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lauren08

Need some help, I think something is wrong..

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Well, for a little backstory before I tell what is wrong with my horse..

In March we moved barns. The old one was too far away, too expensive, and the trainer was basically psychotic. The new one has a really nice trainer whose organized and knows her stuff, the barn is closer and a little cheaper, and just as nice as the old one. Anyway, at my old barn my horse got straight alfalfa. That was it. At the new one, the horses are fed 3 times a day instead of 2 times, they get their supplements or a little bit of hay for lunch. My horse gets timothy hay for breakfast and dinner, for lunch he gets some grain with Next Level and electrolytes [just for summer]. When we first moved to the new barn, he seemed OK. He was perfectly at home after a week and still rode and acted the same as he did at the old barn [hyper and spunky, lol].

Well, about a month or so ago... he turned into a plug. Just poking along really slowly, heavy on the forehand, ignoring my leg, etc. He will hardly even walk forward or really extend his trot any more. Just today my instructor told me she's noticed in the past few days, his flanks look really sunken in. She asked if he got electrolytes, which he does, then she said that he's missing SOMETHING but we dont know what. What do you think could be wrong with him?? Would it have anything to do with this recent laziness? I mean, he is soooo sloooow nowadays, and he used to be so happy and spunky. It might also be the heat, I live in Nevada and it is VERY hot out, but I'm starting to get worried about him.. [Frown]

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Well, for a little backstory before I tell what is wrong with my horse..

In March we moved barns. The old one was too far away, too expensive, and the trainer was basically psychotic. The new one has a really nice trainer whose organized and knows her stuff, the barn is closer and a little cheaper, and just as nice as the old one. Anyway, at my old barn my horse got straight alfalfa. That was it. At the new one, the horses are fed 3 times a day instead of 2 times, they get their supplements or a little bit of hay for lunch. My horse gets timothy hay for breakfast and dinner, for lunch he gets some grain with Next Level and electrolytes [just for summer]. When we first moved to the new barn, he seemed OK. He was perfectly at home after a week and still rode and acted the same as he did at the old barn [hyper and spunky, lol].

Well, about a month or so ago... he turned into a plug. Just poking along really slowly, heavy on the forehand, ignoring my leg, etc. He will hardly even walk forward or really extend his trot any more. Just today my instructor told me she's noticed in the past few days, his flanks look really sunken in. She asked if he got electrolytes, which he does, then she said that he's missing SOMETHING but we dont know what. What do you think could be wrong with him?? Would it have anything to do with this recent laziness? I mean, he is soooo sloooow nowadays, and he used to be so happy and spunky. It might also be the heat, I live in Nevada and it is VERY hot out, but I'm starting to get worried about him.. [Frown]

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The heat really does make horses slower. Its so hard to tell, you could try upping his grain, or giving him some alfalfa. If you are really worried get the vet out to give him an exam, and do some blood work.

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The heat really does make horses slower. Its so hard to tell, you could try upping his grain, or giving him some alfalfa. If you are really worried get the vet out to give him an exam, and do some blood work.

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quote:

Originally posted by audrey-mae:

The heat really does make horses slower. Its so hard to tell, you could try upping his grain, or giving him some alfalfa. If you are really worried get the vet out to give him an exam, and do some blood work.

Thanks.

It could very well be the heat. There are other horses at my barn that still act lively and awake, so I was concerned because of that.

Also I use Strategy grain, which is very mild and not hot at all. My trainer only likes horses that are calm and quiet, thats why she feeds only timothy, and told us to only buy a basic feed like Strategy that wouldn't make him hyper. She wouldn't let me switch him to something really hot, which is frustrating.. [Frown]

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quote:

Originally posted by audrey-mae:

The heat really does make horses slower. Its so hard to tell, you could try upping his grain, or giving him some alfalfa. If you are really worried get the vet out to give him an exam, and do some blood work.

Thanks.

