Pretending none of that happened, goal achieving starts...NOW. Must. Motivate. Self.
I did paint two paintings last night though and finish all my new-hire paperwork at my fancy new new adult job. Paperwork= cool things like insurance and other neat things so I'm not complaining. I REALLY am becoming a real real adult now with this job.
All of that aside, I come here today to
You guys probably have seen Lilly Belle pop up form time to time in my blog. Shes this stinkin cute, jet black, QH mare that is boarded here on our farm. And as of Feb 1st, she will belong to the Vollmer Family. Not going into details, but her owner couldn't afford her anymore and my dad loves her so much that we said we would take her. Besides, she's on the older end of things (16) with pretty atrocious lower limbs (sound, just hideous) and a really bitchy streak at times...I didn't think anyone would want to buy her. So, dad and I did it again and collected another horse and pissed The Mom off.
|Dad loves her (pictured in August)|
|I kind of love her too (pictured in July)|
However, she's RAPIDLY been dropping weight since about October. She showed up here in late June and was fat, shiny and swoll. Classic QH muscle and a big fat ass. Her owner was paying me to work on her attitude and skills (I will go into that at a later time) so she was getting ridden 3xs week and was on 24/7 turnout. She bleached out in summer, but never sropped an ounce and continued to build a topline and her manners throughout the summer.
In November I started to noticed a steady decrease in her topline (muscle loss) and ribcage (fat) and switched her over to SafeChoice Senior and added CoolCalories into her rations. She also still had full access to pasture and twice daily rations of hay in addition to pasture.
Near the end of November I gave all the horses round bales and 24 hr access to said round bales. They ate like champions, and I usually dole out a round bale every 2-3 weeks per horse. Lilly is known for her food mongering and can kill a round bale in 2 weeks pretty easily, by herself.
|Lilly in July|
And here we are in January and I am DEEPLY concerned for this mare. Through the thick hair I can feel every rib, her backbone, hips and her quarters are sunken in. I'm guessing her body would be about a possible 3 maybe a hard 4 and that makes me want to cry. I am STUFFING her face everyday and she has not gained an ounce, and even seems to be losing. Hay belly does not count when I can feel every single on of her ribs. I stopped with the CoolCalories and tried something else called CocoSoya. I've heard nothing but good things about it, especially with hard keepers, so both the beasts get it in their grain after a lot of research.
Even before we talked about transferring ownership, I refused to let a horse in my care dwindle in body condition. I feel like I've done everything I can and I don't know what else to do.
|Lilly this morning.|
Here's where bullet points help.
- Blanket her. I tried letting her have her thick coat and just "be a horse" but perhaps its time to blanket the mare. I'm worried she will overheat, so maybe clipping her chest and neck will give her a vent. I'm wondering if she's expending all her calories on staying warm, even though she has a huge furry coat.
- Ride her. Worried riding will expend even more calories, but I know that with OTTBs they gain weight the more you ride. Especially muscle. I've never had issues with any QH being underweight, but they were also in moderate work. Lilly has been just sitting around eating and pooping.
- Change feed again. I am a HUGE proponent of label reading and did not make the switch to Senior lightly. But perhaps she needs what Bacardi is eating, because he is a slick, fat, happy horse RN.
- Stable her at night. Since she's been on the property, she's mostly been on 24/7 turnout. Only time I've ever brought her inside was for inclement weather and I mean like, tornadic events or freezing rain/crazy winds. Otherwise she PREFERS to be outside. She really doesn't like a stall. (Neither of my current horses do actually)
I'm really at a loss here. Shes UTD on shots, teeth and deworming. I've exhausted all my brain thinking and need to recruit other brains.
Am I worrying too much? Is she just "old" and having a hard time and will bounce back in spring with grass and more riding? Or do you have any suggestions on what else to do?