Is This Just Life With Horses Or Are We Cursed? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 09-03-2012, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
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It sounds like this is kind of par for the course. Now that I think about it, I realize how many horses scratch during competitions for little stuff that didn't even come from riding (like Sinead Halpin's horse getting scratched for a nosebleed from his dust allergy).

Before I bought my horse, I picked up one of those comprehensive horse books, the kind that introduce feed, supplements, anatomy, blankets, all those things you might need to come up to speed on or might want a reference for. I noticed at the time that the sections on "Injuries" and "Diseases" were twice as long as anything else in thee book. Now I know why...
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post #12 of 24 Old 09-03-2012, 09:20 AM
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My husband has had the same OTTB for the last 11 years now. DB is now 20. In about that same amount of time, I've had 3 horses...1 of them for 7 years.
In all that time, we've had one case of choke, anhydrosis, a cancer problem and a minor lameness. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that we do NOT keep them stalled...they are in the pasture 24/7, and of course we don't demand high performance from them: they are trail horses. Personally,
(and our vet agrees) I think the more you try to "protect" a horse and the further you take him from a natural life style, the more problems you have.

I'm not a complete idiot--there are parts missing!

What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.
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post #13 of 24 Old 09-03-2012, 09:22 AM
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^^^^^ There is no doubt in my mind. When we built our barn, we didn't even put stalls in.
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post #14 of 24 Old 09-03-2012, 09:56 AM
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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Originally Posted by ThursdayNext View Post
Everyone is either doing OK, or seems to be getting there...but at this point, I'm thinking that's just a temporary thing.

It's like having kids that are super accident prone, isn't it? Just plan on spending time at the ER...
^^This-----to a point

I am 65 and have owned my own horses, non-stop, since I was 12.

I took my first set of Keeper Horses to ages 27 & 29 with nothing more than some stitches on the feisty Arab/Saddlebred and worry about gelding the Arab/Morgan when I bought him at age 17.

These two spent 85% of their lives "before coggins", GMO feeds and in an Era when the family farm dog MIGHT get hauled to the vet for a rabies shot.

Thennnn along comes my second set of Keeper Horses in the early 80's.

Sweet Itch? what's that? Club Hoof - Huh? Environmental allergies - horses get THOSE? Food alleries - horses have those TOO?!?!

Fast forward to 2007 and my heart horse (in the avatar) is diagnosed with "Equine Metabolic Syndrome" WHAT?! what the HEdoublehockeysticks is THAT?

June, 2010 another of my TWH's is diagnosed as being insulin resistant - whellll, I already KNEW what that was thanks to the EMS horse.

There's plenty more but I'll stop there. Suffice it so say:

Since May, 2007 I can truthfully say I have spent more in vet bills, allergy stuff, stuff for metabolic issues and ancillaries than ever spent in my entire life of horse ownership.

So yes, it's a sign of many things:

1. More horse owners that really don't fully understand how to work their horses to prevent injuries.

2. Weaker breeding (in all breeds) because breeders are breeding "for that big win", with no thought to good conformation, good mental health, good physical health in general.

3. We live in a much more polluted world than when I was growing up - we will never know the true effect that has had on the gene pool of horses. Mine have been on city water since 1998 - I have no idea if those chemicals might be responsible for some of their issues.

4. Then there's the feed and hay horses eat. It is grown with the same GMO seeds used to produce feed & hay for cattle - cattle that need to grow up and fatten up quickly so their body parts can be handsomely arranged in the meat counter at the local grocery.

And don't forget about "The Other Meat" - lol

So there's one Old-Time-Long-Time-Horse-Owner's theory on your question

I hope it doesn't make you sell your horse but just know that, in this day and age, you need a lot more money to keep a horse healthy than you did, just 15 short years ago?
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post #15 of 24 Old 09-03-2012, 10:41 AM
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Location: BC, Canada
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I agree with Walk! I recently just got into horses again after a long break while raising a child. Before that I had owned, raised and boarded horses since I was 8 or 9. In all those years I encountered very few serious injuries or illnesses. Or perhaps my memory has faded. But the two I have now are a whole different story. One of them is missing a testicle so requires an expensive surgery to geld him. We had him scheduled this spring but he tried to commit suicide in the trailer on the way there. He is supposed to be going in this week. Now the other one has some sort of mysterious skin infection which has me baffled. It seems there has been one thing after another since I got them (diarrhea, cuts and injuries, tooth problems, etc.) and I am beginning to wonder what I've gotten myself into. Maybe I just handled these things a lot better when I was younger.
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post #16 of 24 Old 09-03-2012, 10:48 AM
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To a point, it totally is just typical horse ownership.

