Fueling Dreams

Have you ever noticed how passionate a horse owner is about horse feed?  Granted, there are some folks I’ve met who are indifferent, but more often than not, when I ask a horseperson about their choice of horse feed, eyes brighten up and energy increases as they explain why the feed works for their horse.

As a 20+ year horse owner, I can certainly understand!  The connection we have with our horses is unlike any other; the enrichment of having a horse in your life is difficult to put into words; achieving dreams and beyond, teaching us the entire way.

Recently, I read an article about a Miniature Horse stallion named Buckeroo, standing at Little King Farm in Madison, Indiana.  This horse not only changed the business of Little King Farm, he changed the lives of Ed and Marianne and their family by opening up the world of possibilities (literally!) all the while teaching valuable life lessons: “to respect, be loyal, take responsibility, see things through with dedication and (he) taught them with love.”  This stallion created an international business that has fulfilled Marianne and Ed’s dreams and then some.

The story of Buckeroo resonated with me as one example of how horses can make our dreams come true. Henry David Thoreau once said ‘Dreams are the touchstones of our character.’  How passionate are you about fueling your dreams?

2 Replies to “Fueling Dreams”

  1. Hi- I have a 21 year old Oldenburg gelding. I live in the Hill Country in Texas. I have been debating with myself whether to keep him shod or not or front hoves only. We don’t do much riding anymore. We trail ride around our 17 acres and sometimes do some posting and canter work. It is hard ground and rocky but when it rains, it gets pretty muddy. He has a pig as a best friend and occasionally the pig wanders off and the horse goes balistic. He gallops the fence line until the pig appears. That gives some exercise at least. They graze together as well.

    In the past when I was riding at a lesson barn, he four feet were shod. So when I moved out here, it was harder to get a farrier and a vet suggested barefoot. I tried barefoot and he was limping the first couple of weeks so eventually I went back to front shoes only. Now I am at another point where it is harder to get on a schedule with my farrier. He does come and does a great job. There is a farrier nearby who started the barefoot program.

    What to do shoes or not?

    Thanks so much.
    What to do about feet.

    1. Hi What to do about feet, thank you for posting!

      It sounds like your Oldenburg has an active lifestyle; this is great as it will keep him feeling young for many years to come!
      When it comes to feet, that old saying ‘No Hoof, No Horse’ certainly rings true. There may be many factors at play in your situation, so I’ll walk through some things for you to consider.

      The first item to look into is the balance in your feeding program. Be sure the feed your gelding is eating is balanced for good hoof health; biotin, selenium and methionine in a balanced ratio are essential elements for building good hooves, both the wall and sole. If he has access to a good quality forage and a balanced feed, chances are you can eliminate this as a factor. If you have questions about your feeding program, consider consulting with a representative from your feed company. For Nutrena feeds, you can contact a sales consultant near you by going to http://www.NutrenaWorld.com and selecting ‘Contact Us’.

      From your description, it sounds like he may be experiencing some sensitivity to the new footing. One option to consider is to start him on short term limited turnout, then slowly increase the amount of time. If his feet are not used to a rocky or rough terrain, gradual increases in the exposure to the new footing may help his feet adjust to the elements. Be sure to pick his feet regularly to remove any stones and check for bruising and abscesses.

      If you have not already, consider having a consultation with your vet and farrier together to brainstorm a solution that will fit your gelding’s needs. Your vet can help rule out any medical issues that may be causing him to be sore while barefoot. When it comes to your horse’s feet, your best allies for care are your vet and farrier.

      Best of luck,
      Megan C.

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