After 2 months on my own and seeing no progress in weight gain for either of my horses, I brought in my Vet in March. My Vet and I discussed bumping up their supplements. In April my horses had their shots and the Vet saw no difference, so we added in more feed and made a date in May for their teeth. After consulting with my Vet and Equine Dentist when I had their teeth done in early May, both agreed the teeth was not the cause of so much weight loss and that both horses were in good health aside from weight. I took their professional advice, which resulted in me moving my mares to a place better suited for my horses needs.
My horses have been under my Vet's care since March and are still being monitored closely by me and informing my Vet as needed. There is no issue with my horses’ health now. They are energetic, they have healthy coats, and they are gaining weight nicely. In fact one of them is now a bit chunky and is having her diet cut back, the other still has some weight to gain, but is gaining at a steady healthy pace.
I tape the girls every 3-4 weeks or right before I got out of town for a while so I can have a number to work with when I return. They receive 30 pounds of good quality hay a day for their meals and supplemental feed has been eliminated as of June 20. Between the two they have gained 20-50 pounds a month since their relocation. I don't have standing shots at all the measurement dates unfortunately, however, these will show some of their progress.
June 3 weight (3 days after moving)
Ehawee 800 – gain of 50lbs
Opal 1003 – gain of 33lbs
Ehawee 863 - gain of 63lbs
Opal 1023 - gain of 20lbs
Ehawee 878 - gain of 16lbs
Opal 1049 - gain of 25lbs
Ehawee 893 - gain of 15lbs
Some crest on neck and a little hay belly.
I cut out am 5lbs alfalfa as a start and will adjust more as needed.
Work load is also increasing.
Opal 1065- gain of 15lbs
I noticed Ehawee was starting to look filled in at the beginning of the month, but I didn't want to cut her diet while I wasn't there for a few weeks to watch her. Her weight should be around 875. I know since she was a smaller horse she would not need the large quantity of feed long term, however, the Professionals I consult with on their health didn’t want to cut back too early until she got back into a consistent work load. Adjustments have now been made to her diet.
Opal lost the most being the bottom of the pecking order, she is also a much larger built horse and is getting closer to 35 pounds of good quality hay a day. She has her own stall and can eat at her own pace, but she still gets focused in on her food at lunch or dinnertime because she was so hungry for so long. It will take time for her to get over this, but that's ok. Opal should be between 1,100 and 1,150 pounds.
The bottom line is this; I did what was in the best interest of my horses based on the advisement of the Professionals.
If any one has any questions or concerns regarding statements being made by others regarding this situation please feel free to contact me directly so you can get accurate information - I'd be happy to discuss it with anyone.
Emerald (Emmy) has been doing great. Before I left for my family vacation at the begining of the month, Cypress Stables had a just for fun play day in the evening. I took Emmy in a few of the in-hand classes. It was the first time she had been in the arena with other horses. She did her two classes very calmly and listened well. After her classes I had her stand in the arena with me while I ran the rest of the classes with riders so she got exposed to the sounds and noises. She didn't seem to mind much at all.
While I was away, our Barn Manager was kind enough to turn Emmy out for a few hours every other day so she wouldn't be locked in her stall the whole time I was gone. When I returned we noticed she was getting a bit chunky, so we adjusted her diet by removing her morning alfalfa flake. She has plenty of energy these days and I'm considering cutting out her evening alfalfa as well.
This week we've been working on walking over the tarp again and respecting space. Emmy likes to creep up on you and be a pocket pony sometimes, which I don't totally mind, I love when my horses want to be near me, however they also need to respect my space when I ask them for it. My next task will be working to desensitize her sides in preparation for taking a rider in the future.
Tarps, the not so scary tool.