Here's my evening:

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AllieBaba, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    I got home from work at about 5:00, which is unusual for me.

    I packed all my files and crap into my office and locked it up.

    I got into my cold car (I drive a state Jeep during work, a nice one, I might add, had 3000 miles on it when I got it, it's great to be Queen) and I drive home, so I can change my shoes from my work slippers (as close to slippers as I can find) and put on my work coat.

    I call the babysitter to say I need an hour.

    Now I get to go feed. It's dark, because I don't like to make them wait more than 14 hours between feedings, and I feed at about 8 in the morning.

    Feeding means driving to the pasture. Going into the barn to get alfalfa pellets, going into the pasture to retrieve the feed pans, bringing them out, hooking up the hose, going back to the haystack to get the extruded feed I feed as supplement or whole feed, as occasion demands. 3 quarts each for each horse and 1/2-1 quart of alfalfa pellets.

    I haul that shit the 30 feet or so to where the hose is... and water it down because my mare tends to choke because she must have a tooth that needs extracted or floated, and there's none within 100 miles capable of doing that, I've got to haul her, and I don't have a truck or trailer.

    So anyway, I water down the feed, put the hose in the water containters to fill them up, go back to the hay stack to get hay, go back into the pasture, lift out the cinderblock brick and the 30 lb rock that I have in the bottom, respectively (prevents them from #1, tipping over the feeders, and #2, from choke because they can't get a big enough mouthful, though the Arab is heroic in her efforts)

    I put out the watered down and now slushy supplement/alfalfa shit, which the Arab loves but Purdy loathes...

    then I get to bring my hay, divide it up, take it to the feeders, lift up the weights to plop down on top of the hay, then hose it all down.

    Then I turn off the water, disconnect the 30 ft hose, and drain it completely and assiduously, because just a little bit of water frozen at the nozzle end will mean I have to thaw out the hose before watering them next time...and horses without water with feed die from colic....roll up that goddamn hose..

    And then it's to home, to home, to home, again.

    Oh wait, I forgot to pick up the kids, dammit.

    Okay, back to pick up the kids, bring them home, get them ready for bed and start all over at 7:45 a.m. tomorrow.

    I wouldn't trade it for any life in the world.

    Except maybe one where I didn't have to work in the first place.
     
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  2. Si modo
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    Si modo Diamond Member

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    So that I can get a better visual, I'm going to ask a few questions:

    Why don't you feed them in their stalls or do they not have stalls?

    Wouldn't a diet of sweet feed with a few flakes of both hay and alfalfa be a lot easier? Some farmers will even bale mixes.

    Aren't you concerned with mold on their hay when you water it down?

    I don't know where you live, but there HAS to be someone who can float teeth closer - vets can. I imagine even small animal vets can.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  3. asaratis
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    asaratis Uppity Senior Citizen Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    You didn't tell us about what happened yesterday between 7:45am and 5:00pm when the story began...and I want all the details, including lunch, where it came from and how much it cost.
     
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  4. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    You forget, I live in the middle of nowhere. The nearest vet lives at least 20 miles away, and she doesn't float.

    So I have a few choices...I can haul them to Pendleton, which is 72 + 58 miles away, whatever that is, one way, and back. Or to Madras or Redmond, which are a little closer, but I don't know the vets there.

    Sweet feed is okay, if your horse can chew it. Unrolled oats go strait through, they have to be rolled. So I feed a little dry cob. The only real nutritional value they get from it is the rolled corn, which is good for heat and shine, but little else. And my mare can't chew it, and so it's essentially just fun for them and a monetary waste. Molasses, which is what is used for sweet feed, results in hard fat, which although is nice during the winter, is a pain in the ass if you ride them because it doesn't burn off easily.

    The hay I feed, when I feed it, is generally a mix, timothy, grass and a little alfalfa. The thing is, my mare chokes. She wolfs her feed, and that combined with the fact that she has a tooth which prevents her masticating it adequately is dangerous...this is how I almost lost her a few weeks ago. She grabbed a mouthful of the fine timothy/alfalfa mix I had as I was hauling it out to them, and choked. She went down and was about 1 minute from dying.

    So I have to be very inventive. I use the cinderblock and the huge rock to keep her from being able to get huge mouthfuls at a time, but they aren't terribly effective when it comes to hay, she can still grab a huge mouthful around it. So I started wetting it down, which has really worked well so far.

    I fed Equus senior first as a supplement, then as a whole feed, because I didn't feed hay all summer. They're in about an acre lot, which isn't enough to keep grass on for two horses, and I don't have a truck. Plus she tends to choke. So I started using extruded feed (which does have molasses in it) but she wolfs that, too. Not to mention, when she's eating it, half of it falls out of her mouth (indicative of a need to float or extract a tooth). But Equus keeps weight on them, and they like it, so I'm really happy with it. I just really worry about choke. They're tiny pellets.

