Thursday, January 20, 2011

Toga steps it up

Awesome lesson yesterday....we are starting to really work on collection. T's poll must have lifted six inches from the time I started asking him until we were doing medium trots like a big horse. What a feeling to have that lift and suspension! It took him a bit to understand what we were doing - at first he did flying changes all over the place and a lot of jumping up and down, but not naughty stuff, just confusion. Like I've said before, he tries SO hard to do what (he thinks) I want him to do. Sometimes what I really want and what he thinks I want are different, and he gets a bit wound up. But it ended with some beautiful trot and canter work, with the lateral stuff coming easier and easier. Can't wait to see what's next.

I have to vent about feed companies. My barn is pretty big, so one of my major costs is feed. I have always tried to find the best, least expensive feed available.... feed that will take care of the majority of the 60+ horses we have on the farm. The prices have skyrocketed in the past five years - like everything else. And now that all the companies are marketing their designer feeds, you'd think that every horse needs a special blend just for them. So yesterday I was visited by one of the local feed companies that sells a few different brands, and the rep from one of them was with the owner. There are about six brands that are marketed locally, and someone comes around every once in a while to tell me why they are better. Anyway, what made me think to write this today is the comment the rep made when I told him that my Intermediate event horse was doing great on the feed I have. He said "Don't you want the expensive feed? Most eventers want to feed this expensive feed." Did he expect me to say yes??? I told him to look around and see if it looked like I had anyone else paying my bills. Then I challenged him - as I do EVERY feed company that claims they have a better feed that I will "feed less of" because it's so great - to feed my horse his feed for a month or two and show me the difference. And as they all do, he backed off and said yes we do that sort of thing but then changed the subject to avoid setting up our little test .... I've heard that a lot and they never follow through. So my thoughts on feed are the same. I have high fiber, 12% protein feed that every horse in the barn seems to do well on, and unless I'm convinced otherwise, that's what I'm sticking with. I would love to have a comparison test, but not on my dime, especially when we're talking almost $10 a BAG difference in price! I feed 100+ bags a don't have to do any math to see my point! Like they say....if it ain't broke, don't fix it. :) vent over