However, I've seen this directly 5 times had to do with the place they were kept, and NOT because of the care provided by the people! At my old barn, it was pretty typical for at least one horse to come up injured in some way - even minor. There were 40 horses, all up to mischief in some fashion, afterall! I saw some horses repeatedly injured with typical things like bites and kick marks and some horses with "mystery" things. One by one, the ones who repeatedly came up with issues left the barn....and all 5 of them have been completely injury free since they've left. One of the 5 is mine, and I was the barn manager, so I know it wasn't something I was doing or not doing :)

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #17 of 24 Old 09-03-2012, 10:54 AM
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Just life with horses. My mare injured her hoof, and fractured her coffin bone in April. The vet said he has seen more hoof injuries lately then he's ever seen at once. My farrier said he's seen alot more also. Maybe somethings going around,making these horse crazy enough to hurt themselves! lol
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post #18 of 24 Old 09-03-2012, 11:07 AM
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We have a saying in Germany:
If you don't have any problems, buy yourself a horse. If you then still don't have enough problems, get some more horses.
I've had horses boarded and kept them at home. The boarded ones had more injuries and other health problems than the ones at home. At one time I had a herd of 14, geldings, mares, stallions, colts....rarely any problems apart from some bites and scratches due to the boys playing. They lived out with shelter.

But I did notice in all these years, problems seem to come in waves. Nothing for years, then all of the sudden several all at once.

I also noticed that "in old times" we had fewer problems maybe because antibiotics and cortisone weren't readily prescribed for just about anything. Today everything is treated full force and I wonder if we don't give the horse a chance to take care of it naturally, rest and good nutrition. To build a healthy immune system. To fight minor infections without chemical intervention. Which works just fine.

Apart from that, there are horses who hurt themselves even when living in a rubber stall......
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post #19 of 24 Old 09-03-2012, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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I asked my BO and she said that she can go years where the vet is just out for PPEs and shots, and then she gets a wave like the one we've been having this year. The BO is firmly of the belief that horses belong *outside* unless there is some really pressing reason for them to be in. They'll come in if the weather is really awful, or if the bugs are making them insane, or if it's super hot (high 90s) outside during the day. Otherwise, they're in turnout, "being horses". I equally firmly approve of this plan. I know my boy would rather be in the turnout than in his stall.

My boy is now laid up. His trot was a little "off" yesterday in the same way it was earlier this season when his old suspensory injury acted up as he was coming back into work after a winter layoff. I hopped off at once and stayed off until I could get my trainer to take a good hard look at him move. Felt up the leg with the old suspensory problem, didn't feel any swelling or heat...and then this morning (when the trainer was going to look) I did a check of the OTHER leg too, and that one has a puffy bump high up and towards the rear of the cannon bone. Warm, but not hot. There's a tiny little mark on the skin there. He moves out fine on his own, but is definitely "off" under weight. The bees have been REALLY active the last few days when this thing arrived, so maybe it's a bee sting...or maybe a hematoma...or gawd help me, he bowed a now I get my Crash Course in Equine First (and Second) Aid. Thank heavens I had a well-stocked first aid kit (having been assured on HorseForum that I'd need it). It turns out I had bought (recommended at my tack shop) a thing of cold gel wrap. The perfect item for the times, that is. The BO advised cold treatment 2x per day (cold wrap during day, poultice & standing wrap at night) for 3 days with bute, then if that doesn't sort it, same thing only with heat for another 3 days. And rest. No riding. He's stalled up in the short run. She said I could call the vet, of course, but this is what he'd tell me to do anyway. Sounds exactly like what my doctor would tell me to do if I showed up in his office with something like that.

Sigh. In the meantime, one of the mares was showing off and racing around her paddock like a loony this morning, and strained a muscle in her back.

It never rains, but it pours...
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post #20 of 24 Old 09-03-2012, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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We're making jokes in the barn now about just doing all the horses up in bubble-wrap before they go into turnout...
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