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.