Thursday, May 6, 2010

Diet Changes And Another Great Ride

After speaking on the phone and sending "Before and After" pictures of Rosie  via email to my VERY VERY busy vet today, she agreed that an "emergency" visit is not necessary as she just saw her the end of March as a follow up to the respiratory infection.  She'll be out in June to do a Coggins and rabies on both Rosie and Bonnie.  She'll do the fecal for worms then too.

She suggested the following supplements:
Weight Gain (two scoops a day until she's a healthy weight again)
A decent "Multi-vitamin" staying low in sugar and starches she suggested Dumont (two scoops a day)
And Alfalfa (cubed or pellets)  (I don't remember how much but have it written down at work)

I completely forgot to ask her if alfalfa cubes have to be soaked, and if so how long.  Can anyone give a girl a hint?  If they have to be soaked, I'll go with pellets just for ease of serving.

So tonight I ziplock bagged the WeightGain and Dumont Vitamins - 15 days each for Rosie and Bonnie.

I decided to give Bonnie maintenance dose of both.

I've been to the barn every evening this week except Tuesday, and they've been feed correctly.  I've made sure their buckets are full of water when I get there, and just before I leave I top them off.

I've been riding Bonnie this week and I'm  having a blast with the little mare.  Tonight I changed things up and rode in my All Purpose English saddle.  I groomed and tacked Bonnie ground tied in the outdoor arena.  She's such a good girl.  She didn't even flinch when the BO was trying to catch horses and they were stampeding in their paddock.

I set up a cone / barrel course.   I left the barrels in barrel pattern and set the cones up down center line.  I rode the barrel pattern first at walk then serpentined the cones down center line.  The goal was to work with Bonnie in rhythm and consistency in gaits.  We did fairly well and I was happy with her.

She likes to remind me that "Once a Barrel Horse, ALWAYS a Barrel Horse" !!!  I have to work very hard with my legs to keep her a lunge whip length from the barrel as we circle.


  1. That is great news!! I am thinking you will get some answers after that fecal count... I feed alfalfa pellets to my horses daily. I think you will be pleased with how much it helps them! As far as the cubes, yes they would need to be soaked. Good luck and keep us posted!

  2. Don't you just love obstacle courses? That is fun stuff.

    Sorry, don't know anything about alfalfa pellets.

  3. I fed alfalfa cubes to Gilly when I first got him because he was so starved. They had to be soaked but now I can't remember how long. I don't feed him alfalfa anymore, he doesn't need it now that he is in good health.
    Glad you can go to the barn nightly and make sure they are getting fed correctly, but what a bother for you. They should be taken care of right without you doing that, again I am so glad and fortunate that I have Gilly and Pokey here on the farm so I don't have to worry if they are cared for properly. I do hope that you will get a farm of your own! It's so wonderful to have your horses in your back yard, so to speak!
    Hurray on the good ride!!

  4. Brego eats his alfalfa cubes dry, and in fact i like it because having to chomp the cubes up slows his eating WAYYYY down. I soak it for the minis and ponies just because they can't get their tiny mouths around the cubes but Brego does just dandy with them dry.

    I prefer the cubes to the pellets because the fiber is in longer more natural pieces and so it moves through the gut more like hay than like a concentrate.

  5. Will do harm if I don't soak? I've gotten conflicting information. I'd prefer the cubes myself for just the same reasons that Pony mentions.

  6. Glad to hear that you had a nice ride on Bonnie.

    We soak the alfalfa cubes but I don't remember for how long. My daughter usually does the feeding so I'm not sure how long they soak. Hope everything is alright soon.

  7. Last year our little Empire suffered from choke with alfalfa pellets, so I'm now a fan of soaking them. They only need to be wet enough for them to be soft. A couple hours is generally enough, but I prefer to set them to soaking in the morning in a bucket, then feed at night (saves another trip to the barn mid day.) Beet pulp, the same thing.

    Cubes, btw, are not long enough to be considered forage so not adequate replacement for hay, and to my way of thinking they're far dirtier than using pellets and you can end up with more dust/mold.

  8. Good stuff afoot! Good suggestions here too.
    Glad the plan is working and support team in place!

  9. When I soak my cubes for my goats I use HOT water and they are reduced to complete mush within the 10 minutes it takes me to do the rest of my goat related chores. With cold water it takes longer, but I can usually have them all broken up with a good stir within a half hour.

    I've never had a problem with it, but do one person who had a horse choke on cubes. That said, he also choked on sweet feed once, and on grass from his pasture... so I suspect the issue in that case was his eating habits. I came up with my feed method by talking to my vet and the feed guy i was buying from at the time, as well as with a trainer i was working with at the time... so i ALWAYS soak Beet pulp even the shreds and I only soak processed alfalfa if I feel like it or I'm feeding something with a small mouth. :-)

  10. Good news. I'm glad to hear it and hope it continues.

    I feed Apache alfalfa pellets in a grain mix that is specially made and designed by our local horse rescue. I always add water and let it soak for at least 5-10 minutes. I also feed it very wet, so she gets all slobbery, but the water is so good in helping the feed go down smoothly...and horses can always use more water.



Happy Trails!