Spring Snow

Yesterday, we woke up to snow – not a huge amount but enough to be annoying for everyone but I refused to put open a new bale and start lugging hay everywhere.

And so, after breakfast, I opened the gate and let all the Shetland ponies into the middle of their track field where the grass is slightly longer and easier to find.

Oh, they were one happy little herd, bouncing around everywhere.

Lots of galloping and playing silly-billies, which was sweet to see and confirmed no one has laminitis….. yet.

But the sun shone all day and the snow quickly melted leaving me thinking the ponies don’t need to be in that field anymore.

There was no way I would get them to leave their new found happy place without a huge bribe, but by this morning they were all lined up at the gate wanting to go and get their routine breakfast bucket.

After a bit of a muddle trying to work out how to walk through a large empty gap where the spring-gate had been, they all went up and ate their breakfast.  I closed the spring-gate and told them they were all back on the track.

And that went down badly.  They finished their buckets and all left in a sulky fashion looking longingly at their previous field.  I am finding it very difficult to stay firm about this but the spring grass will soon arrive and with it will come laminitis unless I keep them away.

5 thoughts on “Spring Snow

  1. Sam

    Sometimes we have to out on the Big Shoes and make others do the right thing. No matter the amount of sulking.

  2. judy shank

    I really did research ‘laminitis’, but I became a bit overwhelmed with horse endocrine systems & the debates over ‘spring grass’. I am not sure, but I believe the internet assumes that I am setting up my veterinary practice for large animal care. Would you be so kind as to put the condition in lay people’s terms. If I am challened taking care of my household’s cats & dogs, I do not think that I will branch out to horses any time soon. Thank you!

    1. Frances Post author

      I am no expert.

      Laminitis is caused by sugar. Sugar is from spring and autumn grass (more in those seasons). Laminitis is the inflamed laminae of the hoof which is painful and can cause bone rotation in the hoof, ie permanently crippling. Shetland ponies produce less insulin (genetics) so are more susceptible to this condition.

  3. Judith

    It’s lovely to see the ponies having a happy day out on the inner field. Let’s hope in time they will get used to going back to quarters after an occasional day-trip.

    PS Several of your contributors share the name Judith and its variations!


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