Looking for tips on Ulcer Control during a show
   

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Looking for tips on Ulcer Control during a show

This is a discussion on Looking for tips on Ulcer Control during a show within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Can i ride a horse being treated for ulcers?
  • Alfalfa pellets ulcers before ride

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    05-14-2012, 07:35 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Looking for tips on Ulcer Control during a show

This weekend Cin is going to his first schooling show since his Ulcer diagnosis a month and a half ago. He has finished the 21 day Ulcer treatment prescribed by my vet and is doing very well on his maintenance of SmartGut. He still has a few "off days" now and then but I have noticed those are days when someone decides to be nice and turns him out.... with the barn bully and before his breakfast is finished.

Anyway, I am worried about the show (on Friday). I plan to start giving him Ulcer Guard on Wednesday and take him through to Sunday with it as well as continue the Smart Gut. I usually give him 2 cups of Alfalfa Cubes with about 20 tums before I ride him (suggested by a friend and it seems to help). Is there anything else I should do?

My ride times are:
8:30am Training Level 1
11:30am Training Level 2
3:30pm Training Level 3

I'm not sure how to space everything out. I normally give him a warm up of about 30 minutes before each test when they are spaced apart, but now I'm not sure if he needs more or less. And I'm not sure how to work in getting his stomach full before warming up and the test.

For those of you with horses on Ulcer Management, how would you schedule your show day? Any other tips to make him more comfortable and at his best would also be a big help. Thanks so much!
     
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    05-14-2012, 09:34 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Just bumping up, anyone??
     
    05-15-2012, 12:19 AM
  #3
Trained
I don't understand what the problem is for that day? Does he get very stressed at shows? Does he get fed differently? Does he go off his feed? What's the problem with him being turned out?

Basically if you're feeding him healthily - that is, low carb/starch/sugar, high fibre, little & often, it should be fine. He doesn't need to have his stomach full, but he needs constant small quantities of feed going through it, so I'd make sure he's got a haynet in front of him for the whole time apart from when he's being ridden.
     
    05-15-2012, 09:41 AM
  #4
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
I don't understand what the problem is for that day? Does he get very stressed at shows? Does he get fed differently? Does he go off his feed? What's the problem with him being turned out?

Basically if you're feeding him healthily - that is, low carb/starch/sugar, high fibre, little & often, it should be fine. He doesn't need to have his stomach full, but he needs constant small quantities of feed going through it, so I'd make sure he's got a haynet in front of him for the whole time apart from when he's being ridden.
Once horses are treated for ulcers, you have to do things a bit differently to keep them from recurring because they are now even more prone to getting them again in the future. According to my vet, and other acquaintances who have ulcer horses have told me that he mus ALWAYS be ridden on a full stomach. Vet says it's because on an empty or half empty stomach the acids slosh around during work and damage the stomach lining on upper parts of the stomach. Vet's orders are 2 cups of alfalfa pellets (high in calcium content) before riding with 20 tums mixed in to keep acid levels down during work.

Also during times that stress could be present (moving, shows, etc) you treat them as if the currently HAVE ulcers to PREVENT ulcers from happening because in a lot of ulcer horses just the daily maintenance isn't enough during stressful situations. He always has a hay net in front of him when he isn't in the warm up or ring.

Cinny is usually fine with classes/tests that aren't much more than an hour apart, but I'm not sure what to do with the schedule we have this time. It appears that he is going to get a LOT of alfalfa that day, which I think may end up being counter productive with the sugar content. I'm wondering if I should switch out to wheat bran or a mixture of wheat bran/alfalfa/tums... And there will be a lot of "in and out" from his hay.
     
    05-15-2012, 01:20 PM
  #5
Started
I'd agree with loosie - hay in front of him anytime he's not under saddle and you should be fine.
     
    05-15-2012, 01:30 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by crimsonsky    
i'd agree with loosie - hay in front of him anytime he's not under saddle and you should be fine.
That's the thing, under normal every day circumstances, that isn't enough, he has to be kept on ulcer maintenance and full stomach before a ride. Trust me, if I just had him nibble out of his small hole hay net all day and don't do the other stuff, he gets a tummy ache and won't work without gritting his teeth, tossing his head, and having awkward movement from tensing his flanks. I'm sure at a show, just doing this would make things worse.
     
    05-15-2012, 01:58 PM
  #7
Weanling
Are you planning to give him Ulcerguard before?
     
    05-15-2012, 02:02 PM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoAppendix    
Are you planning to give him Ulcerguard before?
DEFINITELY! I am starting him on it the morning before we trailer him. He will trailer in the evening. Then Show day and for 2 days later.

This is my first show after his ulcer problems so I guess i"m just nervous that they will flare up.
     
    05-15-2012, 02:03 PM
  #9
Trained
If you don't think you're going to be able to effectively manage his ulcers so soon after diagnosis and treatment then why is he even going to the show??
Plus from what I have read you have just started riding him. After a month or so off the horse needs a lot more than a week of light riding to get his fitness up before you're expecting him to do 3 tests in one day. I wouldn't even request that of a fit horse!!
If you must take Cin to the show then I would say just do one test and do it well and then take him home. Personally, I wouldn't even put the horse in the trailer if I was so worried about his ulcers.

Good luck!! And I hope you can make the decision that is best for your horse.
loosie and crimsonsky like this.
     
    05-15-2012, 03:48 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
If you don't think you're going to be able to effectively manage his ulcers so soon after diagnosis and treatment then why is he even going to the show??
Plus from what I have read you have just started riding him. After a month or so off the horse needs a lot more than a week of light riding to get his fitness up before you're expecting him to do 3 tests in one day. I wouldn't even request that of a fit horse!!
If you must take Cin to the show then I would say just do one test and do it well and then take him home. Personally, I wouldn't even put the horse in the trailer if I was so worried about his ulcers.

Good luck!! And I hope you can make the decision that is best for your horse.
I think we are miscommunicating. I think I can effectively control his ulcer issues and his anxiety levels (my vet's assistant has helped me with this) I just want to know from other people who have experience in showing horses with ulcer/acid reflux issues any tips or tricks that they have. This is our first show since he had treatment and I want to make sure I haven't missed anything with my plan.

And I haven't just started RIDING him, I've recently started WORKING him. My idea of WORKING him is to do exercises and drills aimed at a certain goal be it strengthening something, getting circles more round, going into the bridle, etc. Dressage stuff. These things I haven't done as much lately.

We HAVE done riding. Walking on trails, playing on hills...things that Cinny thinks of as fun and games, that HE enjoys doing and that keep him happy and relaxed. Canters across the fields (his very favorite thing), trotting along the river, playing on hills, walking through the woods. Pretty much all done with his training halter and at his own relaxed stride and pace.

So I don't really consider him "not fit" to show, he hasn't lost any of his fitness. If anything his brain is more into it and he's really wanting to work now and relaxing with it. I'm not worried about the amount of tests, we have done more than 3 at other schooling shows in the past with no problems, he usually enjoys getting out there and performing with the exception of our last show. If they were 1st level or above, I wouldn't do as many, but training level doesn't seem to phase him at all. He's used to going on 2-4 hour trail rides 1 or more times a week, 5 hour clinics (with only a 15 minute break) so I think he will be ok.
     

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