We can’t survive just on strawberry applesauce…

…but if you ask Nay Nay, he certainly would try.

DO YOU HAVE MY STRAWBERRY APPLESAUCE?!?!? I see a big syringe. It better not be succeed or ulcergard…

In today’s episode of As Nay Nay Turns, we’re going to start by recapping Nay’s current diet. Because what else would we do?

Nay Nay’s current obsessions include 4 things:

  • Chopped hay (Triple Crown’s Alfalfa Forage Blend because we certainly WON’T eat anything else)
  • Fibre Beet (Why would we want to eat a feed that’s NOT imported from the UK?)
  • Strawberry Applesauce (I mean, regular applesauce just is NOT acceptable for medication delivery)
  • Junk Food (By junk food, I mean almost ALL junk food including peppermints and human cookies)

Does he eat other things? Yes, but that list is his preferred diet. A mix of high end and imported goods combined with a special flavor profile (we prefer generic strawberry applesauce thank you very much) and junk. It’s all very… special.

Someone might have been tacked up this weekend…

I’m starting to cut back Nay’s chopped. We’re down from 15lbs/night to 10lbs. And Nay isn’t taking it well. He gets his chopped in a tub in his feeder. He eats in and drowns it in his water bucket (and wastes some because dunking hay is messy work). Now, in the morning, he has taking to pulling his tub out of the feeder and leaving it by the door in protest to it being empty. Oh Nay… To make up for the “less chopped hay goodness,” Nay has 4 hay nets in his stall (tonight I’m combining nets/bags so he’ll be down to 3) — 3 alfalfa nets and a orchard grass/timothy hay net. He is picking through them. But, filling up on chopped doesn’t leave THAT much room for hay. So, I’m cutting back on the goodness of his chopped hay and pushing him over to his excellence of “crap hay” as he puts it. Ideally, I’ll get to the point that a 40lbs bag will last me a week vs 4 days (I’m up from 3 days so…).

As for the fibre beet? He’s still obsessed. This he’ll get as long as he eats it. He’s getting less grain right now (I haven’t even weighed it lately) so I only know by volume but he gets half his ration in his feed bucket when I bring in at night and then the other half mixed with the fibre beet right before I go to bed. The last few days he’s finished both his fibre beet AND dinner. The night I gave him his fibre beet with his full ration at dinner? He didn’t finish it so I’m not entirely sure why. Splitting it up seems to work better.

And then the strawberry applesauce. This is his obsession. He goes into a state of bliss when you squirt it down his throat. It’s the carrier of his sucralfate and he’ll be finished this week. I’ll have a disappointed pony. So, I’m pretty sure he’ll be getting syringes of strawberry applesauce as treats on occasion. But, not daily. Or twice daily. I’ve gone through way too many syringes due to an overly enthusiastic horse…

We did this thing…
Missed these ears and missed riding!

In other news, we actually went for a ride on Saturday. I debated lunging or letting him gallop around, but in the end it was very warm and we just rode. After a long walk, we had an enthusiastic trot where someone was pulling down like a freight train until he got a touch tired. After that? He required a little too much leg. Turns out? 3 months off leaves you (well, both of us) with very little endurance). We stuck with half the outdoor and just working on a large circle, but he was very good and happy. He kept asking to canter and I ignored him until the very end when I gave in. It appears that 3 months off is the answer to perfect canter transitions in both directions. And a balanced canter. Who knew?! We barely could keep the canter for a full half circle each way, but Nay was thrilled to get to canter and then completely exhausted by his efforts.

I had planned to ride Sunday too, but after warm and sun on Saturday, it was cold and windy and I just didn’t want to. I’m pretty sure Nay spent the day sleeping from his “efforts” the day before.


On Tuesday Nay got a million vials of blood pulled. And luckily (sorta-kinda-definitely lucky) the bloodwork all came back normal. My vet was actually pretty worried about liver and kidney function. And the more I did research, I was was too. But, everything was more or less normal. A couple levels (don’t ask me what) were high, but they more or less indicated that he was dehydrated. Nay does drink decently, but…

So, based no the results, we’re treating every this as colitis/hind gut syndrome. With symptoms for both including: recurring lack of appetite, lethargy, colic, diarrhea, and weightless, the symptoms fit, even if he doesn’t have all the symptoms. He doesn’t have diarrhea, his manure is extra stinky and just… odd. So we’re treating it as such.

For the next several weeks, Nay is allowed to have all the chopped hay he wants (SOBS. Does anyone realize how expensive this stuff is?) and then a small amount of grain if he wants it, but not to press the issues. Beyond that? If he wants regular hay and alfalfa? It’s ok. If not, OK to. The goal is to let his stomach heal and then hopefully he’ll eat normally again. We’re also adding back Succeed (also cries over cost). It’s been ordered, but it’s not here yet. After the Succeed, I might add it another gut supplement (he’s on SmartDigest Ultra and GutX), but for now…

Anyway, that’s where we’re at. He’s eating about 12-14lbs of chopped hay a night. Only the Alfalfa Forage Blend. Only $25/bag. Only.

Still not quite right.

