Thursday, December 17, 2009

Traveler – 12/17/09

Traveler isn’t recovering nearly as quickly as Summer, but she doesn’t have the heart murmur, wasn’t castrated, and isn’t now sick with a cold.  The poor guy has goopy eyes and a runny nose, but no temp yet.  I’ve got him on SMZ for his sniffles and it seems to be helping, but he’s only been on it for two days now.

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He’s finally starting to fill in a little and looks better than he did, but still not great.

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The first time I put a blanket on him, he just stood there looking at me as I did up the buckles.  Like he’d worn a blanket all his life and couldn’t figure out why I was just now getting around to it.  When I take it off in the mornings he sometimes tries to move away as I’m undoing the buckles as if to say “Hey!  It’s still cold out, what are you doing???”  But he always stands still when I put the blanket back on in the evenings.  Hmmm… smart little bugger!

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He’s still a bit crotchety and pins his ears back at me when I feed, but he hasn’t tried to kick me again since that first week.  We now play a little chase game at feeding time because he refuses to just put his head in his halter and make life easy on me.  Oh no.  I have to go into the pasture and walk a few circles after him until he finally gives in and lets me get his halter on.  This is a new development and I think it’s because he knows that if he’s not tied up, he can eat faster than Sky and go steal his food.  Little turd!

Summer – 12/17/09

Summer is just about done with the weight gain.  In fact, if that belly gets much larger, I might have to poke a few holes to let all the air out.

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Please forgive the horribly haphazard fence job.  I gave her her own pen behind the garage over a month ago, so she could be closer to the house and have her own shelter.  I couldn’t electrify the fence, so ended up just stringing it up nice and tight and crossing my fingers.  It didn’t take her long to realize that she could just walk right in between the strands and wander about the yard.  So now the fence is mainly just for show, since I took one side down and she just comes and goes as she pleases anyway.

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Her top line is just about perfect now, but it’s hard to tell under all that hair and rain rot.  The rain rot is finally healing up and coming off in big gobs without causing her any pain.  In fact, she loves having me scratch and peel it off.  She’ll stand in one place forever with her upper lip sticking out and quivering whenever I find a particularly itchy spot.  I’m on call for work this weekend and hopefully I can spend a couple of hours scrubbing all that nastiness off of her.  I have a blanket for her in case she ends up bald afterwards!

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Check out that cute little bum, all filled out and round!

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Brannon gave her a trim last time he was out -- he left the heal alone and took off as much toe as he could to try and straighten out those pasterns.  If we don’t get a decent angle on those pasterns soon, he’ll try putting some extended shoes on her to help out.  Fortunately, she’s still young enough that we can get her fixed now without a lot of discomfort.

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I don’t think she’ll need the shoes because she already looks a lot better up front!  And you should have seen how well she behaved for him!  I doubt she’s ever had her feet trimmed before, but she was awesome!  Except for losing her balance a time or two, she was almost as good as Maverick!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lilo – 11/28/09

This will be Lilo’s last post on Rescue Recoveries, at least until she sheds out in the Spring.  I wasn’t even intending to take pictures of her today, but I just love the light in these shots and wanted to share.

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So long Lilo, see you in the Spring!

Summer – 11/27/09

When I picked up Summer, her owners told me that they had owned Summer and Traveler for two years.  I seriously doubted that and didn’t look at their teeth to confirm, but I also didn’t think that people could own horses and not know how long they had had them.

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I feel so naive.  When Doc was out last week he said that Summer’s teeth put her between 8 and 10 months old.  She still has all of her baby teeth, which are chipped and broken from eating rocks and trees.  Her gums are receding, most likely from malnutrition and what she chose to chew in place of actual food.

Fortunately, there doesn’t appear to be anything else wrong with her, except for the serious rain rot.  She’s gaining weight and has proven to be quite the little talker!  Every time she sees someone she greets them with a nicker and comes walking to the fence.  A couple of weeks ago, I put up some temporary fence behind the workshop and moved her in there so I could keep a better eye on her.  She’s very happy there since she gets attention from everyone that happens by.

