spring cha ching

Yesterday was a highly anticipated day at our barn. Our vet was out for an extended appointment. All four horses got the usual Spring shots, and three had other things addressed.

For the first time, we signed our horses up for the annual care plan our vet offers. It made the Spring Cha-Ching a bit louder, because you pay up front. There is a savings in the long run and includes things we rarely do like tape our horses. 

Harmony was the easy horse this time. There were no concerns, she just got Spring shots etc.

Harmony is 22 and taped at 1217 lbs

had her teeth floated, and was checked (ultrasound) to begin the arduous route of AI breeding. Again. If you missed last years failed breeding saga, you can read about it here. It was determined Cierra hasn't had a strong/real heat yet this Spring. She will get rechecked in 3 weeks, or earlier if we see strong heat symptoms. Doubtful of the latter, with the cool Spring weather we are having.

A few weeks ago she was put on Jump Start supplement by Equi-shine. Created by the other co-owner vet. She doesn't like it and picks out her regular supplement Strategy. Brad has been adding a little molasses to the Jump Start. I don't think it's making much difference.

I truly hope for Cierra's and Brads sake, she takes this time around. She is being bred to the same stud Whizkey N Diamonds. He is a popular guy so we are trying to get on his collection schedule earlier in the season. 

Cierra is 12 and taped at 1257 lbs.


Nemo also had his teeth floated. He was checked for sediment build up in his bladder. We have only noticed him dripping a little over the Winter, but have seen him do some shifting before peeing. We got good news. He had a normal amount of calcium built up in his bladder. Which translates to no bladder flushing!! Music to our ears! Wow, it's been so long since he has had to have that done. There were years in the past when Nemo had to be flushed bi-annually. Moving him here and changing his diet to what we grow (no Alfalfa or Timothy grass) has made a big difference with his calcium and allergies issues. YAY!!!

Nemo is 15 and taped at 1277 lbs.

was the first to get his teeth floated. They really needed to be done. We had requested a lameness check for him. Years ago he had extended issues with his left front and was on stall rest for a long time. It made him crazyI dread the thought of him ever going on stall rest again. Although it wasn't the cause, they noticed early signs of Navicular. That was 10 years ago. He also had a tendon sheath injury on his right front, from our rock river bed accident 8 years ago.

Over the Winter, I noticed Koda was sore at the trot. Out in the pasture, lunging and under saddle. Consequently we didn't ride much. When we did, I kept him at a walk. I feared his soreness was related to Navicular.

Of course, he showed no lameness while lunging 
when the vet was here. After observing Koda, flexing, feeling and doing the hoof test etc, the conclusion was Koda has some arthritis developing on his right front. It makes sense. After the river accident, they did tell me arthritis was a good possibility as he ages.

Koda is 15 and taped at 1350 lbs.


Our vet suggested Koda lose 100 lbs. He would like to see all our horses around 1250 lbs. Koda needs to cut back on his food consumption, and get more/regular exercise. Hmmm, sounds familiar! There are no concerning fatty pockets on Koda. However, I think we'll all agree being over weight is less than ideal for anyone. We talked at length about ways to make that happen with our current feeding system. With one of us being home most of the time, he had no concern with using a (breakaway) muzzle on Koda at our hay net feeder. I am not a fan of the idea.

Brad & I are still mulling all this over. For now we will cut Koda's evening hay down even more than we already have. The vet said if he is grazing all day, we could cut him down to one flake overnight. Gulp! Can you say angry ('er hungry) horse?! Brad promptly announced to our herd that our vet would be doing their chores for the next week. Ha ha! We might eventually need to get down to one flake overnight, but there are other things we can try first. Brad is testing putting out flakes in the turnout feeder, instead of the self serve netted big bail they have all year round. I don't think feeding a given amount during turnout is going to work well for Cierra, not to mention the added labor. Will see. We might try some kind of pasture only option with Koda muzzled, or bring him in early or ? Ohhh boy, he will hate being muzzled!

