Happy Holidays! We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family, friends and your furry pets. Thankfully we have not seen a lot of the white stuff down here yet but it is coming soon. The nice weather the last few weeks has been nice and seems to be allowing us to get out and enjoy the ever shortening days. The horses especially love these cool crisp morning. They seem to get in a few miles frolicking about every morning.
As much as we don’t look forward to all the snow we sure do need it. Without the snow we may continue to face the rising hay costs for another year. We are constantly being asked for recommendations for where to get affordable hay. I sure have not found much of that so if you find some let us know. In the meantime find the best quality you can. Making the hay stretch a little longer can be accomplished by adding in bagged forage. Whether in pellet or cube form, adding a few pounds to your daily ration will allow you to increase calories if that is your goal, help stretch that expensive hay bale another day or two and more important during the winter months it increases the hydration factor.
A nice warm mash on a cold evening gets water in the gut. Many people don’t want the hassle of soaking but it does not have to be a hardship. We set our mashes up in the morning/early afternoon, add water and let them soak until feeding time. If it is really cold we bring a jug of hot water out to warm up the mash a bit if it was outside. When the temps just don’t seem to get above freezing we bring the buckets inside to soak (thankfully this does not happen often because it is a mess but way easier than a colic). Our basic mash is 1 pound of beet pulp (we like pellets as they are more economical), 1 pound of grass pellets (timothy, orchard, alfalfa or alfalfa/timothy) and stabilized rice bran for those who need it. Mix in any additional supplements and your horse has a nice evening treat. For the hard keepers or the older horse that does not chew so well we increase the amount of pellets or add in cubes. You may have to experiment with how soupy your horse likes it. Ours like a nice wet sloppy mash that they can get all over their face and then share with us when they nuzzle their thanks.
We are getting a lot of requests for the EasyCare Versa Glue On Shoes. There are several types to choose from in the Versa line up. We have had great success with the Versa Grip Glue set with EasyCare Maxi Glue as well as with EasyBond Fast Set. For those odd shaped hooves there are options to weld on different types of tabs. If you are interested in giving any of the Versa Grips styles a try then give us a call. We carry the whole line up. I can apply for you and teach you how to do it your self as well. For more information visit this link to the EasyCare videos. https://www.youtube.com/user/EasyCareVideos
As mentioned above winter water intake can be a challenge. There are ways to mitigate your risks. We borrowed this infographic from Standlee Premium Western Forage. Providing soaked forage in the form of beet pulp or forage pellet can be a game changer for many horses. Mashes need to be fed consistently so that the horse is used to getting them and for them to have the greatest impact. If you don’t have access to warm water in your barn or feed area you may have to be creative and bring warm water out or better yet, bring your bucket of dry goods to the house and fill with warm water there and take out with you at feed time. It does not take that long for pellets or cubes to soak and warm water makes it go even faster. By the time you have your boots, coat, hat and glove on and make it to the barn it has already started to soften up and break down. A quick stir with a spoon to make sure your supplements or salt or apple/carrot bits are mixed and your horse will love it. If you need help deciding what mash to give just call and we can help you decide what will go best with your feeding program.
Weather is possibly going to impact our schedule a bit this month as well as some other factors so we are going to make a few adjustments. Please take a look at the schedule to make sure you have your orders in. We will not deliver during wet weather. It is just too hard on some of the feeds to be exposed to moisture if you don’t have the ability to open the bags and let them breath a bit upon delivery. Putting the schedule out a few months ahead still seems to be working well, so we will continue to post three months of deliveries at a time. With fuel prices as high as they are we will be trying to be as efficient as possible in our delivery days. We are making fewer additional trips to town as well so our ability to fit in a last minute order is a little limited so may not happen as fast as you have experienced in the past. Special trips to town for that “I have to have it or else…” order will have a $10 delivery fee. If you need to, you can always stop by and pick up anything you might need, just give us a call ahead of time to schedule. The sooner you get your orders in the better we are able to plan, but not later than 5pm the night before your scheduled delivery day. With winter will come weather than can impact our deliveries. If we have to make changes we will let you know. It is always a good idea to plan ahead and have enough to carry your through an extra week if the weather keeps us from delivering as planned. Thank you
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