Monday, October 7, 2013

Archaic Feeding Methods and Contest

After a heatwave of a weekend the last thing I want to think about it jackets, but for a contest I will. She Moved to Texas is having a Horze Jacket giveaway and the deadline is Wed 9am Central, so check it out if you have not already.
I have not been riding mostly due to keeping track of Deliah, but also because Comrade is totally covered in hives. He is the worst I have ever seen him. Hopefully when the heat breaks, it will help.

Poor Pony :(

Now to the main part of my post. I had to take a day or so to cool down before writing this, so fair warning a bit of a rant follows. Since the lady with the Appies lost her gelding last November we have had to take her mare into our herd. Not so bad, right? Well 9 out of 10 days everything is cool, but over the months she has had some pretty bad kicks. The last one caused her to throw her head up and hit a beam resulting in lovely gash.

When that happened we threw around the idea of separating her, but it never went anywhere. This was a good thing since as Winston progressed we needed to have a place to put him by himself while the others were on grass.
Well that injury happened 3 months ago and they have been fine since. Then two weeks ago Mom and I noticed that Jenna took a funky step. We looked closer and decided she was lame. She is prone to abscesses so it was totally plausible. We left her owner a note saying she was a level two lameness. For the next week we watched her progressively get worse. Even my sister was appalled at the level of lameness Jenna reached. Again we left her a note saying she was now a level four. Still no action. Considering that the last time she abscessed was when Winston received the Laminil and our vet dug it out for free and the owner chewed us out, we were hesitant to do anything ourselves. Her owner comes out every night except Wednesday, so she should have seen what we saw. Saturday after our trip to PA, we noticed she was three legged lame and in pain. Finally on Sunday, she took action and soaked and wrapped her foot. She left Jenna in the stall for the day and told me to turn her out. Good grief!!! She could barely move, I left her in.
Fortunately she was putting weight on her foot the next day, but her owner still put her out. So Jenna had limited mobility, Problem #1.
Problem #2 Jenna suffers from UVistis and has very limited sight in her right eye. She has learned to adapt, but still can be an issue.
The final Problem deals with her owners archaic methods of feeding. This is a horse who has bad eyes, bad feet, and most likely a bad tummy. She has had a laminitic episode in the past. And her owner feeds her cheap SWEET FEED. Seriously! Who does that?
We have tried to tell her about low starch feeds available which would benefit her so much more. We might as well be talking to a brick wall. She continues to feed all that sugary crap. Her horse ends up in a crazy sugar high which makes her herd manners nonexistent and gets her into big trouble with my girls. Heck my sister walked up to her to give her a carrot and she jumped in the air. Her owner is so stuck in the seventies and the old ways of feeding, she cannot see she is killing her horse.
This last week all the problems came to a head when after increasing her grain and turning her out while lame she got kicked by Dottie. Dottie has a cut on her hock and Jenna has a kick right by the outside of her left hock and inside right leg. Her owner did not know about cold hosing, so Jenna's leg swelled up to twice the size before she asked for advice. We told her what to do and thankfully it opened up.
With all the drama, she again asked about separation. At the same time she was telling the other horse owners that my Mares were "picking on" Jenna. ARGH!! I hate that. I even told her she needed to watch National Geographic and learn about herd dynamics. What she calls "picking on," is Dottie and Rosemary moving Jenna away from a pile of hay or telling her to come in last. Now let me say that we put out over ten piles for the three horses, so she always has some where else to go. She said Jenna never moves them away. NO DUH! She is low man, of course she would not. I told her Winston moves the boys too. "But they don't get hurt." Yeah right, I told her Roscoe has little kicks and bites telling a different story. We just don't make the instances into major events announced to all around. That old saying "Put a horse in a padded room and they will still get hurt," is so Jenna. She came in with a long scrape after being out by herself.
We ended up tossing her out in the back field, which will leave us with two fields. Now she has to figure out how to get shelter, a dry lot and keep water from freezing. Until then we have to put her in with the girls during bad weather, like now compliments of Tropical Storm Karen. Otherwise her owner says, "No matter what happens, I want her kept separate." Fine with me, but then she tells me to put her with the girls yesterday. Again I disregarded her and left her by herself.
She sat there and told me she wanted to decrease Jenna's stress to prevent her from losing sight in the other eye. That all well and good, but when we had to watch her "Stress" for a week before she took care of her abcess, Pardon me for calling BS. I told her she needed to treat the whole horse not just her eye. Jenna in my opinion has an ulcer which the eye medicine aggravates as well as the sweet feed. If she fixed that, I bet Jenna would feel a lot better.
Her "I have fed horses this way for 30 years" comment just kills me. So many studies have been done showing how horses need good fiber and beneficial fats, like Omega 3 and the problems that grains can cause. I could not even count the number of changes we have made to our feeding program over the years. At this moment, not one of my horses get any kind of grain. With only light work, they get alfalfa cubes, Stay Strong Metabolic Mineral Pellets, Flax Seed (Omega3) and wheat bran. My old guys and Roscoe also get Healthy Glow which is a Rice Bran pellet and some beet pulp. Now I do spend money for better quality food and understand that not everyone can do that. But there are cheaper options that are still healthy too.
I really wish I had the hardworking Angel looking over Jenna because her owner has no clue what could happen. After Winston we have a hard time watching her archaic methods. Someday her luck is going to run out.

1 comment:

  1. I lived with a bit of this when boarding last winter. Not to say the barn owner always gave bad care to her horses and boarders...but it was definitely lacking. She had the same reasoning- its how she's always done it and its fine. I did self board, so wasn't directly affected, but I still stressed way too much over the other horses, particularly when I felt they were left far too long before seeing the vet/farrier.
    It sounds like you're doing your best to educate her and get along, not sure what else you can do besides try not to stress over it too much :(