My senior mare died

I recently lost my old mare, Jessie. She died unexpectedly last Sunday from what appears to be colic. She was 34 this year.

I had noticed that she stopped laying down to sleep this year. The last few months she’d really slowed down, had more trouble stepping over things, and a few occasions where she seemed unsteady walking.

And then one day, I found her down, sweating profusely and in distress. The vet came and palpated her. Checked gut and stomach and intestines. It was not a good outcome. So we euthanized her in the pasture, and buried her near Ava.

She was such a sweet mare. I really miss her.

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36 Bottles of Beer on the wall

Jessie, the 32 year old mare, suddenly stopped eating Friday. Completely unlike her. I was a bit perplexed by the behavior,  because otherwise she seemed completely fine.  I monitored her Friday for any signs of distress,  but other than not eating her hay pellets and grain,  she seemed absolutely normal.

Saturday,  still not eating.

Sunday, stttiiiiillll not eating…

Monday, I had the vet-dentist out.  One of her teeth had broken,  half was flopping around,  and the other half well embedded.  Vet pulled it. I nearly barfed.

I’m such a pansy.

Vet had Jessie all doped up.  Nicely sedated,  lidocaine to numb the area,  a shot of banimine when she was done.

I could’ve used some sedation when I got the bill! Ack!!

It’s now Wednesday,  and Jessie still won’t touch her regular grain.  I had to switch it out with the grain I feed my two.  She devoured that.  No idea why her grain,  that she used to love,  is no longer an option.

I’m also forced to shove antibiotics down her gullet twice a day like dewormer since she is being so picky about her food.  The paste is now coating the barn floor,  my saddles,  in my hair,  all over my coat,  and even on my glasses.  I am not doing so well getting it to stay in her mouth.

Any wisdom on food stuffs the old gal might eat?  It seems like the mushier it is,  the less she likes it.  So far she’s only interested in the hard stuff.  Add water and she immediately turns her nose up at it.  Which perplexes me.  I would’ve thought mushier would be better.  She hates any type of syrups. She’s not all that fond of applesauce or apples.

At least she’s eating the other horses grain and trying to eat hay…

I keep putting out different food options for her to try.

She can’t really eat hay, she just cuds most of it up and spits it out, but she gave it a go anyway.

Yeah, ok, sometimes I let her wander the barn… Not the safest thing to do, but she’s so level headed… and sllooooowwww….

She wanted in the feed room. Wasn’t gonna happen. 😂

I hope she gets back to her old,  with gusto,  eating habits soon.  I hope it was just that tooth,  and no other issues crop up.  She’s such a sweet mare.

Other than the tooth issue,  the vet gave Jessie a glowing report on her health.  Great lungs,  great heart, remaining teeth look great.

Google says that the average mare has 36 teeth. We’re down to 33 now.

She’s lost 3 in one year! Ouch!

 

Senior Mares

Jessie lost a tooth. At the age of 32(ish) she’s now experienced her first tooth loss.  Dentist said the rest look good,  nothing else loose,  and that it’s a top molar so less risk of impaction.

I was going to wait on the dentist until spring was here (snow blocks the path to the barn),  but Jessie seemed to be chewing oddly.  Mainly,  she seemed to be chewing on the right side of her mouth,  and for a few days she seemed less enthused about the hay than normal.  After that she seemed normal. I got chastised a bit by the dentist for not having him out immediately to pull the tooth,  but I’m not sure I could identify the issue again even now.

I never found the tooth.

After everyone had their teeth done,  Jessie wasn’t eating her hay.   She kept pushing it around,  taking a few pieces in her mouth and spitting them out.  We also had a 20 degree drop in temps between 12 pm and 2 pm,  so i was a bit worried.  I bundled her up,  watered her grain down to mush,  checked on her often,  and hoped for the best.

Next day she was eating hay with gusto.

Hopefully she doesn’t lose any more teeth for a good long while.  She’s kind of a picky eater.  I guess I better get serious about researching diet options for senior horses.

 

Cloud of funk

I’ve been in a serious funk the past few weeks. You know those times where it seems like nothing goes right?
Yeah. That seems to be my August.

Last week it was low 50 degree’s and felt like winter was impending, this week it’s 90’s and so humid you can swim through it.

