I have really had some excellent rides on Lucy this week. A few things may be contributing to this:
1. Lauren has also ridden her a couple of times, after being busy most of December with work and the holidays. I think Lucy really missed her because since Lauren has been riding again, she's seemed really content. Yay for having an awesome leaser.
2. I cut her grain again. She is now getting just three pounds of grain a day. The grain she gets is 14% fat so I am able to feed a lot less of it than the 10% grain she was on previously, of which she was getting almost TEN pounds a day and still did not look great...insane! Her tummy is probably a lot happier eating less grain, though I don't know how happy Lucy is about the change; she sure does like her grain. I've also started her on a pound of rice bran pellets a day, which are 18% fat and supply nice cool calories to hard keeper horses. Rice bran doesn't add energy, just fat, and isn't bulky. She still gets the hay stretcher in the morning and then warm soaked alfalfa cubes at night, and then of course about 20lbs of hay a day. So spoiled.
3. Everyone knows OTTB's usually have issues with gastric ulcers. Honestly I should have had her scoped when I first bought her, but she didn't show any signs of having them other than being super skinny, but that's because she didn't get fed appropriately at her last home, and that was easily remedied once I found the right feeding schedule. Now she's borderline fat. But with all of the nonsense lately with her attitude, I started wondering if ulcers really were plaguing her. A horsey friend had told me a good test is to give 30cc's of generic Maalox, which you can buy very cheaply at WalMart, for about a week. If you notice an improvement, it's a good indication that ulcers are lurking. So I tried that out last week and low and behold I think she was marginally better. I am going to give it another week or two and see if she gets any better, and if so, I'll come up with the money for the scope. In the end she will still need the full course of GastroGard, but the Maalox is a good cheap way to test the theory before spending megabucks on the scope and treatment.