Honest critique on gelding and mare. Long description and img heavy!
This is long...and sorry if the pictures post huge...I'm trying! :)
What do you guys think about these two? I've had the gelding forever and have had the mare for not quite a year. They spent almost a year (the entire time I've had the mare) at a barn about 20-30 minutes (at best) away from us. They were in a pasture/herd situation on a coastal hay farm turned boarding barn with 15-20 other horses and seemed to do well, but now their hooves aren't in such great shape. It's so dry here that the mare's feet have just cracked up until they're almost too short. The gelding's feet are long...not quite as chippy. My farrier's hand is healing from an accident where his hand was sliced when a stud pulled his foot away after he'd put the nails in. I'm also considering going a more natural hoof care route and seeing if I can find a trimmer in the area that is willing to show me how to trim these guys hooves myself and to come check on them (and my work). I've got to do more research on that though and I want to see what this new farrier can do because he'd probably be willing to teach me. Not sure about his work though as he's not long out of a school near Dallas. They don't seem to be ouchy on them (been watching the mare really close) so I think I'm okay waiting another week or so on the farrier, but what do you guys think by looking at them in these photos. Like I said, they're not ouchy, but if you guys think I shouldn't wait any longer I'll take hoof photos and post them in the health forums to get a more detailed critique on them.
Anyway...We've recently moved them to a barn about 5-10 minutes away, but they've got no grazing here so I'm playing with their food. They're on Safe Choice and Coastal Hay. When I weighed them the mare weighed about 1100lbs and the gelding weighed about 990lbs. I'm new at weighing them so my measurements may be a little off, but that'll get better with practice. We feed twice a day and based on these measurements I'm feeding the mare 6-7lbs of hay and the gelding 5-6lbs. I'm working up their pellets to 2 and 3/4lbs a day for the mare and 2 and 1/2lbs a day for the gelding. This is based on the directions on the bag at the lowest recommended amount for maintenance as I'm not doing any work with them until I get they're feet worked on. Like I said, I'm still playing around with this as I learn more from the nutrition forum and from my own research online. I'm going to try this food and regular trimmings for 6 months, but I'm thinking about adding bioflax20 from smartpak if I don't see any difference in their hooves.
They're both about 15-16 years old. The mare is registered Appy with quarter horse bloodlines. The gelding is...a mutt? For his coggins he's listed as a quarter horse mix...so any guesses at what else could be in the mix are welcome. They're main purpose is trail riding. Like I said, I'm not going to start working them again until their feet are up for it. I've been told that this hard ground and dry weather are something they'll have to get used to, but honestly the mare's been here who knows how much longer than the gelding and he's been here for 2 years. We're military, so I could care less if they get used to it or not...I just need to figure out how to care for them the way they need. We are considering getting boots (cavallo simple boots or sport boots) for at least they're front feet, but most likely invest in a full set for each horse since I'm not interested in putting shoes on them unless they absolutely need it and I don't know where we'll be moving (or how the next place will affect their feet) the next time my husband is given orders (he's active duty air force).
I know you guys don't sugar coat anything so tear them apart. I'm not interested in selling them or throwing them away. I know you guys are great at what you do when you critique other horses and I'm curious at what other people think of my guys but don't actually say. :) If they suck...so what...I still love them. If there's anything I can do better in caring for them...I'd rather know it so I can do it than not learn it and give them less than what they deserve... I've already failed them there so all I can do is try to do better.
Well...I think that's about it... Let me know if you need any more info or if I need to try for better photos. The gelding wouldn't stand straight for my husband while I was taking photos. Don't mind the crappy braid in the gelding's tail. He got his routine spa treatment/hand job after the photos...boy was the husband surprised about that one. That was the first time he'd ever seen or heard of sheath cleaning! :P
Cookies to anyone who actually read this whole thing(it's a whole page pretyped in Word)!!!
bless you and your family. I am a military mans girlfriend :)
I think the feet will be alright for a little longer, they dont seem to have the long toe if they would have been to ovrgrown. Maybe try some hoof celent(spellcheck) ive also heard of fish oil. 2/3 times a wk (smells but it helps alot with the cracking)
also maybe they could have a little more weight on them? specially when you start working them just because it will knock off more weight before the muscle fills out.
they are very beautiful! :)
Oh and i always start with whats one the feed bag and go up gradually until i can see a weight diffrence. i dont like overweight but i like seeing them with a bit much than less. the QH i have had weight issues when we first got her. she was on 1.5 cups of some weird food but we switched her over and she now gets 3.5 cups with her weight staying constant and she is also a lesson horse for a couple of people so she is a working girl and the weight stays on :)
:) Yes...More weight is another reason I'm playing with their food along with growing healthy hooves. I'll google the celent. I've been using some topical stuff...horseshoer's secret or something. I firmly believe healthy hooves are grown not painted, but it does make me feel like I'm doing something. It does seem to help the mare's hooves a little, but tonight I didn't put it on the gelding's feet...we'll be starting thrush buster on him. I think he's getting a little thrushy.
Hardest part about being married to the military? Loving and having animals! Our last move we had the gelding and two dogs and it took quite a bit of logistics just to move them from SC to here. We're estimated a year and a half to two years until he gets his next pcs orders and we'll be moving two horses, four dogs, and two cats. I've already done a ton of research on overnight stabling and found a really cool website with info on barns on and near military bases! :)
Yes...I'm building up slowly since they've only been on pasture. I don't want to give them too much of the pellets too fast. I'm just starting at the bottom of the recommended maintenance. Once I get them there I'll re-evaluate on a bimonthly basis (my plan is to measure them for weight that often) until I get them where I want them. I want to put the weight on them, but I am also concerned about getting them too fat with them being lazy bums until we can start doing some real work. :)
Both horses look very well cared for, both are in proper flesh. The gelding & the mare have weedy hindquarters, and the mare has cowhocks. The gelding doesn't have much slope to his shoulders and his hocks are a tad straight, making him a rough ride. The mare has a more sloping shoulder & her neck ties in lower to her chest, she is the smoother horse to ride, right? Both have decent necks, the mare's being the better of the 2. Both look like they would be great trail horses, both have a kind eye.
I actually prefer the gelding to ride than the mare, but it may be that I'm just so used to him. He was actually my first horse. I was 10 and he was 2 (my dad has been around horses his entire life and did a lot of teaching with us when we were younger). We did learn together and I am so blessed that he must have been born with an old soul because he was the same horse then that he is now...steady as ever. I haven't done much with the mare due to the distance the old place was, but I think once I start working her and we get used to each others riding she'll be great. She (along with all of her tack and a bunch of little care items) were GIVEN to me by my friend because she felt bad about not being able to put the time into her. That was when we moved them because we couldn't afford board for two horses where we were before that. I've felt so horrible and almost as soon as we moved them started looking for somewhere closer...finally found it last month and I'm pretty happy and excited to get to work. We've been working on some ground work just getting used to doing something every day. :) They are both very honest with anything I ask of them. So long as I do my part they're happy to do theirs. :)
The gelding is pretty. My very first impression was that he might have some Clydesdale in him, believe it or not. Or, thoroughbred.
I have no advice on his feet, having much less knowledge thereof than you.
@Travellersmom - We were in Sumter. My husband was stationed at Shaw. He was there for four years...I was only there for the last one. :)
@tinyliny - Thanks. Not too sure about the Clydesdale part, but he does like beer! ;)
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