For the past four winters, Kaswyn has dropped weight. To help keep weight on him I have been putting him on alfalfa cubes just in the winter. He loses a little but always gains it back in the spring.
This year, that didn’t happen. I kind of attributed it to the fact that he was in pain. I even asked Dr. B about it and he didn’t seem very concerned. On the contrary, he was happy that Kaswyn wasn't super heavy because that would be worse for his leg problems.
Still, Kaswyn was looking pretty skinny. So much so that the barn owner was concerned enough to approach me about having him tested for something. She said he seems absolutely STARVING all the time, and is eating as much grain and hay as the big horses in the barn. Of course this is concerning, and we started thinking about what the cause could possibly be.
Well, it turns out that Kaswyn and Phil were switched last fall to one of the low sugar, low starch grains that many people use. Kaswyn has been on this grain before and did really poorly on it. This happened many years ago, and after trying everything (even their fat supplement, which we ended up giving him more of than the actual grain), I switched him back to Purina. He put weight back on and started looking great again.
Now I know a lot of people think that horses should be eating the low sugar, low starch grains, but Kaswyn just doesn’t do well on them. I’m not saying they are bad, because Phil looks and feels fantastic. It’s just something about Kaswyn’s metabolism that doesn't work well with the grain.
So now he’s back on Purina Strategy and Equine Senior. Hopefully we can get some weight on him before it starts to get cold again. I’m getting a little concerned about this coming winter. All the horses, especially Kaswyn, are already blowing out their summer coats. Usually I don’t notice the summer coat shedding all that much, but this year it’s like it’s all coming out at once, really fast. What do these horses know about winter that we don't? It doesn't bode well, I’m thinking. If we have another winter like last one, I’ll need to find somebody to blame.
Long live summer!