As much as I’d like to say Nay Nay (that was NOT planned) is back, he’s not. The ulcer treatment has not been some miracle cure. We’re at day 15 and somethings have improved, but overall? He’s still at the same place. I’m currently waiting to hear back from the vet to discuss next steps.


Hay remains the biggest issue. I mentioned in my last post that Nay just isn’t enthusiastic about hay, but to be honest, he barely eats hay. I mean, some days? He inhales in, especially outside. There have been days that he parks himself by the feeder and just eats. Others? Not so much. In his stall, he had been picking at it. But not touching much alfalfa.

I thought the alfalfa MIGHT be because it was stemmier than he’d prefer (they last round was VERY soft and flakey, this is more stemmy). It’s still really green and nice (and everyone else loves it), but it’s not fall apart flakey as the last batch). So less candy and more… oatmeal with brown sugar? Then I picked up a bale of compressed alfalfa to see if that would make a difference….he’s not even touching that. Yeah.

He does eat chopped hay. I don’t give him a lot (he dumps a bunch on the ground). But he eats a bucket. He likes it. Well he likes the Triple Crown alfalfa forage blend. The one that $25/bag… Not the $15/bag blends…


He doesn’t eat breakfast. He picks out carrots and ignores the rest. He eats his breakfast with his dinner overnight. He inhales his fibre beet mash mid-day. I’ve considered giving him some overnight but will fibre beet end up like everything else? Something that Nay LOVES until he doesn’t? Right now I feel like it’s something I feed 1x/day and he’s very enthusiastic about it.

The vet office suggested scoping and I suggested pulling blood. Scoping is so stressful so I hate doing it. I’m not against it if it would help, but the office also mentioned hind gut ulcers and I wasn’t aware that a gastroscopy could show hindgut ulcers? Correct me if I’m wrong… I’m not actually scheduling anything until I have a conversation with the vet. My issue with scoping is that I’m withholding food for a number of hours pre-scope. We scoped back in 2020 and Nay was a mess for it and I said I’d never scope again after the whole ordeal. The scope basically just revealed scarring. That said… So, I just want to know what they hope to find. Especially with regards to hind gut.

So that’s where we’re at. I’m worried about Nay.


Nay Nay has been on his omeprazole and sucralfate for 11 days now. He’s still not eating hay in his stall the way I’d like and I’m trying to figure that one out, but over all, he seems… calmer? When I’d turn him out in the morning pre-medication, he’d was stressed? And would rush out of his stall, occasionally bucking and acting otherwise miserable. He loves his stall so it wasn’t an “OMG I need out” but rather some sort of stress response. That is gone. I still ask him to woah before walking out, but he’s back to leaving calmly and quietly.

His face says it all

He IS eating hay outside. And he is very happy to eat his almost daily lunchtime/snack mash. He gets it as long as I’m home which is about 5x/week. Anyway, for a horse that REFUSES beet pulp or any other soaked feed, Nay LOVES British Horse Feed’s Fibre Beet. It’s ridiculously expensive, but worth it if he’ll eat it. I typically mix with carrots, peppermints, and some grain, but I actually wonder if he’ll eat it without grain… because it’s low starch/sugar it’s also safe for laminitis prone horses/ponies so I feel safe giving Jiminy a small pan while feeding Subi and Nay. The boys RUN to the fence for their mash and Nay makes a racket screaming with excitement. I should really video…

This past Sunday, I decided it was time to put Nay back into light work. No riding yet, but some time on the lunge line? Nice, easy work. Ha.

Jokes on me.

Nay was… feral. I ended up letting him run around the indoor before I could even consider lunging.

Then he became more feral.

Out of control really. I mean, he was crazy, but not unhandle-able if that makes sense? He was OK–ish until I decided there was more space on the far end of the arena. You see, towards the gate, the footing is super deep. Super deep footing means Nay decides to cross canter because he hates extra deep footing. Far end of the arena there is just extra space before jumps start and the footing is more even. So we headed down there and Nay’s time went off.


You see, I wasn’t asked for much. All Nay needed to do was move forward. He got to choose the gait so he could walk, trot, OR canter. What he couldn’t do was spin, kick out, stop, or try and run me down. What did he try to do? Spin, bolt, stop, kick at me (not actually kick me), and other scare tactics. See, Nay doesn’t try to be bad, but he wants to scare me enough to get out of work. So what did I do? Make him work harder. He fought harder, he worked harder. And started screaming. But eventually, we got somewhere. And every time I thought, good, we can end! He’d throw a tantrum and we’d start back up…

he’s very lucky he’s cute..

Eventually, I had an exhausted Nay trotting around (screaming) but trotting consistently enough that I was able to halt trot halt and end.

I felt bad as he had sweat dripping from his eyelids, but that was on him.

A trip in the barn and a quick visit with friends (ie: OMG there are HORSES HERE!) did a lot to improve his mood and we were able to return to the indoor to walk and cool out. Nay REALLY wanted to roll (he LOVES to roll) but I was able to redirect his attention by asking him to walk over all the jumps in the indoor. With his attention refocused he was MUCH happier and cooled out quickly.

In the end, despite being feral, he seemed to come out of it looking OK and not overly stressed by the situation. So I don’t feel overly bad by introducing work back into Nay’s life.