The delicate balance.
Hello everyone! I'm back again with a bit of a conundrum. I want to know how much is too much weight to lose over the course of the winter?
I really loved my new barn when I first moved there. They were a lot more relaxed, and fun. I enjoyed the lessons that came with my board plan, and I have really learned a lot.
Over the winter, the barn owner allowed an instructor from out of state to come in and do workshops. The instructor soon seemed to be doing all the feeding, etc. The instructor eventually befriended me, and had informed me that horses weren't getting fed as much as boarders had thought they were.
This has been a continued problem. I have been hearing more and more comments about how the horses look skinny (from visitors, or lesson kids/moms) and the instructor who has been staying all winter finally started paying me to feed her horses while she went back home for a week. She was concerned that if I didn't do it, they wouldn't get fed at all. (I have personally seen this happen, because the barn owner would tell me "I'll feed them later." but I was with her all day and I never saw them get fed?)
All this aside, I purchased my horse at nearly 300 lbs underweight. It took me 8 months to put weight back on her. This was 2 years ago. I will share a picture of what she looked like before she moved, and what she looks like now.
I have taken into account the harsh winter, the blanketing to keep her from losing heat/expending calories, she is on both cocosoya oil and cool calories supplements. She receives grain once a day, and there are 1-2 round bales outside in the lot (which is basically dirt atm. It's starting to show a little green.) I'd say there's about 17 head outside right now, and she's the lowest in the pecking order. Needless to say, I don't think she's getting the forage she needs either.
She is UTD on shots/wormer/vet check/float/etc. so I don't think it's health related.
I really like my barn owner, and I don't want to hurt her feelings. I don't like to just complain either. I've been helping her feed when I can, but I have a 6a-2p job that makes it hard for me to get out for the morning feeding (the only one my horse is entitled to, via the board contract.)
So, I'd like to hear your thoughts. Does it look like a significant amount to say something? Should I just wait a few more weeks and hope the spring grass helps her regain her shape? Thanks for being my sounding board!