Everything old is new again

Well folks, we did it!

After 10 weeks off and way too much money spent on ulcergard, Nay Nay and I had our first rides back this weekend!

We started off on Saturday afternoon with me a nervous wreck and followed my vet’s plan for bringing him back. The main goal was to keep him as stress-free as possible. This horse is rarely ever UP (he just isn’t), but mentally is a worrier so we have a lot to deal with. Anyway, armed with tools, we headed out to the barn for our first lesson during Corona-Times…


Someone has put on a good bit of weight! And his girth barely fits!

When I arrived, I was a bit dismayed to see so many people around (I have my own thoughts, but whatever). My county is still in the red but different barns are responding in their own ways. I already made plans to groom at home and tack up at the trailer so I tacked up, grabbed my gear back, put on gloves and found my trainer who told me both rings were empty (yes!), but that there was a lot of activity outside so her suggestion was we ride inside where Nay Nay was most comfortable.

Inside, I decided to lunge. He didn’t need it, but it was my way to just see what I was dealing with. 5 minutes of trotting (I even brought my own lunge line) just let Nay stretch his legs and see the ring again. Once we were finished, my trainer joined us and we got on.


Handsome as always!

And things were… Fine. He’s very weak and I had to remember to SIT DOWN. Omg. 10 weeks off and I forgot how much this horse wants my butt in the saddle! But otherwise? No big deal. We walked, we looked, and nothing happened. If you all remember our first ride? This wasn’t it. At one point, Nay’s head was on the ground. We trotted around and there were a few steps of canter here and there when he was “inspired” by the other horse who joined us in the indoor, but nothing exciting. In the end? We even canter each way. It was an easy, unexciting, and overall boring ride. I could have done all of this outside of a lesson, but I need to make sure I didn’t die! I needed that ground person!

Because Saturday went so well and all dinner and breakfast were consumed Saturday night and Sunday morning, I decided to ride Sunday as well. We went out Sunday morning to an EMPTY BARN! My favorite! I again tacked in the parking lot (Nay was a little looky so we grazed first), then lunged again (this time I asked for more: walk, trot — large and small circles — and canter), before hopping on. I also set up some poles.

I had a quiet and distracted horse under me. There was a pony outside who Nay was a bit… obsessed with. So, it took a bit of work, but we got through it and by the time we were joined in the ring, were walking with our head low to the ground. On Sunday, his trot was nice and relaxed, but, I found that I need those spurs back because no amount of inside leg was helping me push him out going right! Still, Nay happily trotted over his poles and definitely enjoyed them (though I completely forgot to put my dismantled jump back together… oops).

And then we cantered. He’s weak and the right lead is bad (picking up the lead is definitely not there), but for 10 weeks off? It didn’t look ANYWHERE as bad as I anticipated.  I even have video.

We’ll try and ride sometime this week and take another lesson this weekend. The outdoor is supposedly getting expanded so it’s out of commission (I had originally planned to use it Sunday and found all jumps removed and no gate or mounting block so…  But a new larger outdoor is exciting!

They’ve lost their minds.

We’ve had some cool mornings. Cool mornings combined with possibly too much alfalfa and I’ve had some crazy horses on hand…

Tuesday the vet came out for spring vaccines and I decided to keep everyone in as it was an early appointment. And then the vet was late. 9:30 turned into 10:30. I turned the boys out in the round pen. Boy was that a mistake.

I was planning to blame Nay, but now that I think about it, Subi did the SAME THING back when I turned him out in the round pen with Batty while waiting for the vet. It’s all on Subi…

So back in their stalls they went. It’s not that I cared that they were acting like fools, but they weren’t exactly eating like I planned or overly happy. So inside they went and munched on some hay…  Until Nay got annoyed and stressed so out he came to graze.

Which angered Jiminy.


I’m running a 3 ring circus folks!

The vet finally came, everyone got shots and turned out.

And ran around like fools.

