Thursday, February 14, 2013

A New Plan for Pia

Last week I brought up the ongoing struggle to keep Pia happy, and I've been working hard with my support systems (this includes Supermom, friends, wine, vets and whiskey) for inspiration with regard of what to try next.

No one would claim that the move back to a traditional barn has been good for Pia.  She has some positive moments and seems to want to be a good girl, but her anxiety and stress just get the best of her (almost all of the time).

I pulled the trigger on the GastroGard and ordered a 28 day pack.  That was one of those moments where in my head I thought, "$30 isn't horrid.  That's not very expensive."  Then I did the math and thought that $1,000/month sounded a lot more horrid adn quite a bit more expensive. 

Just one more way my brain tricks me into spending money. $30 a day? how about $1.25 an hour? Now that's downright affordable...


The GastroGard is en route.  It should be here today, but it might still be buried in a snowdrift somewhere.

The other aspect of the plan - which was a much more difficult decision to make - is to move Pia away from my current barn.  The primary consideration is obviously her happiness/mental health, but a secondary consideration is that her bills are just way too high for a situation that doesn't work for her or me.

Turns out we have a fabulous option in a good long time friend - the very same who cared for and loved on Star at her facility for the last sixteen years.  I trust her knowledge and capabilities (obviously) and she even has a cute little mini-herdlette that Pia can run around with.

P did seem much happier out at Summer Camp - and I think a lot of that had to do with her socialization as well as the larger space to roam.  Hopefully this move with get her halfway back to that scenario at a fraction of the cost...

Anyway, I gave my 30 day notice for Pia over the weekend so there's no rush in moving her for a few weeks.  I also want to see firsthand what (if any) impact the GastroGard has on her so she won't be going anywhere until I can observe at least half of her dosing regiment.

I don't think I can permanently foist the mare on my friend, but it will be a good test scenario to see if a drastic change in environment is enough to alter her happy factor.  I'm excited to have a plan. And I'm also excited to relinquish some of the guilt in not being able to make it work where we are.  

Fingers Crossed.  
A seemingly much happier P-ster back at summer camp.


  1. That sounds like a good plan for the original P - hope the ulcer meds work (or maybe I don't ;D) That stuff is pricey. ♡♡♡s to you and your girls.

  2. It is so obvious that you love both P's and want the very best for them!

  3. I love having a plan! I'm glad you figured something out for her and hopefully it will really work.

  4. I'm soooo happy you have a place she can go if the ulcer meds don't work. What a relief! I really do hope they work though. :D

  5. My husband works for the company that produces Gastroguard, if you have any questions about it or ulcers that you want me to bounce off of him, let me know. He just got back from training and learned all about the stuff. He now realizes that all my crazy lady talk about "I think my horse is unhappy because he has ulcers" wasn't so crazy after all.
    Also I have found that 24/7 turn out really does a lot of good for a horse. My husband's horse has never been in a stall nor has he had anyone really fuss or baby him. I've never seen a healthier happier horse. The vets all complement him on how great he looks, and the farrier only needs to trim him about once a year if you can beleive that... The horse stands outside durring our North Dakota blizzards, -50 with the windchill, 45mph winds and just stares at me as he munches on the round bale. He is a horse and he is designed to handle all types of weather. Less is more with him.

    1. OOOOHHH So you're the expert. Yes. I will be hitting you up for some clarifying questions once the mare starts her dosing.

      I couldn't agree more with how healthy it is for (most) horses to be out 24/7 and living as close to natural life as possible. I think we have bred some hot-house-flowers that wouldn't handle it so well, but in general i think it's the best thing for their brains and bodies.

      Once a year is an admirable trimming schedule! dang

    2. Seriously that horse of his makes me sick. He's fat year round, his feet are outstanding, he won't let me put a blanket on him if his life depended on it, and he hardly ever needs to be groomed because he's always clean as a whistle and has a nice slick coat that people ask what suplements I have him on. Not fair.

      But yes ask away if you need to! I was reading his training manuals last week, and kept saying "SEE! I TOLD you it was real!!" He wants our new horse scoped for ulcers, when he brought it up I asked who he was and what he'd done with my husband :-)
      (Oh and you can always email me

  6. Fingers crossed that the Ulcerguard makes her feel better, but I'm guessing that your plan for 24/7 turnout is really what will make her 100%. I've seen many cranky, unhappy horses make a complete turnaround on full turnout. And it's just wonderful that your friend who took care of Star for all those years can take on Pia!

  7. It's so refreshing and admirable to see you so dedicated to doing what is best for Pia, regardless of whatever job you bought her to do. I wish there were more horse owners like you!

  8. Hope the meds help P1 and that she's happier in the next few weeks. I commend you for thinking of her first! I'm
    Sure it's tough but I admire how devoted you are to both mares.


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