At the beginning of the year, we raised Milton’s rations significantly [Miseries: Feed Me!]. He improved. For a while. Then stalled. His attitude was more pleasant, but still grumpy, “He’s never going to be a ray of sunshine, but he’s less vile-tempered.” He disliked being groomed. I was annoyed with him. Our blacksmith thought he looked skinny. There was nothing major or specific, just a collection of minor irritants. In short, he wasn’t thriving. We needed a change. My in-house nutrition advisor decided to try switching feed.
Milton had been on the same highly-digestible senior feed that Rodney has been on for years. We were given to understand that Milton was relatively uncomplicated, feed-wise. We figured as long as he was getting adequate nutrition, he would be okay. Milton certainly isn’t the festival of digestive issues that Rodney has been [Zeno’s Horse Training]. Still, a new feed is an easy change for us. One of the benefits of having horses at home. We went back to a name-brand, 10% sweet feed that Mathilda always ate and that Previous Horse ate for years before he went senior.
(Mathilda did not do senior feed, thank you very much. She was even picky about where her sweet feed came from. Seriously, in the winter, her national brand food had to come from store X rather than store Y or she wouldn’t eat it. No one at either store could tell us why there was a difference. But I digress.)
Voila, happy horse!
Milton no longer greets the world with default, ill-tempered unpleasantness. His ears are up more often than not. He is less pissy about being groomed. Blacksmith thinks he looks good. Even Rodney has noticed. The horses are more likely to be found grazing closer together. Rodney still moves away from Milton, but no longer leaps like a startled bunny when Milton looks in his direction. (A 17-hand horse leaping like a s.b. is quite a sight. But I digress again.)
More food having a positive effect I can understand. Calories is calories. Digestibility, I can also get behind. Different food having such a big mental effect? Not so much.
As for the rest, yes, yes. Believe me, there is nothing you can say on the subject of Milton about which I am not already berating myself.
Feed changes, your experience?
Gratuitous Cat Photo