After a long, cold winter spring is finally here and the mare you bred last year has grown large with new life. You have had her ultra-sounded, vaccinated and wormed. She is in good condition and in her last weeks of her pregnancy. Everything looks great until one afternoon you step out to feed in the evening and your mare is showing some of the classic signs of colic:
Bran mash is an old horseman’s trick to soothe a tired, sick, or stressed horse. We feed a bran mash after a tough weekend competing, before and after shipping long distances, after foaling, or if dehydration is a worry. (more…)
Your stall windows are smeared with dusty gobs of foul-smelling goo. Your braider sighs audibly when she gets to the worn spot in Dusty’s mane where she could’ve fit two more braids. Your feed room has at least three unfinished containers of supplements that promise to fatten Dusty up.
Cribbing (or crib biting) is a vice that can make a horse an outcast in the barn. Some barn policies will not allow cribbers to board due to worries about the slow, but inevitable destruction of fences and stalls and the fear that a cribber will “teach” the other horses stabled near him to crib, too. Sometimes the offending horse is ostracized to an older barn, the owner, ever-grateful, has a collection of boards and nails to repair her steed’s stall. She googles the internet for solutions, a new cribbing strap or anti-chew concoction, so often that ads for crib notes for Shakespeare and T. S. Eliot appear in the her Gmail side bar. Nothing ever helps, so she keeps hand sewing new fleece covers for the cribbing strap and avoiding eye contact with the equine dentist who shakes his head at the increasingly nubby incisors. (more…)
American Eventer Allison Springer had no sooner added Lionheart to her eventing barn than he had to be euthanized due to complications from colic surgery. Springer announced the sad news on her Facebook page on January 18. The gelding underwent surgery just five days ealier on January 13. (more…)