Spot Check

It’s been a year since I told you about Nevada’s (aka Spot’s) near-death experience of late last summer. You’ve seen him in the photos, so you’ve probably surmised he’s still around, but I thought I should give you an update on the old boy’s condition.

In short … he’s awesome, amazing, and very fit for an almost 29-year-old horse. We had more pasture time than usual this summer and, although it resulted in some extra heft on both Rosa and me, it was great for Nevada. He flourished with the combination of fresh food and plenty of exercise. T arranged things so that we had to do a lot of walking, and movement is so important to horse health. Our whole system is designed to walk and eat, walk and eat, repeat ad infinitum.

Our fall pasture at the back of the property. Oh, those idyllic autumn days.

Since last September, Spot had only the one health incident that I told you about in my Winter Whoas blog in February. Although that one got serious enough for the vet to be called, I think it would have passed on its own, and Spot will be more careful about complaining of a belly ache in future. Nobody wants a gratuitous colic tubing for a little gas.

All summer, Spot was relegated to pasture horse with the rest of us, only getting a cup of oats once a week with some probiotic in it, just as a little insurance. But, as the weather has grown colder and the pasture less robust, he has been going in every afternoon for grain and alfalfa cubes and some extra hay. He looks great but T wants to make sure he maintains his weight going into winter.

Enjoying a mostly indoor snack on a wet, wintry day. Chico likes to keep things tidy.

The rest of us don’t need any extra, there’s still no sign of our ribs following the summer of grazing, but T always throws us a little loose hay while Nevada enjoys his buffet. She doesn’t like to play favourites, even when the favourite is as old as Spot. But really, I don’t mind. One day I’ll be the old guy needing special treatment.

Me sporting my ready-for-winter weight and coat.

I’m seeing more of a hitch in Nevada’s backend since the weather turned colder and I know T has noticed it too. I think it’s a combination of old bones not liking the cold and less moving around when there’s snow and ice to navigate. I’m sure T’s started adding supplements to his winter ration and she was measuring him up for a new blanket last week. He’s adequately woolly, but he does feel the cold more than he used to, especially on those high windchill days, and a blanket does help him out in those conditions. If it fit him, I’d be happy to loan him mine, but there’s a rather significant size difference. He’d look like he was wearing his little brother’s jacket.

Snow on the ground means hay in the feeders!

So that’s the good news from the farm. I’d best get back to my pile of hay before one of the girls gobbles it up!

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