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The rain rot is starting to peel off and she’s putting on weight quickly.  I wormed her last week with a 300lb dose of Anthelcide and will start her on Strongid C next week.  I didn’t want to overdo it with the wormer, but I still think she’s got a bit of a worm load that needs to be eradicated.

Traveler – 11/27/09

As with Summer, Traveler’s previous owners said that they had owned him for two years.  According to Doc, his teeth put him at barely over a year.  He still has a few baby teeth left in his mouth, and the top two middle adult teeth are just starting to come in.  Yet, they had tried to ride him anyway. 

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The unlimited ignorance of some people truly amaze me.

Doc also found that Traveler has a heart murmur.  On a scale from 1 to 6, 6 being the worst, his is between 2 and 3.  Hopefully, like Ellie, the murmur is because of him being so underweight and will go away once he’s healthy.  Unfortunately, it will affect his weight gain and it will take longer for him to get back up to a healthy weight.

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Traveler was also castrated last week and did really well.  He recovered quickly and has had no infection and very little swelling.  He hasn’t gained much weight, but I’m hopeful that he’ll start gaining soon. I gave him a 350lb dose of Anthelcide last week and will start him on Strongid C next week with Summer. 

Shane – 11/27/09

Shane has still not had his teeth floated.  I was hoping to get him done when Doc was here castrating everyone, but the problem with not having electricity in the barn is that we have to rely on natural light and that ran out as the last castration was just completed.  Now Shane will just have to be first on the list next time Doc comes out.

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Shane has put on some weight, but very slowly.  He’s on 2qt beet pulp, 2 qt Strategy, and 2qt Equine Senior twice a day. 

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Timmy – 11/27/09

Timmy started looking better after the first week he was here, but the next week he didn’t seem to put on an ounce.  Then he was castrated and that set him back a little more.  This past week he not only seems to be losing weight again, but he’s also started to crib.  It would not surprise me to learn that he has gastric ulcers, considering his breed and history.  With that in mind, I’ve changed him over to a low sugar diet:  4qts Purina Strategy and 2qts Rice Bran three times a day.  It took a few days to transition him off the beet pulp and senior, and he’s only been on the low sugar diet for two days.  He’s already stopped cribbing, so I’m hoping he’ll start putting the weight back on soon.

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Timmy is also fighting infection from the castration, so he’s on 20cc of penicillin twice a day.  It’s difficult for an older horse like him to be castrated and is usually a lot more stressful than it is for a youngster.  But he’ll be much better off in the long run!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Summer – 11/08/09

Summer is between one and two years old and she’s been starved for quite some time.  She’s a sweet little mare that’s just dying to get some food and affection.  She was turned out with a stud colt (Traveler), so we’re hoping she’s not pregnant.   Considering her age and health, it’s not likely.

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She wasn’t strong enough to go out with the main herd when she got here today, so she’s out in the back pasture with Flo, Stride, Sadie, and Shane.  They sniffed noses with her, then ignored her.  She was doing her best to become invisible, but after eating dinner around everyone she warmed up to them and now she’s out there eating hay next to Stride.

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I gave her a 250lb dose of Ivermectin when she stepped off the trailer and will follow up with another 250lb dose in a week.  I’m starting her out on 2 cups soaked beet pulp and 2 cups senior feed.  The poor girl is covered in rain rot under that winter coat, so it looks like I’ll be picking up some more antifungal spray tomorrow.

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The idiots that had her apparently didn’t realize that young horses grow.  Imagine that!  You mean if you’re stupid enough to leave halters on 24/7 that you actually have to adjust the halters as the horse gets bigger?

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The first thing we did when we got her on the trailer was to take off her old halter and give her a bigger one to wear.  I took that one off her once she was here and I’ll clean up and treat those sores tomorrow.

Hopefully because of her age, she’ll be back up to a healthy weight and hanging with Kenzie and Maggie in no time!

Traveler – 11/08/09

Traveler is a two year old stud colt.  We have no idea what his breeding is, but he’s probably a Quarterhorse or QH cross.  He’s also starved and full of worms, but is otherwise a very sweet boy.

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He’s in the quarantine paddock with the other gelding wannabes for now, and so far he’s getting along great with Timmy. 

