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    08-14-2013, 11:44 AM
So, I read everything. Hopefully I didn't miss anything. To the OP, you are doing a great job and this horse has seen so much improvement! The lice must have been so hard to deal with. Good on you for doing everything you have. Such a struggle, especially since she is an older horse. She sounds wonderful.

She has lots of food by the sound of it, lots of movement and care. I would agree with Saddlebags comments about blanketing, rather than putting her in a heated barn. A heated barn can be very dangerous because you could be moving the horse from one temperature to another with a huge temperature change. Not good for horses. Let her body figure out how to grow a winter coat by keeping her outside with a shelter. As Saddlebag said, keep a blanket ready in case you need it for those rainy windy wintery days, but be quick to take it off as soon as you think you can. When you get to that point, there are lots of people here that have great experience with different blankets. Keep in mind however that your girl's paddock has lots of little places for blankets to get caught on, so what you do with a blanket will be different than someone whose show horse gets turned out in a white picket fenced paddock :)

I also think that Saddlebag may be onto something with the ulcer thought. So, to test that theory, cut out all grain from her diet as I said above. Then use aloe vera juice/gel and slippery elm bark to treat and sooth ulcers. This treatment will not hurt if there aren't any ulcers and is relatively inexpensive. Two - three ounces of aloe vera mixed with two teaspoons of slippery elm bark. Start out with three times a day if you can for a week or two. If not, at least twice a day until you start to see improvement. Continue for another week to 10 days. Then you can probably take her down to one dosage a day. Once she is at a good weight, you can probably take her off the treatment.

Tip for monitoring her progress: take a picture of her in one particular spot at the same time of day at the same angle regularly. Comparing photographs in different lighting, as you noticed, can be deceptive. It is especially hard for you to see the changes because they are so gradual. Taking pictures and then looking at them in order on the computer can be much easier for you to judge from.

Continued good luck with her!
Wheatermay likes this.
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    08-17-2013, 03:46 AM
Thanks everyone! I am going to check for an ulcer. I actually have a friend that was just showing me how to check, bc her horse had one! I'll try cutting grain after talking to her vet on Monday. I also think she should be heavier at this moment. The kids ride her around the yard on the weekends, but we don't make her exercise very hard. I'm scarfed to burn too many calories. When I ride her once a week we do a few canters, hills, and backing up, trying to build up muscle. I only do this for about half hour. I I try to do any little exercise I can to try to get every muscle worked out. I don't want her achy though either. I will definitely try the aloe and elm treatment. Sounds interesting! I'd like to try and report back! I'll try picking it up Monday after talking to the vet. I hate saying "the vet".... I would like to thank Dr. Winnie Maset for being so helpful with her so far! And Dr. Henderson for rushing out and helping with her choke! Unsung heros of the world!

NorthernMoma thanks for reading the entire post, lol... Some of these get really long!

I don't know if I have had a chance to update you on her blossoming personality yet, so I will at this time! LOL

She has turned out to be a "loner". She doesnt quite like the company of the other horses, and she will try to stay far off by herself in the corners of the fields, but stays with the herd. When another horse gets close she pins her ears and drops her head, but she is so tiny, they don't care, lol... My gelding just loves her anyway, and he ignores it and cuddles up beside her. He grooms her, even though she hates it! Well, she tries to hate it. She likes it secretly. I can tell because even though she refuses to groom him back her lips wiggle when he gets the itchy part on her neck, lol....

She isnt much of a "people lover" either. You all know the types. When you go in the field there are the horses that come over for hugs and rubs, and then there are ones that just hang back and wait for you, and THEN there are the ones that when you go to them they try to avoid you. That would be her. I only have to step in her path once and she gives up. So I think she secretly likes it too. She doesnt have very good ground manners either. Altho she is very good under saddle. On the group she will push through you, or step on your feet to get where she wants. I am having a very hard teaching her to stop. ALTHOUGH I think it's mainly bc I am babying her. And partly bc I'm the only one here that enforces it, and knows how to do it.

She will test a rider now. She doesnt just plod wherever. I have come to realize my niece is actually a good natural rider. Since Cricket is feeling better she has started doing naughty things with her aboard. She took off in a lope the other day with her on board, and bc it was such a slow gait, and she only did for about 30ft, and bc my niece didnt loose her seat not once. I laughed. She began enjoying it a little. And at this show we took her too, she began to lope without being cued, and she cried again. Neice just needs to get confidence and work on leg and rein cues, but she handles her better than a kid I put on a few weeks ago. Cricket was just going wherever the grass was greener and eating. And the kid was along for the ride. And I say kid, but this girl is 13. LOL....

