What’s in your feed bucket?

All feed buckets
Feed buckets ready and waiting

Moonlit Pastures asked what’s in your feed bucket? Since my feed, er, program is more complicated than it should be, I figured I’d devote an entire post to it. After all, no one eats the same thing. Because, that would be EASY. I don’t do easy. Nor do my picky horses…

Nay Nay:

Nay Nay probably has the most complicated feed routine. He’s picky AND soy intolerant. Granted, his pickiness likely comes from the soy intolerance. Add in chronic hindgut issues (hind gut ulcers/colitis) and you’ve got a problem child. He came to the right place… I put up with a lot.

Wholesome Blends Senior
Wholesome Blends Senior

In terms of hard feed, he gets Tribute Wholesome Blends Senior. He gets 5.5 quarts (I cannot remember what this weights) at night split between his mash and his feeder. He’s had the performance but the senior has less sugar and seems to work better for his hind gut. At night, he gets smartgut ultra and smartvite as well. Plus Simplyfly. Morning he just gets just under 3 quarts. And carrots and peppermints mixed in both meals. Because.

dry fibre beet
Dry fibre beet nuggets

His mash base is Fibre Beet. I cannot say ENOUGH GOOD THINGS ABOUT THIS STUFF. It saved him when is gut was in crisis. It is low starch/sugar and is the only soaked feed Nay will touch. Now that it is summer, he’s getting about half what he got in the winter, but he still gets it. It is $$$$ but worth it. Good for ulcerprone horses and laminitic horses. He likes grain mixed with it. Plus carrots/peppermints.

Chopped hay
Nay Nay’s chopped hay

He gets free choice orchard grass mix outside and has a net in his stall (not a small hole inside). Plus a bag of western alfalfa inside. But, when is gut was bad, we discovered chopped hay. He likes Triple Crown Alfalfa Forage Blend. That stuff is gold. When times were bad, he was eating 15lbs/night. Now he’s down to 5-8lbs/night. I’m budgeting his chopped, but still giving it to him as he doesn’t eat much hay inside. I bought a leaf mulcher and chopped his alfalfa and some orchard and he ate almost 15lbs of that mixed with his TC last night so I think we can make a bag of the TC last a week now. I don’t mind buying it (I refuse to stop with the chopped since it is key in keeping his gut healthy and happy), but 1 bag/week please!

Plus 1 tube of succeed each morning. The final piece of Healthy Nay Gut.

Final bucket of chopped hay
Final bucket of chopped hay


Subi used to be my tricky horse. Now he’s easy next to Nay.

At night he gets one bucket of Alfalfa Cubes.

Subi's mix of feeds
Subi’s grain mix

A mix of Omolene 200 (performance not RT, he doesn’t like the RT as it sticks to some of his teeth) and Equine Senior mixed with carrots and peppermints. 3 quarts of each at night, 1.5 of each in the morning (no one finish feed in the morning if they get as much). And simplyfly.

A feeder filled with orchard grass mix. A hay net of western alfalfa. For a while he stopped eating the alfalfa. A year? 2? Then I started feeding him when I got this batch. He’s been inhaling it. And put on so much weight my farrier was shocked. So yeah. Alfalfa is here to stay for as long as he’ll eat it. Once he can’t eat long stem hay, I can start chopping it, but he’s doing OK for now. He sees the dentist next month and we’ll see how his loose tooth (teeth?) are doing.


Jiminy's dinner mix of fibre beet and TC balancer
Jiminy’s feed mix

Oh Jiminy. He’s still growing out his feet from his founder episodes. They’re starting to look like feet again. His weight remains perfect so there’s not that much I can do. He gets orchard grass mix which is the same hay he’s been on for years. He foundered last August so it could have been a weed. And again in the freaking winter so who the heck knows. He’s at the age where they’re most susceptible to metabolic issues. He wears his muzzle any time he’s turned out even if he’s just eating hay.

At night he gets a large handful or 2 of Fibre Beet, soaked. I mix in a cup of Triple Crown Balancer which is one of the lowest NSC balancers out there and remission and simplyfly. The Fibre Beet has a strong flavor so he doesn’t mind the remission. Mornings he just gets the balancer. This seems to be working well compared to either alfalfa pellets, timothy pellets, or plain beet pulp.

