Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pasture Board

After talking some more with the BO, it has been brought to my attention that Lilly hasn't really been eating her breakfast since she arrived. So, for about 6 weeks my horse has not been eating as she should. Glad someone told me!

Is it anxiety, is it ulcers, is it the food, or is she just so fed up with stalls that she's afraid she's going to be left in after everyone is turned out? Maybe it's a little bit of everything, I don't know, but it's time to start experimenting.

Ulcers
She was really stressed out those last few months in the stall when we were doing the shock wave. She was also eating the Strategy HE that I didn't like, and did calm down a bit after I swapped her back to SC, but she spent a lot of time in distress and not eating.

This new place doesn't feed hay before they feed. The hay goes outside when the horses do, so let's say she finishes her grain and hay in the evening around midnight. They feed again at ~8:00am so she's been quite a few hours without anything in her tummy.

Food
Don't care what anyone says, she was eating Strategy but she's finally back to eating the SC. She doesn't like Strategy any more than I do!

Hates the Stall
She was on and off stall rest for the better part of 15 months. I tend to think that she's terrified of being left in the stall in the morning, so she stands at her door to make sure no one forgets her. After all, the grain will be waiting for her when she gets back, right?

The Plan
I'm not thrilled with her being without food for so long if what we're dealing with IS ulcers. I'm also not a fan of her ingesting 4lbs of grain in the evening and 0lbs in the morning. That's just not healthy. So to try and kill two birds with one stone, I've requested that they put Lilly on pasture board.

This way, she's out of the stall 24/7 and doesn't have to worry about being left behind. She can eat her breakfast outside, snack on hay and grass, eat her dinner, and snack on grass all night long until breakfast again in the morning. The pasture they're on now is actually really nice and there's quite a bit of grass to eat.

She'll be outside with the low horse, so I won't have to worry about her grain being stolen. She'll also be separated from Baby and her other buddy, Cocoa, so maybe that will help us out in regards to the herd bound issue we seem to be having. The stall will still be mine, so they'll bring her in on wet days (with Baby) until the giant hole in her hoof has grown out, and I can use it for nights when I have a show.

In May when they switch the rotation and the horses stay in during they day, I'll put her back on stall board and see how she does.

I'm trying to appease the princess. I hope it works.

In AJ news, he's doing very well. He and Justus are getting along great and my mom said she can't tell who is boss. They're just best buddies, which is great! My dad spoils Justus by giving him a banana every morning, but he didn't know AJ likes them too. Of course AJ made sure everyone knows he also likes bananas, so they were having to share the banana for a while. My mom told me today that my dad has decided to buy TWO bunches of bananas so each horse can have his own. Spoiled rotten, both of them!

10 comments:

  1. It sounds like a really good plan to me. I hope Her Royal Highness agrees.

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  2. Sounds like a wonderful plan and I really hope it helps Lilly! It also would have been nice if the BO would have said something to you a lot sooner, that is just ridiculous that they didn't say anything then were denying the whole grain thing. But hope this works out! I have a feeling it will!

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  3. Now that is just too funny about AJ. Made himself right at home again didn't he? Good for him.

    As for Lilly, that sounds like a pretty good solution for her. When horses get something in their mind, like Lilly worrying she is not going to get turned out...you might as well make things work the best way you can for them, cause you aren't going to convince them otherwise.

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  4. It sounds like a great plan, I sure hope Lilly agrees and goes along with it! :) I think more horses have ulcers than people think, and they just go untreated. Lilly sure has had some stress, so good on you for thinking of ulcers immediately. I can totally see her panicking about having to stay in while everyone else goes out. Kind of concerning though that the BO hasn't told you for 6 weeks that she hadn't been eating breakfast!! Good luck!

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  5. It also sounds like agood plan to me. I know Milo really loves being able to live in a pasture and I feel almost any horse would. I belive it will greatly reduce her stress and help her ulcers, she can move around freely (no pacing or standing still) which also helps for proper digestion. Added bonus- working on the herdboundness isues. I also found with Milo that since he isnt building up energy in the stall, I now have a much less hyper horse who is mentally capable of hunkering down to work and not spending the first twenty minutes tense and excited.

    Im super excited to hear about this change for you and I really hope that it is for the better (but I think there should be no problem). :D

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  6. I am all about 24/7 outdoor access WITH FOOD, and having the stall available for inclement weather is just the icing on the cake. It sounds like a perfect solution!

    Bananas, eh? I'd be tempted to try them, but carrots from Costco in the 10 lb bag are ever so much cheaper!

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  7. Lilly sure is keeping you on your toes! She's so funny, but I'm sure you're getting kind of tired of the worry. Hopefully pasture boarding her will do the trick on her finicky eating habits.

    It's so good to hear that Mr. AJ is doing well up here in Michigan. It's going to be 62 today, so hopefully he'll be able to soak up some of that sun before it disappears again :)

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  8. Yay for AJ and Justus!

    You know I'm a big fan of pasture board with a stall available. I think it's a great plan :)

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  9. Thanks everyone! I sure hope this does the trick.

    I do like pasture board a lot, and that's how I've always kept my horses. With all that happened this year, though, I was thinking a mandatory rest period for her would be good until she has actually gone a few months without an injury.

    There are definite benefits to her being out on pasture board, though, especially since she does have access to a stall when she needs it. She'll be more relaxed AND have some separation from her buddies.

    It would have been nice to know about her feed issues when they first started! No one seems to think it's a big deal...

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  10. Minor issues though really!!! Shes still sound, it sounds like AJ is super happy (and spoiled) Im sure the princess will let you know when everything is perfect ;)

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