Yesterday I called in the Veterinarian because Bae Bee had puffy eyes that were dripping a thick yellowish white ooze. “It’s pink eye,” the Vet said. He checked both the horses out and, while they cooperated very well, and he complimented them on being very nice horses, he said they were dangerously close to foundering. That basically means they are obese and could easily get equine diabetes unless they loose weight. He instructed me on what type of hay to give them (low sugar content like bluegrass hay), and how much per day (10-12 pounds).
He suggested we exercise them daily, beginning with 1/2 hour of walking and trotting, gradually increasing their exercise so as to not over do it until they are in better shape. Overdoing the exercise could cause injury, just as in people.
Cheryl and I went for our first ride on them since bringing them home. I rode Bae Bee and Cheryl rode Honey. The saddle I tried to put on Bae Bee had no cinch. I should have checked that when I picked it up at the garage sale for $1oo! I wondered why they had a row of cinches for sale along side the saddles! Instead of a saddle, I used one of the bare back pads I got for $10, and yes, it was very much like bareback riding only you don’t get as dirty.
Cheryl had the rocket saddle I got for $225. Off we went. Cheryl was unfamiliar with the cues Honey is used to, and was having a difficult time directing Honey where to go. Bae Bee would not go anywhere without Honey, and on a bareback pad, I wasn’t about to try to make her. So we meandered around the yard with lots of starts and stops.
Finally we got the horses out onto the road and started down our dead end, rural street. We made it a few houses down before an ancient looking dog laboriously lumbered slowly out of it’s open garage door and tried to bark at us. The bark sounded something like a deep, heavy, “Owwwww, Owwwwww, Owwwww.”
As non threatening as he would have been to me, if I had been walking, the horses were not taking any chances and began shying and rolling their eyes. We turned the horses around and went the other way.
On the other end of our street, as we neared the busier country road, where traffic was speeding by, they shied again. So much for them being accustomed to traffic, as we were told. We turned back to the house just in time for Honey to leave her droppings in the middle of the pavement. Luckily it was not in front of the perfectly manicured yard of our neighbor across the street, who asked my husband to move our old truck off the street in front of our house because she didn’t like seeing it when she looked out her front window.
The ride was short but it was a start.
I told my husband, “The difference between a $5,000 horse and a $300-$1,500 horse is the $5,000 horse is well trained and physically fit.” I’m Ok with these horses though. They are providing me with the smell, feel, and joy of having horses . . . they are not perfect, but they are very sweet girls!
In looking at the following photo of me riding Honey, I realize I am in danger of foundering too. I would benefit from a very strict diet!