It’s a Weighty Matter.
By Patty Wilber
LT (Like Totally, (Awesome)) is coming three and she is BUSY.
In humans, the brain uses 20% of our energy budget and our skeletal muscles about 70%, leaving 10% for the rest.
LT is not a big horse--just 14.2 right now, but her mind is nearly always going 100 miles per hour, she rarely holds still, she gets pretty hot when I ride her and she is trying to grow.
She seemed to be using all the calories she is consuming and then some. I didn’t like how she was looking.
Her hair coat looked unkempt. Ok, it is midwinter, and she is shaggy; the hair is a bit elderly, as far as hair goes, (a few months old), and laying down in mud doesn’t do a lot for one’s gleam-y-ness, but still, she looked somewhat less lovely than her bffs (that’s best friends forever, in text speak. I only have a rudimentary knowledge of this acronymity. And I don’t think acronymity even really works as a made up word…but it refers, in this case, to a form of communication that is full of acronyms, most of which I do not know.)
In addition, she was getting ribby. That is I could feel her ribs under her skin and if she stood just so, I could sometimes see them.
Now, I am not a proponent of horse obesity, but I do want a little meat on them bones.
So, what to do?
I asked my friendly neighborhood Purina Salesman. He said: Ultium Growth, the most expensive horse feed ever invented.
I tried to buy it.
No one carries it.
Well, gee, it is the most expensive horse feed ever invented.
So I tried to order it from the feed store nearest me that carries Purina products. I tried twice in fact. Nothing happened.
Called the Purina Guy.
What else would work?
There is no substitute for the most expensive horse feed ever invented (especially formulated for young horses whose potential is all, well, still potential. Yeah we all want to spend a lot of dough on Potential!).
OK…That Purina Guy is a pretty good salesman (he read his manual), so…
…I tried another feed store and in just three days they had nine bags of the stuff ready to pick up.
(They tried to talk me into buying a cheaper Purina product for next time! I don’t think they read their manual!)
Purina Guy swears Ultium Growth will increase wither height (gee then Toots is the one that really needs it), add body mass (oh never mind, Toots is more than fine in that category) and promote bone density. He uses it on his own stock.
Of course he does!
He gets a gazillion % discount (I bet), making it only the 3rd most expensive horse feed ever invented!
(Really, it is expensive, but only a few bucks a bag more than Stategy and comparable to rice bran, which I also have purchased for LT …)
I got it last week and have been giving Miss Thing two lbs per feeding per day (with some rice bran.) (Purina Guy recommended I feed it three times a day. That is only working well on weekends when I am home.)
I also make sure she gets a good amount of alfalfa and as much grass hay as she wants.
Unfortunately, she doesn’t LIKE to be penned alone, and if she is, she doesn’t eat real well. The UG (gee the same sound I made when I handed over my credit card for its purchase) goes down fast though, with its proprietary blend of … stuff. (“Stuff” being the technical term.) But she will pick at her hay. Apparently, she is a social eater.
So, I gave her a roommate. It had to be Toots even though LT Loves Lacey best. Cometa is the Boss of the Universe, Penny is the Not-Very-Nice-Word-Starting-With-B of every one else. JD has moved into third. Lacey is the boss of LT and LT is the boss of Toots. Plus, Toots is amply endowed with body mass, so if LT runs her off some food, it won’t hurt Toots a bit. The whole being the Boss thing is especially relevant if I am going to be pouring pelleted gold into the feed trough. The Boss gets what the Boss wants!
And, I have to say, the feed ‘er up program seems to be working. LT’s coat IS looking better (she is going to have that gold overlaid with a silver sheen like her dad, I think!) and her ribbiness is diminishing.
One of the dangers of pouring calories into a horse is it may increase their energy level to the point where you don’t want to deal with them. Blood sugar may spike and behavior can be unruly. (Of course they may also founder and have other serious health issues, but I am not feeding anywhere near that kind of caloric load.)
UG has controlled carbohydrate release, which means it does not all get digested at once and instead the nutrients and energy are released slowly, over a much longer time frame.
So, yes LT is a wild child, but not due to the food so much as being penned up. She isn’t acting crazy, just very playful.
i hate being penned up!, she says! let me wiggle this chain. do de do. it stopped. i’ll make it start again. do de do!
hey toots! the water is bubbling! I wonder why? let’s take down the PVC pipe and take out the air hose! that’s boring! no more bubbling (Um, because the air hose is out of the water now.)
look! i can carry the PVC in my mouth! look out toots! (Whack!) sorry!
Ok ok , I say, I will let you out! Whereupon LT finds Lacey, body slams her, and takes off. Pretty soon she has Lacey and JD running around the barn. Toots finds a corner and tries to remain inconspicuous!
JD is a big dun, LT is a light buckskin (with spots), Lacey is a sooty buckskin (with no white at all), and Toots is mostly white with red eye rings. They do look beautiful streaming across the dry lot, changing leads, tossing their heads!
And in case any of us need more calories, so we can toss our heads and change leads, we can send off to Kid #1′s Honey in Hawaii for some Chocolate Covered Bacon Roses! (Sent to L.A. via Fedex on dry ice!)