Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day 1. First day of new diet.

So, here's some shots I took this past Wednesday. This was the first day of Gus's new diet. I plan on keeping a record via photos on how he progresses. True, he is getting hairy-er... but I should still be able to see improvements.

Here goes nothing:

These first few are during our ride and right afterwards... excuse the sweat patches on Gus. He's still quite a bit outta shape.

And, here's the ones of Gus minus the saddle... Ribs are quite visible, but he is chowing down on hay at the moment in most of these photos. Just standing, sans saddle and not eating, the ribs aren't nearly as visible. I'm just not sure anymore, but I'm hoping I'll start seeing more progress - in a positive way.

So, what do you think? I see some progress, just nothing like I had hoped for. I'm hoping he's looking better now... we'll see how he looks tomorrow when I'm out again. It does help, I think, that he's wearing his turnout sheet 24/7 currently. That helps keep him warm and not have to worry those calories away.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Diet changes, again.

Yep. We're changing Gus's diet yet again. What's new, right? Well, after talking to a Triple Crown rep, I've decided to add some TC Senior to Gus's diet.

So, that being said, we're decreasing his TC Lite back down to 2lbs daily. He's also going to be getting 1lb of TC Senior to start with (well, actually starting with 1/2lb daily and slowly increasing that until he's at a full pound daily) and we'll adjust that as needed. He's still on 1/2lb of alfalfa pellets too.

While talking to the rep, he noted that Gus does not need to be getting a vit/min supp anymore as he's getting the recommended 2lbs of TC Lite daily and that should meet his requirements, that and he's getting the other stuff too (TC Senior and alfalfa pellets).

Hopefully we'll begin to notice a more dramatic change in Gus's weight here in the coming weeks. Otherwise, I'll bump up the TC Senior to 1.5lbs, possibly two pounds and go from there. If needed, I will be decreasing the TC Lite...

He's still getting the beet pulp when I'm out there to feed it. I do need to try to come up with a better situation to feed it though. Not sure what I'm going to do. I also want to check with other local feed stores to see if they carry the molasses free beet pulp, so I don't have to be so anal about rinsing it so well. As it stands, he's getting about 1.5lbs of BP every 2-3 days or thereabouts.

Also, next month (at the beginning of the month) I'm going to do my first ever "powerpak". I've got my Safe Guard ready, and figured both boys would get the 50mg daily dosage. I'm hoping Gringo doesn't decide to go on a hunger strike at the same time, because I'll be having the BO just dump the dose in with his grain. So, for those 5 days or so I may have her feed him a little extra, or throw in some of Gus's TC Senior to make it more appealing.

Anyways nothing else new with either of the boys. Next week the new farrier comes to visit. He'll be known as L. He's supposed to be a nice guy, but we shall see. I made a fool of myself again... I always do that when talking with someone new on the phone. I hate phone conversations. But, he does come recommended from J and her mentor too. He supposedly studied under J's mentor also.

I did get a ride in on Gus this week too... and I was pleased with how well behaved he was. Yes, he was above the bit, hollow and lazy, but he was still pretty darn sound. Did a few canter laps around the south field and he was pretty consistent... very few mis-steps this time around. I am hoping for a few more days of decent weather, so we can keep up the canter work but I'm not holding my breath. It's supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow, ugghh that's way TOO early in the season. It's MN though, so what can I say?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The bloodwork results are back and...

Gus's levels (at the moment) are well within normal limits. Yeah! Of course there are many factors that play into this - his stress level, what has he eaten recently, injury/pain, etc. But... given all things considered, he's doing well and we've got things in check at the moment.

This means that (a) the diet change was a good thing - going from ADM Patriot's Feed Easy at nearly 20% NSC to Triple Crown Lite at 9.8% (I think) NSC was a good choice (b) the hay must be half way decent, cause he was chowing down on some hay (non-soaked) before the vet came (c) the pasture must not be too shabby either, as he's now out 24/7 on grass.

So, in addition to bumping up his TC Lite to 2.5 lbs daily, he will continue on with at least 1c (give or take a little, haven't actually measured the scoop) of alfalfa pellets daily for now. I may try to find some grass hay (or a timothy/alfalfa blend) pellets to feed, instead of just pure alfalfa, and give more of that.

Also, my fMIL did increase they boys' hay too. They are now getting 1 bale a day, up from 2/3 bale a day. Gringo definitely needs to lose some weight so hopefully that'll happen eventually.

I am interested in running this by my fMIL... making a hay net of sorts from a hockey net. The thought is that it'll slow down the eating of hay by the boys. Gringo scarfs everything down so incredibly fast... it can't be good for him to eat like that, plus Gus in turn isn't getting his fair share then either. So, we'll see what she thinks. Now I just need to find some plans. I'm thinking you could take a hay net and "sew" up the sides by folding it in half and threading a rope up/down each side, to make a "pouch" of sorts. Then, using carabiner clips, just clip the top together. To hang, just clip the corners (top corners and another clip in the center) to the inside of the run-in. I think it'd work... I think. I'm just worried if they'd begin to paw, what would happen.

Anyways, that's it for now. Hoping to get a good ride in this weekend once I'm home from my cousin's wedding in Iowa. Still not sure how cooperative the weather's going to be, but we can hope for the best, right?