Monday, August 2, 2010


Apparently P had a pretty good weekend.  The BO sent me regular updates while I was away, which put me somewhat at ease and continues to be just another wonderful aspect of our new barn.

P had one rough day under saddle, complete with similar anxiety/lack of focus, which resulted in a casual ride at a walk.  It sounded really similar to her hissy-fit day in terms of her mental state, but didn't result in as much bucking/jumping/general naughtiness.

The upshot is that it sounds like the last two days, P has been an angel.  A little bit of body work and stretching before working has helped her focus and chill out and let the BO up the work factor a little more.  It sounds like they even added some more significant leg yields and bending work in yesterday!  I'm anxious to get back out there and see for myself, but I also don't want to jinx the progress...

In other news, I've decided to treat P for an ulcer (or rather, ulcer like symptoms).  I haven't scoped her, and I'm not quite going the GastroGard route, but at the BO's suggestion, I'm going to try Soothing Pink.  I've heard of it before, and know a few people who have had good experiences, so why not. 
The more I think about it, the more opportunities it seems like P had to develop a ulcer.  I've had horses capable of burning a hole in their belly in a few days, so I know it doesn't take long to start the process.  Also, it was pretty obvious how uncomfortable P was getting at the old barn, which is a classic ulcer red flag.

Here are my warning signs:
  • Reduced turnout and ZERO grazing at old barn
  • Crappy/inconsistent feeding schedules for the last month at old barn
  • Multiple high stress vet visits (spanning 3-4 days.. enough to send the stress factor through the roof)
  • Periods of extreme sensitivity around her girth
  • General distraction/fussiness
  • Lack of Toy for last couple weeks at old barn
  • Barn Transition
  • Slight weight loss (the tape has her at 1149lbs)
  • Fussy/antsy in the crossties
BUT. there are a few other things that don't point to an ulcer:
  • P is on a low carb diet and doesn't get a ton of grain at this point
  • Her appetite is fine.  (hasn't been an issue ever... )
  • Her coat looks great
  • She has hay in front of her all day to keep her stomach from eating itself
Anyway, it's not that expensive of a supplement, so I kinda think that there's no harm/no foul.  MIght as well throw her on it and see if it helps her brain calm down at all.  I'm in the camp that thinks if a horse is acting out/being an idiot, there's usually discomfort somewhere.

It's possible she's just being a high strung, herd bought moron, but it's easy to get that way if something else is contributing to the anxiety... So, this is our first stop on the focus train.  Cross your fingers.

Also new in supplement land is a new Vitamin E that was recommended to us by the Neuro Vet at UC Davis.  It's a liquid, and apparently a little more bio-available. So more of the E actually gets into P's brain box. 

Apparently, Vitamin E is a tricky one for absorption, since it's fat soluble.  This means that somewhere a scientist needs to make it water soluble before our bodies (or P's body) can readily suck out the good antioxidant power in there.  The bad news is that most Vitamin E supplements out there don't bother restructuring the molecule for this and your horse only gets about 10% of whatever you are dosing.   Fortunately Kentucky Equine Research has a rad product that is now getting squirted all over Pia's breakfast.  It smells pretty good, so I'm hoping that P thinks it's sorta like icing...

Aside from helping restablish good nerve connections, the E is also supposed to be a big boost to her immune system and can help combat stress and ulcer situations.  My fingers are crossed that all this stuff works nicely and tastes delicious.  P has shown a recent dislike for all of her powders, so getting her Vit E to liquid and adding the Soothing Pink in pellets is a nice little bonus. 

Today I'm headed out to pat the beast on her nose and pay for her room/board/training/supplements/daily adoration.  My goal is to take a little more video later this week to share with everyone!

Happy Monday!


  1. Sounds like a plan - you can try these things and see how they work. Glad things seem to be going well for her.

  2. Denali sounds so much like Pia. Her appetite was fine, but I put her onto Tracguard and she instantly (well, not instantly, but within a few days) became a MUCH happier horse!! Mad me sad that I didn't do it sooner!


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