    So I started putting big rocks in their grain feeding containers. No, they don't have separate stalls. We have one 3-sided barn, and they won't both eat in it. The Arab chases Purdy out, eats all the feed and Purdy gets nothing. You always have to have at least a length and a half between horses (if you don't have dividers) or one won't get their fair share.

    Anyway, I finally started soaking their supplement (Equus & alfalfa pellets) and feeding hay again (I was completely convinced my Arab was going to die) but I'm watering down the hay. This was on the vet's advice, when I called her when the arab went down with choke.

    I generally feed some dry cob (which is unsweetened sweet feed) because it just makes them happy, but after seeing how much passes through without being digested at all, I determined it's a fucking waste of money. It keeps their guts moving, but so does hay. If they don't choke on it.

    When we lived in Los Alamos, where it was wickedly cold all winter long (that's October-June 5) we fed rolled or cracked corn in the winter with their alfalfa, and rolled barley in the summer, because when you're riding hard and you're feeding corn, they get hot and their pulse goes up and doesn't come down, but if you feed barley, you can ride them hard and not risk a heart attack (my mom did endurance and I rode with her to train).

    With the horses I have now, I'm constantly adjusting their feed according to season, use, and ahem...choke.

    Right now, we're doing okay. They both have good flesh but they don't have huge hay guts like they got last year when I was feeding oodles of hay and grain. I split a flake of the good stuff I have right now between them, which gives them something to chew and keeps them busy. It's not good for horses to eat only 15 minutes twice a day....they're meant to nosh all day long and they can potentially get neurotic if they don't. So I feed a little of the (to my Arab) deadly hay, watered down, which makes it go down easier, and watered Equus, alfalfa and when it's cold, dry cob. The water makes it easier for her to swallow.

    Alfalfa is great feed for horses, make no mistake, and I have no problem with sweet feed. For horses who don't have chewing problems, those feeds work just fine.

    But my 16 y.o. mare has a tooth issue, and I'm limited by my remote location and my dependence on the feed that is available.

    Equus is always available, because I've made it happen with the feed store (20 miles away). Hay, sometimes so, sometimes not. Since I can't transport it myself or buy huge amounts I'm sort of limited to what I can find. What I can find is usually a mix of timothy, alfalfa..and sometimes crappy round bales which are fine except I can't just put them out in the pasture like most humans do. I have 60 deer that converge on any hay thrown in the pasture and eat it much faster than my horses. So when I get big bales, I have to batten it down, pitchfork it into feeders, and chase bucks away with the pitchfork while the horses eat.
     
  5. Big Black Dog
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    Big Black Dog Gold Member Supporting Member

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    My wife had an Arabian and I had a Belgian about 5 years ago. Had to get rid of them because they were too expensive to keep and took up too much time to care for them and get all the other stuff done here on the farm. Hay got to costing over $5.00 and I didn't want to spend that much. Vet bills were too high. Dogs are cheaper and easier to clean up after.
     
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  6. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    Yeah, but horses don't shit and piss in the house.

    They are expensive. I have horses, and because of that, I don't have a savings account, except at tax time. And most of that money is gone within 4 months because of horse things I have to buy, and my kids (mainly the older ones) who I like to treat with a couple of various and assorted gifts. One year I gave one son $3000 to help move him to Tennessee, where his wife was stationed, and this last summer, I spent almost as much taking my other son, his wife-who-should-be and their baby on a vacation to the coast. I can't do it all the time, but for a few years I feel compelled to shell out some money to them because they had a very destitute childhood, due to my own very bad decisions.

    It's a choice you make. I sold off all my horses when I was pregnant with my youngest. I'd been pregnant for 2 years, hadn't ridden, and was having to drive many miles 2 x a day, plus put out money for various horse related expenses, and I wasn't able to get anything out of the 3 horses I had. I finally sold them off and determined not to get any again until I could afford them.

    I can afford them now, to an extent, but I still sacrifice certain things.

    Not quite to the extent my mother determined she was willing to sacrifice when at 45 she moved us to Los Alamos, and gave me a choice between braces and a horse. I chose the horse. I wouldn't do that to my kids, I wouldn't give them the choice. Kids first, horses second. But right now, I'm in a place where while I do live hand to mouth because I have the horses, my kids are still able to get all their medical care, live in a house (and not a studio apartment...that's another story) and get the dental care they need.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
     
  7. Si modo
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    Si modo Diamond Member

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    Thanks for the additional info. I would still think it would be easier to do it in the 3-side. So that you could do them both at the same time, it shouldn't be too hard to put a central partition up, perpedicular to the back wall, then have them both there at the same time (saves you time) with a butt sash for each of them from the central partition to the outside wall. The sash could be similar to a trailer sash.

    I forgot about the choking. That was bad.

    You will eventually have to trailer them for the float - hassle, but you can't go on too much longer like that.

