Stall Rest Chronicles 13 March, Phase IV Begins, Turnout

Explanation. We have a horse on stall rest following colic surgery. This has taken over the blog. Mostly. [Begin, Phase III]

Eleventh week post surgery
Two weeks at clinic DONE
Four weeks of at-home stall rest DONE
Four weeks of paddock rest DONE
Starting week 1 of four weeks pasture rest

As of today, Milton has veterinary permission for a month of pasture turnout, with no work. In other words, status quo ante, vacation mode.

However. There are a few things that prevent us from flinging the doors open and letting them have their heads.

Issue: time. We did not have a decent transition space for ‘paddock turnout’. So, last month has been an extended version of stall rest. Milton has been out, on a lead, for a few hours a day. We are leery of going from that to 24/7 liberty. [III]

Issue: company. Milton and Rodney have not been in the same space unsupervised since late December. Another horse means playing during the day and fighting – or at least feinting – at mealtimes. Kicking. Being kicked. Leaping about suddenly. Milton is capable of zoomies on his own. Another horse means egging each other on for extended zooms.

Issue: eats. The grass has come up. Usually, they are out as the grass comes in and they gradually adjust. As above, it would be a sudden change from short grazing breaks to 24-hour exposure. This is not Kentucky bluegrass. Nutrition content is low. However, we are twitchy about what horses eat right now.

And finally.

Issue: people. Underscoring all of these issues is our ability to deal with same. The horses lived together in 24/7 pasture turnout for years. They would be fine. We could probably turn them out together today and leave them. Probably. Maybe.

So, we will gradually reintroduce the normal routine as Milton adapts and we cope.

We will start with Milton going out on his own and wait until we all get use to that before we turn them out together. Once out together, they will probably come in at night for a while, mostly for piece of mind of the humans.


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