Monday, November 7, 2011

Keeping My Old Buddy Going

I've been searching for young timothy hay for my 31 year old Paint horse, Rembrandt. It is VERY hard to find, especially with the crazy summer drought and later the extremely wet monsoon season here. I ran out of the hay he liked a few weeks ago and he has been going downhill ever since. I think he gets depressed when he can't chew his hay. It needs to be short and tender. I've got a dozen different varieties of grass and alfalfa hay filling my barn that he just can't or won't eat.

The poor guy doesn't have good teeth, so it's hard to find hay that he likes and that he can chew.

On Friday, I picked up a couple of bales of tender timothy/orchard grass mix. I'm cutting it into bite sized pieces with a paper cutter and keeping my fingers crossed that he continues eating it, because fortunately, there is more of it to be had.

I am also trying a new puffed "Blue Seal Senior" feed that is like "Cocoa Puffs". It is softer and easier for horses with tooth problems to chew. He really likes it and learned the words "Cocoa Puffs" immediately. He is so enthusiastic about it, you could even say he's "Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs". I am glad and Rudy is fortunate that there are more and more products on the market for senior equines these days.

After lunch yesterday, I decided to ride my big mare, Miss Rita. I usually lunge her first to get the bucks out. When I did, she seemed off, so I took her for a hand walk in the woods instead. I have been riding Rudy the past few days, as it helps to regulate his digestion, keeps him supple and really perks him up. Rita always carries on, screams and tears around when I ride him, so that could be the reason for her lameness. 

Rudy was really feeling his oats (and probably jealousy) yesterday. The whole time I was walking Rita in the woods, Jerry said the old guy was whinnying, trotting, cantering and bucking all around his pen. I caught a few glimpses of him and it was good to see him moving about so soundly and feeling so well. My efforts have not been in vain. Now I just hope he didn't over do it.

As always, any comments or suggestions you may have are appreciated. All images are from my "Horse Stuff" lightbox on iStock.


  1. I am keeping my fingers crossed that all will go well with your "old buddy". Cuckoo for cocoa puffs made me chuckle. Amazing how your horses get jealous like that; they certainly don't like to share you! Good luck with the feeding!

  2. You crack me up, Robin. It's true, my horses don't like to share the attention. :-D

  3. Sandy, I empathize with your situation with Rudy. Bruno is only 10, and already I have to be so careful with hay. I think he had his mandible broken when he was very young, and it has left him with a serious malocclusion; I must have his teeth rasped at least twice a year. I've been very fortunate to have found a sweetheart of a local farmer, who grows and bales the most wonderful, soft grass hay.
    Have you tried soaking or parboiling the hay to soften it?
    And I LOVED the "cuckoo for cocoa puffs"!!!!

  4. Thanks for the advice and vote of confidence, Kathryn. I have tried soaking . . .what a pain and it didn't seem to make much of a difference in the long run. He either likes the hay and can eat it or not. How does one go about parboiling hay? As of tonight, he's still into the new hay. . . Fingers still crossed. If he's eating it in a week, I'll stock up on it. :-D

  5. Poor Rudy! I hope he likes his cut up hay:) Hope Rita is sound soon too.


Thanks for reading and commenting. Your input is appreciated! (No word verification needed.)