Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Storm is Coming

We're expecting a big snowstorm starting late tonight into tomorrow, and the horses were more restless this morning than normal. I believe that they can often sense such things due to changes in barometric pressure. Instead of eating her morning hay, Dawn spend a lot of time running her teeth up and down the wall. I checked her over carefully - this behavior can be a sign of pain but in this case I think it was just "upness". I wasn't worried about her, because she was bright-eyed and eagerly ate her breakfast, and she'd eaten all her overnight hay and the manure was normal - I've found that a horse with a digestive upset will usually refuse grain and perhaps eat hay, not the other way around. When I turned her out, she did her grunt/squeal as she moved away after I took off her halter.

Maisie was crazy (that's one of her nicknames - Crazy Maisie) - pawing and head tossing as I gave her a brief grooming in the barn aisle. She galloped away from the gate (or tried - the footing isn't that good). I'm hoping the snow will provide some good footing for some lungeing - I can't ride her in her current state of craziness, and I have no way to work her before hand to get some of the energy out.

Noble spooked badly when I touched him on the hindquarters after removing his blanket to groom him - he doesn't see well behind him and was just a tad nervous to start with. On the health front, whatever we're doing seems to really be working - he's gaining some weight, he picks up his left front foot easily, and he's feisty and willing to move - it's great to see! We'll keep him on his current soaked beet pulp/senior feed, thyroid supplement and chromium/magnesium/selenium/vitamin E supplement for insulin resistance - I expect all of these have contributed to his turnaround.

Fritz is one of those horses that is an easy keeper in the summer - he tends to get plump - but then loses weight in winter. One of the things I routinely do when I'm with the horses is run my hands over their ribcage from front to back - with most horses, if they're at an ideal weight I'll be able to just feel the last rib. I can feel too many ribs with Fritz, although his hindquarters are still round across the top from hip to hip, so we're gradually increasing his senior feed to a somewhat larger amount and have already increased his hay.

While I was filling water tanks, Sugar spent a lot of time socializing with me - well, really, she was socializing with my coat - she was licking it to get at the beet pulp residue. I get all sorts of things on my barn working coat, and it's amazingly nasty, but apparently the major thing on it was residue from carrying and draining the beet pulp bins. Sugar is an easy keeper and never gets to eat (or lick) such delicacies normally. I was basically a horse popsicle - but she was very friendly about it so it was pleasant.


  1. Kate, I agree with you about them being able to feel the storm coming as the barometric pressure changes. It's the only way to explain why Panama gets "up" before you can even tell in the sky that the storm is coming.

  2. Mine all get a little cranked right before a big weather change as well, better forecasters than the guys on TV

  3. The horses, they are the barometer reading going!
    Hunker down, it'll be past soon I hope!

  4. Sorry about the storm, but the snow can make great footing, so it all has its "up" side.

    Horses are in tune with nature, unlike us. Your herd is definitely feeling the coming changes.

    Glad Noble is doing well and I think Fritz will pick up some weight when you adjust his diet. Some horses are just hard keepers in the winter.

  5. Must be blanketing the country. It is rolling in here from the north. Stay warm. One more meeting at the office and I'm running home to give M & M some more hay to stoke the belly fires.

  6. Kate,
    I haven't been able to comment from home, due to the "cookie monster" issue. I realized last night that I could leave a quick note here at school (on my break time, of course!).
    I want you to know that I really have enjoyed your postings, in spite of the frustration of not being able to respond. They are always thought-filled and often, thought-provoking. Likewise, your comments on MY blog are also appreciated (I can't even respond on my OWN blog!) Please understand that my lack of communication in no way indicates a lack of interest.

    Glad to hear Noble is doing so much better--your discription of his antics over the last several days certainly sounded like he was feeling considerable more "up to snuff"!

  7. Sorry if this is duplicate, having sign in problems
    I love the comment about a horse popsicle. I worked at a stable where there was a horse who would lick your arms if you wore chort sleeves. It was soo slobbery, and popsicle seems to fit!

  8. Horse Popsicle, I love it! I've been the recipient of lots of licks too. I'll have to remember that one. Glad to hear Noble is still happy. I think we're expecting your storm Thurs. into Fri. Hope it's not too bad. It's annoying to have this weather system come through every weekend.

  9. Kate, the storm is coming our way too, starting later tonight. They are predicting 4 to 8 inches on top of the more than 6 we already have.
    I too would love to ride but not without groundwork. Don't need any bucking bronc to dump me in the snow; but if we get a lot that might be a good cushion!!! LOL
    Gilly or Pokey hasn't seemed restless, now when we had cows you could tell when a storm was coming as the barometer dropped so did they. They always laid down when a storm was coming, don't know why but they did.
    Hope we don't get what they are calling for.

  10. Keep us posted about the storm. The horses know!
    I wish all horse people were as tuned in as you are...paying attention to all the details on a regular basis.

  11. We aren't expecting any precip that I've heard, just FRIGID temps. I keep checking them, but Poco and Scorch seem perfectly toasty and quite happy, so I'm not blanketing them. After repairing Scorch's blanket twice (Poco did it), I'm not blanketing him again unless he seems to need it, or there will be no blanket left. They have a shelter that they never use, as well as huge cedar trees, which is where they prefer to hunker down.

    Batten down the hatches!

  12. EVERYBODY's getting snow but us! Which is making our horses easy keepers - 3 are on a day diet so they don't get TOO fat. not enough snow or cold to let them be out and eat all day, like they did last winter. But I'm still hoping...
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  13. I hear it's going to be pretty deep up there. We are going to be in the teens, which is crazy for us.

    Nice of you to keep your jacket flavored...

  14. Well I hope the storm isn't too bad. We are hearing all about the snow in the northern hemisphere by reading our newspaper. England, China and you guys all under snow. Here in NZ its muggy, grey, and trying to rain but not succeeding. Thinking of you in the snow....take care

  15. The line about being a horse popsicle has me giggling lots. Thanks for that!


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