Feed Amount (Long)
I board my horse at a very nice facility and receive excellent care for an amazing price, so I'm not normally one to complain. BUT they are feeding my horse way too much.
When I brought Fannie out to the barn I told the woman who feeds that she doesn't get daily grain where she came from and she didn't really need any. (Fannie is a cow!) I told her to give Fannie a handful (I literally cupped my hand and showed her how much.) if she was throwing a fit when the other horses were being fed. She said ok and I didn't think anything of it after that.
Well, a few weeks later she admitted to me she had accidentally given Fannie a half scoop that morning because she wasn't paying attention. No big deal accidents happen. She then showed me how much she had been giving her everyday and it was a QUARTER SCOOP. Fannie is a hot horse and they feed sweet that is a no go. So after that I picked up the amount of grain Fannie could have to be clear and put it in her bucket.
I've since then decided Fannie needs no grain at all and bought my own bag of complete to feed on days when she has a really hard work out. But I still think the feed woman is dropping grain to Fannie. I keep seeing little remainders of what looks like sweet feed in Fannies feeder. (I don't feed her in her stall.) The woman who feeds has told me on several occasions that she "feels bad for her".
Quart of a scoop is nothing if the scoop is about 2-3 quarts.
But if you cant trust the person who takes care of your horse, find somewere else. P.S. why are you feeding complete, if you have a problem with her getting a quarter scoope? Complete probably has more calories.
They feed 12% sweet feed. The protein and the sugar are too much for her in that, so I switched her to a 10% complete grain that is made for horses who have a low tolerance for the sugar among other things. I just got it for days when we have an extreme workout to put some nutrients back into her or if I notice she starts dropping too much weight.
I love where I board and the quality of care is excellent for the price. (Full care for $325) They also let me work it off by doing stalls, so it's super affordable, and with my budget and shots and a trim coming up, moving isn't an option. I don't think I'd move anyway, the people there are wonderful.
That is a good deal on board!
I know where you're coming from with the fat horse! My mare was also plump, and was only given pity feed. She was also out in a pasture with my poor aging gelding who needed a huge amount of food. So me or my mom had to stand there and guard the gelding while he ate. Luckily my mare wasn't difficult to keep from him, she just needed some attention to distract her, but jeeeeez did that old man eat slow.
But going back to your issue, is the woman who feeds the BO? If not, you could mention it to the BO and it'd be up to her to get this woman to stop. Or alternatively, you could get some kind of low calorie, cheap food to leave in the feed room for her to give your horse while the others eat. Maybe she could drop a carrot in his bucket everytime? Another option would be to prepare a presentation about how overfeeding a horse can lead to laminitis and what they are fed influences how they behave under saddle. Then make her sit down and listen to your presentation, and hopefully the message will get through to her then. You could also mention that she's allowing herself to be controlled by a horse, and therefore the horse is dominant over her. The horse probably thinks it's clever because everytime she feds if it throws a fit, she'll rush to go feed her.
Good luck! Your barn does sound nice, and hopefully this won't get in the way of what is otherwise a great situation!
Buy a few bags of beet pulp and supply your own 1 lb scoop (a 1lb coffee can works great!) and request that she is do that instead.
With that said, you should still talk to the lady and/or the BO. The BO should be thrilled that you don't want to feed your horse.. that's more money in her pocket! However, if your horse is loud and paws during feeding time that may be her concern in which case the Beet Pulp would be an excellent compromise.
In that conversation you should say "I don't want to come off demanding and I really do love your facilities but I've requested a few times that my horse not be fed (or be fed a certain way) and I keep finding grain in her bucket. If we can't resolve this issue, I will need to find another boarding facility."
I know myself as a barn owner want to please my boarders as much as possible but it really leaves a sour taste when boarders are snarky and witchy about it. Just be polite and hope for the best!
It's a slippery slope..
There is one mare at the barn where I board and occasionally work whom the owner does not want fed any supplements because "she'll get fat". This would be fine except for that the mare nearly takes down the barn at feeding time, so she gets a bit of soaked beet pulp which keeps her busy, but honestly is not very many calories.
Now, because I know the owners and I board a horse there and have for a while I see this as fine. The owner of the horse doesn't know this happens but what she doesn't know can't hurt her. And she feeds the horse beet pulp when she rides her anyways.
At a barn I used to board at, they would feed only rolled oats and alfalfa hay. If you brought grass hay onto the property it was fed to the cows and if you asked for a different feed to be fed you were laughed at. Because of the richness of the hay, most people request their horse is not on oats and only given a handful. And it starts out like that, and then it turns into a bit more and a bit more until your horse is getting (honestly) 4lbs of oats a day. When you asked to have the feed cut back, you were told to ride your horse harder.
So ask, look, see what the other horses are getting. Conveniently show up at feed time and just see. If all the horses are overfed then get the hell out of there before your horse founders. If all the other horses are getting a decent amount of feed then supply a low cal filler that can be given to your horse so it doesn't take down the barn and tell the owner the horse simply cannot have oats. And write it on the stall for good measure.
The woman who feeds is the BO's girlfriend. She's very nice, but not very horse savvy.
I'm there everyday and most days I'm around for feeding time. None of the horses are being overfed that I've seen. She just says she feels bad for Fannie not getting to eat the things she wants...oiy.
Luckily though, Fannie doesnt seem to care either way. She doesn't throw a fit during feeding time, but when I put her small ration in her bucket she doesn't rush to go eat it.
I know what the lady is feeding her isn't very much, but it's still food that I don't want my horse to be eating. (I've even got a sign up!) Sweet feed makes her hot, and we're trying to work on being calm and relaxing. I've been keeping an eye on it, and I think I'm sure that she's still giving her handfuls of sweet feed at meal times, so I think I'll say something again today. (At this point, it's not how much she's being given, it's the fact that I've made it clear I don't want it given to her, but it's still happening.)
Wish me luck!
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