Tag Archives: horses

Choke

The most common esophageal conditions in horses is choking and it is always an emergency.

Typically, there is a cause to this condition like eating too quickly, food being too dry or suck together, or even a lack of water. Some horses may choke due to their dental health as well. Further, abnormal esophagus anatomy can also contribute a predisposition to choking, Food may form a firm bolus that becomes lodged in their esophagus. However, other items can also cause an obstruction like hay or straw, hard treats, carrots, and even, nonfood objects.

How to tell if your horse is choking?

  • The most common symptoms are hyper salivation, food or foam coming out of their nose and mouth
  • Some horses may become anxious and thrash around
  • Retching
  • Not eating
  • Acting colicky
  • Coughing

What to do when you suspect your horse is choking?

  • Immediately remove access to any food or hay.
  • Call your veterinarian
  • If you are knowledgable with medication administration, and your horse is extremely agitated, you can administer a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) like Banamine. Make sure to check the horse’s temperature before administering as NSAIDs will mask a fever.
  • Once the vet arrives they will preform a physical exam. Typically, they will insert a tube down the horse’s throat to flush out any compaction. This may have to be done multiple times.
  • Your horse maybe required to begin antibiotics depending on the veterinarian’s advise to help treat any aspiration or potential pneumonia.
  • You may need to keep your horse confined for a few horses (or days) depending on the severity of the choke.
  • You will need to check their temperature for a few days after choke to ensure that the horse has not developed an upper respiratory infection.
  • Depending on the cause, the veterinarian may schedule a dental float procedure, or have you wet the horse’s feed and/or hay or switch the feed entirely.

Strangles Cases Climb in Florida

equimanagement.com/news/10th-confirmed-equine-strangles-case-in-florida-for-2022

Alfalfa or Grass Hay: Which is better for winter warmth?

thehorse.com/181582/alfalfa-or-grass-hay-which-is-better-for-winter-warmth/

How Horses Stay Warm

www.horsesinsideout.com/post/how-your-horse-stays-warm

Are Donkeys Part Woodchuck?

So, the other day, I walked into our beautiful run-in and saw all of the two by fours with chunks missing and some down to almost nothing. I stood there with my jaw dropped. Are you kidding me?!

These donkeys live in luxury. They have premium hay, mineral blocks, shelter, toys, each other, and even blankets. They have their vaccines, teeth floated, and feet done. What could possibly possess them to eat wood? They have messed with the trees before but that stopped. Frustrated, I solicited some advice from a friend of mine and also did some research. Here is what I found.

Apparently, donkeys will chew on wood for one of three reasons.

  • Boredom
  • Mineral Deficiency
  • Copying their Mates

The top reason is boredom. According to Hayfarmguy.com, this is the most common reason for donkeys to chew on wood. That being said, this boredom is often the result of not having their friends or being locked up in a stall for long periods. These two items are not applicable to my situations. They are always with each other and are outside the entire time with the option to go into a shelter; they are rarely confined. They also have a large area to run around and play.

The second reason, vitamin deficiency…good ole Pica…the craving for non-food items such as wood. This can be solved by running blood work to look at the minerals and by purchasing a mineral block.

The third reason, when there is a new horse or donkey in the pact and they possess the wood eating habit. Donkey see, donkey do!

How do you address and stop this destructive habit?

  • Spray wood surfaces with an anti-chew substance. You can purchase these sprays at a tack or local feed store. Or, you can make your own with Cayenne Pepper and water.
  • Get blood work done and provide a mineral block.
  • Provide the donkeys with things to play with- a ball, milk jug, etc.
  • Allow them time outside with their friends.

Hopefully these suggestions work!

Work Horse Won’t Move Forward?!

I decided to get on Tilly and see how she was under saddle.  