It could very well be the heat. There are other horses at my barn that still act lively and awake, so I was concerned because of that.

Also I use Strategy grain, which is very mild and not hot at all. My trainer only likes horses that are calm and quiet, thats why she feeds only timothy, and told us to only buy a basic feed like Strategy that wouldn't make him hyper. She wouldn't let me switch him to something really hot, which is frustrating.. [Frown]

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That is a warning sign to me, be weary of stable managers that are too controling. Plain and simple, its your horse, she can't stop you from feeding him what you want if you are buying it. My parents own a small stable that I manage, and to me that is not acceptable behavior for a manager. JMO

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That is a warning sign to me, be weary of stable managers that are too controling. Plain and simple, its your horse, she can't stop you from feeding him what you want if you are buying it. My parents own a small stable that I manage, and to me that is not acceptable behavior for a manager. JMO

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Is he losing weight or is he dehydrated? Being dehydrated could also be causing him to look tucked-in, and with the heat, if he isn't drinking enough, that could be a factor. I know you mention that he gets electrolytes, but it's still something to think about if there's a way to check his water intake.

Also, is he up to date on his deworming?

I don't think a diet of straight alfalfa is good anyway, and three meals a day is better than two. That's all good, but he needs to be getting enough of it too. Maybe have them up his hay and grain.

If he maintains this you should probably have a vet make sure it's nothing more serious.

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Is he losing weight or is he dehydrated? Being dehydrated could also be causing him to look tucked-in, and with the heat, if he isn't drinking enough, that could be a factor. I know you mention that he gets electrolytes, but it's still something to think about if there's a way to check his water intake.

Also, is he up to date on his deworming?

I don't think a diet of straight alfalfa is good anyway, and three meals a day is better than two. That's all good, but he needs to be getting enough of it too. Maybe have them up his hay and grain.

If he maintains this you should probably have a vet make sure it's nothing more serious.

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quote:

Originally posted by e.s.dressage:

Is he losing weight or is he dehydrated? Being dehydrated could also be causing him to look tucked-in, and with the heat, if he isn't drinking enough, that could be a factor. I know you mention that he gets electrolytes, but it's still something to think about if there's a way to check his water intake.

Also, is he up to date on his deworming?

I don't think a diet of straight alfalfa is good anyway, and three meals a day is better than two. That's all good, but he needs to be getting enough of it too. Maybe have them up his hay and grain.

If he maintains this you should probably have a vet make sure it's nothing more serious.

I honestly dont know, I've seen him drink from his waterer before. But, usually in the arena when I'm ridng, he wont drink from the water bucket out there. The water is usually clean and perfectly fine, but he only sips at it if he does drink it.

I dont know about his deworming either, my trainer told me she does it by season, but that's it..

I was thinking a timothy/alfalfa blend would be best, to get an even level of protein and minerals, but I dont know what my trainer would say and she's out of town right now.. but she doesn't like hot horses at all, so I dont know if she would agree my horse is just tooooo lazy and needs to get perked up.

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If this were my horse...and I noticed a sudden change in behavior...I would immediately have him checked out by the vet. Giving electrolites indiscriminately is not helpful. You need to be sure this horse is drinking lots of water in the hot weather. Have the vet do bloodwork first (which is not expensive) and check everything across the board. Then, if all is OK, see what the vet thinks may be going on. My horse's have never shown a GREAT change in behavior in the heat, but just get a little unwilling to really work hard. So, I don't push them. If you are worried, call the vet. [Confused]

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quote:

Originally posted by e.s.dressage:

Is he losing weight or is he dehydrated? Being dehydrated could also be causing him to look tucked-in, and with the heat, if he isn't drinking enough, that could be a factor. I know you mention that he gets electrolytes, but it's still something to think about if there's a way to check his water intake.

Also, is he up to date on his deworming?

