Preparing for Presto

I finally had a chat with the barn owner the other day where we formally finalized the details of bringing Presto down. Well… ish. I still don’t know exactly when he’s coming, but we narrowed it down to a general time frame, picked out his stall, whiddled his turnout pasture options down to 2, and settled on a price. All the basic stuff.

The yak a few days ago. I’m going to see him this weekend!!!

Of course, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a yearling in my care. 10 years, to be precise. I’ve had to really wrack my brain to figure out what, if anything, I will need for him that I don’t already have.

He doesn’t need tack yet, of course, so it’s really just a halter and lead rope. I’ve got a rope halter sitting aside waiting for him for everyday use, and I’ve got about a million and one lead ropes scattered around various trunks because I’m one of those people that thinks there’s no such thing as too many. All of the thick-cotton-with-bolt-snap variety, naturally, because yeah I’m picky about lead ropes too. I thought about buying him his own new lead rope in whatever color I pick for him but I couldn’t decide. Will he continue the navy theme from Henry? I don’t know. Am I putting waaaay too much thought into a lead rope for a yearling, which will probably end up broken or lost? Omg yes. So for now he uses the spares.

It’s possible that I’m going to make him wear this for his yearling pictures. It was a necessity. 

I do plan on ponying him from Henry, though, and for that I really want him to wear boots. I’m pretty certain that all of Henry’s will be too big for him right now so I figured I’d just grab him some cheap used cob-size brushing boots and calling it a day. I still haven’t come across just the right set, though. For now he is bootless.

I did pick up a used surcingle, because I’ll need that eventually. Side reins can come later. All of that stuff is a couple years away still.

He already has his own brushes, plus Henry has about a billion.

I mean, really… what else does a baby horse need?

Oh, I did go ahead and get his Future Event Horse outfits together. I bought the halter and bridle last fall during Black Friday sales – a black Kavalkade Ivy halter and brown Kavalkade Ivy bridle. Naturally I had to buy leather lead shanks to go with these because we are not showing up at FEH with a non-leather shank… if he’s going to look like a mule he’s at least going to be a well-dressed mule, dammit. I had an amazon gift card to spend anyway, so I picked up a black and chrome plain leather shank (I already have a chrome chain if he needs one) to match the halter and a brown newmarket shank to match the bridle. All of these things are currently sitting in the guest bedroom, looking adorable.

The only part I’m still really hung up on and completely indecisive about is what to feed him. I spent a while waffling back and forth between a ration balancer plus alfalfa pellets vs a commercial feed, but I think commercial feed makes more sense for our situation. I think he’ll need the calories, and at a big boarding barn it’s just a lot easier if there is a) one feed, b) it doesn’t require soaking. So now I’m debating between Triple Crown Growth and Bluebonnet Intensify Growth and Development. I’ve even started a spreadsheet to compare them. Who am I, Olivia???


Right now he’s also on Stride Transform, a supplement that I love and would like to keep him on but holy god it is expensive. There’s just no way I can justify another $100 a month for a supplement on top of everything else. So I need to see what all the feed will cover, and if I need to try to find another supplement that can fill in for the Transform. Or not, if he doesn’t need it. Currently driving myself completely crazy over this, trying to figure out the best choices that also aren’t stupid expensive. I just… I know he got a bad start in life and I know he’s still probably not quite 100% up to where a normal yearling would be, so I’m finding it to be of crucial importance that I get his nutrition right. I am absolutely going to analyze this part of things six ways to Sunday.

As far as stuff goes, I think he’s almost set. Unless I’m forgetting something? The food part, I’m still nerding out about and probably will be for a while.

31 thoughts on “Preparing for Presto

  1. Have you been happy with TV since the change to Purina? I ended up switching feeds as every bag I got after that was a hot mess, but I know other people in other parts of the country haven’t noticed any change at all.


  2. How exciting that he’ll be coming home soon! I’m looking forward to reading about you working with him, and living vicariously through you (as I keep telling myself that I don’t need to buy a youngster, but baby fever is strong this time of year!).


  3. cant wait till he is closer to you!! YAY i am so glad you get to go spend a weekend with him( and Michelle too)!