Nay Nay Happenings

I’ve really struggled to blog lately. Honestly? I’m not sure why. I’m just struggling with life right now. Nothing bad, just not feeling it. Major work burnout.

I may be burned out, but Nay Nay is looking pretty good right now…

Anyway, following a nice lesson a few weeks ago, Nay had a couple of nice rides and then a 2-week vacation due to some pretty gross weekend weather and a minor injury. 2 weekends in a row where we had cold, heavy rain. It just wasn’t worth it to try and ride. So I stayed home and watched old seasons of Grey’s Anatomy all weekend because why not? Honestly? That’s about all I could do.

Then on Friday, 5/13 I managed to get kicked/stepped on while trying to feed Nay breakfast? He spooked at something? Nay is a lot of things, but spooky isn’t really one of them. I ended up with a nasty bruise/cut on my calf and some nice swelling. Between the cut and weather, Nay got the weekend off and finally, on Tuesday, I ended up riding. I took last week off work to finally get a break. And the break was nice. Our first ride of the week was nice. Nay was good, the weather was good. And everything was good.

My trainer had been working on my position. I’m FINALLY in the habit of riding without my heels down. Which probably just means I’m not jamming my heels down and riding defensively. I’m also effectively using my hands and pulling properly to steer. You know, basic things I should have been doing for years but wasn’t? But Nay has been responding SO WELL. Our right lead is lovely. And our left was going well and then we lost it at the end of the ride (we were cantering a circle over a cross rail and then the very last time lost the lead and that was that…)

I ended up taking a lesson on Thursday. It was LOVELY. First. it poured all night Wednesday so the ring was puddle-y and gross so I had to kick Nay like was a big oversized pony, but he now trots and canters through puddles. Then we worked on the canter. My trainer has determined that he didn’t lose the lead, but is just confused now that I’m properly using my hands… We did pick it up properly the first 2x I asked even when he almost didn’t once (I had to kick into it). So, we figured out when he’s tired, the lead is harder. Aids are more important as is leg. Right lead is just there. This ALWAYS happens when I struggle with the left.

If you look closely, you can see his muddy stomach and legs

We warmed up jumping cantering the out of our outside line, right lead. Super easy. Mostly just making sure I had a straight approach after I turned. And that I leaned out into my corner to balance (I had to go between jumps to take the approach my trainer wanted so leaning out was ultra important). Then we did the same the other way, this time with a single on the diagonal on the left lead. Much harder as I had to go as close as possible to the in of the outside line, use 2 hands to turn, use 2 hands to get straight, etc. We did that too. Last time we got discombobulated, but we still got the jump without issues.

We ended with a mini course. Another inside single (brick) around to the outside line. All on the left lead. Nay was fantastic. Not only did we pick up our left lead (!) but he landed the lead and held if for his line. Considering we’ve done a jump here and there, this was the most jumping we’ve done since December? He was fantastic.

Closest green jump (out of line), Blue/white single on diagonal (other single fence), Brick with red gate and purple flowers (approach between blue sea horses and stone wall)

We headed out again on Friday to practice and basically just repeated Thursday’s lesson. Same trot work, same canter work. Same jumps. The leads felt a little better, but the left obviously needs practice (confusion and being tired is definitely a possibility). And over fences? Pretty good. We didn’t do too many reps over the singles (we did each 1 or 2 times), and the course we did once and then I screwed up the outside line (I added hand when it wasn’t necessary), but to my credit, I actually corrected the lead and cantered back around and did it again without interfering…

It was in the 90s this weekend so we took time off and who knows if I’ll manage a ride this week (work), but I’m trying and my horse is lovely. It’s something, right?

Nay also learned to tie to the trailer this week. It gets crowded in the barn in the summer and I wanted an alternative to tack up/groom in case there are no crossties available. So I tried this. Turns out he doesn’t care. At all. Straight tying is easy. Bonus? I don’t have to carry my saddle into the barn

catch up with nay nay

Goofiest boy

I’m really behind on blogging. I’ve just been… I don’t know. Low on time? Low on energy? Low on motivation? Either way, the blog has been pushed to the side. Not that much has happened.

