Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

No Resolutions Here

I'm not one to make New Year resolutions. I find that long term promises are hard to keep, and I'm not one to make a promise if I don't think I can keep it. This past year, for example, had I made a promise to ride more or reach a training goal, my unexpected health issues would have derailed the plan well before the year was over.

I think if you try to live your life well each day, taking care to think of others as well as yourself, you really don't need much in the way of resolutions. Living well just kind of leads you to do the right thing and accomplish many of the important things along the way.

So, here I am facing a brand new year with no immediate plans. I am looking forward to being able to ride again, but the winter weather doesn't encourage me too much. It was snowing again this morning. Apparently we are not going to get more than perhaps four inches at most, so it's not quite as annoying as it could be. I was going to go to the feed store to get some more bedding, but the roads are a bit "iffy." Right now they just look wet, so it may be the temperatures are rising as predicted and all this will turn to rain. But since I don't really need the bedding, I'd rather wrap up in my new super soft bath robe and hang out inside.

When I went out to feed this morning, the Boys were at the far end of the pasture, appearing to be grazing. They sauntered casually in when they realized I was out there to feed. They were definitely not in any hurry. I like to see that. When horses do not go into a feeding frenzy it tells me they are well fed and content. This is particularly important in the winter when much of the food they eat has to go to maintaining body temperature.

I make sure they have plenty of hay every day. I just heard again from a friend that her boarding stable does not feed enough hay and many of the boarders supply extra out of their own pockets. I've boarded at places where the hay is rationed like that and simply cannot understand it. For example, if the horses were fed at around 3-4 PM and boarders then came to ride later, there was no extra hay put in the stalls later. Horses would get a couple flakes with the afternoon feed, eat that, get ridden, and then have nothing to fill their stomachs through the night. Bad practice as far as I am concerned.

Horses naturally graze, browse, and eat all day long. When they are locked in stalls, that natural instinct is restricted by whatever feed humans give them. What they need is something to nibble on all the time. And, if they are exercised and then put back into a stall, it becomes even more important.

I may go excesses with my Boys as they get three feeds a day, but I would rather have leftover hay in the stalls than have them left with nothing to eat all night.

Over-indulged and seeming quite content, the Horses of Follywoods seem to be doing just fine. Here's hoping the New Year brings them more satisfaction and a good life here.


  1. Anonymous1:17 PM

    Rationed hay is a sign of a bad boarding facility, in my opinion - every horse's individual food needs should be met. I've also seen boarding barns that feed poor quality hay (the cheapest) or poor quality feeds.

    Glad the boys are content - they should be with the excellent care they get.

    May you have a healthy and satisfying 2010!

  2. I'm with you, I don't make resolutions either and for pretty much the same reasons as you.

    I've always hated boarding my horses and am so glad to have them home and on the slightly chunky side for the winter. One place we boarded at actually weighed each flake to make sure no one got more than their fair share. They would only allow them one water bucket too, filled once a day. We brought our own extra buckets but then they only filled each one half way(go figure that one out). We did supplement, and left as soon as we could. Other places refused to feed what they normally ate and fed cheaply instead. There are good places out there, but they are hard to find.

    May you and your horses have a wonderful productive, healthy, happy New Year!

  3. Feeding wile boarding is always an issue.
    Teena is fed hay 4 times, 3 times, normal hay ( more like straw) then she has a ration of Purina Fibers pellets.
    On top of that she has a cereals feed. But then she works almost every day.

    Bonne Année, my best wishes for 2010. I wish a good health, and fantastic time with your boys!