Wednesday, 13 January 2016

~ Alert for Pony owners ~

The Importance Of Portion Control -  For Ponies 

As my previous post mentions - I have three lovely ponies to call my own. Any horse lover or enthusiast will often picture a small fluffy equine when hearing the word 'pony'  -  A 'little' horse on short legs, often possessing a round tummy! The image is a sweet one. Cuddly ponies - how lovely. 

This used to be the reality for my ponies. I knew the importance of managing their weight correctly and keeping them trim - but I could never seem to reinforce the actual weight loss. They remained the same. Cuddly, fluffy and round. A good routine, natural life style but clearly too much calorie intake - even if it was just grass - restricted too! 

In the summer of last year - 2015 - A very grey cloud hung over the field where my ponies reside. My littlest pony nearly lost her life to a chronic laminitis attack - fueled by EMS = Horse Diabetes. The cause  - sky high insulin levels due to - her weight. Her body could not process the sugars in her diet, and thus it causes an almost toxic reaction internally, which affects a horses hooves - or move terrifyingly  - the bones inside their hooves. The bone will come away from the wall of the hoof and rotate, and rotate until worst case scenario - the bone sinks and plummets through the sole of the poor horses hoof. Horses cannot walk - and the pain - is excruciating. In this situation - very few horses survive.

My little pony lay in her stable one morning, unable to stand, dosed up on all the essential medication under the watchful eye of my vet (who I could see was quietly hoping and praying with me) that it would all be enough to intervene and stop the damage to her feet being too severe to fix - It is a terribly distressing thing to witness, and that morning, I clearly remember holding my pony's head as she lay, telling her how sorry I was ... sorry for thinking I was being kind by giving her an extra portion of hay - sorry for allowing her access to the lush grass just because it was raining. And sorry for not treating her like a proper pony needs to be treated - not as a pet - but as a hardy creature designed to live on next to nothing. 

When we love our animals, we tend to shower them with unhealthy amounts of TLC, which often involves food. We know they respond to this, and will like us for this. But quite honestly - it is far from kind. Equally, it does not mean neglecting them! Allowing them to stand for hours with nothing in their stomachs, or to stand without shelter in a field. Or to not praise them and show them respect and love... none of the above! ... No...what it means is to know the importance of keeping your animal in perfect condition. Not under weight, not over weight - but comfortable and healthy and monitored carefully so they stand a good chance of living a long happy life - under your caring protection.

My little Pony was very lucky - I now have a beautifully slim pony (after following a strict regime) who is walking soundly again - she is sprightly and I continue to manage her food intake accordingly so she may never be in danger from such a crippling illness again. She looks glorious. A real miracle recovery - which began with me putting my professional mindset on rather than my emotional one! 

So, I write to say - if your pony gives you longing looks from his mud patch of a field because he's eaten what grass he can find, and wants more! please don't give in. If your pony is an escape artist - please ensure fencing is so good that they can't bust through and gorge all night on long grass! (this happened to mine- too many times! ) And please always keep a close eye on their overall condition - check with your vet what weight they should be, and take the necessary steps to get them in excellent shape. It is the kindest thing you can do for them - and although they may not realise it at the time of begging for more treats - they will realise it when they can be allowed the bliss of grazing with the sun on their backs, a happy and slim horse/pony - pain free, content ... and healthy. 

With Love
Amelia x

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Ponies, dreams and treasures

' A pony is a childhood dream - a horse an adult treasure ' 

I am not sure who is the true author of this lovely quote, but when I first read it - it moved me. 

Any horse lovers, pony owners, equine carers out there...will I am sure fully understand with great empathy what this quote means. 

I am very fortunate and most days overwhelmed - that I have three ponies I can call my own. For someone who dreamed of this as a young girl, it is perfectly true that they are indeed adult treasures. 

They are not a hobby, but a life style. They are not just pets. They are family. And they are a constant worry, joy, and wonderful responsibility that I could not imagine my life without. They have been part of my world for over ten years - and I think any horsey enthusiast will agree, that they truly do give you a sense of belonging. 

For someone who struggled to feel confident around her peers growing up, having that connection with animals and horses is a such a life affirming boost. If you watch horses grazing beside each other and take in how they are so quiet amongst themselves - it instantly brings a strong sense of calm. They are generally peaceful beings, whose strength and power will only work against us when under force, or threat or through lack of understanding from what we are asking of them. All most everything responds to kindness - and horses are a positive advocate of this. 

Having three ponies depending on me is a lovely role to have - and I try to give them a life which is happy and free, and well cared for - so that I when do venture out riding it is an outing as friends on the same page. Just as dog walking is a social and positive experience for human and hound - riding should be an equally enjoyable time - for the horse - not just the human. 

It is one of the best things - to have this creature, which is programmed to flee from predators, choose to come to you for affection and care. Decide to listen to your words of encouragement and praise, instead of taking flight when terrified of imposing danger (tractors are scary things you know!)

So, with that I just wanted to take the time to celebrate them - and to celebrate my own three equine treasures. In all weathers, day and night, these three lovely ponies await my arrival for care, feed and protection - and what they offer in return is a partnership that is unlike any other. If you need a boost of confidence, or feel like you need a sense of peace and calm, or you are searching for a somewhere to feel ' at home ' - horses and ponies provide this in abundance. Spending time around them is truly good for the soul! I used to watch from afar, and dream of having my own - and now that dream is a reality. And I feel very blessed indeed. 

With Love & thanks
Amelia x 

The first chapter ..

The new year has arrived - and I've decided I must be brave ~ 

' keep calm and start writing' ... so here goes ... My first chapter of a Blog of my very own ... 

I have thought about this for such a long time - but writing things down in your own diaries and journals feels somewhat less daunting than typing away and then clicking publish - however I very much want to give it a try. I do love to write.

Last year I discovered how amazingly popular internet blogging had become - I saw all these brave and wonderful people share their ideas, creations, thoughts and feelings online, and I felt totally inspired and excited that this world of writing existed. It's as though everyone gets to be an author in their own right. I read, and was a spectator for many months, but something has encouraged me to get involved and just simply start writing - I am hoping to give it my best, but most importantly truly enjoy delving into my creative side - and I am going to begin by sharing the first thing that dashes to my mind ... Horses!

If anyone stumbles across my posts, I hope you enjoy reading what I share here ...  
With Love - Amelia X 

~ please do call me Milly, I feel like we could become good Friends? ~