A couple of weeks ago, Nay and I had our first lesson back. It was fine. Nay was an angel. He was good. Really good. The lesson itself wasn’t all that exciting. We’re taking it slow. But, we spent a lot of time working on me and let’s be honest, that part isn’t fun.

You see, I have bad habits. Lots of them. But one of my worst ones is my heels. For most people, their issue relating to heels is that they don’t put their heels down. My issue? I jam my heels down. So, we’re working on NOT putting my heels down and relaxing my heels and bringing flexibility to my heels. All those years of trainers telling me to PUT MY HEELS DOWN has backfired. My default position is to lock my heels down. This is bad. It gives me security that I crave, but certain horses hate it. Nay does a good job of ignoring it, but he’s 100% quieter when I relax my heel… Oy. So heels up folks. Which ideally gets my heel relaxed vs jammed down?

Green nose!

My other issue? My hands. I often ride with equitation hands. If I was riding in an eq class, my hands would be fine. Actually perfect. But, I’m not. I need to lower my hands and focus on almost pressing them against Nay’s neck to get used to keeping them LOW. These things are hard! I also have short arms which make things harder. I may need to adjust Nay’s pad to help, but I’m not there yet.

Final issue? I sit off to one side. To the left. I have issues leaning left. My left leg cramps up and I twist my left calf. I adjusted the shimming of Nay’s pad since he’s way more even now and I HOPE that helps me sit more even, but more on this…

After our lesson, we rode a couple of time and then took some time off. I just wasn’t feeling it and Nay had a loose shoe. Farrier came out Saturday and Nay had his best shoeing yet (he’s been a little…poorly behaving for the farrier in the past but has been much better to angel like the last 2 times). All of this brings us to Sunday’s ride.

He’s looking SO GOOD right now.
Love him so much

It was warm and lovely. I start with a nice 10-15 minute walk without stirrups but once I pick up the stirrups, I feel tight. So, I ended up lengthening a hole. They still feel short, but this felt better. I might go down another half hole, but for now, the longer length definitely helped me not jam my heels down. We had a lovely time trotting on a long rein (we just did figure 8s). And then the canter? I’ve had this issue where the left leg really causes issues. I either jam my heel/leg or I push/pump to keep the canter. So I ended up picking up a crop to help keep the canter. Honestly? Nay is SO RELAXED right now that I don’t want to start kicking and the crop definitely seemed to help me keep the canter (I had to tap…) without stressing him out. We were able to canter longer without losing the relaxed feel or lengthening his stride.

We ended with a couple of jumps. The first fence he really wanted to canter. The second time he barely held a trot. The third time (we attempted a line), we trotted both and called it a day. He was tired but thrilled to jump. It didn’t have to be perfect, but we did some stuff.

At the end of the day, we had fun and stayed relaxed.

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.

What’s going on with Nay Nay?

Ah the post I didn’t really want to write and the post that is…lacking information?

The short story is Nay Nay just isn’t… quite right. Something is off and I just can’t quite pinpoint what’s going on.

I woke him up from his nap the other day…

A few weeks ago, he started leaving behind his grain…sometimes. This isn’t exactly weird. He’s not the best eater and hasn’t ever been, but it’s something I keep an eye on. Typically he eats some breakfast and then finishes his breakfast at dinner. But some mornings he just eats his treats and doesn’t even touch anything else. Most of the time he eats everything overnight, but once every 5/6 days, he doesn’t clean everything up.

Then he started leaving behind his alfalfa. Like not even touching his hay bag of alfalfa. Before this he’d always eat his prized alfalfa. He has a feeder that I ended up taking the lid off of because his hay eating habits were…bad. But then they got worse. So we switched from one bag (standard slow feed bag to a general bag with a huge opening) to another and he ate alfalfa again. Part of me wrote this off as it coincided with a new bale, but then again, nothing is that simple. Then last week, he stopped his alfalfa again. I started tossing it on the rest of his hay. Some days he’d eat it, sometime not.