All in all though. I am glad to see this behavior. Even though it's naughty, I see that she has enough energy to do it. She needs a little fine tuning, and so does the niece, but they are a great match.

Oh and I also stuck a plastic cover over one of her cribbing poles! She was over there huffing tonight. I think it's called coming else.... But she bites on the woods and then blows air through her teeth with her teeth still on the board. I chased her off, and she went away, but the minute I would go to walk away, she'd circle back to her post. So I got aggravated, found a heavy plastic zip type back, and slipped it over it. She stood there staring at it. Hopefully she doesnt realize that she can pull it off. It's only a short term fix at the moment.

Does anyone recommend a cribbing collar btw? I'm sure she has other posts or trees she's using, back on the hillside. So I need something on her. I don't even leave halters on mine, like some people do. I'm always afraid they'll get caught, and I don't like missing hair! I would like something safe and non irritating. Is there anything out there?
    08-17-2013, 03:46 AM
Sorry for rambling. I just wanted to tell you more about her personality, instead of her weight for once.
    08-17-2013, 04:41 PM
It's definitely good to keep her training going, but it might be difficult to tell the difference between testing-naughty and pain-naughty. Because she is still thin, because her body is continuing to change and also because she is older... there are just multiple reasons why should could be in pain. Tack that fit last week, might not fit today. Personally, I would do nothing more than a walk with her. You can't effectively build up muscle anyway when she is still trying just to put on weight. You could work on things at a walk - set ground poles to back through, step over; teach her to sidepass, create an obstacle course of things that "go bump in the night" :), continue taking her out to other locations, shows, whatever.
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    08-18-2013, 04:57 AM
Thanks! I will keep her down to a walk. I will have to occasional "test runs" to make sure she continues to break well for my niece, but I will definitely be cutting out running from her exercise! :)
    09-12-2013, 04:11 AM
Ok guys... still not gaining any more weight. I'd still consider her a 1 in body scale. She's been on the Purina Senior. My friend thinks she's 30... And she doesnt think I'll have an easy time getting her to get the rest of her weight up before winter hits here. She did recommend Omalene. I was researching it and I don't know which one to us.... How about 400 or 500?
    09-12-2013, 10:56 PM
1. Quit the "test runs." That's not helping. Her training can wait. Just keep her respectful and do stuff at a walk. I don't think groundwork can be overdone.
2. Have you tried the aloe vera & slippery elm for ulcers?

Maybe a recap of her total diet again is in order since you've been trying so hard with her. Just so we know where you're at now.
Wheatermay likes this.
    09-14-2013, 01:33 AM
Green Broke
For a crib collar I highly recommend the Dare collar. They work better then any crib collar i've ever had. My old guy could crip on his lead rope even with the miracle collar on. Switched to the Dare collar and it stopped it right away.

The DAREŽ Cribbing Control Collar | Horse Tack
Wheatermay likes this.
    09-15-2013, 04:09 AM
Well had a guy I met at the last show come over and check her (with acupuncture points) for ulcers. She showed no sensitivity at all. Her ground manners are pretty horrible. She tried to push right through me at the gate, and even continued when I slapped at her chest, then neck (bc she was on top of me). I had to move, or I was going to get stepped on! Only thing our local tack place had was the Miracle Collar. We went ahead and got it. If it don't work I'll do the Dare collar! I just wanted something for now at least. One thing I did find out was my young mare DOES have ulcers! Which sucks! But now I can help her, and it did give a good learning opportunity for comparison with a healthy horse with no ulcers. Would Omelene be better for her? (for the rescue)
    09-15-2013, 06:54 AM
No omelene. Cut the corn oil, use sunflower seed oil or canola oil instead. Corn oil is ridiculously high in omega 6 which is an inflammatory, not good for the old girl. If your feeding from TSC, get Nutrena Life Design Senior. Full time access to QUALITY hay, and when you're feeding grain, follow the directions. Feed by weight. Also, feed for the desired body weight, for example if she weighs 600 pounds, and needs to gain 100 lbs, feed the amount of feed recommended for a 700 lb horse. If it calls for 6 lbs of feed a day, feed half in the morning and half in the evening. Also cut out the "test runs".
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