Friday, April 12, 2013

Feeding changes: revised game plan

I spent most of the past week hacking around bareback for one reason or another.  My motivation tanked, my energy was shot, and I couldn't talk myself into trying a solo trail ride complete with walk along the road.  Said week is thus declared my mental break from real riding, and I can proceed on full-speed ahead from this point onwards!

It doesn't happen often, but there are days where I just plain don't feel like riding.  I know I need to ride, at least let her stretch her legs (ah, the joys of paddock-only boarding!), but real work? Meh.  I'm finally learning to just let it go and not stress over it.  A week off from real work at this point in the season won't hurt anyone.

The good news: our river access is once again open.  The not-so-good news: the other side of the river trail is barely passable if that.  The even-worse news: the river sand itself is boggy and deep, with ponies sinking to their hocks at least twice.  We might be able to do it (we aborted partway through an attempt when the lead pony sunk and decided she was quite done with rivers trying to eat her), I've heard that at least one rider and horse have made it to the other edge of the river and then turned around to come home, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable asking that of Fetti.  I'd rather jog on the highway than risk tendon injury in that kind of sand.  This could be rather problematic for our conditioning plans.

Right now, Fetti's getting a flake of forage hay in the morning, and a flake of grass/alfalfa at night.  No grain, no supplements.  She has a salt block that as far as I can tell, she really doesn't touch.  My goal for the next week is to acquire a large back of loose salt and put up some sort of salt-feeder in her stall, hoping that she'll be more inclined to eat it then.

Vitamin E has been highly recommended (thanks Mel of Boots & Saddles for the detailed suggestions!), so if I can find tablets/capsules, I may give that a try for the next few months.  Natural vitamin E, not just the synthetic.  I know I can give her a handful of grain with capsules 4 days a week when I'm at the barn - possibly all 7 if I juggle my schedule and feed it at odd times.  It's a start!

Hopefully, there will be a followup post in a month or two noting if I see any changes of not.  Basic pony-photo coming this weekend to have a good baseline for comparison.

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