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About rondobunny

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    Andalusians, trail riding
  1. Getting A Picky Eater To Eat Supplements?

    Make a large sachet out of cloves and cinnamon sticks(crushed finely with a hammer, but not powdered) and store it in your supplement. Your supplement may eventually absorb the scent and that may mask the vitamin/mineral/other smell enough. Cinnamon smells slightly different than peppermint, so your horse may like it. Alternately, a (dry) shaker of cinnamon sugar may sweeten the taste of the supplement if it's bitter. I don't know if I'd use a lot of it without approval from your vet. Cinnamon is a great antioxidant, but might be rough on a horse's tummy if they are sensitive.
  2. Feeding The Easy Keeper

    Once my grass pastured (6+acres) gelding turned 5 years old he started being an easy keeper. I , along with my vet, noticed that he had started gaining too much weight, so I started cutting his feed. Eventually, I ended up cutting his feed to about a 1/4 dry measuring cup per day, just enough to mix with his vitamin supplements. I was still giving him hay in the winter (2 flakes at night) because I had always been hesitant to go with just grass during the winter. His weight gain slowed down a lot, but he was still slightly gaining, and after he turned 7yrs old looking really chunky, my vet suggested for me to dry lot him for half the day. I really didn't want to do that because knowing my horse, standing around for half a day in a grass barren paddock with a few toys would not be a good thing for him. Of course if it was the only way for him to lose weight and prevent health problems, I'd do it, but as a last resort. I decided I would just go cold turkey and take away the night time winter hay supplementation. I don't know why, but it was hard for me to do that, and that first winter I had a sick feeling in my stomach every time I walked away without giving him some hay. He seemed ok, and the only difference I noticed was that his grazing increased. He grazed more during the day, and at night, instead of standing in his stall chewing hay, he was out walking around and , you guessed it- grazing! LOL! That spring when he shed out, he looked like he lost weight. Not much, but enough to make me think I might be on the right track. The next winter I did the same thing and he lost a little more. Third winter, no hay supplement, and he was really looking better. He probably shouldn't wear a string bikini, but he wouldn't embarrass himself in a skimpy one-piece. So as of now it's been 5 winters since I quit with hay supplementation, and though I don't think he's still loosing weight, he looks pretty healthy. I'm thinking his weight has stabilized, nonetheless, I'll keep an eye on him for weight gain or loss. The only thing I give him currently is a seaweed micro-mineral supplement and a vitamin supplement that is supposed to be formulated for easy keepers on grass. I've also noticed that he seems better toned in his muscles, so maybe the increase in roaming while grazing has made the difference. I think I made the right decision for my horse's health, but I live in the south, and our winters aren't so harsh that night time winter grazing would be dangerous, so for someone else, dry lotting a horse may have worked out better.
  3. Bar Bar A Horse Drinker?

    I absolutely love my two Bar-Bar-A horse drinkers. After having them for over seven years, I'd say they're one of the best purchases I made when building my barn. They are well built, and have held up well, so I think they are worth every penny paid for them. I used to spend hours scrubbing, bleaching, refilling, and even after all that I never liked the way my water tanks ( I won't say the name brand, but these were big gray heavy duty formed plastic ones that have the drain plug. The tanks are actually good quality tanks, and I still keep them in storage in case I ever need them. I'm not blaming the product for the water quality. I'm just saying that a big tank of standing water goes yucky quickly when horses are involved. ) would start looking bad (dropped hay/grass, feed, horse slobbering and playing) within two days. I'd have green/black algae within three days during the summer, and If I waited any longer than that to clean, all the water would feel slimy. After installing the Bar Bar A's, I haven't had to clean ANYTHING and my horses' water is ALWAYS clean and cool. Fresh water comes out each time. No more summer algae or standing water slime! And yes, they can take those wonderfully sounding long gulps of water once the basin primes. They do have to push down on the paddle to get it to fill, but the basin fills quickly. One of my waterers is in my pasture and the other one is right next to my barn. Check out their website and you can see what exactly the installation requires. Because there's no long standing water, the excess water drains away under the drinker. If I was going to put one of these in a stall, I'd put it as close as possible to an outside wall and, in addition to the manufacturer's recommended type of draining installation, I'd install a french drain leading to the outside. I looked at a lot of different types of waters before I chose the Bar Bar A. I know I said a lot about the cleanliness factor, but for me, the main selling point was that they don't require an electrical hook up to work. Our power goes out a lot, so I love that these don't require electricity. They work off of the water pressure from your well. Even if our power is out for most of the day and the well pump doesn't have power, the existing pressure in the well is still enough for the basin to fill and my horses can drink. I don't know if it would be that way for everyone, but that's what I've experienced.