Monday, December 5, 2011

Here's Mud in Your Eye. And Mane. And Tail...

I promised this week there'd be pictures of the herd masquerading as shaggy mountain ponies, thinking I'd snap a few shots of them in their winter coats. Then we got rain. And more rain. Not Thai-flood amounts of rain, but a deluge measured in inches with more coming as I write this. What a lovely sight!

In addition to the rain (edited after looking outside to add sleet and wet snow!), cold weather is moving in. And the horses love it. So much that they're skidding around in the mud and making their own wallows. So instead of the long-, thick-haired mountain pony impersonators I'd planned, we have little horses impersonating mud monsters instead. Definitely not the beasties at their besties.



This is one of the stalls given over to grass bagged from one of the pastures.

I still need about 10 more bales of hay to get everyone through the winter, goats included. I generally buy coastal bermuda as I supplement with (too much) grain and pelleted feed. Right now, I feed my own blend of alfalfa/timothy pellets (the wild rabbits love me to throw a handful or two of these their way, too), rolled oats, sweet feed (which has yummy molasses mixed in) and a special pelleted concoction for older horses who can't digest hay easily. After my older mare, Lyssa, had an episode of choke (a blockage in the esophagus), the vet suggested the special pelleted mix, which is easily digested. When Bella went through two episodes of colic recently, I added it to the mix for everyone. The horses hate it and won't eat it out of the bag as it's meant to be consumed, but it goes down readily with all the other goodies.

Then, of course, they also get apples, carrots, alfalfa cubes and peppermint-flavored treats. Keeping them fed isn't the problem; it's keeping them from getting too fat -- a battle I fear I'm losing with my miniature gelding, Cody.

Some gratuitous shots of the dogs in the rain.


And the cats waiting for lunch.

Callie (l) and Orion (r)


Jo-Ann said...

Glad to hear the drought has broken.
It's not just the four legged children you like to play in the mud. When we get rain at the end of hot spell, my boys love to dash outside and get soaking wet. Good thing we have high fences, co z we could start our own nudist colony out there.

Wilkins MacQueen said...

How old is Lyssa? Bella? Choke and colic are so hard to experience for the owner as well as the horse. I am still interested in feed for horses. I always would read the newsest research I could get my hands on from the universities concerning horse diets.

I rescued a few horses and depending on their condition I had to be very careful getting them back to a healthy body weight.

Tricky business, horses aren't perfectly engineered and things go wrong when they shouldn't.

Two bouts of colic is scary. I wonder what brought it on. Your herd is outside, running around so they get lots of exercise. Would she be allergic/sensitive to something in the feed?

And a question - does the grass stay fresh in the bags? I'm wondering if it wouldn't spoil - but it is likely too dry for that to happen.

Happy to read you've got rain. Finally. Will your pasture take a year or two to recover or do you think it will recover by Spring?

Love the farm chats.