Feeding a Superstar Equine: Whey Better than It Looks!

Most of you know that I am a special horse. In 2006, I was afflicted with a horrible string of colic episodes, lost a bunch of weight and was finally diagnosed as having a malabsorption disorder. My disorder is similar to what a human with Crohn’s might experience. I was only supposed to live 1-2 years, but here I am in 2012, alive and well! The big key to keeping me alive and happy has been the help of Dr. Stratton-Phelps of All Creatures in California . She is a very talented and wise nutritional vet. Through her guidance, we have created a diet that keeps me going. I wanted to let you know a little more about all the ingredients that go into my special diet.

First up is whey! It truly is way better than it looks and sounds! Whey is a by-product of the cheese-making process. After the milk has been curdled and strained, there is a liquid that is leftover. That can then be processed into a powder that is especially popular with bodybuilders, as it is high in protein. Sounds yummy, right?! No, I didn’t think so either and didn’t like the look of it on my food when I first started on my new diet. In fact, I pretty much said “No Whey!” When my food kept coming with it though, eventually I had no choice. Now, I eat my food right up, unless I’m not feeling well. I’ve even come to rather like the mix of the ingredients, including the whey.

Why whey? Well, for the same reason the bodybuilders love it–all that protein. A side effect of my disorder is that I will have periods where my protein levels can become low. That can lead to weight loss as my body tries to find other protein sources, usually muscle mass! I need extra and easy-to-digest sources of protein, and whey is the answer.

So it may not look appetizing, may smell a little funny and have a rather disgusting origin, but I am keeping whey as part of my diet!Image

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Profiles in Horses: Trooper

ImageThis week’s horse is Trooper! Trooper is an Arab horse who is around twenty years of age. We don’t know as much about Trooper as we do about horses like Allez Tam and I. While Arab’s lineage can be traced back even farther than Thoroughbreds (!), Trooper came to his current owner without all the backstory. He certainly is a handsome grey these days with the regal Arab look and quick mind.

When Trooper came to his current owner, he was a chestnut like me. Looking at him now, that is so very hard to believe. He is truly a roan horse. I would have liked to have seen Trooper in all his chestnut glory. Nowadays, he’s mostly grey with a few flecks of red.

Trooper is an excellent riding horse, but requires a rider who can be in charge and who is unafraid of moving out. Like more hot-blooded horses, Trooper likes to go fast. He also is pretty patient, too, as he will allow the farm dogs to ride on his back! I’m not sure I’d ever want a dog on my back, but Trooper will let them up with or without a human rider and take them around as well.

Trooper loves his treats, and for him, he’s not too discriminating. He will eat mints, carrots, apples and anything sweet and yummy. He’s a smart guy, too, because Trooper knows some tricks. His favorite, and the one that always gets him treats, is his bow. Trooper will cross one front leg over the other and lower his head. You know he gets a ton of treats for that one! I’ve seen him do it to an unsuspecting human in the field, and it’s always a hit.

Trooper gets along with most everyone. I’ve only ever seen Grafton have a problem with him. Once, Grafton, Trooper and I were all in a paddock together. Grafton just would not leave poor Trooper alone. He often chased after Trooper and ripped up his blanket. I tried to be friends with Trooper, but Grafton would always chase us apart. Out in the field with all the geldings, there’s enough space and buddies that Grafton doesn’t go after him.

Trooper is truly a gentleman and a dashing horse! I think he’s a great friend to horses, humans, and I guess dogs, too!

 

Profiles in Horses : Meet Allez Tam

Hello, friends! It has been far too long since I put hoof to paper. I wanted to start a new series on my blog. Each week I will share a profile of a horse at the barn. I want to let you know more details about who lives at my barn. Maybe one day you’ll get to meet them, too, if you come meet me. I figured we should do ladies first, since I am a southern gentlman, so I’m starting with my dear friend, Allez Tam.

Allez Tam is a registered Thoroughbred just like me! She was born in Pennsylvania, where so many of my dear human friends live. Her birthday is April 7, 1993, so she is six years older than me. She is by Every Intent and out of Bold Tam Tam (by Lemigrant). Some of the famous names she features in her pedigree are Pleasant Colony, The Minstrel, Bold Ruler and Ribot, just to name a few! She gets asked quite often by those how know racehorses if she has Tim Tam, but she does not. Around the barn she is typically called “Allez”.

She started her racing career on October 19, 1997 in a maiden special weight at Mountaineer in West Virginia. She finished seventh that day. Although she would go on to race 32 times over her four year career and finish some game seconds and thirds, Allez would never break her maiden. She likely would have broke her maiden on June 28, 2000 in a maiden claiming at Penn National. Unfortunately, she would break bones in her leg that day, but showing her Thoroughbred heart and soul, she held on for third. She finished her career with six seconds and five thirds for total earnings of $14,915. Amazingly, she finished her career racing for the same couple who bred her: Mr. & Mrs. Edward L. Springer.

The break in her leg meant her racing career was finished. She went on to become a broodmare, first for Thoroughbreds. We don’t know for certain how many babies she had. Eventually, she was purchased by the owners of the farm I live at. They used her as a broodmare for Paints and Warmbloods. She had several babies. I only met two of them: Robin’s Painted Night AKA Colt (whose sire is Buddy who also lives on the farm) and Athena, who was her last baby, five years ago. Nowadays, Allez is used sometimes for beginnger riders. She still enjoys being first when on a ride. My human rode her on a trail ride one day. They were at the rear of the line, but once everyone broke into a nice trot, Allez took off at a canter for the lead! 🙂

Allez’s only real bad habit is that she cribs like me. It can make her lose weight, as she’ll sometimes spend more time cribbing than grazing. She loves peppermints, a friendly voice and love pats. She’s a beautiful dark bay/brown who usually looks more black than bay.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know one of the horses where I live a little more. 🙂

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