the dry lot all day. Marley gets a couple pounds less hay than Misty and he eats much faster than she does. So as soon as Marley cleans up his hay, he goes right into Misty's stall and together they finish her hay. She is the Alpha horse and could easily chase him away, but she is a kind mare and is happy to share with her little pig-boy pony pal. We've managed well with this situation for a year and they both maintained a healthy weight, but Marley has packed on the pounds lately. I think I let him have too much time in the pasture without his grazing muzzle.
This morning, I closed Misty's stall doors so Marley can't get in there. I also had to lock the door latches so Marley can't work them open. He's clever that way and has actually taken a stall door off its hinges.
It's been suggested that I divide their paddock into separate runs, but I really don't want to do that. It's a small enough paddock already and Misty & Marley get along so well and like to groom each other and spend the night together in Misty's over sized stall. I hate to take that freedom away from them.
But I have to get Marley's weight down because we know that can lead to serious health problems in our equines.
The Gluttonous Pony is going to be a little cranky on his diet and I'll be running back and forth to the barn more to let Misty out of her stall.
I've loved horses all my life and owned several when I was younger. I showed in English Pleasure and Amateur Hunters in my 20s. Now in my 50s, following a long absence of horses, I've rekindled my passion. I have three equines at home - Misty, a Percheron mare, Lyra a mini horse and her daughter, Lola, a mini mule. We're an odd looking group, but we get along great.