I don't think a diet of straight alfalfa is good anyway, and three meals a day is better than two. That's all good, but he needs to be getting enough of it too. Maybe have them up his hay and grain.

If he maintains this you should probably have a vet make sure it's nothing more serious.

I honestly dont know, I've seen him drink from his waterer before. But, usually in the arena when I'm ridng, he wont drink from the water bucket out there. The water is usually clean and perfectly fine, but he only sips at it if he does drink it.

I dont know about his deworming either, my trainer told me she does it by season, but that's it..

I was thinking a timothy/alfalfa blend would be best, to get an even level of protein and minerals, but I dont know what my trainer would say and she's out of town right now.. but she doesn't like hot horses at all, so I dont know if she would agree my horse is just tooooo lazy and needs to get perked up.

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If this were my horse...and I noticed a sudden change in behavior...I would immediately have him checked out by the vet. Giving electrolites indiscriminately is not helpful. You need to be sure this horse is drinking lots of water in the hot weather. Have the vet do bloodwork first (which is not expensive) and check everything across the board. Then, if all is OK, see what the vet thinks may be going on. My horse's have never shown a GREAT change in behavior in the heat, but just get a little unwilling to really work hard. So, I don't push them. If you are worried, call the vet. [Confused]

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Could it be that he doesn't like the taste of the water at the new barn and won't drink enough, especially now that the weather is hot? May be a stretch, but I've known a horse who did that at a trainer's barn, once she came back home, she was fine and drank plenty of water. Just an idea. Good luck!

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Could it be that he doesn't like the taste of the water at the new barn and won't drink enough, especially now that the weather is hot? May be a stretch, but I've known a horse who did that at a trainer's barn, once she came back home, she was fine and drank plenty of water. Just an idea. Good luck!

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How much SALT is your horse getting? Does he have constant access to a salt block, or loose salt? Indiscriminate use of electrolytes "just because" can throw a horse's whole system out of whack, and you end up with a dehydrated horse anyway. They need SALT in hot weather, daily. Electrolytes are for horses that have been stressed in the heat, ie; worked hard, trailered, etc.

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How much SALT is your horse getting? Does he have constant access to a salt block, or loose salt? Indiscriminate use of electrolytes "just because" can throw a horse's whole system out of whack, and you end up with a dehydrated horse anyway. They need SALT in hot weather, daily. Electrolytes are for horses that have been stressed in the heat, ie; worked hard, trailered, etc.

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Voler: As OZ said salt is very important. IMO, electrolytes and supplements are not to be thrown around willy-nilly. In fact, again JMO, it is rare that a healthy normal horse needs these things. If he was mine I would have vet out for a full work-up. Around here the vet call and work up will run 100 bucks or less. If a clean bill of health comes back then see if he may have some suggestions.

I have a few reservations about this trainer though.

First reservation is:

quote:

Also I use Strategy grain, which is very mild and not hot at all. My trainer only likes horses that are calm and quiet, thats why she feeds only timothy, and told us to only buy a basic feed like Strategy that wouldn't make him hyper. She wouldn't let me switch him to something really hot, which is frustrating..


Unless this trainer is paying your board feed vet bill and all other $$$$$ associated with your horse she has no business telling you what you can and can not do with said horse. This would be enough for me to walk.

Secondly:

quote:

I dont know about his deworming either, my trainer told me she does it by season, but that's it..

My horses are wormed by me about every 8 weeks or so. I am known as the poop lady at my vets office as about 3 times a year or so I carry in little ziplock baggies with the horses names on them of poo and have them to look under the microscope. The vets office gives me the exact type of wormer I need for the worms I have.

Of course my horses are U-Care meanning I do all the work for them not the B/M or trainer. This insures it is done to my specifications and should anything go wrong it is on me. I just wonder about trainers/managers that want to tell you what to do how to do etc but yet want you to pay them.

I would certianly take any and all suggestions into consideration and I am sure your trainer knows what she is doing and all but I just would not like the way she tells you what to feed and when to worm etc. I bet there are other little things that would worry me too.

