Friday, August 12, 2011

Give and Take

When you have horses you are often presented with new ideas and ways of solving problems. Often they are problems you didn’t even know you were having until a solution came about.

I recall attending a clinic for the Strasser Barefoot concept. A lot of it made sense, but the more one finds out about the Strasser Cult horses the more you hear about abscesses and foot and joint problems that don’t go away. It seems Dr Strasser studied wild horses and tries to trim the domestic horse hooves at the same angle. We have since gone barefoot with our horses, but we don’t do the Strasser Trim. It supposed to be better for their circulation as the movement of their hooves pumps more blood around the leg.

Well the newest thing to come down the pike is a diet where we soak alfalfa, and pour off all the nastiness before placing it in their hay racks. We also soak their pelleted grain into a mush and add other oils and nutrients. Normally I avoided ever feeding alfalfa to horses that weren’t being worked hard, but now there are indications that alfalfa is good for all horses.

The transition to alfalfa was sad for me. It removed me from the ritual of driving to Birkenfeld to get a trailer load of hay every few months. It was sad seeing the usual two bales of hay in the hay room that was normally filled to the rafters at this time of year.

Sadly, yet happily there came a break. The price of alfalfa went from $15 to $20 in one week. New diet be damned, they are getting $3.50 a bale Birkenfeld hay again. I still feed them soaked alfalfa but only once a day. Now a bale will last me over a week and I won’t go broke in the process.

In a perfect world I wouldn’t have to make this sort of a compromise, but then where does one turn when you need a 9-volt battery in a hurry? That’s right, one of the smoke detectors. Horses can survive eating grass. It isn’t optimal, and neither is reducing one floor of our house from four to three smoke detectors. They will still get some alfalfa, and I will replace that battery.


Blogger darev2005 said...

Sheesh. I'm barely competent to feed myself. Until I met you I never had a clue that keeping horses was such a complicated venture.

However, we did raise a lovely crop of cicadas this year.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Are you saying that small, square bales of alfalfa are $15 to $20 per bale? On the local Craigslist I see alfalfa for $5 to $7, and that seems outlandish to me.

7:45 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, I miss the sound of the Cicadas and I miss the fire flies.

Donna, the rectangular bales, not the compressed square bales. The problem here is that it has to be trucked several hundred miles, and if Oregon runs out it has to come from California. Even peleted alfalfa has gone up in price. Fortunately we've had a rainy summer and all the pastures are still green. I rotate them daily so they are never in one field for more than a day.

7:26 AM  

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