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I’m starting him out on 1qt beet pulp and 1/2 qt senior.  He got a 300lb dose of Ivermectin when he got here and I’ll follow up with another dose in a week.  I will probably also put him and the other three that came with him on Strongid C for 8 weeks, just to make sure we get everything.

His halter was way too tight and he has the same sores that Summer has, just not quite as bad as hers.  His halter had plenty of room to adjust, so that’s the first thing we did once he was on the trailer.

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Isn’t that the cutest little marking you’ve ever seen??

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Timmy – 11/06/09

It’s only been one week since Timmy arrived here, but I think he’s looking a little better already. 

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He still has a long way to go, but the fact that he’s doing better after a week is a good sign.  He’s up to 2qts beet pulp, 2qts equine senior, and 1qt rice bran four times a day.

The love affair between Timmy and Maverick is over and the two no longer play together.  Maverick and Sky are best buds, and Timmy seems to think Buddy and Quill are the bestest little buddies he’s ever had.  He even let them share his meal the one time I forgot to tie them up before I fed him.  He’s such a big sweetie!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shane – 10/31/09

Shane is a 13yo Thoroughbred gelding, about 16.1h, who came to us from a college student in Clarksburg. 

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He’s a sweet, easy going guy who loves attention and is supposed to be wonderful under saddle and kid-safe.

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It’ll be at least another 250lbs before I try and put a saddle on him.

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He has only had pasture and hay for awhile, so I’ll start the reintroduction to grain slowly.  I gave him 1qt beet pulp and 1/2qt equine senior before putting him out for the night and will keep that up for the next few days, three times a day, and see how it goes.  I’ll throw in corn oil, a little rice bran, and Source tomorrow.  Doc is hopefully (that man is soooooo busy!) coming out next week to geld Buddy and Quill, so I’ll have him float the fangs that Shane has in his mouth as well. 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Timmy – 10/30/09

Timmy is a 17 year old Thoroughbred stallion, about 16.2 hands.  He’s about 400lbs underweight, but his blood work checks out okay so the only thing he should need is food and farrier work.  His feet are dry, cracked, and overgrown, and he’s lame on his right front with heat radiating down from the outside of his ankle down to his hoof.  He’s got an old ankle injury there, but since he was sound two days ago and the heat in his hoof is only on the lateral quarter, I’m hoping all I’ll find is an abscess.

Timmy was checked out by a vet in Virginia before he was brought to Horse Haven Holler.  The vet said his teeth are fine and the blood work came back mostly normal, with a few moderately high levels that the vet said were probably no cause for concern.  At the time of his rescue, Timmy was not strong enough to make the long haul from Virginia, so he stayed where he was for a week and grew stronger on a diet of just grass and hay. 

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I’ll be starting him out on five feedings a day.  He’ll get Strongid C to gently take care of any worm load, Source for additional nutrition, and corn oil for added calories and to shine up that dull coat.  He’ll start out on 1/2qt beet pulp and 1/2qt senior feed at each feeding.

I’ll be applying Hoof Heal to those feet every four days, and if he’s strong enough to stand for the farrier next week, he’ll get a much needed trim.

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Hopefully in a few weeks he’ll be strong enough to be gelded -- which will also help pack on the pounds!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lilo – 10/27/09

This might just be as good as it gets for Lilo.

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The ribs are still there, they’re just slowly being covered by her winter coat instead of a layer of fat. 

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I think her barrel is sticking out just a touch more to each side than it was when she got here, but that could just be me doing some wishful thinking.

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She’s just wishing I’d go away and stop taking pictures while she’s eating.  Poor mare… she won’t eat if I’m standing too close to her or paying any attention to her.  She’ll just stand over her bucket instead, head held high, just waiting for something awful to happen.  She will only want attention once the food is gone.  I sure wish she could tell me exactly what’s happened to her in the past to make her such a nervous girl.

I’ve done some more diet changes since last time because she’s such a picky eater! 

2qts Purina Strategy pellet, 2qt Purina Equine Senior, 2qt pelleted rice bran three times a day.

She stopped eating her food if it had corn oil, Red Cell, Weight Builder, or Source in it.  I wonder when she’ll decide she no longer likes Strategy or Senior?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lilo – 09/19/09

I got nothing.  I’m only doing an update because it’s been a month, not because this mare has gained any weight.  Ugh.

