I feel for the ponies. I really do.
Today the ground was muddy. Yesterday was muddy. Tomorrow will probably be muddy, too. The ponies just can’t seem to catch a break.
Fortunately, other than the boys’ pasture, the mud is isolated to within 50 feet of the gates. Unfortunately, this means every time the kids run inside, they’re forced to slog through mud. This isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen–it really only comes up just past the hoof to the ankle. (At another barn I had a stew of slop that slurped up to my knees.) I’m grateful for the lay of the land at Firefly. We have great drainage. Sadly, great drainage only goes so far.
Everyone is doing very well. I have some blankets on, some blankets off. Braz and Misty are chilling out in their pasture (with the RAMM fence), Melody, Honey, and Savannah are in the wooden pasture. Lexi and Senorita are in the mare pasture all alone. (I wanted to isolate them and feed them extra hay so they’d both lose some of the ribs they’ve shown recently.) Coffee and Dusty are content in the gelding pasture, as usual.
We moved up a little in feed. We were using Strategy: Healthy Edge, and now we’ve moved to Strategy (in the white bag.) I liked Healthy Edge because I could use a large amount of feed and fill the little pony tummies, but not have them hot or overloaded with calories. Unfortunately, now that it’s winter, we need to give them some more calories. Most of these guys are worked with 3x a week, max. They don’t need performance feed like show horses, or horses in high degrees of training. I wanted a slow-to-digest feed with low starch and low calories. Some feeds have high calories in a small amount of feed–I dislike these feeds. Sure, I wouldn’t have to get as many bags of grain a week. Sure, I wouldn’t have to feed as much, and it probably would cost less in the long run (for grain, at least.) However, unless you’re willing to feed your animals a great deal of hay, it’s not a good idea. Horse stomachs are meant for grazing. There are a lot of problems with empty horse stomachs. The biggest issue that comes to mind is that horses can get ulcers. (No fun, trust me.) They can start eating dirt from the ulcer, or start cribbing/windsucking. There are a lot of problems with an empty horse stomach.
It’s almost time to start evening chores. My faithful little dog already had a bath once today because when she helped with morning chores she became a brown dog instead of black-and-white. The problem is that she’s cute, I think I’ll take her back out to the barn and have her assist with night chores, too. She loves making sure the ponies move into the correct area at the correct time. She’s great at her job.
Perhaps soon the world will be white and I’ll be missing the earth tones of fall. Perhaps I’ll frolic and play, making angels right along with the ponies. Perhaps I’ll be glad once the ground is frozen right along with my fingers. (Perhaps I’ll sit back and appreciate the mud a little while longer.)