Monday, December 29, 2008

My fat horse

I went outside at 10 o'clock to ride my horse, Blue. I led him to the barn, brushed off the dried mud from his most recent roll on the ground, and threw a saddle on. Unfortunately, the cinch strap wasn't long enough to fasten. Not nearly long enough. I tried the other saddle. Same problem. (Don't ask me why I thought a different saddle would make a difference.)

I called Cliff over to help me make an adjustment on the off side of the horse, to give me more strap to work with.

"Has he gained weight?" Cliff asked, smiling, as if he didn't know.

"I guess he has. How long has it been since I've ridden, anyhow?"

Because the last time I rode, the cinch strap was plenty long enough.

Blue has always had a weight problem; he's always had that big old cresty neck that makes him look like he's been foundered. Blue wrote the book on "easy keepers".
But he's never been this fat before.

He really doesn't look so much different to me, although Cliff says he can tell. He's the one who's been doing the feeding this winter, and I guess I haven't paid enough attention to my horse.

So, I've put him in a small pen with access to his stall. I'm going to limit his feed. Man, I hate to do it; it's like a mother having to put her child on a diet: I know it's for his own good, but he loves food so much!

When the weather's decent, I'll get out there and see that he gets some exercise.

It's going to be inconvenient, this time of year, keeping water out for him when the temperature gets below freezing. But something has to be done. If he's this fat in the middle of winter, what will happen when spring grass hits?

I did go for a ride, and Blue seemed happy to be out and about, whinnying loudly to every horse he saw along the way. It was a perfect day for a ride.

I took my camera along. Unfortunately, I neglected to put the card back in it before I left.

Maybe tomorrow.


Adirondackcountrygal said...

Wow, he is getting fat! LOL

Candice said...

Poor Blue. He's not FAT.. He's just big boned ;)

The Guy Who Writes This said...

Keep an eye out for founder. He looks ripe for it.

It's Just Me ~ Katie! said...

Thank you for your visit and link back to your reads. I've enjoyed knowing that my husbands not the only that has to be penned! I've enojoyed your reads and shall return. Take care and may the New Year bring with it a healthier resolve for all,
Katie and Hers

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Not getting enough exercise is a problem for sure. I know that more than most. Poor Blue, having to diet...that's not any fun. Hope the weather lets you ride more. Snow is suppose to return here tonight. 'On Ya'-ma

Traci said...

I couldn't see the weight gain so much in the first picture but in the second one, wow! He is packing it on! Tell him I know how it feels!

Astaryth said...

I agree with Traci... He doesn't look that heavy in Pic #1, but in the second he does. Might just be the angle. I know what you mean about the easy keeper thing. Since I have been using round bales this winter I have to watch what I feed grain wise more closely than when I was flaking them. sigh! The little darlings do love their grain.

Pamela said...

He's like me...we love to eat!

Ora said...

Poor Blue...but happy he has an owner who is watchful and is doing whats best for you say...come Spring and he will thank you for it all...happy trails and riding...God Bless you New Year...Ora

Kelly said...

I feel your pain, its so hard to do it to them. Right now Derby is enjoying going out in the mornings because there is nothing really out there for him to eat (save onion grass, which gives him atrocious breath). He will nibble away at nothing all day and then gets a flake at dark. He is so hairy now I don't know if he has gained much or not. I dont think he has. I hope you can get the weight off of him before anything bad happens. Keeping my fingers crossed for y'all here. Hugs, Kelly