Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring is Finally Here .... Supposedly

Last week it was evident that was spring was on it's ways with many days in the 60s and even 70s. Sunday was the first official day of spring and the weather has gone down hill from there. They are talking about possible snow tomorrow, though hopefully it will really be all rain.

My last lesson on Satin went well though she did have a hard time with her lead change in the one direction. I had one a gift certificate for chiropractic which happened to be with my regular vet so he came out last week. It was quite interesting as I had never seen anything like it before. He did say though that all her problems were on her right side, which I expected because when I bend her on the ground she has a harder time in that direction. When I told R this she said that could be the reason for her lead change issues. I have my next lesson tomorrow so we will see if things have improved.

My last lesson on Try was great. The lesson before we had a few stopping/stubborness issues but R helped me work through it and I finally figured him out on that stuff at least. So, my last lesson went much better. We had none of that stopping stuff. He did think about it once or twice but he was able to stop it before it started. R had us canter with the reins hooked over the horn which was interesting. She wanted me to trust him more and not go to use my hands so much, but rather to rely more on seat and legs. Since I have only ridden the horse about 5 times it was hard for me to resist picking up the reins to fix him as I do not know him well enough for that kind of trust yet, but he is a good boy and has no where to go in that indoor.

Anyway only had time for a quick update. I have to get back to interning so I can get to the barn soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Product Review: Equi-Jewel

Over the end of the fall and into the winter I had noticed Satin had begun to drop some weight. She is older (22 now) so this is to be expected. We began giving her extra hay, which did produce a hay belly, but did not do anything for the fact that she looked a bit ribby or that her top line wasnt as nice as it had been all summer (which was not from lack of work because she was one of the few horses in New Jersey without an indoor who kept in shape all winter). We separated her from her paddock mate at feed time. Even thought they both ate the same amount of grain her paddockmate ate it faster and would chase Satin off the end of her grain. We also tried increasing her grain from half a scoop of pellet and half a scoop of sweet feed to a full scoop of pellet and half a scoop of sweet feed. I gave this a few weeks to kick in and it still showed no real signs of improvement. I also was very on top of her blanketing this winter. I always am, but this winter I was even more diligent with checking temperatures and rotating her to the appropriate level blanket as she has a sheet, medium, and heavy weight. I did not want her wasting any excess fat on keeping warm.

When these previous efforts proved to not be successful I went to my trainer and asked her advice. When I first moved Satin to her current residence two years ago she was underweight due to issues with graining at my previous farm that lead to my move. We upped her grain and I put her on fat cat for two months and it did the trick, so I asked my trainer about various options.

She suggested Equi-Jewel. It is a rice bran pellet containing 20% fat. She feeds it to a few of her horses and they love it and it works well. She gave Satin a handful to try and she almost ate her fingers she loved it so much. As you all know I take my trainer's word as Gospel so the next day Satin started on Equi-Jewel. As usual R was right. Not only did Satin love it and gobble it up, but she I noticed a difference within two weeks. She has now been on it for six weeks and is looking better and better. She no longer looks ribby and her top line is improving as well.

I highly recommend this product. Right now Satin is getting twice a day, but once she builds up a little more she will be dropped down the once a day and then her grain will eventually be decreased to its original ration. But, anyone with older horses, hard keepers, or any other weight issues should definitely give it a try. It is only about $30 for a grain sized bag of it which lasted me about six weeks.

I know, I know, I'm a slacker

I feel like these days I am constantly apologizing for the fact that I have been such a slacker on this blog. Things are just SOOOOOOOO busy for my this year, especially this semester, with it being the end of college. I feel like I have no time for anything. There are just not enough hours in my day. So to avoid constantly apologizing I will just say now, the updates will come as often as possible which will likely be not too often, but I will try my best to post at least 2 or 3 times a month.

Anyway, so first I will give the updates everyone wants most...the Satin ones! As I mentioned last time our ring is now usable (yay!!), so we have gotten back to our regular routine. About two weeks ago we were even able to get out on a trail ride, which was awesome. Can't wait for another one! Anyway we have been continuing with our lessons as we have all winter and have actually been able to do our homework. Lately we have been working a lot on flying lead changes. Satin already knows them as a reining horse but has gotten a bit lazy with them lately so we are working on cleaning them up and making them happen when I want instead of when she wants, as well as, fixing my equitation and ques during the changes as I tend to get in her way. We actually have a lesson later today, so looking forward to that.

In other news, I have not yet gotten back on Hottie for numerous reasons, none really having to do with him though and do hope to get him back to work soon. My new project horse, Try, that I introduced last week is doing well. I have had a few lessons on him and we are devloping a friendship and getting the hang of each other. He is a sweet horse but has some sensitivities due to mistakes and issues left over from his previous trainer. Anything that reminds him of his past work leads him to basically shut down, so we are slowly startng to figure each other out and things are going well.

School is good but busy. I like my internship, though the other intern and I often find ourselves sitting in the office with nothing to do as our supervisor is always so busy. When we do have work to do though it is interesting and good experience. Freelancing is going well and I have a few articles waiting for my attention, that I plan to begin work on next week while I am on spring break. Photography has been a bit dormant. I have had print orders from previous shoots, but haven't had any requests for shoots due to the cold weather and dead everything not providing good backgrounds. I expect now as the weather starts to turn that will change as I had several people inquire about spring photoshoots last fall.