Nay was also cleared to start back in light work. We have a lesson on Saturday because there is NO WAY IN HELL that my first ride back will be solo. But it was nice knowing you all…

This post was powered by alfalfa.

Scoping update and vitamin/mineral supplement recommendation?


Someone now has a corner feeder because he liked to dump his food on the ground… 

Nay Nay was scoped this morning.

The good news? We both lived to tell the tale.

The bad news? He was a complete turd requiring 2 tranquilizers, 1 twitch, 3 of us to hold him, and 2 to navigate the scope (4 people in total as 1 tech was holding and guiding the scope).

The very good news? His ulcers have healed. There was redness where they were (so evidence that he has had ulcers), but no actual ulcers. His gut looks good. We’re going to start tapering down the ulcergard… After 2 full months, I’m not upset about this.


Ornamental grass tastes really good… 

But, he is looking at a life without grain.

But, a life without grain is better than a life where I dumped him on the side of the road. And that almost happened on the way to the clinic. That is how bad he was from the time I turned Subi and Jiminy out to the time I got to the clinic. So, between 9:50 and 10:20. It was a 15 minute drive. I wanted to murder him. My trailer has never rocked that hard. He screamed so loudly that other cars were likely trying to let me know my horse was…distressed? I ignored them. I got to the clinic and told them he might be injured and that was his fault. I never got his boots on because he was acting so out of control and I valued my life. Basically, he decided his life was over when Subi left. If I had walked him down to the field with Subi? All would have been fine. But, I was trying to avoid any chance that he’d get anything to eat and… All hell broke loose.



But, we both survived. Somehow.

So there we go. Current plan is to add in a vitamin/mineral supplement. I can up his rice bran too know that I know it’s approved and keep him on all the alfalfa pellets he can eat.

Vet suggested Platinum Performance as her preference. She’s open to a ration balancer, but would rather I not go that route as we’re not exactly sure what he’s reacting to in the grain so if we go that route, we’re limited in lbs/day. Plus with his alfalfa, he doesn’t exactly need the protein. Any product suggestions?

All suggestions are welcome. At this point, Nay Nay is pretty open to food. Upon returning home, he even ate the crappy hay vs his preferred hay. So…

Angry Horse.


Watch out buddy, your life is changing!

In a brief update on yesterday’s post, I just wanted to let you all know, Nay Nay is tentatively scheduled for at gastroscopy on Thursday morning. However, if someone cancels prior to Wednesday at 5pm for next Tuesday’s Gastroscopy Clinic at my vet office, we will take their spot and go on Tuesday instead. Basically, the 2 appointments are close enough that I’m OK holding out until Tuesday, but no longer. The price next Tuesday is $240 vs the $385 I’ll pay on Thursday so… But, he needs to be scoped ASAP so… We’re basically waiting on one client who may no longer need the scope hence the potential for Tuesday, but…

That said, Nay Nay’s life is changing and he is NOT happy about it.

We have pulled all grain from his diet (he does get a handful with his sucralfate 2x/day because he’ll eat it that way) effective immediately. He was NOT happy when he walked into his stall last night to discover he was on a forage only diet. His grain meals have been replaced with alfalfa pellets (he’s not crazy about them, but alfalfa = good so the vet advised me to offer them anyway), Purina Outlast (I can’t remember if I was to keep him on it or not so he’s on it until the scoping), and chopped hay.  At Michele’s suggestion, I bought Triple Crown Safe Starch Forage and dumped a bucket of that in his feed bin. It’s fortified and grain free and he could live on that if needed (but $$$$). He was angry last night, but his feed bin was empty (he was gifted a corner feed tub last week because he liked to dump his bucket on the ground with his head… he was super pissed that he couldn’t do that with this).


Grazing, the BEST part of the day

As angry as he was, the bin was empty this morning of all forage and powders. He didn’t eat as much hay as I’d like, but… He’s been pigging out on grass for 6+hours/day so… My vet feels right now any weight loss associated with cutting grain would be made up but possibly eliminating his daily colics. So, we’ll see. Still, he is ANGRY.