I hate this weather.

We got an offer on our old house.
* The purchaser decided not to get a home inspection – Yay.
* He can’t get an FHA appraisal without a home inspection – Boo.

Zeus wanted to help me in the pasture, but he knows he’s not allowed in there. He came crawling out on his belly and refused to go back to the yard. So instead, he hung out in the wheel barrow while I finished putting out hay for the horses.

I thought he’d freak out, but he seemed happy to supervise from his elevated position.

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And Joy has been an absolutely amazing trail horse. Our last trail ride, she lead for about 2/3’s of the ride. At one point something scared her (something darted beside her), and she jumped, took one big stride forward, and immediately went back to a quiet and relaxed walk.
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For the most part, when she spooks, she does a little jump in place and then settles right back down. The absolute worst I’ve had her do is jump and take two strides forward. But after that… right back to attentively calm.

If nothing else, she’ll be an amazing trail horse in no time flat. She walks over giant logs, walks up to scary stuff, has had tree limbs brush her sides and her belly and never reacts, and weird footing doesn’t bother her either. She’s very careful with her feet and never trips. AND, she never once hollers for Ava, or shows any sign of being buddy sour when out.

I try to do a little training on the trails for contact acceptance, leg aids, and a touch of straightness. She still gets agitated by contact. She doesn’t really stretch into it except for a rare moment here and there. Her go-to defense is to brace her poll and stiffen her neck. Occasionally I can convince her to relax into it, but it’s rare.

Her leg yields are coming along fantastically.

She’s getting more and more bendable through the ribs in both directions (more equal). She’s no longer a board.

She’s starting to really get seat cues and half-halt of the seat, but God forbid you touch her mouth at the same time. Immediately braces and pulls on you. I’ve found flexing slowly left then right helps, but I can never remember to try that when she initially braces. It always takes me a minute to go “Oh! Flex her poll. Duh!”

Even then, more times than not her next trick is to curl. Which I haven’t found a good answer to yet. More forward doesn’t do much. Lift the reins and she curls more.

I end up just keeping a steady light contact and trying to squeeze her into a more open frame. It’s really hit or miss at this point. It agitates her greatly, so I tend to drop it and come back to it several times in a ride.

The first few times we navigated hilly sections she would only go down it like a crab, sideways. Now she let’s me keep her straight and more balanced toward the back. I was pleased with that because she’s stopped trying to bolt to the bottom. She just casually walks down them now.

I can just start to elevate her trot with my seat. Like, instead of a flat forward, I can shorten her stride and get a bit more push upward instead of outward. I was playing with it. It’s nothing significant at this point, but eventually I’d like to try for half-steps once I can get the contact thing fixed. I’m trying not to rush it, but at the same time I want to at least introduce it in tiny pieces. She seems to naturally be inclined to sit, and I think it’d be pretty easy to get good half-steps later.

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Jessies leg has mended pretty well (I had just fly sprayed her in the pic). There’s still a lump, but she moves okay for her age. No signs of pain from it. She’s a bit creaky when she walks, but I’m surprised she gets around as well as she does for being over 30.

She looks good, doesn’t she? I’ve never seen a horse this old look this good. She must have great genes. Other than upping her grain and adding a small bit of fat supplement (plus free choice hay), I haven’t changed her care any. She’s just naturally aging well.

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I don’t have a recent pic of Ava. She’s been very unhappy with the abundance of horse flies. She refuses to leave her stall. On the plus side, the cooler weather has meant she can start wandering the pasture more since the horse flies tend to go hide then.

I took her the other day for a short trail ride and she did great. I was worried. I hadn’t ridden her in several weeks. I thought she’d buck me off or something.

She didn’t.

It was fun! I’d like to take her out more, but the bombers nail her the second she leaves the barn. And all hell breaks loose when that happens. I’ll have to time our rides for cooler days, or ride early morning or late evenings. Luckily she loves winter, so we can get in some good trail rides the other 9 months of the year.

That’s the update. Thanks for reading!!

The wrath of Khan

I have three horses who are all lame on the left hind leg.

If ever there was a bitch slap from God, this would be it.

All I need now is to be smited.

Joy took a hunk of skin off her hind leg a couple days ago. It’s not serious, but I need to doctor it up and Joy thinks the goop (ointment) is Satan’s phlegm.

