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Author: Stephani Hren

A Quick Tour of KW

A Quick Tour of KW

Way back in December I wrote a post giving a tour of the SEC. Now that I’ve been at KW for a little over three months, I figured that it’s probably time to do a tour of the new facilities!

KW is only a couple of minutes away from the freeway, but the woods around the stables gives the whole facility a very private, quiet feel. It’s a few turns off of one of the area’s main streets, down a long driveway that swoops around BarnOwnerK’s house and leads to the barn and the outdoor arena.

The whole place has a very rural, cozy feel to it. I love that the owner lives on site and the grounds are always well manicured. The driveway leading into KW is often filled with chickens. Ezhno even made friends with some of the neighbor’s goats on one of our walks down the drive!

KW’s main structure is built around a 62′ by 132′ indoor arena with “professionally installed, rock free, virtually dust free, cushioned, sand/clay/loam/mix footing”. The footing is nice. Not only that, but BarnOwnerK is very serious about keeping it in good condition. She routinely does awesome things like adding truckloads of C-33 sand and bags of MAG flakes to ensure that our environment is 0% dust. ๐Ÿ˜€

There are 12.5′ by 12′ matted stalls with auto-waterers on both sides of the arena. The side of the barn that I usually inhabit has five stalls with large 20′ by 100′ attached paddocks, while the far side of the barn has four stalls with smaller 16′ by 30′ paddocks. Both sides have a matted aisle with cross ties.

There are heated tack rooms on both aisles. They’re big enough that everyone has space to put a storage tub or two (though boarders usually keep their Husky tubs out in the aisle, where they can easily reach them while they tack up). Everyone gets two saddle racks. Mine can get sort of crazy. ๐Ÿ˜›

The far side of the barn also has a matted hot water wash rack where its fifth stall would normally be.

Out behind the main barn are two paddocks (I’d guess they’re around 20′ by 100′) that are open to boarder use. They can be used for temporary board (one of the 4-H girls kept her adorable gaming horse there while she was preparing for fair!) or for turnout (so that the horses with smaller paddocks can stretch their legs).

In front of the main barn is the smaller barn where Ezhno and Rags are housed. They’re the smallest stall/paddock combinations at KW (but also the cheapest). There are two stalls in the barn, plus storage space for hay. There’s no tack locker, so I store my tack in the main barn and bring my horses in to tack up.

At the front of the property, next to BarnOwnerK’s house, is the 80′ by 130′ outdoor arena. It has all weather coarse washed sand for footing. Also, Ezhno thinks the trees are scary.

When I moved away from the SEC, my main concern was that I would find the peaceful atmosphere stifling. But while KW has less activity than the SEC, I haven’t found the change of pace too disconcerting. There’s definitely a lot of people that I miss from my old barn, but I love the level of care that Ezhno and Raglan are getting. At some point I forsee moving to a place that has more room to jump in the arena, but for now my horses are super happy hereโ€”and that makes me happy, too!

Food for Thought: Raglan’s Diet

Food for Thought: Raglan’s Diet

When I bought Rags, his seller warned me that he can be a hard keeper. On top of being fed free choice alfalfa, Rags also received a whopping 18 pounds of grain a day: 3lbs of Triple Crown Complete, 3lbs of Haystack, and 3lbs of a rice bran/rolled oats mix per feeding, plus a daily supplement of Tri-Amino and an Omezaprole treatment for ulcers. I did the math: all of that together comes out to $382.20 a month! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Plus putting together grain baggies is a PITA ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

That was a lot of grain. According to Equus’s guide on feeding for weight gain a horse shouldn’t be fed more than 0.5% of its body weight in grain in one sitting. For a horse like Raglan, that’s about 6 pounds per meal maximum. He was originally getting 9 pounds per mealโ€”and BarnOwner and FarrierN both thought the grain was filling him up so that he lost interest in his hay. ๐Ÿ™

Right off the bat I took him off of the Triple Crown Complete and the oats and used the Haystack to make up for the difference. Haystack is a fan favorite in the Pacific Northwest. It’s $12.99 for a 40 pound bag, has 12% protein/6% fat/28% fiber, is made in Oregon, and has all natural ingredients. Here’s the list:

Plain Dried Beet Pulp, Sun Cured Alfalfa Hay, Sun Cured Timothy Hay, Flax Seed Mean, Canola Oil, Heat Stabilized Rice Bran

Rags got to finish off his Abprazole and his Tri-Animo, plus a 50 pound bag of rice bran, and then I gradually cut back his grain. Now he gets 3 pounds of Haystack per day (during his evening feeding).

Rags luffs the Haystack, he thinks it is very nummy

Raglan also gets as much alfalfa as he’s willing to eat. Alfalfa gets a bad rapโ€”a lot of owners think it “makes their horse hot”โ€”but in actuality alfalfa typically meets a horse’s protein and nutrition needs with a smaller quantity than grass hays, which can lead to owners accidentally over-feeding (and over-energizing) their horses when they switch to alfalfa. Alfalfa is also better for preventing gastric ulcers!

I feel so much better about the food he’s been eating. Plus if BarnOwnerK notices him getting skinny she’s got room to add in another scoop of Haystack without overloading him on grain. I’ve got a few more tricks tucked up my sleeve for the winter (Farnam’s Weight Builder has been recommended to me and there’s also a lot of people raving about CocoSoya), but hopefully I won’t need them!

In the mean time, I also started both ponies on joint supplements. It was really hard to pickโ€”there’s a lot of differing opinions about which joint supplements work best, plus I had to take my budget into consideration. Even the limited selection at the Country Store was overwhelming.

In the end I picked out the two cheapest 5lb tubs: Glucosamine 5000 and MSM from AniMed.

Glucosamine and MSM are two of the top ingredients for joint supplements. In fact, if you look at the ingredients in Tight Joints Plus (which TrainerA uses for her older horses!) and Cosequin (which costs an astounding $125 for an 80 day supply, so it’s got to be made of magic, right?), they’re primarily made up of Glucosamine and MSM with small amounts of other vitamins/supplemental ingredients (like ASU powder, ascorbic acid, and manganese), so I feel good about the Glucosamine/MSM combo I picked up.

Hopefully all of these diet changes will keep Raglan feeling happy and healthy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ezhno goes back to school!

Ezhno goes back to school!

With Rags back in semi working order and me picking up a small private tutoring gig to help pay for two ponies, my free time has dwindled. At some point I’m going to have to sit down and draw up a schedule of which horse(s) I’ll ride what days, but for now I decided to capitalize on the fact that TrainerA still owes me a month of part time training from all the volunteer work I did for them over the summer, so…

Ezhno will be back in part time training for the next month so that TrainerA can work on his canterlope. I’ll probably still hop on him once or twice a week (so he’ll be getting ridden four or five times a week). I’m excited to see how he progresses, I think they’re going to make a lot of great improvements!