    And remember my quote yesterday, a wee bit excessive. This blog post screams excessive but that is okay 🙂 HA HA HA

    Do not insult your horse by making him wear that. Never mind. I know you will 🙂

    have fun!! Lots of photos and videos. Thanks! Embrace the excessiveness 🙂


  4. I love the entire Bluebonnet Intensify line. Talk to the rep, but I believe the Intensify line has very similar ingredients to Stride Transform (which I also love, but just cant do longterm with the price tag). I feed Intensify Senior Therapy at my house – all the Ottbs get it for the high calories and low sugar.


    1. feed pan and buckets are already part of the stall. Hay goes on the floor. I was thinking about getting him some stall toys though. They’re really only inside during very hot/very cold/bad weather, but I’m sure it won’t take much for him to be bored.


      1. Ahhh, gotcha. I forget boarding barns supply things. Joey loves his pink salt on a rope from RW. If the toy doesn’t involve food he’s not interested really. 😉


  5. I agonized for a while over what to feed my weanling when I got her. I was (and still am) super paranoid about OCD and her getting too many calories and not enough protein, plus quality of protein and correct levels of individual amino acids. I am also very limited in my area; most feeds other than Safe Choice have to be special ordered and of course that just adds $$. I decided to just go ahead and keep her on Safe Choice which is what she was getting at the breeders. It’s maybe not the most high qualify food, but it’s affordable, not super high calorie, and I like that it has an amino acid breakdown so I can make sure she’s getting enough of the limiting AAs. I also have been giving her a supplement recommended by a breeder friend and Nutrena rep called Soothing Pink to help ward off any tummy issues associated with the stress of moving barns. She feeds her babies Pro Force Fuel plus Pro Add, but that’s a bit out of my price range with boarding two horses and then having to special order it on top of paying the heavier price tag.


    1. Yeah I’m lucky that we’re in at least a semi-decent area for being able to get stuff besides Purina and Nutrena. I’ve always had good luck with TC and have been feeding it for years, but I know other people have loved the Bluebonnet too, so I might give that a go now that TC is partnered with Purina. I try to always keep the NSC way lower than is typical of the “big two” brands.


  6. Spreadsheets forever and always, amen.
    He’s gonna be a cute mule with classy accessories and that’s all that really matters anyways.


  7. My baby ponies have done really well on 1lb of TC Growth and .25-.5lb of TC 30. And free choice coastal. Feeding babies is the hardest.


  8. We used that exact Bluebonnet formula for my draftie baby during his stupid-awkward “What, don’t you like my look? Dr. Frankenstein designed it” stages between 1 and 2, and he did absolutely great on it.


  9. I’m stupid excited for Presto to be home with you. I also love that you’ve already picked out his show clothes.
    Speaking of lead ropes… can you please tell me all the reasons I don’t need to get a couple from Boy O Boy Bridleworks? And if you can’t, then I think you need them too.
    I know nothing of baby nutrition, so my apologies for being of no use to you there. I’m sure you’ll figure it out though.


  10. There’s a really cool website called FeedXL that can actually do all the spreadsheeting for you! I used it when I moved Java to his new home last year. You can input your horse’s age, workload, etc, various diets, and supplements, and it gives you a nutritional breakdown and recommendations for where you can increase/decrease certain things. It was a godsend for the Type A Nervous Wreck I was when I brought him home!


  11. Ok, so I have to ask, how would you attach the shank to that style of halter? I feel I must be over thinking this….


  12. I am a relative new-Comer to this blog. Of course I already knew of Presto’s existence, but have no idea where he came from (had assumed you had bred for him), and now this little teaser of his difficult early life…… which title is that covered under so I might read it?


    1. Oh man… it was quite a saga.

      A brief story of his parents (aka how he came to be) here:

      And then the chronicles about his illnesses after he was born start here:

      It went on for a few weeks, so if you just keep clicking NEXT at the bottom of each post, that should give you an idea of what we went through at the beginning.


  13. Have you ever heard of Equipride? It’s a top dressing vitamin and mineral supplement and more. I discovered it a couple of years ago and my young (slow maturing) warmblood has done fantastic on this. It is by SweetPro and I saw tons of distributors on the TX list. It is about $40 a month for my two horses to give you an idea on cost.


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