Sunday, August 8, 2010

Labor of Love

“But a horse is a labor of love as well as a responsibility, an aesthetic as well as a dynamic pleasure, something to contemplate as well as ride.”
~Sarah Montague

As I lay in bed in the morning and I try to get a few more moments of rest a cacophony of barnyard noises erupt just outside my window. Bleating of goats, quacking of ducks, crowing of rooster, and the unignorable bray of a donkey. All urging me to get up and start the day.

When most people are nursing a hot cup of coffee and fixing some breakfast, I am outside filling troughs, opening gates, hauling hay, and doling out feed to chickens. Horses and goats need hay, and as I haul it, I have two chickens and a duck following me looking for some feed. Holding back is a hen with her five little chicks, all just trying to stay out of the way. The back drop of this morning song is the goats wanting their fair share too. Soon I will have Corrie here which will complicate things even more.

Thanks for all the tips and suggestions everyone. I know that dealing with an Insulin Resistant horse can be difficult and until I get a vet out here I am just going to assume that she is IR. She has been getting a mere handful of grain with her supplements, but I am going to switch to a soaked hay cube mixture. Her vitamins are pelleted, but the joint supplement is a powder, which is actually why I went with sweet feed in the first place, so it would stick. At the time I was not even thinking IR, just fat. I know that I will be trying different things with Corrie and will have to add even more labor to my schedule, but in the end it is all worth it.

At the end of the day, I listen to a whinny from Rocky as I throw hay over the fence. Daphne, my duck, quacking and following me around. Zoe will be bounding around the yard after her yellow ball. Goats excited to see me no matter what time a day, and horses of all sizes running around the pasture. I would not trade places with anyone in a beautiful high rise apartment in down town Chicago what have their horses boarded at a posh facility, because at the end of the day when I have had a beautiful drive behind my beloved Corrie, eaten fresh eggs from my own chickens, and finally washed up with soap make from my own goat’s milk, I know that it it really is a labor of love.


  1. I hope Corrie is not IR but I know every haffie I work with is fat right now. I mean FAT and two of them are commercial carriage horses getting 10+ hours of hard work a week.

  2. Do you treat IR in horses in a similar way as people, i.e., cut refined carbs and add protein and fiber? I had symptoms of it myself and have lost close to 30 lbs. eating that way.

  3. Chromium can help IR horses. Also, to make supplements more palatable, either briefly soak the pellets and supplements before feeding or add a bit of cocosoya oil - it's good stuff nutritionally and the horses love it.

  4. It sounds like you have a good morning ritual and everyone seems so happy there. Will be fun to have Corrie home as well to add to that.

  5. I love this post. It makes me think of my farm minus the quacking. I actually don't mind the noise but I'm always afraid the donkey braying annoys the neighbors. He has a tendency to do it at inconvenient hours of the night or morning lol. :)

    I'm glad you're checking into the insulin resistance because that's the first thing that popped into my head.


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