Thursday, May 12, 2016

In Which I Freak Out About Weight

No, not my own. Please, I am pushing forty years old. I'm pretty much over freaking out about my weight. As long as Mr. FloppyAmmy continues to look at me with stars in his eyes and my pants fit, we're all good.

Remember my last blog post where I posted this pic?


It actually made me really, really unhappy. Because it looked to me like my pony is all angles. I may have unrealistic expectations (in fact, I am pretty sure that's all I have), but after 4 weeks of handwalking, 4 weeks of lunging and now almost 4 weeks back under saddle, I thought Boca's muscle development would be further along than this.

I mentioned my concerns to my trainer in my lesson on Tuesday night. A fellow trainer overheard our conversation and piped up that it may be due to a Vitamin E deficiency. Cue me panicking.

Because I can never seem to anything by half-measures, and anything involving my horse causes me to immediately over-react and go into overdrive, in the last 48 hours I have:
  1. Emailed Dr. C to pull a blood panel. Vet visit scheduled for Tuesday
  2. Call and text BO to review possible Smartpak supplement options
  3. Order Smartpak Supplement
  4. Sign up for Feedxl.com
  5. Review entire feed program
  6. Identify deficiencies in feed program
  7. Email FeedXL directly for suggestions
  8. Start not one, but TWO threads on COTH
  9. Contact Triple Crown Feed 2x
  10. Call 3 feed stores looking for Triple Crown 30%
  11. Order TC 30% from local feed store
  12. Make hubby pick up TC 30% from local feed store TODAY
Although I may be over-reacting, I did in fact learn something quite important. I have not been meeting the volumes for feed recommended by the manufacturer's label, and Boca may, in fact, be deficient in important vitamins and minerals.

The last 48 hours have been a crash course in horse nutritional education, and for once, I have found online forums to be extremely helpful in providing knowledge and making suggestions.

I'm not looking forward to yet another vet bill, but I also do believe in knowing exactly what, if anything, you are dealing with, and addressing it accordingly. I could also easily blow the same amount of money on any random assortment of things that may or may not address the problem, if there is one.


Just for funsies, let's take a look at all the things I considered spending money on, but didn't:
1) A successful racehorse trainer suggested I ad 1 can of Guinness and 2 raw eggs daily to Boca's diet. How does one store eggs at a barn? Plus, I'm pretty sure I would really want to drink the Guinness, so that's a No.
 

 2) The BO suggested I add a muscle building supplement, and while that is not a bad idea, I want to know WHY Boca is not building muscle first, before I throw a random supplement at it. So, pass.
 
3) Other trainer suggested adding Smartpak's Vitamin E supplement, and again, while this is not a bad idea, I have no idea if Boca is, in fact deficient in Vitamin E or not, so instead of spending $30 on something that may or may not work, I'm going to do the $105 blood test and know for sure.
 
Anywho, I have spent the last 48 hours being a crazed horse lady, which has not been fun. You would think from my response that my horse is actually physically starving to death, not just a little slow to add muscle, but that's how I roll.
 

17 comments:

  1. Sounds like situation normal to me. ;-)

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  2. Whatever you do don't buy him what is essentially alfalfa chum covered in molasses.. horse was basically eating pure sugar and was nuts as a squirrel. I feed about 3lbs of Purina Ultium with 1lb of Renew Gold (rice brain with coconut meal and flax) along with a multisupp and muscle builder. My guy has beefcaked out!

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    1. No fear of that! Boca doesn't tolerate Alfalfa very well. I'm just adding a ration balancer to his current grain amount and pulling blood to see if his Vitamin E/Se levels are low.

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  3. Yup, this is all a perfectly normal reaction as far as I'm concerned. I consider obsessing about my horse's weight and diet to be one of my main hobbies. That said, Boca doesn't look that bad for only being 4 weeks back into real work. But always a good idea to evaluate their diet before throwing supplements at them. Also, I'm a huge fan of Triple Crown feeds. Best there is, in my opinion, and I've done a lot of homework and lots of trial and error!

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    1. Thanks! I know I am probably overreacting a little, but it's what we do best :) I like TC as well. I'm adding the TC ration balancer to his current feed.

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  4. I'm with Marissa, he really doesn't look bad for being 4 weeks back into work, sometimes it's a bit slow going at first and then they explode with muscle later on. Still a good idea to do a blood test though.

    My vet recommended a muscle builder for Rico when he was beefing up for GP called Core Builder. It's expensive but it really worked to give him a bit of a boost between levels- I think for my young horse, I'm just going to look at the ingredients and find something cheaper though. But right now he doesn't need any more muscle, he needs brains first.

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    1. Thanks Megan! That is a great suggestion. Once I have the results of his blood panel, I am considering adding a muscle builder and will definitely look into Core Builder. Let me know if you find something cheaper!

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  5. I pretty much went down this exact rabbit hole not so long ago. Our issues were related to saddle fit (too narrow) and the nasty looking back made the whole picture that much uglier. Perhaps given Boca's medical procedures on his back, it might just take a little while to build that back up again? Anyway I hope you get good news and ideas on how to get the results you want!

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    1. Yeah, they say the topline is the last to come back, and where Boca never had one at all, it is going to take some time. I probably just need to be patient, once I make sure his nutritional requirements are being met. I really wish he could be out on grass, but it isn't really an option around these parts, land-wise.

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  6. So totally with you on the freak out thing about diets and such. Also, I agree with everyone else that he actually doesn't look that bad. A thing to consider is having his hay analyzed to see it's make up- although given the time of year maybe wait for the new hay.

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    1. I have heard of having hay analyzed, but in our area, hay is trucked in from Vermont, NY and/or Canada and varies by load, sometimes even by bale. I'm kind of at the mercy of whatever the farm gets in. At least grain I can control the nutrient content.

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  7. Yeah... this happens routinely to me. And then I usually just add more supplements and spend all my money. I mean, you can't take it with you, right?!

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    1. You're so right - I can't take it with me! That is an excellent sentiment. I think I'll use it on my husband when the vet bill comes in. LOL

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  8. No great words of advice, just wanted to say how impressed I am at how much you got done for you pony so quickly :) I'm sure you'll have answers soon. Fingers crossed!

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  9. This sounds fairly normal to me. Except the egg thing. That seems crazy!

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  10. Did you find anything interesting on the blood panel? I am super chill about human problems but I am a useless idiot about my horses.... I just throw money at things and cry. Working on that hahaha...

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