Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Clips and Blue Chip

Echo was clipped at the weekend. I didn't do it myself (I am very slow at clipping so not ideal for a young horse) but I held her and fed her polos! It worked out very well; she was in a very funny mood - flighty and on edge, so it wasn't an ideal time to introduce her to clippers, but she was perfectly behaved. You could see she was concerned as they started to travel up her neck towards her head, but she really will do anything for polos - I think she would try to stand on her head if it meant she would get polos, so she settled very quickly. We just did a low chaser clip this time; I had thought I would like her to have a trace, but it was good to get it all over with quickly. She does sweat around her back legs, but hopefully this will be reduced anyway. She's never been mareish or funny about being touched under her belly, so there was no problem with that area either. I was so proud of her - that's the attitude with which she has approached most things so far.

I felt the benefit of her clip tonight, as I rode her in the indoor school. In fact, I only rode her for about twenty minutes because she was so good again, but she didn't sweat at all. This is much better for both of us - she doesn't get cold and wet, and I can get home quickly! She was very good today actually - I was most impressed. I had much more control over her shoulders tonight, and I found I was able to lift her a little in front, as she has becoming a little on the forehand recently. I know this is just a young horse thing, as she finds her balance, but she was very responsive about my half-halts tonight. I did some work on trot-halt-trot transitions to engage her hind legs and these worked well. To combat the problem of the shoulders, I made a point of not doing any leg-yielding tonight. I think I will start to teach her a little shoulder in, as this will have the same effect on her way of going, but without (hopefully) causing her to fall out through her outside shoulder every time we do a circle! Hmm... That's a good idea actually - perhaps that's what we'll have a go at tomorrow!

In terms of her health, she seems to be OK in her gut now, but I am a little concerned about her body shape. When she was a yearling, she became very ribby in the winter, but with a huge belly. She wasn't thin, just looked a bit poor. Last year she was fine, but this year, I think partly due to the diarrhoea, she isn't quite looking her best. She is starting to look slightly like she did as a yearling and I am keen to get on top of it quickly, as I didn't really manage it before and she didn't look quite right until Spring. I think, as she has had a slightly problematic gut, I will try feeding her Blue Chip.

I've never fed a horse Blue Chip before, but have heard very mixed reviews. Some people swear by it. I have heard all kinds of stories - some quite ridiculous! Some have said that it sends horses wild, someone told me that it makes cobs ooze grease from glands behind their knees, which then cracks, (!!!) and tonight I was told that it can make horses hormonal and that it is fed to stallions as a form of Viagra!!? I guess it is different for each horse, and the only real way to know is to give it a go. The people who like it say it is fantastic: it calms the temperament, settles the gut and gives horses fantastic condition. That would be nice! I'm not sure I want some sex-crazed filly on my hands! Any advice would be welcome, however and I will consider my options over the next few days.


Wiola said...

I personally have no experience with Blue Chip but must have come across those who liked it as only heard very positive reviews.
Considering it contains yeast culture it should be good for your girl.
Do you go on Horse & Hound Forums at all? If not, you could try to ask for opinions there - a wide variety of horse owners is on there so you are with a chance to receive a good collective opinion :)

Echo said...

I haven't ever been on horse and hound forums - didn't know they existed actually. That's interesting - might go and have a look and see if there're any discussions on it already. Thanks! ;)

Daily adventures while training my young horse.