Friday, May 29, 2009

Lab Rats!!!

Boomer (and I) participated in a research study on equine genetics.  Cornell Vet School sent us a packet of info and I measured him in 38 different ways.  I also pulled out some tail hairs, which was sad.  He jumped a little and John said he made a little noise, like a whine.  Aw!  We also took some profile shots.  Part of the reason I was so ken on doing this was because I really needed the motivation to find out exactly how tall he is.  He was sold as being 15.3 hands.  Hey, Shanster- my flying mounts are about to be a whole lot less impressive!  He measured in at 15 hands.  You might be able to give him another half inch, but he is most definitely closer to 15hh than 15.1hh.  And I thought he made me feel big!  Turns out, he is just a little guy!  He is only 2 inches too tall to be a pony!  I think the news sort of took the wind out of his sails.  For me too, it was so much more impressive for me to vault up onto a 15.3hh horse!!!  For those who don't speak horse, a hand is 4 inches and hh stands for hands high and is the standard denotation used for all breeds.  A pony must be shorter than 14.2hh.  An Arabian could very well be pony sized, but due to registration requirements, a small Arabian will often be 'given' an inch tobring it up to 14.2hh and to ensure it is registered.  Boomer measured 60.5 inches which is exactly 15.125hh, though hands are only measured in inches, so there is no 'in between' size for a horse between 15hh and 15.1hh.  

Here are the conformation shots.  Obviously it has been a few years since he has been set up for halter.  :)

I think he was a body condition score of 4 coming in to the spring.  He gets much more food now that I have changed him to a less nutrient dense food (aka- rocket fuel).   I am able to feed him more without losing his sanity.  So he was getting 3 pounds per day, now he gets 5 pounds of his new food.  I think I would score him at a 4.5, thought I am aiming for a 5 by the end of summer.  His top line needs to fill out a bit more.  When I got him, he was a 7.  He dropped weight very quickly as we started working and I think he had trouble maintaining weight on the Ultium as he couldn't handle more than 1.5 pounds of it mixed with 1.5 pounds of Horseman's Edge.  Good news is that he is picking up very quickly on his new food and he is behaving better than ever before.  I give Omolene 500 two thumbs up!  Only downside is that it will be about twice as expensive.  Per bag, it is cheaper, but he is eating more.  I am OK with that.  If it is better, I will pay for it.  

Same goes for Charley who has been on a new food as well.  He is getting Smart Pak Live Smart food.  He likes it, his coat is better, and he farts less.  We used to give him Iams with 3 fish oil pills a day to keep him from getting dandruff.  Now, on a smaller quantity of food and NO fish oil, his coat and body look better than ever!  All this in less than a month!  The only complaint is that the kibble size is tiny and it gets stuck in his jowls and dropped throughout the house.  Wellness is a larger kibble that we will try next time.   Though these foods cost almost twice as much per bag, Charley is getting full off of less.  He used to eat about 4.5-5 cups per day and now he eats 3.5 cups per day.  

1 comment:

Shanster said...

Anything that makes them fart less is a GOOD thing! ;)

No - I could not jump up on a 15hh horse either. I am so pathetic it's just plain sad. I'm STILL givin' you props even if you aren't!