Former home of our culvert if you remember that saga… Very green this spring. Still haven’t heard from TPTB…

This morning, he was less than impressed that his bucket contained the same crap as yesterday night. I’m sure he won’t eat much (and I left his stall door open so instead of eating, he’s looking outside). But, he was hunting for carrot pieces so maybe he’ll eat the some.

But, Nay Nay should enjoy life because Wednesday into Thursday is going to suck. He must be off of all food/meds 12 hours prior to the scope. So, I’ll bring them in for dinner at about 8 to give him 2 hours to eat and then pull everything from his stall but water. He can drink water until 6 am and then nothing. I need to figure out turnout but I’ll either keep them all in until I’m ready to take Nay Nay to the clinic or we’ll turn him out with a muzzle taped closed. This is going to suck and there is a chance I might die. LOL.


A little bit of an update

There is and there’s not a lot to report from my side of Pennsyltucky. Well, a lot to report, but nothing is good.


Bug Man 2.0 reporting for duty

I’ll start by saying, Nay Nay isn’t doing well. I’m waiting for the vet to open so I can put a call into my vet and hopefully, she’ll call me back anytime BUT 2-3 when I’m meeting with my boss. Chances are it’ll be sometime after 5. It’s not an emergency, but he’s just not doing well.

A few posts ago, I mentioned that we were still struggling with ulcers. We’ve been fighting with ulcergard/omeprazole/some combinations of brand name/compounded since March 12. He’s still not himself. Now, I know this can take months, but his symptoms are worrying to me. I think we’ve done well to treat his gastric ulcers (honestly with the thousand-plus I’ve spent, hopefully, we’ve made a dent?), but Nay Nay still is off his feed/hay. He’ll eat up over night in terms of grain (and puts a good dent in his hay at night since we got him his new hay feeder), but barely touches his hay outside and breakfast is tough.


New hay feeder is a hit!

He’s also started with mini colic-like episodes after each meal. They’re not full gas colics, but he’s uncomfortable (paws like CRAZY), paces, is super sensitive at flank, and then once he has a bit of diarrhea/supper mushy poop, he instantly feels better. My vet has been hesitant to diagnosis him with hindgut ulcers because he isn’t colicking constantly/more seriously and doesn’t have constant diarrhea, but…




Hindgut ulcers tend to have more profound clinical signs than gastric ulcers, according to Andrews. Signs include a recurring lack of appetite, lethargy, intermittent fever, colic bouts, occasional edema on the belly from a loss of protein in the blood, weight loss and thin body condition. According to Russillo, typical signs include a combination of loose manure and large fecal balls or, in some cases, complete diarrhea. Liquid manure down the horse’s inner thighs and legs also serves as an indication. —Problems in the Equine Hindgut

The last 2 mornings he’s had some dried sweat as well…


First grass of the season

So, that’s where we’re at. He’s also broken my fence because he’s not smart enough to find the open gate, but that’s a different story that I don’t think has anything to do with ulcers. As of the time of this post, we’re scheduled for a vet visit on Thursday, 5/14 and a gastroscopy June 15. I’m not sure if we can start with bloodwork or if we need to go right to ultrasound:

A presumptive diagnosis of RDC can be made on history (recurrent colic episodes, intermittent diarrhea, loss of performance, weight loss), clinical signs as mentioned above, changes in blood work (mild anemia, toxic changes in white blood cells, and a high number of white blood cells, low blood proteins and high inflammatory proteins, and low calcium). — LSU Colonic Ulcers

In terms of diet, I’ve heard everything from no feed and all hay to no long stem hay to all alfalfa to complete feed only (ie: Purina Equine Senior) to low sugar/starch which would eliminate the Equine Senior recommendation. So, who the heck knows. It may also be getting in the right meds. I just want to get him feeling better. At this point, our current path is NOT working.


Calm evening