    Until then, is there a mash that you could make for feed? That would be less choke risk with a scarfing horse. Do they scarf less in the AM or PM? Make the less voracious time the major feed.

    What sort of riding to you do? Any competitions? Western? English? Competitions - shows, endurance, hunts, etc.?

    Do your kids ride, too? Any competitions for them?

    Thanks, Allie, for bringing me out on this topic; I appreciate it.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  8. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    They both won't eat in the barn. The Arab chases Purdy out, it's not big enough for them both to eat in it.

    I am making mash for feed...that's what the water in the Equus/alfalfa pellets and (when needed) dry cob is. I fill up their grain pans, water them down, put them down outside the pen, go get the hay, set it down, put the mash out for them (now it's soft) then I get the hay, divide it up, put it in their hay feeders (essentially big plastic garbage cans with the 30 lb. rock in one and the cinder block in the other) lift up the weights to set on top of the hay, water that down and away we go.

    The thing that most people, and a lot of them are fairly experienced horse people, don't understand is that horses won't share their feed or their feeding space with other horses. That's why you always have to have a horse and a half length between feeding stations (unless you have stalls or dividers...and even dividers can be dangerous because an aggressive horse can corner a horse in one and kick the shit or even the life out of them). I have a fairly small 3-sided barn. It's perfect for one horse. Two horses will stand happily in it when they aren't eating, and mine do..they'll both go in there and stand asses to the wall out of the elements.

    But when it comes to eating, it's a different thing. The Arab will NOT allow Purdy in to eat at chow time. She'll chase her out and eat everything. Purdy gets nothing. And when you're feeding multiple horses (I've fed up to 9 in an open pasture) you always have to space out the feed for each horse, one and a half horse lengths between them, and include 1-2 extra piles for those who get chased off their feed. So when I was feeding 9 horses (and 2 of them were babies so ate with their mamas) I had to set out 10 piles, approximately 20 feet apart.

    For a while, I was feeding the Arab in the barn, and I'd feed Purdy on whichever side of the barn was breaking the wind....but now, since I'm watering everything down, they're getting fed along the fence, with great distances between them, because that's where the hose reaches.

    They go in the barn when they feel like drying out or having the wind broken. And they'll stand next to each other. But not during dinner time.

    You're right about the perpendicular...except it's not my property, not my barn, and I can't build for shit, nor do I have the tools. Another thing for me to spend my tax money on, heheheh.. Plus, my Arab eats much faster than Purdy, though Purdy is an easier keeper (doesn't need as much to keep weight on) so I'd run the risk of feeding them, then having the mare get Purdy cornered in her little feeding place. Not that the Arab's THAT mean, or Purdy is THAT timid...she'd just charge out past her.

    I'm going to hit up ppl this coming week for a ride to the nearest vet to float my mare's teeth, and incidentally, to take a blood sample from Purdy to see if she's insulin resistant, because she pisses 3 times every time I go to feed. I don't know if she saves it up and it's a mare thing (she flashes too) or what. Her weight is good, she doesn't seem to have any issues with heat (so I'm not too concerned about an ovarian cyst) but it's still weird. Why they hell does she feel compelled to piss 3 times every time she sees me? And it's not little squirts like a mare in heat does. And she doesn't act like she's in heat, she's perfectly fine to handle and ride. She pisses a gallon at a time. I think she saves it up for me, it freaks me out.

    If I have the money, I'd lock them up in the damn barn at night, and only let them out during the day. That's the way it should be done. But I'd have to re-structure the barn....plus I'd want to fence off the larger part of the pasture, actually, so I'd be able to let them out during the day, but turn them out to pasture a couple of hours a day.

    But that's a year or two down the road. I used to have Priefert panels...two walk-through gates and enought to make a 60-ft round pen. I don't have them now, they went the way the horses went when I determined I couldn't afford them. If I had them now, I'd partition off the larger part of the pasture to let the grass grow, put a divider in the barn, and a panel behind it, and pen them up at night, let them out during the night to be in the small lot, and let them graze during the day.

    That's heaven as I view it. That and having a truck and trailer to haul them to the fucking vet.
     
  9. Si modo
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    Si modo Diamond Member

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    I think you have a great doable plan. And it will make it much easier for you. Thanks for more info on them. Yeah, three years seems very realistic.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  10. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    I'm inviting you, Si. Come to my shack, hang out for a week. You can hang out with the hosses, on their backs or not, all you like. They're gentle and my house has heat, mostly. You'll see more deer than you ever want to see, and possibly have to stand your ground against them. My insane rat terrorist will keep you company in my alternately heated/unheated house until you have no option but to leave the house and venture out into the great outdoors.

    Where the deer will flock around you and every single person who passes in a car will wave at you. It's scary at first, but eventually you get used to it. My co-workers come to spend the day with me, and everybody waves when we drive hither and yon, and I always say "I have no idea who that is, but I'm sure they know who I am. Just wave. That way I won't be killed tonight for dissing them."
     

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