Monday, October 01, 2007

The Great Sweet Feed Debate of 2007

Breeds of horses, like people, have stereotypes that go with their names. If you say Arabian, some folks will think 'hot headed crazy horse'. If you say Danish chick, some people think 'drinks like it's her job'. As we all know, these stereotypes are not always true.

Horses fed a high ration of grain each day are said to become hot. Hot tempered, high energy, hopped up on speed... that sort of thing. When Zydo came to live with us here at The Ranch, we had to threaten my father (Also known as He Who Feeds Much Grain) with all kinds of cruel and unusal punishment to stop him from feeding my horse grain. He firmly believes that horses need grain, and when that man feeds grain, he's not here to fuck around. He feeds the horses grain. Lots, and lots of grain.

Zydo is a Thoroughbred, a breed typically known for not reacting well with grain. And because I'm such a fraidy-cat rider, I really don't want my horse to have any more energy than is absolutely necessary for him to trundle around the ring. I'm looking for a horse who is barely conscious, ready and willing to take a nap at any point in the day, and likely to fall asleep in the track if I don't chirp him around every corner.

And so, He Who Feeds Much Grain relented. Zydo was fed a small ration of a fat and fibre pellet mixture for most of the summer. My mother and I rejoiced, and we sang and we danced. We clapped ourselves on the back for reining in He Who Feeds Much Grain. We had WON the Sweet Feed Debate of 2007, and all was right with the world.

But then Zydo started getting a real workout a few times a week. And then he got sick. And even after he was better from his nasty sinus infection, he was still losing weight.

And so, ever so cautiously, I allowed my father to do what he does best. I allowed my father to feed my horse much grain.

I was fully prepared for him to have some sort of psychotic break because of all the stories I've heard of Thoroughbreds and grain. I have to admit that feeding Zydo grain has not made any difference in his temperament.

And while he has never fit the description of the sleepy horse who needs to be chirped around each corner, he certainly hasn't gone through any major personality shifts that leave me wanting to reach for horse-quantity rations of anti-psychotic medications.

And so, Dear Blog, it is here that I admit that I did not actually win the Great Sweet Feed Debate of 2007.

He Who Feeds Much Grain reigns supreme over all matters pertaining to grain. To him must we all turn in all questions regarding grain; our ever-present and all-knowing leader of grains.

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