Saturday, March 27, 2010


Well, it's Chance's 5 month anniversary and we have NAKED PONY PICTURES!  Just a quick review: here's what he looked like on October 14, 2009, the day after he was dropped off to us.
If you're looking for a skeletal anatomy lesson, these picture are a pretty decent educational tool. 
Here's what a horse like this can look like, with some very simple treatment:

Big change, huh?  And how simple was the treatment?  This simple:  we fed him food he could eat.  Lots of it.  You don't want to know what his feed bill was, but imagine all the food he would have eaten over the course of a year or two, and then imagine paying for it over the space of 5 months.  Whew!

Still not full weight, but maybe a 3.5 on the scale?  And pretty happy too.  Mostly he just walks around, but he's been seen trotting, cantering and bucking, as well, so everything seems to be all right.  His manure has never come completely back to normal, but we're hoping to see firmer poo once we ease him back down off the high carb feeds.  At his highest, during the coldest part of the winter, he was eating 3 litres of beet pulp, soaked, 20 cups of 16% protein mare and foal and 3 cups of roasted soybeans a day.  Plus, all the best grass hay he could tuck into himself.  He's being weaned off the mare and foal and is now down to about 15 cups per day--still a lot of sugar, but getting there.

Haha, checking to see if the door to the feed room is open!  Little monkey!  It's like living with two cat burglers--everything has to be locked up like Fort Knox.  Actually, I think Fort Knox could learn a thing or two from trying to keep ponies from breaking into the feed room.  You don't even want to know how many times we've repaired/replaced the stall door, to keep Penny from stealing Chance's feed.

So, as he feels better, we get a better sense of his personality.  One, he likes to be outside.  In fact, given the choice, he would rather eat outside than in.  He is nervous of getting caught and when you are holding him, he is very tense.  You have to stay really calm with him.  At the same time, he is very nonchalant about people working around him, cleaning the stall or whatever.  We do give him handfuls of grain sometimes and I have found him very well mannered about that as well--he does dive at it rather like a stooping falcon, but I have never once felt the least bit of concern that I was going to get...ummm, nibbled?....where I am very careful around Penny, because she is not always that careful to make sure that what she is eating is food.  Grain is definitely his favourite treat.  He can be pushy and will rush right past you if you aren`t firm, but you can stop him with an arm in front of his chest. He doesn't care for being groomed, but will stand reasonably quietly for it.  It's obvious that he is tense while you are doing it, so we try to groom while he is eating.  His biggest trick is that, whatever you try to do with him, he will try to spin or run away from it, but gives in with fairly good grace once he knows that you mean business. 
His back still hasn't filled in, but we are starting to look for a western saddle and a good heavy pad to put on him, so we can try him under saddle when he is ready. His legs are really good and he still has lots of energy, so, barring unforseen circumstances, he's probably got another 7-10 years of riding left in him.
Wonder what he'd do if we tried running a barrel pattern with him?  *Giggle* We may create a monster...
Well, happy weekend and don't forget to hug your horses (if only to stay warm!)

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