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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fattie McBlattie

Marti left a few days ago to head back to his home. His owner reports that he is oing to be sent off for training, which is great. I wish them the best, and Gogo will miss her white furry friend I am sure.

Speaking of the Princess, I need to really start brainstorming and figure out some more ways to keep the weight off of her. She is a McFattie and she needs some Weight Watchers action... stat!! She has especially bloomed over the past few weeks as the grass has started to wake up for the season... and by bloomed, I mean vastly expanded in all directions. She is a Large Marge in Charge, and I cannot possibly feed her any less than she is eating. Since she is on pasture 24/7, I've cut out nearly everything else that I possibly can, and still she gains weight. I've kept the Gro N' Win, simply because she has done amazingly well on it over the past four years (and it's also designed for low-calorie maintenance), and she's eating 1/2lb AM and 1/2lb PM. She is also eating a 1/2 cup of ground flax AM and PM, and is also getting her SmartFlex Repair supplement. Aside from that, she is getting about half a flake of nice orchard grass at both meals. That's IT. This mare was getting 10-12 flakes of a nice timothey/orchard mix at the last barn, so you can only imagine how much pasture she must be consuming to be eating barely a flake a day and still be vastly expanding. My next options are to either cut out the Gro N' Win completely and only feed her a vit/min supplement, but I love the additional protein/Omega 3s/biotin/etc. that she gets in the Gro N' Win. I think as a whole, it has vastly contributed to her rock-crunching feet, amazing strength and stamina, and her shining, luxurious haircoat. It's low in calories, but it's still giving her more calories than a supplement would. My other option is to get a grazing muzzle, which I would prefer as I think it would do a better job of controlling her weight. Now that's she's put the weight on, I have a feeling it's not going to come off easily. She is insufferably easy to keep.

The other thing that has happened in turnout is that I have completely lost my ability to keep her clean at ALL. Those of you in the south know that once a horse gets themselves into a dust bath down here, that red dirt does Not. Come. Off. You have three options: 1) buy a vacuum, 2) bathe nonstop, or 3) live with it. I've opted for some combination of bathing and living with it, although I may crack at some point and try to find a used vacuum somewhere. It's awful! She had a bath earlier in the week, and this is as clean as I could get her on Wednesday:

Those of you who are longtime readers or who know me personally know what ridiculously painstaking lengths I go to daily to keep Gogo sparkling and show-ready every day. You can imagine the horrible cleanliness withdrawls I am going through. It hurts me to see her so dirty! Honestly, though, she'd rather be a disgusting chinchilla on pasture rest than gleamingly clean and on stall rest, so I guess it's just something I'm going to have to continue to live without. Barf.

As has been the custom for the past few months, near the beginning of the month I have been putting Gogo on the lunge for two seconds to get a good look at her level of soundness, about once around in each direction. My camera had a brain fart and only recorded her going to the right, but the right is her worse direction, so it's a better assessement anyway.

As you can see, she's not sound by any means. She's not BAD, but she's not sound. It's quite an improvement from three months ago when she was hip-hiking, toe-dragging lame on that leg though. It would help get a better image if she weas actually going forward, but you know. I don't really want to kill her after all. She has picked up the habit of trotting to me whenever I come over to the gate to see her, so I get to look at her trotting most every day. This video shows her looking a bit worse than she has been... earlier in the day, she really looked quite sound. Her lameness is most apparent at the canter, whenever I catch her doing that out in the field. She can canter as much as she wants on the left lead and have no problem, but when she tried to switch to the right, she crossfires and stays on the left lead behind and the right lead up front. I really don't WANT her to go cantering around, but I guess I don't have much control over that.

Her legs have definitely improved over the past three months:

The pictures of the leg from the 2nd set were taken in the late afternoon, which is when they all tend to fill a bit - she likes to stand and sunbathe! In the chilly morning, they are SUPER tight and cool, and that is encouraging. They have always done this, ever since the injury. I imagine they probably always will.

One final thing. Did I mention her TAIL is taking ridiculous amounts of abuse from being out 24/7? She catches and tears it on everything... it looks awful and ratty. (And yet, even though it's about half the size that it was, it's still pretttttty nice!)

Ohhhh that hurts me deep inside. Poor, poor tail.

By the way, did you notice the GREEN GRASS? My apple and peach trees have exploded into bloom too. Spring is almost here!!


Our Beautiful Life said...

she's got a great tail! my main man could use some of that, and also some forelock length...we can't have it all. good luck on the weight issue, those are so hard to figure out.

Barbara said...

The only time I haven't fought to keep Nina from looking like a waif was the one pathetic year that she spent with daily pasture turnout. She got fat even with daily riding and a gallop or two around the field on her own. I honestly don't know what to tell you to do with a horse that can't be exercised. The turnout is what will heal her. Will she tolerate a grazing muzzle a few hours day?
As for the dirty, try telling yourself that she is on vacation and allowed to be dirty. They love it. Make up for it by babying the tail. Lovely tail.

DressageIsToDance said...

Braid and bag, braid and bag...

Jill said...

Can you eliminate her hay altogether? If she's that easy of a keeper on the grass, she probably doesn't need the hay. A muzzle is probably the best way to go - can't wait to see the picks of a nasty mare face with it on. lol Good luck!

Jenny said...

She probably has enough grass that you can cut her hay completely. Or cut her grain completely and just give her hay & supplements. If she's devouring her hay, then there might not be enough grass. In any case... you'll have to cut out something if you can't exercise her. She looks very happy though... luck horse! And her tail is gorgeous... wish my horses would grow tails that thick!

Kathryn said...

You should look into getting your pasture analized. I think you can get this done by your county extension office (officially named the US Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service... I think). You might not need the extra protien and such on Texas pasture grass (depending on what kind it is). Our horses live on pasture only in the summer and the only ones that don't get fat are the oldies and one with a broken incisor. :)

And I agree with Jill that you probably don't need any hay when the grass is growing.

Andrea said...

DressageIsToDance, I don't do tailbags anymore because every time I did, my horses would inevitably catch their bags on something and rip half their tails out!!

Val said...

My horse is soooo jealous of Gogo's pasture. She looks very happy!

Sydney_bitless said...

Get a shop vac with the brush end on it. I used it and I have used a 500$ horse vaccum and honestly the cheapo small shop vac wasn't any less noisy or did any less of a good job.

Sparkling said...

Yeah clean- tucker doesn't even know the meaning of this word. Filth is all he cares about. I dream of shiny, clean horses who can stay out of the dirt.

DressageIsToDance said...

Oh wow. Definitely discourages me from bagging Amber's tail. She's grown a shitload of length in the past couple of months, but it needs to thicken up, and I was going to bag it but she tends to get into lots of trouble when she is out and gets bored.

She'd probably try to chase her tail so she could catch it and rip it off. I saw a horse do that once...funniest thing I have EVER seen.

Pony said...


If they rip their tail bags out, you can find another type of tail bag online with a snap closure. They work like a charm and pop right off if they get snagged. :)