Thanks everyone for the great feeding suggestions to help Foggy with his weight. I did start adding beet pulp to his diet. This new addition has caused comic relief just when I need it most. I don't know if these three are actually funny horses, or if it is my perception, but every new "event" seems to elicit a response that cracks me up. Pie especially, is a funny horse. He is so huge with big expressive eyes and big head and body movements that "act out" what he is thinking. I have been bringing the horses inside the barn and putting them in their stalls in order to give Foggy his beet pulp and grain. I give Pie a meager handful of grain to keep him happy. Since Sovey is on the thin side like Foggy, I give him some beet pulp with his grain. They all have hay and water in there too, but Pie finishes his gratuitous grain without beet pulp long before the other two. I get him out and put him in the cross-ties to groom him, but you can hear the other two boys slurping and gobbling and chewing. Pie stops fidgeting and listens. He holds his breath so he can hear better. He looks around the barn and then lowers his head to look at me all cross-eyed and serious, like he is questioning, "Hey, Julie, what is going on in here? I think there is some yummy chewing going on. Do you hear that? What is all that slurping and gobbling? Did I get that food too? I am not remembering eating something that sounds that yummy?" I feel sorry for him, but he is such an easy keeper in a barn full of svelte, beet pulp gobbling brothers.
My rides have been consistent, although it has been hot (80 - 90 degrees) and buggy. I ride Pie and Sovey bareback and wonder if I will ever be able to ride Foggy bareback - he has very high withers.
Last evening I had an unexpected gift of quality time with all three horses. I got Pie out of the pasture to graze and ride. As I was standing there with him, though, I realized that the whole barn scene was chaotic. The heat and humidity were oppressive. The gnats were driving Pie crazy, causing him to swish his tail and kick and circle like a madman. Maizie and her friends were whopping it up loudly on the tennis court. My mom was flying around on a riding mower and our sweet farm helper, Melanie, was using a hand mower. Brian was periodically banging a sledge hammer into a pasture gate (I had hit it with a mower earlier and bent it!). Sovey and Foggy were pacing furiously in another pasture trying to escape the bugs. I brought all the horses into the barn to give them a brief respite from all the activity and just then a loud clap of thunder sent everyone scattering. Brian took Maizie to our home and mom and Melanie and kids went to their respective houses. I was left in the barn alone with a pouring rain storm outside and the three boys safe and sound inside with me.
Talk about a gift! Grooming in a barn with no chance of riding can be the most peaceful activity in the world. There is no rush, no hurry, no expectation of the next thing. Grooming is the destination. I stretched it out long and thorough with each horse. They were quiet and I could tell loved every second of me currying and brushing out all the day's sweat and bug itches. Happy, happy. Sigh.