Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yellow Goo = Happy Tummy?

Tonight was Cricket's third dose of ulcer medication, and the first time in a couple of weeks that he licked his dinner dish clean!  The definitive "test" for ulcers is endoscopy to actually visualize the stomach lining, which is expensive, not available in the immediate vicinity, and I don't think really warranted in his case (though if I had a super-power, xray vision would be a nice one to have - I'd love to know for sure that I am right!)  So, I am using response to treatment as my diagnostic test for ulcers.  At this point, all the evidence is pointing in the same direction, right at ulcers, so I'm going with that.  He'll be getting this acid-reducing medication twice a day for a while, and I am also planning to start him on an acid-neutralizing supplement in his feed.  He is already eating a small amount of alfalfa, which is good for buffering the stomach acid (lots of calcium in alfalfa - like a natural equine version of Tums), so I'll try to increase that a bit as well.  I think with a little bit of tummy care and seriously reducing his stress by moving pastures, he should come around nicely.  He had ulcers 6 years ago when I bought him, and seemed to recover fully with treatment.  I have seen no sign of them until recently, anyway.  I do feel like a bit of a dolt, though - if someone else had described his set of symptoms in their horse, I would have thought "ulcer" right away, since it was my own horse, however, of course it didn't occur to me until a week after the symptoms started.

And in other news - Rhio gave me his first buck of 2011 today.  Ok, so it was not REALLY a buck, but more a little hop to signal his displeasure.  I wonder why some horses are "buckers" and some are not?  Last fall I met Rhio's breeder, who also did some of his initial training, and he indicated that he remembers Rhio's propensity for bucking.  Great.  We are doing some schooling in the arena, because the entire world seems to be covered in ice right now and there is no where safe to ride outside at all, and Rhio is less than thrilled with it.  We are working on cantering.  We love to canter, and do it a lot on the trail, easily and effortlessly, and always on the left lead.  In an enclosed space, though, we are a train wreck when it comes to cantering.  We don't have a right lead canter at all, and we can't canter in a nice circle (or any circle, really, though we did do a somewhat rounded ameoba shape today!).  I think it might be 90% rider issue and 10% horse issue, though, as I can't canter Red in an enclosed space, either.  I was hoping to use Cricket to work out my rider issues, as he has a marvelous, lovely, wonderful canter and goes nicely on a circle  -- but he's had a hitch in his left hind giddyup since the fall, so I am not asking him for any serious effort until I can get that figured out once warmer weather arrives.  I presume at 29 he has some arthritis acting up.

He's such a good boy about taking his medicine via syringe! He kindly doesn't smear the yellow goo all over me, either.

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