Every spring I take before photos and then again in mid summer and again in late summer, early fall I take afters of my ponies. This helps me gauge how well my feeding/exercise program is going.
This year we are doing the No Grain Challenge, which for us is more about no treats, no flax seed, no chia, no vitamins/minerals. My ponies are currently not getting grain, as I was using timothy grass pellets as a carrier for their supplements.
After taking the Horsemanship Nutrition Course I found out that both flax and chia seeds are inflammatory to the gut lining. Which would explain why Mikey has such a dull coat and is still ribby and not thriving.
So they are not getting ANY treats other than alfalfa pellets and this week I will add in Soybean Meal to bump up their protein. By bumping up the protein this will help them utilize the fats that are in their forage.
Onto the photos!
First up is Zorro. He has gained a little weight over the last week, so has Sky… I gave them a TON of hay last weekend. They pooped on it, peed on it, laid in it and pigged out royally. Plus I got some new hay and they have gorged themselves a bit on it. I sent the testing off yesterday so we will see what the sugars and starches are. Also they are only on the front part of the track and are being fed right beside the water trough. This is not ideal as they don’t have to move much to go from eating to drinking. I’m hoping to move their hay to the back side of the track later this week!
Zorro is amazingly hairy. I can not wait to see him all shed off! He is actually well muscled and fairly sleek under all the fluff. He has a more sprung rib cage which makes him have a rather round silhouette, but he is in pretty good shape right now!
Sky will lose some of this weight when I move the hay. LOL! But she is ALWAYS the cutest. And she gives such sweet kisses.
Mikey is a bit ribby and has a very dry hair coat. However I would prefer all three ponies to come out of winter looking a bit more like this. They did not have any shelter other than wind breaks this year and I think that worked well. Sky wasn’t ribby but she was much thinner even just two weeks ago. I was very happy with how they all came out of winter… until I had to give them extra new hay last weekend. I’m super dreading how fat they will all be when I get home from my trip with Chimacum in May!!
I also think it’s weird how these two pictures look like two completely different ponies! He is very fancy when facing west and becomes a bit dumpy when facing east. LOL! I don’t know why. He is so narrow and has ZERO belly. If I were to start working him right now he would look like a race horse by summer!!
So that’s what we are starting with. It will be so interesting to see where we end up!