Hope you get it straightened out, and your horse is not hurt in the process.

Hugs,

Redd

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Voler: As OZ said salt is very important. IMO, electrolytes and supplements are not to be thrown around willy-nilly. In fact, again JMO, it is rare that a healthy normal horse needs these things. If he was mine I would have vet out for a full work-up. Around here the vet call and work up will run 100 bucks or less. If a clean bill of health comes back then see if he may have some suggestions.

I have a few reservations about this trainer though.

First reservation is:

quote:

Also I use Strategy grain, which is very mild and not hot at all. My trainer only likes horses that are calm and quiet, thats why she feeds only timothy, and told us to only buy a basic feed like Strategy that wouldn't make him hyper. She wouldn't let me switch him to something really hot, which is frustrating..


Unless this trainer is paying your board feed vet bill and all other $$$$$ associated with your horse she has no business telling you what you can and can not do with said horse. This would be enough for me to walk.

Secondly:

quote:

I dont know about his deworming either, my trainer told me she does it by season, but that's it..

My horses are wormed by me about every 8 weeks or so. I am known as the poop lady at my vets office as about 3 times a year or so I carry in little ziplock baggies with the horses names on them of poo and have them to look under the microscope. The vets office gives me the exact type of wormer I need for the worms I have.

Of course my horses are U-Care meanning I do all the work for them not the B/M or trainer. This insures it is done to my specifications and should anything go wrong it is on me. I just wonder about trainers/managers that want to tell you what to do how to do etc but yet want you to pay them.

I would certianly take any and all suggestions into consideration and I am sure your trainer knows what she is doing and all but I just would not like the way she tells you what to feed and when to worm etc. I bet there are other little things that would worry me too.

Hope you get it straightened out, and your horse is not hurt in the process.

Hugs,

Redd

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At the barn I work for, we have a mare that gets pretty badly sunken in before she colics. It's one of her warning signs that almost always means she's going to colic if we don't fix something- but she colics if you so much as look at her funny. One of the things we've done for her is to soak her hay in water to help her hydration. I don't know if it'll help in your case, but it seems like an easy, inexpensive thing to try. [Confused]

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At the barn I work for, we have a mare that gets pretty badly sunken in before she colics. It's one of her warning signs that almost always means she's going to colic if we don't fix something- but she colics if you so much as look at her funny. One of the things we've done for her is to soak her hay in water to help her hydration. I don't know if it'll help in your case, but it seems like an easy, inexpensive thing to try. [Confused]

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quote:

Originally posted by audrey-mae:

That is a warning sign to me, be weary of stable managers that are too controling. Plain and simple, its your horse, she can't stop you from feeding him what you want if you are buying it. My parents own a small stable that I manage, and to me that is not acceptable behavior for a manager. JMO

[Not Worthy] I agree! He is YOUR horse! You should be able to feed him whatever you want! Some horses need extra energy, if he was used to alfalfa hay(high in energy) and then he was switched to a timothy(low energy) and a low energy/protien grain he probably is just not getting enough protein. I would leave him on timothy hay but try a higher protien grain like maybe a sweet feed. JMO. Good luck. [Huggy]

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quote:

Originally posted by audrey-mae:

That is a warning sign to me, be weary of stable managers that are too controling. Plain and simple, its your horse, she can't stop you from feeding him what you want if you are buying it. My parents own a small stable that I manage, and to me that is not acceptable behavior for a manager. JMO

[Not Worthy] I agree! He is YOUR horse! You should be able to feed him whatever you want! Some horses need extra energy, if he was used to alfalfa hay(high in energy) and then he was switched to a timothy(low energy) and a low energy/protien grain he probably is just not getting enough protein. I would leave him on timothy hay but try a higher protien grain like maybe a sweet feed. JMO. Good luck. [Huggy]

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