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.
Cierra 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.
Koda 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 crazy. I 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: