So as per usual for this time of year, when I have lots of horses that need breaking in and training, I'm trapped unable to ride or do much outside, due to the constant rain. Not that I'm a delicate flower, and just don't want to get wet, its that the mud is so deep it literally sucks the boots off your feet to walk in it, and even feeding t hay you come inset splattered head to toe in the wet, sticky, freezing stuff. Not having an arena, there is no point riding on the paddock as it rips whatever grass may be left to shreds, and it's more like slipping and sliding across the surface than it actually constructive riding. So I'm left moping around the farm catching up on other chores, or sitting inside trying to do bookwork. Which means blogging time.
It's hard to get my head around the differance between the five stallions from this muster, and the mare and stallion from the 2010 muster. The
condition of the horses, the state of their hooves, the amount of internal parasites, the list goes on. Why are there such differences? Is it just good management of the wild herds, and having there numbers down, or was it just a particularly good season on the ranges. The thing is I don't go to the muster, so I don't see all the horses that come in, or where they come from,maybe If I did I would have a better idea, I'm not sure.
Two years ago, I could not beleive how skinny the horses were when they arrived at my yards. The little stallion was literally skin and bone, while the mare had a big belly from pregnancy, she certainly wasn't carrying any extra weight anywhere else on her body. Yet this year, all the boys arrived in really good shape. Bear you could see his ribs, but he definetly didn't look to be starving. Its nice to see the horses come off the range in such good shape, there's no point in allowing them to be wild if they are only barely surviving from year to year, but these five boys clearly had thrived.
People go on and on, and get really heated,about how bad domestic horses feet are, and how wild horses have the ideal hoof. I scoffed to myself two years ago, when both horses had such terrible feet, not at all the ideal foot, or a good model for how a horses hoof should look. In fact the mare was lame within a week of arriving, and each of her hooves was misshapen and split into three sharp claws, looking more like a set of talons than anything equine. But, this year the five boys have really good tough feet, not perfect, one or two of them have hooves that flare outwards, but nothing dramatic, they look like how you envision a wild horses feet would be from runing on the moutains. Why the differance? Is it because they were mustered from differant areas? Maybe this years lot were form a rockier area, meaning the hooves got worn down more and stayed healthier? Or does it just have to do with better genetics? Overall health in general?
These horses didn't have near as many worms, as two years ago, or any lice at all. Again I'm not sure the reason, or which came first, they have less parasites so they are healthier, or they are healthier anyway so not so susceptible to parasites?
It's really interesting to me all these differences, and why it's like that? Its something that intrigues me, is it just that I maybe got really skinny horses last time, maybe they weren't all like that, or maybe they were, but now that there is less population pressure two years later the horses are healthier. Maybe they were just captured form a different area? Or was it really just a good year and in two years we are going to see skinny horses again? I would love to know more, about this, i may have to do research into it over winter, someone somewhere surely has some stats and information about his kind of thing??
It does remind you though to not make judgements to quickly or without the right information, two years ago, I had a very different opinions as to how the horses were coping in the wild, now I would save they are thriving, two years ago that would not have been my answer.
So see if you can tell the difference between the condition of this years horses and 2010s horses...