Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One Step at A Time

This is what Salem spends most of his time doing these days: eating. And then some walking. And then some more eating. He's a bit on the thin side, with slightly protruding hips and visible ribs; it's nothing drastic, but I would like to see him a bit more round. He's eating six quarts of Triple Crown Senior and six quarts of alfalfa pellets per day (divided into three feedings), so it's only a matter of time. Now, if I could only get him to eat more hay! I bought ten bales of the expensive, low-sugar, always from the same source, nutritionally tested timothy hay, so of course he's only picking/nibbling it and using the rest for bedding. He wants the sugary Cap N' Crunch hay! :-/

Behind Salem is the little four-stall barn that he shares with his new best friend (Pippi, an ex-Premarin mare). While it isn't as fancy or pretty as the main barn, it's far superior if you look at it from the horse's perspective: the stalls are bigger and breezier, the horses can hang their heads out and see everything going on in the arena and paddocks, and it has all the amenities of the main barn (rubber mats, auto wateres, and ceiling fans). Plus, it has a small fenced area around it, so I can leave Salem's stall door open at night and let him roam around and munch grass. Yeah, no-brainer in my opinion.

Since I can't ride Salem right now but still want him to get some exercise, I have been taking him for long hand-walks. Yes, he's my giant Labrador. :-) Once he can be ridden, I'd like to take him on trail rides, so I'm using this time to get him used to being off the property and away from other horses. We started out with the avocado grove behind the barn, then progressed to short walks down the street and into the grove/fields across the street. Salem can get a bit ostrich-necked at times, but for the most part he has been taking it all in stride.  


Munchin' grass in the grove across the street

Here, we're in a field that connects to the grove

We spent about an hour walking up and down the street, into the grove and around the field. It made me very excited for when we can do this with me on his back! Afterwards, it was time to head back to the barn for a nice refreshing shower.

And then it was back to his paddock for more food. Yes, I'd say he's fairly content with his new life.


SprinklerBandit said...

Fairly content? That horse lives like a king. ;-)

Alana said...

He kept that shiny coat you put on him!
It must be hard to live like this poor horse. My horses are booking a trailer down to live with you as I type this. Psssh, Rascal hasn't been out of the pasture in, like, a week! Abuse!!!!

eventer79 said...

He looks great to me! Don't turn that horse into some blobby fat hunter, LOL. And you should really stop abusing him with all those horrible tortures...

Frizzle said...

SB, he maybe lives like a baron, at best. ;-)
Alana, I WISH Salem could be out in a pasture! Heck, I'd bet if he had a computer and opposable thumbs he would be booking his van-ride up to live with you!
Eventer, the camera truly adds 100 lbs because he looks a bit thinner in person. A few people have commented on his hips and ribs showing. I just want to get him back to where he was last year. (Although I really wish I could get him to have a big fat dolphin-crest neck!! I looooove me a chunky-monkey tubba-whubba neck!)

Nina said...

I am only just catching up - I am so sorry for your loss! I am glad that you have your beloved Salem back with you. It is just so sad that it is under such terrible circumstances

Chris said...

I can't tell you how happy I am that Salem is back in Florida with you! I wish you guys both all the best!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

He looks very good to me! :)
I'm sure he's feeling like he's back in heaven with this fussing over him :)