5.22.2015 The Fat Farm

For the next couple of years, I’m looking after a pair of equines for a friend while she looks after her new grandbaby. The horses arrived on May 1st. The very giant Cookie and her Mini-Me, Lady O. Very sweet girls, but both on the pudgy side. Okay, extremely pudgy. My friend loves her girls, and like many women, she shows her love with food. Before she left them in my care, she told me she feels like they were meant to come here – for rehab. In other words, Fat Camp.

Cookie and LadyO on Day 1

Still in winter coats and downright portly. Day One at Fat Camp – Cookie and Lady-O.

You see, I know my animals are well fed and I know they’re lying when they say, “I’m starving. I’m going to die soon if you don’t feed me.” All of them lie. Many times each day. I am immune to their lies. It’s taken me 5 years, but I’ve finally learned how to keep my big fat, fatty, Ophelia, close to fighting trim. And now I am applying the same principles to Cookie and Lady-O. Muzzles and pasture during the day. Round pen or stalls at night. They lose weight rapidly and I get lots of muck for the compost.

Cookie after 2 weeks

Two weeks and several sessions with the shedding blade later, a little less pudgy and a lot less winter fuzz.

Cookie was so large when she first got here, the weight tape wouldn’t go around her. So she’s got her own special weight rope. Weight tapes, in general are not precise instruments, but they are a useful tool to indicate whether your horse is increasing or decreasing in girth. Having said that, Cookie clocked in at 1650 pounds on her first Sunday Spa Day. Two weeks later, she was down to 1475. (If only humans could lose weight that quickly.) It will likely take several months to get her down to somewhere near a healthy weight, but we’ve made a great start. It will be interesting to watch her evolve and to see whether the superficial cracks in her hooves are weight related or just the way she’s built. (The farrier says not to worry too much about those cracks, but to get the weight off her ASAP.)

Lady -O, also scraped mostly free of her winter coat and a little trimmer.

Lady -O, also scraped mostly free of her winter coat and a little trimmer.

Lady-O, aka Mini-Me, aka Pony has trimmed down as well, and of the two, she’s the most troublesome. But really, it’s hard to be afraid of her when she starts bucking and stomping while on the lead line. She’s so small and doesn’t have much reach with her short little legs and tiny little feet. I’ve never been around a pony before. Grooming is done in a flash and she has an honest to goodness pony tail. It’s so small!

Ophelia, looking nearly as trim as when I first got her.  She really needs a general and a battle to fight.

Ophelia, looking nearly as trim as when I first got her. She really needs a general and a battle to fight.

A week after Cookie and Lady-O arrived, my daughter dropped off her cat for a couple of weeks. Just a year old and that cat is already a porker. But then she’s been living with a bunch of college kids who had the habit of leaving bits of food unattended. Karina’s cat, Venus, aka Kitten, will eat nearly anything. She sits and shakes hands on command too. (Dog in cat clothes.) I wish I could say we’re making progress with her weight loss, but no. Not so much. She bullies my cat Mushu and eats his food if we’re not standing guard. Kitten is a good snuggler though. Not nearly as particular about sleeping arrangements as Mushu. Eating disorder aside, Kitten is very happy here. This house was built for cats.

Kitten on the beam in the family room - because she can!

Kitten on the beam in the family room – because she can!


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