She’s still very “wired”.  Even after our evening bonding session a couple of weeks ago, she’s very high-strung.  She’s friendly towards me, but sometimes the simplest things get her going, head high in the air, trotting around the pasture like a grand prix dressage horse.  It’s times like those when Sadie and Stride simply stand in the middle of her wild circles, watching her go, and probably wondering what the deal is.

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She’s still being fed three times a day:  2qts rice bran pellets, 2qts rolled oats, 2qts hay pellets, corn oil, and plain yogurt.  In the morning I also give her Weight Builder and Source – all soaked and mixed up into a really lovely mash that she dives into with gusto. 

Wait, yogurt?  No, I haven’t lost my mind.  Yet.  Doc suggested it for another horse, as a way to stabilize the bacteria in her digestive tract and hopefully get more nutrients into her body instead of letting them pass – even though that does keep the chickens happy.  So I’m trying it on Lilo as well and hopefully… maybe… she’ll start putting on weight. 

Oh, and on another note, I’ve been calling her Flo.  It just slipped out one day and now I can’t seem to call her Lilo.  I guess all I see is a tall, leggy red head who seems to say “Kiss my grits!” when she’s upset.

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Conformational train wreck or not, this mare looks prettier to me every day. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lilo – 09/08/09

I haven’t done any Lilo updates because there just hasn’t been anything to report.  This mare has made absolutely NO progress.   The only thing I can say, is that after weeks of Koppertox, her thrush is finally gone.  She’s been wormed twice, two weeks apart, with Anthelcide and then Ivermectin.  She’s getting 2qts of rice bran, 2qts of hay pellets, and 2 qts of rolled oats three times a day.  She has plenty of pasture and I’ve also been throwing three square bales out to the three of them every day.

So, I think the Lilo picture updates will come once a month, rather than every two weeks as I did the others.  However, I did want to share a breakthrough that happened tonight.  Remember in my first Lilo post how I said she was shy and slow to trust?  She’s been that way every day – I reach to pet her and she pulls away.  I can catch her if I have feed, but other than that, she really has had no use for me… up until tonight.

When I took their buckets to them tonight I reached to scratch her head, as usual.  And par for the course, she pulled away from me, but I managed a quick rub once she had her head back in her bucket.  I left them to eat and came back about an hour later to collect up the buckets.  Lilo was standing by herself (unheard of) by the gate, and Stride and Sadie were off in the pasture grazing.  I walked up to Lilo and instead of pulling away, she lowered her head and let me scratch her ears and rub her face.  I stopped petting her for a minute to chase a horsefly away from my head and she stepped closer and lowered her head even more until I scratched behind her ears again.

So I rubbed and petted this poor mare until the sun went down.  As I walked away she just stood at the gate, staring after me.  I looked out the kitchen window later and saw her grazing quietly between Stride and Sadie.  I’m hoping with the mental adjustment her body will also finally adjust to the new environment and the new human and maybe she’ll finally start putting on some weight!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lilo – 08/16/09

Just a quick update on Lilo… instead of moving Stride into the quarantine pasture with her the other day, we moved Maverick and the other little yearling studs in the quarantine and moved Lilo into the bachelor pad with Stride.  We also put Sadie in there with them and the three have become the best of friends!  As soon as Lilo and Stride introduced themselves, Lilo put her face in the grass and started grazing for the first time since she arrived here. 

She eats her meals with gusto now and is actually in charge of the little threesome!  She’s more energetic and comes trotting to the fence for meals instead of making me bring it to her.  She’s not aggressive with Sadie or Stride, but the two respect her leadership and let her eat in peace.  The first night together, Lilo and Stride insisted on eating out of the same bucket, even though there were two buckets right in front of them.  They finished the first one then moved on to the next.  It was so cute!

The day after posting my first post on Lilo my tiny little brain had an epiphany (it was painful, trust me).  I know she was being fed beet pulp, senior, and rice bran at her previous home, so what makes me think the same feed will make her fat here?  Her tucked up tummy and pickiness with feed made me think of Sadie and Indy earlier in the year when their ulcers were acting up.  And I certainly wouldn’t doubt that previous stress and irregular feeding have given her gastric ulcers, so I transitioned her to the same diet that Sadie is on:  rolled oats, rice bran, and corn oil.  She loves it!