The saddle fit nicely and I chose a bit-less bridle. Tilly was calm throughout tacking her up and getting on her back. One hiccup….she would not respond to my leg or move forward at all. My friend decided to lead her and Tilly walked easily forward. I decided to end with that for the day. A few days later I got on her back again. Same thing happened- she would just stand there. Small spurs, leg, a crop (which I hit gently against my leg)…none of them worked. I was frustrated despite it not being my sweet girl’s fault so I ended our ride. I knew nothing could be accomplished with me being frustrated. I decided to do some research on work horses and posted on some Facebook forums about my situation. I received some awesome advice!

The advice I received is below.

“If she was used in harness you will probably have to use driving commands as you teach her.Walk on, or get up to go forward. Gee to turn right, Ha to turn left. May have to tap her hind quarter with the crop.”

“Get someone to lead her after you give her forward cues”
“She may never have been ridden, on driven. I would find a good trainer who works with starting horses, even though she’s not young. It will take months but if she’s started correctly she’ll be lovely and at her age will help to keep her sound once she begins to WTC, as driving horses only walk.”
Probably a driving horse. Try “Step up” or “walk on” look up the Amish terms. Gee, Haw, Gee around, Haw around, etc…See if that helps. If she was a driving or plow horse it also helps to hold your hands wider at first.”
“Patients little at a time he or she needs to know you love them first ground work is good he may be sore see if he’s stiff arthritis meds or joint supplements he may only know driving commands such a gee or has or come and get good luck”.
“Sounds like she hasn’t been ridden but is a good girl! She may need a bit in her mouth to understand what you are asking since she was driven. If she understands words, perhaps say them for what you want. Looks like others know those words better than me! I know my horse that logged has a nice “whoa”. Just can’t say “good boy” – sure, sounds like whoa! I saddled and sat on a driving horse, Belgian (no history known) with a leader for walk only. I felt that he was sore – even though there was no outward sign – perhaps the way he held himself. Not saying this is the case for you – just a thought. I like the other advice here as well!”
“I rescued my 18 year old boy in November 🙂 Same history as your mare. As workhorses, they were not trained to ride, and they don’t know the commands or how to respond to leg pressure or the bit (other than pulling). So you need to start with groundwork and then at the very beginning, because basically they are green. I do not use a crop on my boy. Never will.”
“I would never give her spur or crop. You don’t want to punish her for not understanding your cues.”
“My Belgian was not broke either but she did walk out just fine unlike your mare. Get a driving bit…that’s what she’ll be familiar with. Check all voice commands to see if she knows any of them. If not I’d teach her voice commands lunging her and then get back on once she’s responding well.”
“Because they came from Amish, a friend told me to learn the commands in that specific language (version of German). Worth a try. BUT, I will say, I have tried to avoid anything that would remind my boy of his previous owner.”
“Haw & Gee. These are commands used to ask what direction to turn by the horse by voice command. It works well when they’re in harness working. Gee means go right, haw means go left. The Amish use “step up” to take a step or two forward and “ walk on” to walk. “Whoa” to stop. Try these commands while mounted. Slowly add in the ques you want to use in addition to the verbal ques your mare already knows.”
“She might have never been used alone, which could mean she’s looking for a cue from someone else, (it would explain why someone needs to lead her) amish usually use a oring bit, she might do better with blinders at first, and she’s probably voice activated. She won’t have any clue about leg cues. Start ground driving her, she still might be a little confused being single but she figure it out. good luck.”
” when you are on her wanting her to go sometimes turning her to one side or the other where she has to step to move is a good way to start her momentum.”

When It’s Time

When It’s Time
— Read on horsenetwork.com/2020/06/when-its-time/

Living Her Best Life

In the evening I take Ottille for a walk and set her free. Her carefree happiness is palpable and her beauty takes my breathe away every time. I still can not fathom how anyone would work this sweet girl until she reached 17 only to send her to a slaughter auction. Welcome to the rest of your life, sweet girl! Like I promised the first day we met, you can trust me to take care of you the rest of your days. ❤️

Fungal Infections in Horses

www.merckvetmanual.com/horse-owners/disorders-affecting-multiple-body-systems-of-horses/fungal-infections-mycoses-in-horses