So, I left you all on the day we took the ponies swimming, which was Thursday the 25th.
The next day, I went to ride Pony, and she was really good at first, but then got faster and more strung out. So I kinda thought that maybe she wasn't feeling her hottest after swimming, that was tough on their bodies!
So I untacked, took her in the round pen, worked on our bowing and picking up her feet, and jumped on her bareback and bridleless for a little while. She was wonderful :)
I decided to give her the weekend off, she deserved it and definitely needed it.
I came back on monday to find her so back sore she was unridable. WHAT?!
I massaged, stretched and massaged some more, but it didn't help her. I emailed the chiropractor, and she told me she could come out on Friday. So began the waiting game! I came out every day and groomed her and massaged, but she was still back sore. I also began to think that she was deficient in something....she was constantly eating dirt, and not going for the salt like.
I began researching, and I am assuming she is low on selenium. Most of california is low in selenium, and oregon has none. Selenium comes from the ground and is naturally in hay. They way I heard it described best was 'areas where plant roots have to go further underground to get water, the selenium is higher (new mexico, arizona, utah)' but it also has to do with what type of soil makes up your area. Selenium is important for horses, but the safe zone of feeding is very slim.
Does anyone read the 7msn blog? Who remembers her battle with the infamous Locoweed? The plant that will slowly make horses go crazy if they eat it, resulting in neuro issues and having to be put down. Turns out, Locoweed is SUPER high in selenium, so that's what selenium toxicity does!
It's more common for a horse to get toxicity than it is for a horse to get a deficiency, because there is added selenium in most grains sold in our area (make sure you don't have any selenium in your added feeds in places like New Mexico, places that are naturally high in selenium!) However, Pony hasn't been getting grained, and we get our hay from Oregon sometimes.
When I began reading about selenium deficiencies, the words 'MUSCLE PROBLEMS' jumped out at me. Oh, do you mean that some of her soreness could come from a mineral imbalance?
So this set me on the road to find a good grain/supplement for her. After looking at a million things, I decided to go with LMF Gentle Balance.
LMF feeds are designed for people in my area, which I think is awesome.
Gentle Balance is designed for horses that are in light/moderate work and it is a grain free, mineral and vitamin based pelleted feed. It isn't exactly low in fat, but I haven't been able to find any grain that does what I need that is low in fat! I didn't want to get a grain, and then a selenium supplement to add in, because grains usually have selenium in them, and I wanted to make sure I wasn't giving her too much.
This grain was on the higher end for selenium, so I figured it would be a good grain to start her on heavily, and then slow to a maintenence dose to make sure she doesn't get deficient again. I was also thinking about California Trace, or Red Cal...but I am currently between jobs and don't have money to spend 100 dollars on a really long supply, I'd rather spend 20 on a bag of grain that will last me a few weeks.