As some of you may know, my mare, Ricci, is on stall rest. I've decided to take her off her Bute early and try and get her back outside sooner. [Yes, I know you have to wait 24 hours for the Bute to wear off.] So it had been almost 24 hours when I fed this evening, so I brought my other horse, Gracie inside so she wouldn't get excited, and let Ricci in my front pasture. Ricci trotted around for a second, then dropped her head and ate some dirt.
This is not typical Ricci. When she's out 24/7 like she's supposed to be, she doesn't do this. She's on the same food now as she would be if she were outside [orchard grass hay, horseshoer's secret, and until recently, alfalfa pellets]. I have a total of three trace mineral salt blocks; one in her stall she's been in, and one in both run-in stalls.
Why do you think she's doing this? I know it's typically because of a nutritional deficiency, but WHAT is the nutrient she's missing? I've been hand-grazing her every chance I get, she gets good hay, fresh water twice a day, and she is using her trace mineral salt block. I had decided to wean my girls off the alfalfa pellets [I've hit a rough patch, I can't afford them and figured they'd prefer hay] a few days ago, and she hasn't had any in about four days. Could that be the cause?
She didn't ingest a ton, and I do have SandClear that they get for a week every month, but that's what worries me most; what if she gives herself sand/impaction colic?
Any ideas? She's back inside tonight, and will be tomorrow. I was thinking I'd turn her out tomorrow night, in the smaller pasture so she can be out but should be "chill" enough to not get all prancy.