“Mom! I’m sleeping!”

Outside he just appears… off. He’s been spooking and not himself. Keep in mind, throughout all of this, I’ve also been trying to get healthy again as I was really, really sick. So, diagnostics have been delayed. I plan to get blood pulled soon just to see. But he’s also the same sweet horse?

I’ve added lunch any day I’m home. Lunch is a fibre beet mash with treats (yes, we just add carrots, cookies, and candy to everything) and grain. I thought I’d see if he’d eat it even though fibre beet is $$$$$$. Nay HATES soaked feed. Interestingly enough, he LOVES this stuff. I don’t want to add it to his breakfast/dinner as I’m pretty sure he’ll refuse to eat it in his feed bucket because my luck, but as a supplement, it’s been great. He definitely marches to fence when he sees me walk outside during the day looking for his mash. So, that’s one positive.

Still the sweetest face

That also made me wonder if he had a tooth bothering him. So I scheduled the dentist as Subi was due anyway and she came out yesterday. She did a quick check of Jiminy (he’s good) and a thorough exam for Nay (so thankful for an awesome dentist who will check my horses! And did a super thorough exam when she heard my concerns). That said, she said his teeth were fine AND no evidence of foxtail either (so I have nice hay) so his issues aren’t teeth related. But, while we were waiting for Subi to get sleepy (his dorm gel was taking a touch longer than I thought), we all observed him.

He spent a lot of time snacking on his chopped TC baled alfalfa and definitely preferred that over anything else (he’s also been picking at ultra pricey timothy). Anyway, everyone agreed it’s likely gut related. I ordered him 40 days of omeprazole/ulcergard, but I’m waiting for it to come in since online pricing was cheaper than local, but I need to wait. I could scope, but he gets so stressed with the scoping/food pulling that I’d rather wait if I can…

If I treat plus pull blood, maybe I’ll have a better idea what’s going on? I’m not sure what brought all of this on either. Nay hates winter and he’s been out of work… Stressing plus change of routine? I have no idea.

The one with the steroids…

I’m completely without horse content right now so instead the medical chronicles of… me continue.

But at least Nay Nay is cute?

This is the story of my unintentional steroid withdrawal.

Where we last left off I was in the midst of a major asthma flare and awaiting a consult with a pulmonologist. I’m still waiting. I go later this month. But, I saw my PCP and got some new medication and more dexamethasone and started to breathe again. The dexamethasone has some crazy taper (because as most of you know you can’t just stop steroids) and I wrote it out of my refrigerator and checked it off every day after I took my morning and evening dose.

All was well.

Until it wasn’t.

You see, the steroid taper took in account that I was on steroids for 14 days. This was a high dose and tapered me down to what was acceptable to cut off cold turkey after 14 days. It did NOT account for the fact that I had already been on steroids for 14 days prior… Yeah.

Subi had to get his neck cover customized because Nay Nay likes to undo velcro…

So, when I took my last dose (I was so freaking excited because I can only take steroids for so long before my body has enough), I started to feel really, really, really off. In fact, it was really, really bad.

I initially blamed the brain fog on the fact that I hadn’t been sleeping. I mean, brain fog comes with lack of sleep, right? But, then it got worse.

On Tuesday, I tried to write an email and my first attempt was… not necessarily in English. I mean they were words, but they meant nothing. I took me over an hour to resort them until I could create a paragraph that I could actually send to colleagues. And things went downhill from there. I sat at my desk crying while I tried to work and accomplished very little. It was just… hard.

Then I woke up with the most horrific body aches I have ever experienced. Ibuprofen didn’t touch them. My skin hurt. My hands hurt. Walking hurt. Moving hurt. Thinking hurt. My clothing hurt. Everything hurt. I ended up telling my boss I needed the rest of the week off. I covered my chat shift until 10am and then logged off for the week which was the best thing I could have done for myself.

