Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mare Maintenance

Through all of this, we have not forgotten about our trusty broodmare Copy. In fact, this week the focus has been on Copy's diet. She is the pickiest eater EVER. She will not eat wet food. She will not eat supplements. She will not eat anything she believes has been tampered with. She doesn't finish her meal when she's in a bad mood, most national holidays, every other Tuesday, and days with the letter U in them. Sometimes she just won't eat. Period. She does like pelleted Trotter, but it has to be dry, plain and unmessedaroundwith. She also has to be hungry. Unfortunately, she has a couple of issues that can be helped through supplements.

Primarily, she is a hormonal floozy. I decided to try her on Mare Magic despite the fact that Mom looked at the ingredients and stated "but it's just raspberry leaves." Who cares what it is, it works. This is the week after her heat cycle, normally a wild roller coaster of emotions. She has been noticeably steady and "normal". Success. Of course it didn't come easy. At first she would not eat the Mare Magic. Mom mixed it with applesauce and shot it in with a syringe. After a couple of days she got used to the look and smell of the leaves and decided to eat them. There was no way to sort them out, and she must have forgotten that her breakfast had been tampered with because she began to eat it again.

Secondly, although we feed hay in a net in the arena where she runs in and out, the floor is sand so I got her some Sand Clear as a precaution. Mom sort of forgot about the Sand Clear this week, and made a tactical error. Day 1 she went and got the SmartPak of Sand Clear, opened it in the stall and poured it on Copy's breakfast while Copy was already eating. Remember, Copy does not eat food that has been tampered with. Cinnamon did not help. She knew the cinnamon had been put there to disguise the tampering and she turned up her nose. Then she decided to skip breakfast altogether. Day 2 Mom tried mixing it with applesauce and shooting it in with a syringe. Copy spat it out in a blob. Mom has rescued the blob and mixed with beet pulp trying to get it into a palatable form for Miss Picky Pants. Of course Miss Picky Pants does not like beet pulp. Maybe if it's dry and she's very hungry and isn't daydreaming about something else entirely.

Thirdly, Copy has hay allergies. What has been an occasional shallow cough over the past couple of years has developed into a persistent shallow cough. The humidity and high mold/pollen count this year has made it worse. So, she is having her hay wet down. I asked Mom if she would like me to order a supplement to help her. I could almost hear the weary sigh through the email... Mom isn't game for supplement number three. I asked "can't you just switch her to beet pulp and hide stuff in there?" Mom's reply... "You ARE naive aren't you? Copy won't eat beet pulp. Maybe if it's dry and she's in the mood for beet pulp"

I also ordered her some Cosequin to help her creaky hocks because I would like to start riding her again this fall. I'm pretty sure Mom hasn't even tried that and my gelding will end up getting it. I think we now have enough joint supplement to last us until Easter. So what will she eat? Grass. And Hay, which makes her cough. Oh, and carrots and apples, but they have to be cut into bite size pieces or you can just keep your carrots. **sigh** There are 5 other horses in the barn banging on the walls and begging their hearts out for food (with or without smelly stuff mixed in it) and here we are trying to force feed Miss Picky Pants who is happy to have her pre-foal figure back, and truly is the glossiest trimmest creature on the place.

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