Some days it feels like forever ago and other days it feels like yesterday. 3 years ago we lost our Batthorse.
It’s funny, I’ve been pretty good lately and today? Not so much. Batt was a lot things (including a pain in the ass), but he was the epitome of security. Of safety. Even when he was flight and all that, he was just solid underneath you.
I feel like I write this post a lot. I honestly just haven’t been up to blogging as of late. Work has kicked my butt this fall and riding has been on the back burner. Between that and my regular health crap, it’s just been hard to keep up with everything.
But, I should do a quick update on the kids.
Back in October, we celebrated 16 years together. It’s hard to believe he’s been in my life that long. But, he’s definitely starting to show his age. After all his medical stuff this summer, I’ve been struggling a touch with his weight. He’s just been ping ponging a bit. We swapped him from a complete senior feed to a senior concentrate and after an initial “I hate this and my life,” he’s actually eating it. He was eating alfalfa cubes and pellets every night, but he’s been a bit iffy with them the last several weeks and I’ve had to cut volume. It could be multiple reasons including the change in feed or the fact that the last 2 bags of cubes are hard. Like REALLY hard. Subi has a brand preference based on what soaks well. These are them but the amount of water we’ve been adding to make them soak is insane. I’m almost wondering if they’re mislabeled and not straight alfalfa. I’ll be getting a new bag this weekend so I’m hoping things will sort themselves out. Prior to this, I was considering adding oil to his cubes, but now that it’s hit or miss how much cubes he’ll eat, I’m probably going to add an extra fat source to his senior feed and hope I can add some more weight before winter.
Other than looking like a molding potato, Jiminy is living his best life. I switched his feed from a ration balancer to a vitamin/mineral supplement and other supplements and at night he gets it mixed with fibre beet and in the morning he gets it mixed with a handful of sainfoin pellets. He’s also getting Stable Feed’s Prickly Pear for glucose support and zyrec because, allergies. Honestly? He’s doing great. He gets steamed hay at night that seems to be all he needs (being in seems to increase coughing, but the steamed hay — fresh or up to 24 hours old — is perfect for him and he’s fine on a round bale with his muzzle outside, even if he tries to burry himself in it). He’s living his best life. We were between rounds last week and despite having hay out, Jiminy got bored, found a weak spot in the fence, exited, heard voices, and decided to visit my next door neighbor who was working in his garage shop. Just walked right on in to visit. This happened on a day no one was home so they brought him home and locked him up in the barn. Meanwhile, Nay Nay and Subi spent the entire day in the shed and couldn’t be bothered to even notice Jiminy took off… It was raining and they don’t do rain.
My complicated problem child. Nay Nay is mostly fine. Really. But, I’m realizing fall is very tough on him. He’s showing signs of a slight colitis flare. No diarrhea (he never has diarrhea, just super stinky poop that slightly changes consistency) and his eating habits change. He backs off hay and stops being an eating machine. At this point, he’s still eating, but not eating the same way? He eats his fibre beet every night (thank you.) and does eat his night time grain. Breakfast grain is hit or miss. He is eating chopped hay, but is back to only wanting store bought chopped hay vs my home chopped hay. I may need to experiment with what I chop. I’m sure he’ll eat mostly chopped alfalfa, but I try to get a little orchard in it. I might just need a fancier cut of orchard to chop or a nice timothy. So, I may purchase chopping hay specifically for this purpose. I don’t mind buying chopped hay for him (and if he’ll ONLY eat that, so be it), but at $25/bag, I’d prefer to supplement it with home chopped hay. I’ll play around this weekend.
He’s more iffy with long stem forage (which makes sense because long stem forage isn’t great on the gut of horses with colitis). He does eat at the round bale, but not for hours at a time. At night, he’ll eat some steamed orchard grass hay, some alfalfa, and some steamed alfalfa. I’ve just been steaming him whatever and seeing what he’ll eat. I may actually try steaming orchard, letting it dry, then chopping it. That way if there is any dust, it’s gone… that might be something to try…
Despite all of that, he’s been LOVELY to ride when I have ridden. I haven’t taken many lessons (1 in October), but he was a gem. I then had an unexpected hiatus because of truck issues (keep reading) but this past weekend he was LOVELY again and yesterday I snuck out a lunch and again, wonderful.
Honestly? He’s just been quiet and fun to ride. He’s getting his leads. Our trot is SO MUCH BETTER (we started halting and backing at the walk before we trot and that improved our trot so much). And other than dying at the in gate going left, life is good. Yesterday I just working on cantering over a little 12″ fence on a circle in both directions, holding the lead, and it felt great. He also held his right lead canter on a tiny circle when a buggy (he HATES buggies) came down the road and listened to me vs losing his mind. The only thing I could thing do do was canter a small circle as I just picked up the canter and didn’t want to stop. And? it worked. He said OK. I’ll focus.
Anyway, nothing has been exciting, but it’s been GOOD. Good is great.
Yes, my truck gets its own update. Unfortunately.
A couple of weeks ago I went outside to turn my truck around so I could hitch up the trailer (plan was to clip Nay Nay that afternoon but I needed to connect the trailer so I could tie him to it). As I was backing up the trailer, I found myself flying backwards with my foot on the ground. I lost my brakes. Completely. Thanks to my e-brake, I was able to stop in my neighbor’s yard, but it was absolutely terrifying.
Thankfully, AAA towed the truck over to our garage who fixed the right front brake line (it appears the left front line was replace when they replaced a front caliper in August) so our front lines are good to go. The back lines were replaced a few years ago. So, we should be OK, but I’m still slightly terrified to drive.