I had a fantastic weekend out at the competitive trail ride in our area. I was able to ride with people I hadn't seen in years (due to pregnancy and motherhood) and all in all had a smashingly good time.
After the ride I ate a late lunch with my mother, friend, and another friend who is a vet.
As always the topic was of course on horses and since all three besides myself have been looking at young horses the conversation veered in the direction of the importance of proper nutrition for the growing horse.
As trainers Mom and I voiced our concern for the structure of the horse starved while growing up.
Considering how horses mature at a much faster than a human I asked the Vet how old a yearling horse would be using a human time line and she replied. "About the same as a 8 year old child."
Which means that a horse starved for the first year of it's life has really been starved the first 8 years of it's life when comparing it to the human growth timeline.
As the thought rippled throughout the group the Vet (of 20 years) then piped up again, "And it is not even about the body and end health of the animal. The first year of every animal's life is when they have the most development of their brain and cognitive processes. If they are not fed well, how can they think well?"
I had always known that starving a young animal was very bad for the development overall but I had never stopped to consider the effects that it could have to the brain and an animal's ability to think.
And once seen in this light the phase "Food for Thought" takes on a whole other meaning.