Wednesday, April 4, 2012

More Thoughts

Yesterday's post sparked a few comments of interest from others - I'm glad! I love to be able to bounce thoughts and ideas back and forth among others. It allows not only myself but others to learn from each other and hear other thoughts or points of view.

First off, thank you for those that commented about Milo and my relationship with him. It makes me happy to know that people think highly of my management with him (as far as condition goes). SillyPony made a couple of points I wanted to mention, first on training opinions and second on horse conditions. She said that the difference between poorly trained dogs versus poorly trained horses (an example with aggressive ones in particular) was the significant difference between the two animals and their owners/handlers safety around them. She is completely correct that aggressive and "poorly trained" (I use that term loosely now as it is a matter of opinion) horses pose a much greater threat to those around them then dogs do. What I wanted to add was that my post was comparing the not-so-dangerous training practices, where others' opinions really are just that - opinions.

Secondly, she mentioned how any competent and astute horse owner usually is (and should be) aware of their horse's conditions at all times and feel that there is always room for improvement, which I also agree with. It's just like when we look at ourselves in the mirror and critique those areas that we feel need improvement. It is our responsibility as owners (and managers) to he proactive and aware of the constant good and bad changes going on within our horses.

That brings me to my personal dilemma with Milo. Saturday I made the (in hind-sight) hasty decision to buy an entire ton of good quality second cutting Timothy hay. I knew Milo had been on this hay before and liked it's quality. Why did I move him from the second cut Orchard Grass he had been on the month prior? Sarah herself feeds an Oregon Orchard Grass. Well, two reasons. Firstly being that I had the hopes of the "higher quality" Timothy would surely help my horse build his natural weight back. Orchard Grass is higher in sugars than Timothy, which is higher in fiber, and a relatively equal protein content as the Orchard. They are a pretty comparable hay, so I figured that Milo wouldnt really need the higher sugar count and would hopefully do well on the new hay. The second reason: the Orchard Grass available at that time was no were near as nice as that I had gotten before. And being the end of the month now, I didnt have a lot of time to browse around. I had saved about five bales of the Orchard Grass to integrate with the Timothy over the first few weeks.

So, what have I been finding in my horse's stall each day now after adding the new hay into the mix? Milo has been picking out the Orchard Grass and leaving behind quite a bit (far too much green gold, in my opinion) of the more expensive Timothy hay. I cant help but shake my head at this, but it is getting me thinking too: why is he picking it out? Should I be reading into this further or hoping when the Orchard runs out he will eventually have to start eating it if he's hungry enough (that thought frightens me anyways with the weight issues we are having). Maybe I made a horrible decision getting an entire ton (a few months' worth) of new hay and Milo knows that the Orchard is better. Or, he simply could just like the sweeter, softer hay of the Orchard and hopefully just get over it.

This horse business is too stressful sometimes. But, in good news, Milo seems to be enjoying his addition of black oil sunflower seeds just nicely.


An Image of Grace said...

UGH! That is exactly what I am going through right now. I bought more orchard grass but Grace will NOT eat it. I am hunting for hay that she will eat. I will let you know what I find. I may end up at Lietz Farm in Sequim - they usually have a good Eastern Oregon orchard grass mix.

Story said...

Husband is always scratching his head about this horse thing. One minute I'm on cloud nine, the next I'm in tears. He asks why I do it if it upsets me so much. I tell him that it upsets me so much because I care that much! Be glad that you're one of those that cares, Nina. There are way too many horse people out there that don't.

Ok, idea for your hay problem. This might be a problem since you do everything yourself (or maybe it won't be a problem because you don't have to talk someone else into it) but maybe try soaking the hay like all of the people with laminitis prone horses do? Maybe it will soften it up enough that he will find it more palatable? This was just the first thought that came to mind. Could be worth a try at least once.