The other option for wound care is Vetericyn, but of course that’s a spray bottle. In Joy’s opinion, only spray bottles are more heinous than Satan’s phlegm.

Jessie (the old mare) has both rain rot and thrush. She may as well have posted a sign by the road with the words “Bad Owner Lives Here!”.

I went to Tractor Supply for medications. The only thing they have is a product called Fung-a-way. Rain rot isn’t a fungus, it’s a bacteria, but some reviews said it worked and there’s nothing else on the shelf.

I get to the counter to check out and the cashier asks me if my horse has rain rot.

I reply ‘yes, she does’.

The cashier gives me one of those patronizing looks and says “This won’t work”, while holding up the Fung-a-way. I wanted to scream “Of course it won’t! But you can’t stock shit a real horse person needs!”.

Instead, I said “Oh, I was afraid of that.”

She then let’s me know that “rain rot happens sometimes”. *roll eyes*  However, she has ‘The Cure’. All I need is to spray WD-40 on the scabs.

** insert skeptical look here **

We leave TSC without rain rot medication. I get home, we’ve got WD-40, I seriously consider it for 2 minutes….

I can’t. Anything that says “avoid prolonged contact with skin” probably shouldn’t be sprayed on a horse and left on. And it seems counter-intuitive to spray it on just to wash it off. If I’m going to have to bathe the horse after every application then I may as well get the iodine shampoo that’s made for rain rot!

Arrrgghhh!

….

My neighbor won’t ride with me anymore.

I’m not sure why.

It kind of hurts my feelings.

On the flip side… I get a bit frustrated reining Ava up, slowing her down, making her wait… constantly. Ava has a big walk. Always has. Our trail partners are slow walkers. If I let Ava walk at the pace she’s comfortable with then I leave my trail partners in the dust.

Hmmm… this could also be a euphemism for life. 

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The old lady and Joy…

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My husband is working on building me a riding arena.

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It’s getting there!!

I’m missing the fun!!

I have three horses who are all lame on the left hind leg.

If ever there was a bitch slap from God, this would be it.

All I need now is to be smited.

Joy took a hunk of skin off her hind leg a couple days ago. It’s not serious, but I need to doctor it up and Joy thinks the goop (ointment) is Satan’s phlegm.

The other option for wound care is Vetericyn, but of course that’s a spray bottle. In Joy’s opinion, only spray bottles are more heinous than Satan’s phlegm.

Jessie (the old mare) has both rain rot and thrush. She may as well have posted a sign by the road with the words “Bad Owner Lives Here!”.

I went to Tractor Supply for medications. The only thing they have is a product called Fung-a-way. Rain rot isn’t a fungus, it’s a bacteria, but some reviews said it worked and there’s nothing else on the shelf.

I get to the counter to check out and the cashier asks me if my horse has rain rot.

I reply ‘yes, she does’.

The cashier gives me one of those patronizing looks and says “This won’t work”, while holding up the Fung-a-way. I wanted to scream “Of course it won’t! But you can’t stock shit a real horse person needs!”.

Instead, I said “Oh, I was afraid of that.”

She then let’s me know that “rain rot happens sometimes”. *roll eyes*  However, she has ‘The Cure’. All I need is to spray WD-40 on the scabs.

** insert skeptical look here **

We leave TSC without rain rot medication. I get home, we’ve got WD-40, I seriously consider it for 2 minutes….

I can’t. Anything that says “avoid prolonged contact with skin” probably shouldn’t be sprayed on a horse and left on. And it seems counter-intuitive to spray it on just to wash it off. If I’m going to have to bathe the horse after every application then I may as well get the iodine shampoo that’s made for rain rot!

Arrrgghhh!

….

My neighbor won’t ride with me anymore.

I’m not sure why.

It kind of hurts my feelings.

On the flip side… I get a bit frustrated reining Ava up, slowing her down, making her wait… constantly. Ava has a big walk. Always has. Our trail partners are slow walkers. If I let Ava walk at the pace she’s comfortable with then I leave my trail partners in the dust.

Hmmm… this could also be a euphemism for life. 

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The old lady and Joy…

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My husband is working on building me a riding arena.

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It’s getting there!!