Monday, August 25, 2008

Grain, Clover, Trims, Wormings and Rides

On Saturday I picked up some grain on my way to the barn so I can start feeding some to Steen in hopes of helping him bulk up just a little more before it starts to get cold. Steen seems pretty happy about this decision too.

I arrived at the stable with my spoils, fetched Steen from the pasture, got him inside and immediately started to worry. He's been intermittently doing this thing where he'll just spit out huge mouthfuls of water, or drool like a bloodhound. On Saturday, the quantity of water coming from his mouth was so great that it alarmed me considerably, and I started to envision terrible scenarios involving extreme dehydration. I decided not to ride, and called the vet instead. It turns out that eating white clover causes excessive salivation in horses, but has no other negative side-effects. Who knew?

On Sunday the farrier came, and I talked to him about Steen's very occasional over-reach problem. He agreed with my assessment of a possible fix, and so trimmed Steen's rear toes a little shorter in hopes of achieving a more upright hoof. After that we tacked up and worked in the arena with several other horses and riders, and Steen was pretty good even though he was also pretty excited about all the goings on. After the ride, I untacked him and squirted some wormer into his mouth. He always looks rather betrayed and injured after I do that, so I made up for it by giving him some more grain. I don't think he's holding a grudge.

This morning I went out early and had the place to myself, and Steen and I had a beautiful cruise in the early fall temps. I am hoping the grain will also help his back become a little less bony to make for more comfortable bareback riding come winter. When it is cold, it just seems such a pity to waste all that fuzzy horse warmth by putting a saddle in the way.

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