I’m really not complaining… most of the time, all 12 stay relatively healthy… with the exception of Mama Tess, who needs daily care. But, considering the number of horses here, the number of sicknesses and unfortunate events are low.
Oh sure, while rallying to get more treats or while jostling for hierarchy, they hurt themselves… but really, they are all very good and very healthy.
Except some times when they aren’t.
IT STARTED WITH THE GWEN.
I had noticed that Gwen (Tess’ first foal) was thin when the rest in her pasture mates were round. I know she isn’t wormy… she isn’t off her feed. She is alert and her usual self. Uh oh. i know what this is…
Finally, the Bully Mare is feeling her age. I think now that Gwen is 20, she doesn’t quite have the fire she had as a youngster. Gwen used to be the fattest and the meanest… now she was the most thin.
Time to move her.
So, I put her in with the ponies and Norma Jean the donkey (who are all 20+).
And, in just a few days of eating in peace (plus a few extra buckets of special food), she is already gaining.
So that was good…
But, the ponies weren’t happy with the new situation. Gwen may have lost her position in the other pasture, but she was still the Bully Mare with the ponies.
They didn’t like this arrangement.
Gwen kept pushing them off of their food and making them run to different piles.
The ponies had had enough!
This morning, I found them in the far pasture, hooves cemented to the ground. They were not willing to come into the larger pasture to eat with her.
Instead, they clearly insisted that I come to them, feed them in the smaller pasture and SHUT THE GATE between them and Gwen.
Which I did… and they were happy.
Norma Jean, however, decided to stay with Gwen.
I have no idea why.
I think she knows that Gwen gets more food than the ponies.
In a few days, Norma will miss her buddies and will stand by their mutual gate, braying. Of course, I will comply and let her rejoin her friends.
THEN FINN GOES OFF HIS FOOD
Yesterday when I fed, Finn hung out by the waterers and didn’t dive in.
This was not like him. Maybe something had fallen into his trough and he needed me to clean it… So, I went over and checked his water. It was fine. I changed it anyway.
About 10 minutes later, he was still not eating.
So, I brought him into the barn.
Did he catch something on our trail ride? Was there something on the berries?
Finn was happy to walk with me, he walked fine, he looked fine…
Once in the stall, I gave him a bucket of yummy beet pulp and Renew Gold. He ate it like a champ.
I left him in there to make sure he wasn’t about to colic.
After an hour, I checked again. There was a nice pile… so no colic. However, the pile was small so he must have eaten less yesterday, too.
I refilled his beet pulp and gave him more hay. He ate the good stuff and left the hay – still not normal for Finn who eats everything.
BODHI SMACKS HIS HEAD
So yesterday, as I was getting Finn settled in the barn, I heard a scuffle. BOOM! The whole barn shook.
I looked up and Bodhi was standing there, wobbly. I’m pretty sure that he and Rojo got into it and as Bodhi took off, he miscalculated the barn post. Wham! I think he smacked his head right into the beam that holds up the back awning.
His bell was rung pretty badly.
He tried to eat hay but it fell out of his mouth.
OY. I ran over there and looked inside of his mouth for a cut tongue, blood or missing teeth. All was OK but he didn’t want me touching his face.
I left him for a bit to see what developed.
A huge, swollen face, that is what developed… The entire right side of his face was blown out like a dolphin cheek. But, he was eating. His eye and hearing seemed fine.
This morning, the melon was much smaller, more like a lemon. And, Bodhi was back to his old self.
I’m still not thinking he is out of the woods, so I’m watching him like a hawk. I will probably have his head Xray’d next time the DR is out.
(Bodhi is a noodge with everyone. He just won’t stop being annoying. So, either he lives alone – which he doesn’t like – or he gets into scuffles every now and then. I hope he outgrows this annoying phase.)
MEANWHILE, MAMA TESS IS WALKING ALL OVER THE PLACE!
The good news in all of this is that the weather has suddenly cooled. This makes Mama Tess much more comfortable.
And, she has had maggots in her feet this week – they must be doing a great job because she feels good enough to travel the ranch.
Today, every time I looked out there, she was somewhere else.
So, that was good!
Tonight, Finn was eating whatever I gave him, except his hay. I’m thinking that he might be a little tummy sick and hay isn’t as worth it as a bucket of good stuff. So, I’m keeping him in for another night, just to make sure he doesn’t colic.
Mama Tess likes the company.
Finn likes to be close to the barn horses, although he is a little afraid of Rojo and Bodhi. This way, he can be right next to all of them, but have a barn wood separating them all. He’s safe to play bitey-face over the gate.
ALL IS AT PEACE…
So tonight, Finn is alert and savoring his special food, Bodhi is his old self (albeit with a lemon sized lump on his face), Gwen is gaining weight, Norma is happy to be eating with Gwen, the ponies ate in peace and Mama Tess had a great day.
Yay! Sometimes it is all OK.
I hear you Dawn.
It’s so amazing how good I feel when all are well, and how my entire energy changes when someone – or several – members of the animal family are not well.
Last night our goat Sammy was not well.
Pretty unresponsive, breathing more labored than usual. Bloat? But she looked actually skinnier, not bloated.
He said: “She is probably drunk. Do you have apple trees on the property? This time of year he sees a lot of drunk cow and goats, they eat apples off the ground, apples ferment in the rumen and get the animal drunk.”
That was a first for me.
This morning she is still a bit off, I am also keeping an eye on her like a hawk.
Sending healing energy your way!
Another way to stave off “collective colic” (usually when fronts come through), is to put some electrolytes on their water, right before the front arrives. Especially in Fall, when things cool off, they feel good and eat and eat, and forget to drink their water. Otherwise, the barometric pressure affects some of my babies, so I tend to do this year around. The electrolytes help them drink their water.
I have too many of them myself, so the best disasters are the ones we can avoid…