Saturday, February 28, 2009

the equine pantry is overflowing

I went by the feed store today to see if any of my orders had come in. She had two of my new items, and I was so eager to get them I piled the bags in the car (it's raining, so the truck was not an option) and headed home to unpack the equine groceries.

The laundry room and feed room are stuffed to the gills.

In the laundry room right now I have beet pulp pellets, alfalfa pellets (finally found the pure ones, no animal fat added!), vitamin E soft gels, l-carnitine powder, coconut oil, and something new I'm giving after de-worming called Ration Plus.

In the feed room there are more alfalfa pellets, whole oats, steam-flaked oats, whole flax seed, my mineral/vitamin mix, rice bran, wheat bran, iodized salt, and Quiessence.

I'm still waiting for the timothy balance cubes on order.

I'm fairly organized with all this stuff but it is not what I'd call convenient - when I head out to feed, I have two gallon-sized iced tea pitchers (the kind with lids that have strainers so I can rinse, soak, and then drain the beet pulp pellets), a loaf pan that serves as a deep tray for the l-carnitine powder, the coconut oil liquefying in its warm water bath, and the Vitamin E soft gels. During the winter when there's not much green out in the fields I give chopped apples and carrots with dinner, so usually the colander holds those. Now I'll be adding a container of alfalfa pellets to that, as I want them to soak a little before feeding too.

In the feed room, I have two large cans, one medium, and a number of smaller ones, so that the various items can be stored safely. I use masking tape and a black marker to label everything, and I have a small table for the very small containers and for the actual mixing.

This week I'll be adding a scale to the feed room, and a grinder for the flax.

I actually love making feed tubs, but sometimes I wish I had a dedicated space out there that had all the amenities:

A big double country kitchen sink with hot and cold water.

A refrigerator.

Airtight pull-out bins with the right size stainless steel scoops in each one.

A big white board with multi-colored markers.

A nice big island with clear space for mixing.

A smaller counter with scales and grinder.

XM radio and access to my iTunes library.

A big overstuffed chair so I could sit down.

As long as I'm dreaming, let's add a washer and dryer over in the corner.

May as well throw in a stove/oven because who knows when I might need to heat up something.

All that would be nice, but I suppose the way it is now, with Salina and the donkeys lining up outside the door, Keil Bay doing his most musical whinny across the aisle, and the quiet patience of Cody and the pony keeping the balance, is really not to be topped.

The best thing about the equines who live here is that they are very enthusiastic about mealtime, hang out with me while I prepare the tubs, and then the reward, the real music, is listening to them eat, and knowing they're each getting something they love that's also good for them, individually.


Grey Horse Matters said...

That sounds very similar to our feed room-tack room-kitchen,(there is beet pulp right now in the kitchen sink). The sounds coming from the stalls when they are eating is very comforting as you said, knowing that we are doing our best for them and they are enjoying it so much. By the way I believe you have a birthday soon. Today/tomorrow? If I'm right I'd like to wish you a wonderful day in which all your wishes and dreams become reality in short order. (As in the above mentioned special feed room). Have a great day.

Victoria Cummings said...

I like your dream feed room. I am juggling several different concoctions for both horses, but not nearly as complicated as yours. I was realizing the other day that I need to write it down somewhere just in case someone else has to feed them. What I've been doing when I have to be away and rely on my husband to feed is to pack the individual meals in labeled zip-lock bags so he just has to dump them in the buckets. My version of Smart Paks. I can just see your gang lined up waiting for their dinners. Makes all the effort worthwhile.

billie said...

Arlene, beet pulp soaking in the sink sounds just like home to me... :)

And thank you for remembering! This is one of those years when I don't really *have* a birthday - it's on the 29th - but I generally celebrate on Feb. 28th and sometimes on March 1st too in order to cover all my bases. :)

It's a kind of crazy day, and I haven't posted about this yet, but I've moved my office to a nice space a colleague has offered to let me use as needed. It's much less expensive, closer to me by about 15 minutes, and I'm really fortunate that she is so generous.

My poor husband is spending this evening moving all my stuff home, as the new place is furnished already. So I'm spending my birthday shifting things around so that my sand trays and my entire sandplay collection can go in my garret.

It's interesting - I have always envisioned having my office at home, for clients to do sandplay and work with the horses, and where I can do my workshops all at one place. So now that's going to be true.

It was a recent decision and one I struggled over a bit, so I guess if I'm writing about it that must mean I'm feeling good about it now!

We had cake and ice cream earlier, and I'm never happier than when I'm rearranging furniture. I have so many treasures in my office - it is like many Christmases and birthdays rolled into one to bring all that stuff home.

billie said...

Victoria, we used to do the ziplocks when we boarded and that was a really good way to set up feed so that anyone could "dump" it.

After Salina had her choke episode last spring I started giving everyone a warm mash every meal, and with the various items needing to be soaked ahead, the ziplocks won't work.

I try to make sure I update my little white board regularly, but my husband feeds dinners most nights and breakfast weekend mornings so that he stays current on what each horse is getting.

I also like having him do some of the meals so that the horses don't get too locked into it being me all the time.

Not to mention, it gives me a break! :)

I really need to take a photo of what awaits me outside the feed room door each morning. Salina and the donkeys are literally so close I have to ask them to step back before I can open the door!

What I really need out there is a Dutch door for the feed/tack room - that would really be nice, although Redford might try to jump over it, so maybe not...

Grey Horse Matters said...

Your office move sounds like a good one. Good luck with everything. As for celebrating your birthday, I think you should have one tomorrow too...just to cover your bases.

billie said...

Thanks, Arlene - it just won't do to leave any birthday bases uncovered, will it! :)

Actually, I will be celebrating again next weekend with my parents and extended family, so this one is going to be well done, all around.