I know I haven't been posting lately. Not that I have so many readers to disappoint, though. :)
The past weeks have just not been so great in my neck of the woods.
I have had no time to ride. At all. I feel terrible. I need to be working with Major over jumps and with his cantering issues. Instead, I have been fighting "little fires" all over the place. Just a note, though: My sister Naomi took Major out with her friend Ted, on a trail. She asked major to canter, and he took off running. She was able to collect him and put him into a lovely, amazing canter, from what she told me. She said it was incredible. So that is a good thing.
The little fires have been our two newest TBs on what I call the "Slippery Slope." Sudden, unexplained weight loss, depression, dull coat, uninterested. It freaks me out. This time it was Jazz, followed by Montana. In two weeks Jazz dropped 50-75 lbs, her coat was dull, she has rain rot, she got cut in the fence when it broke one night, etc. etc. I went into "emergency" mode with her and she is much better. This is what I think happened:
1. I switched feed on her. I went from Purina Omeline 200 and Equi Jewel Rice bran and corn oil to Purina Strategy Pellets, no rice bran, and less corn oil. BAD IDEA!
I decided from now on, when I figure out what works for these OTTTBs, not to change it to a "Fat Quarter Horse Maintenance" plan! They're back on Omeline and Equi Jewel.
2. I am CONVINCED that OTTTBs have a problem with parasite infestations in the extreme. On the track they don't graze, or eat hay. So when we get them and turn them out onto pasture, the parasites have a heyday. So while my "regulars" I deworm on a 4-6 times per year basis and they never have a problem, I am starting to think I need to deworm the OTTTBS twice as much in the first year.
I dewormed Jazz, and everyone else, (again) and within 10 days I saw improvement in coat, etc. So I am convinced. More deworming.
Both she and Montana are stabilized and doing better. I have had no problems anymore with Montana and biting; I simply have been loving on him and rewarding him with affection when he behaves; and when I halter him, turn him out, etc. etc. I think Spencer was a huge problem for him as well, and since Spencer went to his owner's, The problem has improved as well.
Major's barefoot experiment is working beautifully; no lameness or anything. Yay!
Gunny went to his new home last week. In the few days following, I found myself mistakenly putting feed in his feeder and filling his water bucket in his stall out of habit. It was a little sad to see his stripped out stall empty and bare. I went to see him and he had a little attitude - still adjusting to his new people and home, I think.
And what is with all this RAIN?! FOUR days of it! I kept the horses in for the first two days, but decided I had to let them out for the afternoon today. When I got back to feed, they were damp, and miserable. They were picking at one another, and pawing and kicking in their stalls impatiently; Major kicked out at me then I went to remove his blanket. I think they are all fed up with the miserable weather. I can't blame them, as I feel the same way!
I am hoping for better weather this next week and maybe I can finally get some riding in, now that most of my "little fires" are all put out. For the time being.