I know our vet isn't a big supplement guy, but I asked about them anyways. He suggested trying the well known Glucosamine for arthritis and said if we do, to give it a month to (hopefully) work. He said it seems to make a difference in some horses and not others.

I plan to do some research on all of this, along with the feeding trials. I am just glad my riding days with Koda are not over. 

Padame, remember her? I don't post much about her because sadly I never see Brad's new blondie. 

Her Spring vet visit was earlier this month with the whole show barn. Our vet shared some stifle locking concern. It happens when she is lunged, but not while collected. He is hopeful she will grow out of it. He mentioned Padame seems to be a year behind on overall growth, and looks like a three year old to him. Right in line with what her breeder shared about her. It was interesting learning about how the stifle and related ligament work together.

Padame is 4. No clue what she weighs.

She is at her first show of the season 
up in Minnesota to train right now. Brad opted not to go. It is a small group of horses with three trusted friends. Brad received a photo from his trainer this morning:



Val Ewing said...

I hope you can figure out what to do with Koda. I know my two riding mules are a but pudgy. I hope to ride some weight off of them this summer.
I'm glad you can continue with Koda!

Sounds like everything went well. I've never hear of a yearly care plan. Our large animal vets around here are retiring and I thing we'll be short of them in the next few years.

Shirley said...

I was wondering how Padame was doing!
You have some big horses! I have no idea what mine weigh. What did the vet use to measure them?
Have you considered track feeding to get them moving around more as they eat? You definitely have the room to do it. Here is a link that explains it. https://www.all-natural-horse-care.com/paddock-paradise.html
For Beamer's arthritis I have been feeding him Camelina oil. It helps with the inflammation and he actually has improved since he's been getting it. (2 oz a day) Here is a link to the company I buy from, they ship from Amazon so available everywhere, and no shipping charge. https://www.smartearthcamelina.ca/
I also use Streamz Bands on Beamer, you may want to check them out too. He wears his 24/7 . You do take them off when riding.
Managing horses is a time consuming (and $ consuming)but rewarding life!

aurora said...

Val, the yearly care plan is relatively new. I think it is a great idea and a win-win-win for the horse, owner and clinic. They have two versions. One is more comprehensive and includes things like Coggins. They offer a monthly payment plan to help spread the cost out, you just have to sign up before you need routine or emergency care.

Hopefully word will get around and a younger vet/s will take care of large animals in your area.

Thank you for the links Shirley. I've never heard of track feeding. I am very curious to find out more. I always learn new things from you!

Our vet figured weight with an equine measuring tape.

We do have one but rarely use it. It is easy to see Koda is fluffy just by looking at him. I've asked about his weight the past few seasonal appointments. We saw other vets from the clinic for the routine stuff, there was no concern. This vet (Dave) is in high demand for more specialty care. He has always taken care of Nemo's calcium concerns. I think getting Koda taped made it crystal clear that it is time to do something about his weight before it becomes problematic. IMO what he needs most is to move!!

It is nice to know our horses weight for a benchmark. I'm not so sure our horses are big, or just overly well fed ;)

Far Side of Fifty said...

Nice to get it all done at once and get a head start on what needs to be done! Sure hope Cierra cooperates this year! It would be fun to see her foal:)

Linda said...

I missed this post. Haha. Cha-ching'ing is heard around every spring barn! Our vet gave us a weight tape when we dealt with Epona's medication ritual. We were constantly adjusting the measurement as she gained weight. It has come in handy around here for getting weight on all the horses. You know I deal with arthritis in Cowboy's hooves, and the Equioxx, should it come to that, has been really good for him. When he was young, I had him on a glucosamine/MSM supplement that really helped, too, but it just got too much for that to work completely. Padame, what a sweetie. I think the young ones do grow out of a lot of issues. Their bodies are still so wonky. Tweed is the same age and has gone through some real gangly moments, but it all seems to come together eventually. Of course, they are also accidents waiting to happen, so there's that! haha.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I must have missed this post. Padame is a gorgeous girl. Hopefully, you'll get out to the barn and can get some pictures to share.