Two of Horse Guard’s Herd Poly and Royce: Then and Now

As you may recall, two years ago two more fillies were born into the Horse Guard herd. One was born healthy and strong. The other filly contracted septicemia shortly after birth and spent a considerable amount of time at Bend Equine Veterinary Hospital. See them then and now.


Poly and Royce 1Poly and Royce 2Poly and Royce 3

Royce didn’t have it very easy at first. She was born to Tumbleweed, by Smooth Guy as well. She was born slightly smaller, but that was to be expected because her mom was a smaller mare that was first-time mother. At first she seemed perfectly healthy; however, within 12 hours you could see that she was obviously uncomfortable. She then spent almost 2 weeks in the veterinary hospital recovering from septicemia.

Well she recovered tremendously! As a weanling and a yearling, she was always a little smaller. But as she reached her two-year-old year she has caught up. The marketing director, Ty Johnson, started doing all the ground work with her in the spring. Then Roger started Royce under saddle in August. Like Poly, from the beginning Royce has never offered to buck. With Roger being gone to rodeos a lot during the summer, Royce has only gotten about 20 rides. However, she has shown a ton of athletic ability.

She has been a little trying at times because she didn’t have very much respect and spatial awareness. However, with Ty and Roger’s training she is learning to respect your space much better. She is extremely smart and gentle. As she progresses, Royce is becoming even more willing. This filly will be a special one.


Poly and Royce 4       Poly and Royce FI

Poly was born to Rita, my longtime breakaway roping horse, by Smooth Guy. She was born a strong, athletic sorrel that had a ton of spunk. Right from birth, Poly has continued to grow and blossom with no issues.

To our surprise, in the spring of her yearling year, she shed out to become a light bay. She now has kept the light bay color. My husband, Roger Nonella, started her in the spring.

Poly has been such as easy two-year-old. Even since the first time he stepped on her, she has never offered to buck. It is so refreshing to have a filly that wants to naturally carry her head low and tuck her nose when pressure is applied to the bit. Poly exhibits a ton of athleticism, wanting to use her haunches to turn, and is very quick-footed. Roger is taking it slow to allow Poly to grow and learn how to use her body correctly. We are extremely excited to see how this filly’s future unfolds. We already have to hold barrel racers off :).

Poly and Royce 6      Poly and Royce 7

Feeding program for these two fillies

As you can see, both of these fillies have developed into great looking horses. Their genetics have given them a great chance to have good confirmation. However, a great feed program has allowed them to develop into amazing Quarter Horse specimens.

Both of their mares were fed a mixture of grass and alfalfa hay to balance their calcium: phosphorus ratios and Simplete Hi-Performance, which contains a full dose of Trifecta, throughout their pregnancies and nursing which filled all the nutritional gaps in their hay. Royce and Poly were fed the same diets once weaned. Simplete was fed as instructed per body weight. So, when the fillies were 500 pounds, they received 1 pound of Simplete. This ensured all of their vitamin-mineral needs were being met as they grew.

When raising your own foals, remember that nutrition is paramount is raising healthy, strong foals. Correct calcium: phosphorus ratios are crucial for proper bone development. Trace mineral and vitamin levels, such as selenium, are essential for growth, muscle function, and overall health. Make sure your young horses’ needs are being met by using Horse Guard products.

About Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella Ph.D., P.A.S.

Kelsey J. Nonella, Ph.D. is an equine nutritionist who was riding horses before she could walk. Her love for horses drives her to help educate people on what their horses’ needs in order to have happy, healthy horses. Kelsey went to Cal Poly receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science and then onto West Texas A&M, where she got her Masters and eventually her Doctorates in Equine Science. At A&M, Dr. Nonella did extensive research on Selenium within horses. Click here to view her research. Kelsey’s colleagues have mentioned her as one of the United States equine Selenium experts.
View all posts by Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella Ph.D., P.A.S.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.