Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gas colic and a plan for pasture board

Unfortunately, Limerick colicked on the evening of March 25 (yes, our anniversary). But fortunately it was gas colic and easily treated, although it was clear that it was very painful for her (it's never fun to arrive at the barn to find your panting horse rolling in the stall, shavings everywhere).

After some consideration I have decided to try pasture boarding Limerick. However, this is something that has never been done in the years I have had her, and considering how delicate and anxious she can be, this is something we have to proceed with slowly.

Gladstone has pasture boarding on-site, but they feed the horses Nutrena Safe Choice rather than Nutrena Senior. I am okay with this because Lim will have 24/7 access to forage on the pasture, so that's fine. But this means that she would have to be slowly switched over to the new feed, and after some consultation and thinking I've decided that she should be switched to the new feed first, over the course of a week, and then we will start transitioning her to the pasture. Below is a plan I wrote out for myself and the barn owner/employees.

Fingers crossed that this works!!!

March 31 (Saturday) – Start switching Lim to Nutrena Safe Choice

April 7 (Saturday) – Turn Lim out with pasture herd instead of stall herd, and let her eat afternoon meal with them (she receives the morning meal in her stall as usual)

(I will give her late evening meals as usual, too)

April 13 (Friday) – Turn Lim out with pasture herd and keep her out there instead of bringing her in.

(I will continue evening meals and give her the supplements she needs then, as well)

End of April – If things still haven’t smoothed over reasonably well by the end of April then I will consider putting her back in the stall. But hopefully she will thrive out on the pasture!

If it works out...
--buy super tough fly sheet with belly band
--buy neck cover for winter
--plan for layering for winter

--no worries about losing shoes!
--mares settle in faster
--better for health (joints, digestion, etc)

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