Equine dilemma...

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Chickybaby, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Chickybaby

    Chickybaby In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2008
    NC - paradise!
    [​IMG] DH and I moved to the country to improve our family quality of life. For the most part, it's working out very well for us. We have 2 kids, horses, calves, chickens (went from 8 to 30 in about 6 wks!) a rabbit, and am contemplating a couple of milk goats and some turkeys. The problem we are experiencing currently is with a 6 year old reg QH horse we've had for a few years. He had major health issues when he was little, and was given to us by a friend/breeder who only wanted to find a good home for him after his 4th surgery (he had colic surgery originally, then 3 hernia surgeries after his abdomen could not heal). We got him over that, but in his duration being stalled for 18 mos he became a cribber and got terribly spoiled (i.e. no discipline whatsoever) and was pretty much an emotional mess when we got him. At the time we only had one, so he got lots of attention. Long story short, we have 5 others now and he just can't seem to adjust. He is, bar none, the hardest keeper I have ever seen. He cribs on fence posts, fallen trees, whatever - despite having the ability to graze with the others (they are only stalled to feed twice daily, then turned back out this time of year) We feed him much more than anyone else, including digestive supplements and extra grain, and still can't keep him looking fit. We're scared to ride him 'cause he's so thin, but I believe if he had a "job" to do it might help his boredom and jealously. DH doesn't want to chance it. Despite the fact the others are VERY healthy looking, we had a stranger dropping a bale of hay a week in the pasture with him because he's so pitiful looking... then she stopped one day, told us what she'd been doing and why, and offerred to buy him. We call our place Second Chance Ranch, usually what ends up here stays here because no one else would want them or take the time to rehabillitate them (health or behavior problems). We have been very successful thusfar, except for this one. No matter what we do, he just won't improve. We have changed his diet several times (slowly, over the course of years). Nothing helps :eek: . I'm starting to think we would be better off letting him go (for free) to the woman who's granddaughter wanted to buy him. Maybe he'd be better off in a place where he has less competition for attention and time (we stall feed everyone, so there's no competition for food here at all). If he had someone to love on him and just one other, he'd be better off. My DH and 6 year old son LOVE this poor horse and consider him family. I do too, but I'm thinking it's in his best interest to let him go. It's a tough decision. BTW, he has no other health issues at this time, except for the cribbing. He had a cribbing collar, but you could NOT get near his head when it was on and it took months to get him over that when we took it off and turned him out. Anyone got any sage words of wisdom? I could sure use another perspective at this point. Thanks .
  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    If those people want to have him and they have been forewarned about his health and his requirements as a hard keeper, then by all means with all the love and care they will give him, I would definately let him go to them.

    Its a decision that can not be made lightly but you will know whats best for the horse.
  3. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    I have a thoroughbred that was an excessive cribber. He was ripping down fences daily. We got him the Miracle Collar by Weaver. It has completely stopped him. When you first get it, it will stretch as he wears it, but when you find the right spot, he should stop. I used to have a horse that cribbed so bad that at age 15 he basically had nubs for front teeth. I would try the Miracle Collar and see if that helps. It is all leather and you can get "fluffies" to cover the buckles and stuff. The metal cribing collars hurt them, the Miracle Collar they can wear all the time, they can graze and eat comfotably in it. It only applies pressure when they try to crib.
    It's worth a try...
  4. Are these folks horse people with experience? That would be the deciding factor for me.

    Sounds like you have done wonderful rescues. That is such an amazing thing to do.

    Best of luck with your decision.
  5. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I assume his teeth are fine?
    If you consider this other family, do it on a trial basis to see how he does and get EVERYTHING in writing.
  6. Chickybaby

    Chickybaby In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2008
    NC - paradise!
    Quote:Thanks, but that's the collar we took off of him. It was leather with the fluffies, no metal at all. But it had been adjusted several times and he learned that if you got by his head, it was to adjust that collar. He hated it, even though I don't believe it hurt him at all. It was our hope that since he developed the habit while he was stalled, if we gave him ample turn out and be with other horses grazing, he would stop. And he did for a while, at first. It has gotten progressively worse and going back to the collar at this time isn't an option. It took us about a year to get him to trust us enough to be able to take his halter on and off, and another 6 mos or so to be able to bridle him (we practice that with them all even if we're not riding them). Anyway... thanks to everyone who responded. DH and I will be talking again later, and I think we'll at least make the call and talk to the lady a little more. Can't hurt...
  7. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    I have all the free ranging time I want, and all I want to eat, and I still bite my fingernails, and I know better!
  8. Sherrie

    Sherrie In the Brooder

    Apr 29, 2008
    He might have some stomach problems. I would have the vet check him for ulcers. I used to have a mare that did this, hers was due to the endorphins that are released she liked staying high all the time.. I fed her more beet pulp and BOSS in her diet then feed, she did real well on that.. Kept her weight up well.. We also have a young horse that liked to eat small rocks so we had to do the same practice with him with the feed to keep things moving along..
  9. BlackSilkey

    BlackSilkey In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2008
    Check out Cherry Hills Horse care for kids or something like that in one book I read said to put a pre-made sour apple horse wash you put in his favorit places and when he dose crib and he gets the taste and they should stop.(yes it may sounnd craazy put apple flavored wash were he cribs put you have to make sure it is sour apple or it will make it worse).
  10. orchidchick

    orchidchick Songster

    Mar 23, 2008
    south florida
    Hi there,
    I have had success with feed supplement called U-guard with several of the horses at our Ranch. Most of the Ulcer meds are pretty expensive but this one runs around $35 a month and it has done wonders for my older mare who has had a history of gastric ulcer flareups and not keeping well. I also used it on several other horses who were living on maintenance doses of gastroguard or ulerguard (one who was a chronic cribber) and all of them showed increased bloom, and I was able to back off the expensive meds much to their owner's delight! With your guys history of surgery and poor keeping, it would be an inexpensive way to eliminate that aspect of it if you have some time.
    In addition, if you can ask you vet about the different meds for colonic ulcers, (Sucralfate, etc.) he or she may be willing to put him on them for a short trial to see if there is any change without going through the expense of further testing. If that is what it is, they generally respond quite quickly and again, you have more insight as to what this horse's issues are. My vet has told me that the research is pointing out that colonic ulcers are just as prevelant as gastric ulcers now that we have the technology to test for them.
    The other thing, if those Miracle collars are not tightend while the horses head is in a lowered position, they generally are not tight enough to be effective.
    Good luck and bless your heart for trying so hard to find a solution for this horse!

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