Saturday, July 07, 2007

Happy Horses
The move was the best thing for my horses and me. I think they've adjusted more quickly than I have, though. They settled right in. Cheerios has a new buddy. Shaveya has a huge new stall with plenty of room to turn around in, and for the first time ever, I witnessed a happy relaxed mare quietly munching hay in her stall. That is new. The expression on her face was worth all the hassle of moving. She is at peace with her new life. Relieved. (Right now mares are turned out part of the day and rotate the second pasture with the one stallion on the lot; they'll soon have a third pasture, but they don't want to turn out a stallion with mares next door and I'm totally in agreement with that. Beside, it's better for Shaveya to be off grass more than on.)

I'm not used to it yet. I still have an automatic reaction of dread when I think "go to the barn". It takes a moment before I remember, "Oh yeah. That place is history. We're at the new barn now! It's closer, and I am actually allowed to enjoy myself now!" It will be nice when it finally sinks in and I have an automatic reaction like I used to of "OH BOY! I get to go to the BARN!" Time will help.

It's also wonderful to have a barn manager who CARES. In addition, she fully grasps the healthcare program and is unbelievably helpful. Heaven has a special place for her when her time is through. She's good people. She calls to let me know about oat levels. She even asked if I wanted her to pick up some oats at the grain elevator when she went out, because it's less expensive than the local feed store. Wow. What a difference! What a 180 from the last place.

Now, before you say "too good to be true", let me remind you: there are no riding trails, there is no round pen (yet) in which to work, there is no arena in which to play. There are only two pastures and a barn with stalls and a nice owner/manager. But that's all right. Because the health, well-being, and safety of my horses is far more important than whether I have a place to ride right now. I hardly went on the trails, anyway. But I did make use of the round pen at the old place (when there wasn't a horse being "stalled" there) and the arena (when the mares weren't turned out in the "mud lot"). In other words, I had all the amenities, but I wasn't ever able to take advantage of them in recent years.

The BM said that Shaveya still isn't sound, but she does see a bit of improvement. She's a little better. That's good news.

Well, Shaveya has probably been yanked around feed-wise for so long that the diet stopped working. It only works if it's consistent. Research shows that horses with Insulin Resistance can have an episode (lameness) from JUST ONE MEAL containing sugar. If that's the case, what would a yo-yo diet of a couple days on oats followed by a few days on sweet feed and back and forth do to her? It took six weeks when we started the diet before noticeable improvement occurred. She's been out there three weeks. By the end of July, Shaveya should be much better. I don't know. We may have lost all the ground we made last year, thanks to the old barn. We might be back at square one, and it might take another year and a half to get her back to where she was before the management changed at the old barn. I hope not; I'm just preparing for the worst while expecting a complete and dramatic turnaround with no lost ground.

The holistic vet is coming out Thursday! I am so looking forward to hearing her diagnosis. My gut instinct says it will probably be an easily correctable issue in her organs—maybe her reproductive system or her liver—and that adding some Chinese herbs will right the imbalance and render her sound. We'll see.

Anyway, happier days are finally here. Now if I can just motivate myself to GO to the barn. It'll come back to me. I just have to get used to the idea of having FUN at the barn again.