April 29, 2012

"Too fat... :-)"

I hadn't been to the barn in a few days, and when I got there today, I saw on the feeding instructions board that Connor's 1/2 scoop of Kalm N Ez + flax had been erased, and in it's place was "Too fat...:-)"  I giggled.  He is a Welsh Cob, he's not as overweight as my Thoroughbred-owning compatriots would lead me to believe, but I went ahead and ordered a grazing muzzle anyway when I got home.  I figure that this way, I can keep him on grass 24/7 but not take him entirely off the grain and flax, so that he's getting everything he needs nutritionally.  As someone who has managed both, I really believe that managing an easy keeper requires more oversight and work than managing the hard keeper, because it's harder to make sure they're getting all the vitamins and amino acids that they need while keeping the caloric load low.

Along with the grazing muzzle, I also bought a bunch of stuff that the cheap side of me has been putting off purchasing, but the good horse owner side of me knew I needed: Pyranha, a fly mask (they're really bad around his eyes already, and he clearly is very bothered by it), tack sponges, a body sponge, and a small bucket (had one, lost it, story of my life!). 

Finally, I spent a good 30 minutes chasing Connor around his pasture today before I rode him.  He was the only one out, and looked like he was just reveling in his newfound athleticism.  Though he hasn't been hard to catch in a while, if he is, normally he'll lazily trot around me, but today he was galloping up hill, down hill, spinning, sliding to a stop, galloping full-bore between the big tree and the log oxer, leaping down the little drop fence, and generally looking like a million dollars.  Seeing his muscular body underneath the new, gleaming summer coat made me want to pass out with delirious joy: I can't believe I own something that beautiful and athletic, and that I'm the one responsible for that muscle development.  It's just crazy.

Our homework ride afterward was just as good as the last few rides, though a bit flat due to the fact that he was sweating and steaming when I finally managed to catch him.  His canter transitions were bang on and entirely drama-free, and he only missed a lead once when he cross-fired behind.  I'm interested to see what Thursday's lesson brings as far as our promised "more advanced Dressage work" goes.  This is definitely new territory for me.

I could not possibly love him more!

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the world of easy keepers that are actually not so easy.
    I definitely would keep him on flax because that is really beneficial.
    I just ordered the little guys new muzzles for the year and cheeksavers. Plus we stocked up with moleskin which helps prevent rubbing.
    On one we put a loop of baling twine by the bridle path and braided his mane through the loop. This helps them not get it off over the ears (unless you have a colt helping you).
    Just remember when he puts his head down, the muzzle will loosen so adjust it snugger while his head is up.
    Let me know if you have questions, since we have years of experience out thinking horses wearing muzzles.