adventures with the vet · farrier · winter

Winter is coming

First things first: I’ve often said that my barn, which is at a higher elevation than most of the other places in my life, has its own weather patterns. Last night that proved true: I left work and drove up and up and up…and at a certain point, the cold rain solidified and turned white, and I stared in disbelief for a few minutes before swearing.

Luckily, none of it stuck. But winter is well and truly on its way: all the trees are naked, it’s below freezing every night even in the valley, and this weekend we’re putting in storm windows and sealing everything off under plastic.

Tris is going well. We had a good intense ride on Wednesday, and when I got off he was sweaty through his fuzzy winter coat. Whoops. So, 45 minutes of cooling out and drying (walking, swapping coolers) for 35 minutes of riding. It’s been a very long time since he’s been sweaty like that through his winter coat. Hopefully he’ll go back to his usual self soon, because I really do not want to play the clipping and blanketing game.

His most exciting news now is that also on Wednesday the farrier did his feet – and he’s back in normal steel shoes! Hooray! The notch in his toe is small enough that it looks like a bad chip, and the farrier left the epoxy out entirely. By the end of the winter the foot will look practically normal – it’ll still have some of the bulge from growing out but that will only be visible on close inspection.

Next week, he’ll get his flu/rhino booster, and they’re vaccinating the whole barn for botulism – which I did not know you could do! It’s precautionary, since they’re going to put a lot of the horses on round bales in pasture this winter, and apparently it has a million boosters but round 1 is next week. He’ll get his Legend shot at the same time and we’ll see where we are.

Last but not least, he’s starting to add weight again. He dropped a fair bit in the summer to fall changeover, and he was looking downright ribby for a little while, so we upped his hay, switched him to senior grain, and upped his grain in general, all in slow stages. The idea was not to just fling calories at him but to do it in small increments and find a leveling off, since he’s usually such an easy keeper. It was worrying quite a lot for a while but we are definitely on the right track now.

Whew.

2 thoughts on “Winter is coming

  1. Thanks – it feels good to have made that big step. It will almost be weird when the notch grows out and his foot looks totally normal. I feel like this has been my world for so long!

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