She’s been on that diet for a few days now, so we’ll see what happens in a couple of weeks!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lilo – 08/11/09

Lilo is a 15 year old Saddlebred mare, broke by the Amish to ride and drive.  She’s a very shy, quiet mare who is slow to trust humans.  Someone else rescued her off the slaughter truck last year and she was even thinner than she is now.  Then she was taken in by a family south of here, but after six months of feeding her senior, beet pulp, rice bran, and flax seed and not seeing much improvement, they decided to turn her over to us.

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Her teeth are in good shape and she comes with a clean bill of health from the last vet that examined her.

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Let’s start with the obvious fact that she’s thin.  Yeah, no kidding, right?  But look closely at her and you’ll see that she’s not quite as thin as you first thought.  She’s got some muscle on her shoulders and butt and her ribs aren’t protruding that much.  The first thing I notice on this mare is her TERRIBLE conformation!  That long back that sits much lower than her croup, the straight shoulder and back legs… this mare was not built to withstand the workload imposed on her by the Amish.  Three of her ankles are bulged with old injuries and she’s got mild arthritis in all four legs.

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She’s a very picky eater and wouldn’t finish her first dinner here last night.  She has no interest in hay or grazing, but prefers instead to stand in one place and simply take in her surroundings for hours on end.  We’re going to move gentle old Stride in with her today for company to see if that helps bring her out of her shell a bit. 

We’ll worm her today with Anthelcide and have already started her feeding regimen, which is pretty simple:

1 qt soaked beet pulp, 1 qt senior, 1 qt rice bran

We gave her twice that last night when she got here and she barely ate half of it.  If she finishes that much this morning, I’ll repeat the feeding again every two hours until she doesn’t want anymore.  Since she’s so picky, we’ll have to play it by ear with her and only feed her what she will eat. 

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Holly – 08/09/09

This will be Holly’s last update here on Rescue Recoveries since she and Synergy go home with Maggie tomorrow!

After the second worming in two weeks I finally started to see some improvement to Holly’s topline.  While it’s still far from ideal, her hips are starting to round out and the point from her spine to bulge of her rib cage is less concave.

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Everyone who visits the farm falls in love with the big gal and she’ll be missed when she leaves.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Holly -– 07/24/09

I’m impatient and this mare is testing what little patience I have.  She still looks like crap.  Her teeth are fine and there is no obvious illness.  She’s got hay 24/7 and just LOOK at how much food she’s getting three times a day.  I know, I know, she is looking better.  I just want her to be mistaken for the good year blimp within a month, and it’s just not happening.

I wormed her and her buddies with a Pyrental 15 days ago and will be worming them again with a Benzimidazole wormer tomorrow.

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At least her butt is filling out nicely.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Holly –- 07/09/09

Last night was Holly’s two week anniversary here and she is s..l..o..w..l..y putting on weight.  She definitely seems spunkier now, and rips around the pasture with the two younger mares.  She’s very vocal if I’m even a few minutes late with her food, but is still a big sweetheart that just wants to be loved and groomed.  She’s not as interested in the hay roll as the two younger girls, and prefers to spend a lot of her time at the gate staring at the house and just waiting for the next meal.  Because of that, I’ve cut back her feedings to three a day.  I’m hoping she’ll stop expecting it so much and spend more time grazing or munching on hay.  At this point, the hay is much more important in her diet than all the beet pulp and rice bran I’m feeding her.

8AM – 4 qts beet pulp, 2 qts rice bran pellets, 2 qts senior feed, Source, DAC oil.

3PM, 9PM – 4qts beet pulp, 2 qts rice bran, 2 qts senior

Once all that food is soaked it nearly fills a 5 gallon bucket and she still manages to finish eating before Synergy, who gets half the amount of beet pulp!

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She’s looking less ribby from the side, but her topline still looks awful.

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Maggie should be ready for Holly and Synergy by the end of the month and I’d like to get Holly looking better than this by then.  But I have every confidence in Maggie and I’m sure both girls will be too fat by the end of the year! :)