Saturday, May 28, 2011

You just might find you get what you need

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. 


  1. Poor Pie - missing out on the good slurpy fun. If Sovey and Foggy are anything like Val - eating the beet pulp mash is a loud + messy production.

    Speaking of beet pulp, I forgot to mention that we gobble up the kind with no molasses - it comes both ways. Don't know about your guys, but Val does not need the extra sugar :)

    Your thunderstorm grooming session sounds heavenly. So relaxing for all of you...

  2. I so enjoyed this... Just thinking of Pie holding his breath, putting his head down makes me giggle!

    H ave to say, my Mare lives her some soupy sloppy BP! IF she had a straw, she'd use it to eat it faster I think. She gets it after long rides with electrolytes in it.
    Hope that works for the brothers. When Wa was down in weight one winter, I gave her Gamma oil. Boy did that fill her out nicely. Your way is cheaper though!

    Love that you definately GOT WHAT YOU NEEDED Jules! Lovely ~
    And, it does sound like my surprise"forced vacation"at my stable far, 3 days of grazing, grooming, watching...I've come home more relaxed each day, even without riding.

  3. Your description of Pie holding his breath and listening had me laughing. Your horses sound like such sweet hearts, but I think that is because you handle them so well.
    I know what oyu mean about grooming when you can't ride. It's such a great, luxurious feeling to just be spending time together with nothing more in mind. Glad you got the storm and break from oppressive weather. Happy riding.

  4. Yea for beet pulp slurpies!! :) Yes, I get the shredded kind w/o sugar and soak 1st thing when I get to the barn so it has plenty of time to absorb, as that is how Laz likes it too. I think it's a great tool for weight gain, to get water/moisture in, hide any meds or other supplements too, and they seem to love it!

  5. Hi allhorsestuff told me about your blog she says, hi from KK. I took a look around your blog you’ve got some nice horses. I have an ex race horse, and so does my mother, I am buying another one soon, just waiting for him to be delivered.

  6. So sweet. I love grooming time too. I've even been adding a little massage for the babies.

    I want to give you a little cautionary tale about beet pulp. Probably nothing you haven't heard before but... I was giving old Clyde beet pulp this winter and he got colic, which he never had before. Then one week later Rosie got a hold of 1 piece of the unsoaked beet pulp and choked! I decided to forgo after all that! I guess you just have to make sure it's good and soaked AND be careful about not giving too much? I was trying to put some weight on Clyde and the vet said he wouldn't give beet pulp but to put a little rice bran oil on his food instead. Anyway, what he really needed was more grass and now is lookin' fat as a little tick! :) Good luck with the boys.

  7. I love the sound of horses slurping up their beet pulp. It always makes me grin. It's a sound of pure pleasure.

  8. Ahh, those kind of grooming sessions are good for everyone's soul!

  9. Slurping, gobbling and chewing! That is too much! Oh, I can imagine it perfectly! There is so much merriment and humor in it! (not to mention good bulk and nutrition!)I love to hear them munching hay, but the beet pulp must be really fun to listen to! I have often heard the praises of beet pulp being sung! I hope it works! The you will have three fatties! Just kidding! I know your guyz are truly the picture of health.
    Isn't it nice when a thunderstorm is just a nice thunderstorm?


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