During those 2 hours I worked, I basically consulted Dr. Google (yes, I know) and some of my actual medical resources and realized I was going through steroid withdrawal. While I suspected it the day before, the body aches confirmed it. I spent all of Wednesday trying to push through it cold turkey. And then I nearly passed out. Yeah. Withdrawal is scary as all hell.

Come Thursday a decision was made to reintroduce steroids at a very low dose.

Some days the boys meet me at the gate. Other days they make me walk to the shed and retrieve them… Yesterday? I had to walk to them.

So, yeah. I actually wrote most of this Friday (?) night? And then started to feel terrible again and put down my computer until today, Monday. I’m actually doing pretty well now, but brain fog is still a thing. I am working again, but stuff takes a lot longer than it should!

Anyway, all I can say is maybe one winter I’ll post actual horse content vs my struggling with illness! And just think, what interesting side effects do animals have after being on medication? If only they could talk…

Struggle bus.

Always happy to hang out and enjoy life

Interestingly, this post is NOT about Nay Nay (or Subi or Jiminy). The boys are fine. This post is about me.

It’s January. And for the 3rd year in a row, I’m struggling.

Being asthmatic sucks. Seriously.

It appears I can’t survive January. This month just doesn’t agree with me (yes, there have been other months that I’ve had similar issues, but January has been by far the worst).

At the end of December, I started to struggle to breathe again. The temperatures finally started to drop and my body said nope. I took it easy because it was cold. I was giving Nay some time off after his weird bought of ouchiness. And honestly? Some days were too cold to do anything anyway. Yet despite taking it easy, stuff got worse.

Always holding down the couch with me

I hit the medical professionals for the first time on January 10th. My PCP couldn’t see me so I tried Urgent Care at their advice. I wasn’t bad, but my numbers were dropping. And I thought maybe if someone took me seriously, I could get ahead of it.

Bad selfies but that’s what we’ve got around here

It turns out when you tell urgent care you can’t really breathe, they push you to the front of the line. And it was good. While the doctor wasn’t helpful, she gave me an RX for steroids (I’m extra complicated as I’m allergic to prednisone) and a combo-nebulizer medication that typically helps when I enter a flare-up. I figured good, I’ll get ahead of this.

Nope. The dose of dexamethasone was pretty low and just sort of kept my levels from falling further while I relied more and more on the nebulizer.

Thursday of the same week, I found myself at my PCP as I started to feel more crappy and my steroids were running out. I didn’t see the asthma specialist (she’s not a specialist, but she’s done a decent job helping me in the past), but rather someone else who…was less skilled with asthma. More steroids but it took a while to get her to keep me on dex vs introducing another steroid. Allergies. Know your allergies folks.

Except, she ordered a taper pak vs a straight number of pills (create your own pack if you will) and the pharmacy was out of stock. Another PCP provider at the office called in a new script (almost called in PREDNISONE OMG until my allergy came up) and gave me the lowest freaking dose possible. Over the weekend, my numbers dropped dramatically and I debated each day a trip to the hospital. But with covid and lung issues, that didn’t seem ideal.

And then my heart rate became semi-crazy. See, steroids plus insane use of nebulizer meds… Yeah. My resting heart rate was at times 120bpm…

Cats are also useless

Finally, on Thursday my numbers tanked. I still had decent oxygen saturation which is the only reason I never hit the ER. I managed to get in with PCP again AND was able to see the PCP who has treated my asthma. She took one look at me and said we needed to overhaul my entire regiment. It’s amazing how you can be in such a bad state and have someone say a couple words and feel instantly like things will be OK?

It’s Sunday now and I’m on 13 days of high dose dexamethasone (the taper for this requires some a page of instructions) which isn’t ideal or safe to be doing even yearly, but I’m slowly improving. I’m trying to cut the nebulizer out some and my heart rate is stabilizing. I have a new inhaled corticosteroids which also seems to be helping as well (old one was useless). So yeah. Progress is being made. My body feels like it’s been through war though.

My husband has been doing most of the horse chores and I’ve been jumping in when I can. I miss hanging out with my boys, but the cold air just hurts, even masked. Winter is hard.

I do see a pulmonologist (finally) next month so hopefully we can find some long term treatment plan that will keep me from this annual January slump.