Friday, April 13, 2012

How Rude!

Is it possible for a horse to give you the "middle hoof"?

That's what it feels like Lilly is doing in regards to her food. She is officially boycotting her grain (aka supplements, handful of Ultium, and capful of oil) and no matter how much I beg her to eat it, she refuses. Even if I try to hand feed her, she takes the grain and then spits it out all over the ground. The oil thing was working for a while, but no more. It didn't even last a month!

The BO has some applesauce on hand that she's going to try with Lilly's breakfast tomorrow morning, but I'm afraid as long as the Cosequin is part of her supplement, it's a lost cause. I dropped it from her upcoming SmartPak because she's not eating it and I haven't seen an improvement since putting her on it a few months ago. I'm considering going with the Adequan shots instead. I have a few reservations, but I'm still doing some research.

I thought the Fastrack probiotics were working really well because I haven't seen a single drip of poo between her cheeks or on her legs since I started the supplement. She isn't eating her food, though, so I'm not sure that it's the supplement that's doing the trick. We have spring grass now, so she has something to snack on for most of the day, which seems to be the only real correlation I can find with the times she has the really bad diarrhea and when she doesn't. It comes on strong in the fall (as the grass dies), lasts all winter, and then slowly goes away as spring arrives (as the grass comes back). So the supplement could simply be a fluke. The Fastrack was in a crumbly form and I saw a good majority of those in her uneaten breakfast this morning, so I dropped them from the SmartPak as well. After giving it some thought, though, I wish I hadn't... at least not yet.

If it's the grass that's an issue, I have no idea what to do for a fix when fall arrives again. I think it's safe to say that the digestive supplements and probiotics are worthless, considering I've tried about 5 different ones. Perhaps I'll keep the Fastrak in the back of my mind and try those again in the fall since they didn't really get a fair shot. She is SO picky, though, and I don't think she'll eat anything except for pellets... and the Fastrak is crumbly powder. Why can't she just eat what I put in front of her face?

Even though I don't think she has ulcers, especially after speaking with my vet and the BO, I did opt to add U-Gard to her SmartPak just in case. I'm hoping we'll be going to quite a few shows this year and I figure it can't hurt. A little too late I realized I ordered the powder form, so I pretty much flushed $28 down the toilet. Oh well! When May's SmartPak gets shipped out, she'll be getting the U-Gard pellets.

In addition to whining about the supplements, I checked her back and it seems to be normal again. I'm not sure if it was my magic finger massage that did the trick or if she just needed a little bit of extra time off. Since it was a gorgeous day and she was feeling better, we went for a ride. The last couple times I've ridden her, I put on her Crusader fly mask because of the gnats, but she seems to be spooky with it on. See, I try to help and she just doesn't cooperate! She's normally not spooky at all when we ride, so I've deduced it must be the mask. I have one of those crochet ear bonnets I might try instead. I think it's mostly her ears that she has an issue with, so the bonnet should take care of that, and hopefully she'll relax again.

She's such a high maintenance princess pony!!

Our ride went very well, though. She's not quite loping nicely on her own yet, but we have moments of pure genius. Our left lead lope is quite a bit more advanced than our right lead lope, but I know the right lead is her difficult way. She's trying, though, and I still can't believe how much progress we've made already. That's why I don't mind too much when she's a high maintenance princess pony. :)

10 comments:

  1. : ) Good luck with the princess pony. I just looked to the right and saw your 2012 show schedule...good idea on the ulcer guard! Just looking at all those shows starts to give ME an ulcer! Wow! Lilly's gonna be wracking up the points this summer!

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    1. I don't think we'll be able to make it to all of those shows, but those are the ones we could go to. With a wedding this year I'm not sure how much disposable horsey income I'll have leftover for showing, but hopefully we make it to a good chunk of them. :)

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  2. Oh I think they do, in their own way. A few weeks back after getting back on the trail after a few months, Milo flat out refused to listen to me. He would bear down on the bit and charge ahead. Im quite sure of the message Milo was sending me that day...

    Goodness, the food issue is so freaking annoying. I too wish my horse would just EAST HIS FLIPPIN HAY. Doesnt help that the BO feels sorry for him and feeds the remaining orchard grass I have, which further just makes Milo boycott the Timothy. Hmpf

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    1. You'd think they could just eat their food... I mean, we pay for it, we go to all that work to get it for them, so you'd think they'd just eat it! But no, they don't. It's so frustrating.

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  3. AMEN on the princess pony. I feel your pain.

    RE the feed, I get supplements down my horses by wetting down their feed and mixing in the supps. Maybe it would help? Also, you might want to try a cup of aloe juice ($8 for a gallon at your grocery store) to help her tummy. Works miracles for some horses.

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    1. I did try the aloe juice but she wouldn't eat it... a cup of that stuff is a lot and she doesn't get enough food. I was going to try less, but I don't know how much she needs to have to make a difference.

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  4. Interesting, these are some of the things I am going to talk about in the next colonic post. The correlation you noticed between the green grass and the absence of diarrhea is a pretty good indicator that you are on to something when you think that Lilly may have some colonic issues. It's very common for all symptoms to disappear with the coming of the green grass. Green grass is one of the most easily digestive feeds there is for a horse's system, it's high in moisture and horses ingest necessary bacteria/microbes while eating it. Green grass is also higher in Omega 3 fat than dry roughage and Omega 3's have an anti-inflammatory effect on the the system. A horse may need additional Omega 6 fats if they need the extra calories to keep weight on, but Omega 6 fats do not have the same anti-inflammatory properties as the Omega 3's. In fact, instead of being anti-inflammatory...they are known to induce inflammation.

    Perhaps this fall you could try adding a 1/2 to 1 cup of ground flax to her diet when the grass starts to fizzle. Myself, I prefer the ground flaxseed for Moon, but I hear that people have just as good of results with the flax oil or the fish oil. It just has to be something that is rich in the Omega 3 fat to get the desired anti-inflammatory action. The other oils can have an adverse affect.

    I have also heard that the addition of B-vitamins can be beneficial to stop diarrhea. B-vitamins are normally produced and absorbed in the hind-gut, however prolonged diarrhea robs the horse of those nutrients and makes it difficult for their systems to break out of the cycle.

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    1. Thank you SO much for this information!! I haven't been able to find stuff like this on the Internet but it's been my suspicion all along. Of course since I can't find the information I certainly can't find treatments for it, but now I have a starting point!

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