Of our five horses down at the barn
One, DiDi has a dry cough - there is no discharge and she does not become distressed under exercise. She is herself - other than for the last three weeks she has had what is best described as a 'smoker's cough'
The vet has examined her and said - 'wait for it to go away'.
Two of the other horses have had minor cuts -
one by the wither (from rolling on a stone),
The other on the chest( we think a horse fly bite) -
and in both cases the surrounding flesh swelled up and eventually, the wound became 'pussie'
The fourth horse, the day before a national dressage competition, threw a complete hissy fit - it charged about, over reached itself to the extent that we are worried that by the end of the day it will be lame. The other four horses got on with grazing and took no notice of the freaking out.
Now of course , each of these oddities could be coincidental but we are looking for possible causes.
Could it possibly be a reaction to the oil seed rape which has just started to flower in many of the fields surrrounding the barn? Indeed before our fields were converted to grass last year, the latest crop in 2009 had been rapeseed. There are still one or two sprigs here and there which we are pulling up.
I believe that rape seed can induce a reaction in humans - has anyone out there heard of a reaction with horses?
Until relatively recently with the advent of bio diesel, rape was not a traditional crop in this area but it has been found to grow well locally and the demand is increasing.