Equine Ownership

As a retired horseshoer and horse owner I have learned a lot about the equine. They, like people, all have their own personalities. They are also a lot more intelligent than people give them credit for.

A lot of responsibility comes with ownership. There is a lot of work involved and it isn’t cheap. If you don’t own property and have to board your horse it can be quite expensive. If you keep your horse in a stall the stall needs to be mucked out daily. They also have to be fed hay daily. Depending on the horse and what you are doing with the horse you may need to feed grain twice a day every day.

“I’ve often said there is nothing better for the inside of the man, than the outside of the horse.” – Ronald Reagan

Now if you show your horse, compete in rodeos or trail ride you are going to need a trailer to haul your horse in and a truck to pull it. Now this could be a rather large expense.

Let’s not forget veterinarian expenses and annual shots, worming, hoof care and unexpected events.

All in all equine ownership isn’t cheap. In my opinion though the reward is worth the expense.

A Little Farrier Humor

First let me make it clear the names have been changed to protect the not so innocent.

A young man had bought a grade horse and was obsessed with finding out exactly how old the horse was to the point he became very annoying.

Now Bubba had been told by the sellers it was twenty one years old. Someone made the mistake of telling him that the sellers were known for not telling the truth. Now Bubba was convinced his horse was close to thirty. He asked the vet to age him by looking at his teeth. Vet said as near as he could tell the horse was in his twenties.

One morning while I was in the barn shoeing horses he began his rant of not knowing exactly how old his horse was. I wasn’t having a good morning. A horse had pulled its foot back at the same time the nail exited the hoof and sliced my finger. Billy Bob, who worked at the barn, was holding horses and fetching them for me.

Well Bubba just went on and on and I had had enough. I said there is one sure fire way you could get close. You know how a tree is aged by its rings? Well a horse grows an anal ring every five years so if it has four rings it is between twenty and twenty five. At this point Billy Bob almost choked on his tobacco. Billy Bob said that’s right. I had forgot about that method.

Well Bubba told us we were full of it and walked off. I never gave it another thought. I was sure he knew I was being sarcastic.

I was under a horse prepping the hoof for a shoe. Meanwhile Bubba had pulled his horse out of the stall and was grooming him. I was checking the shoe fit when Billy Bob said you have to see this and was laughing hysterically. I set the foot down and looked in the direction of Bubba.

I looked on in disbelief. Bubba was holding the tail with one hand and with the finger of the other hand he was opening the business end of the horse with his face just inches away. Bubba and I were laughing so hard we had tears running down our cheeks.

I guess Bubba heard us and dropped its tail and judging by what he was saying to us it was a safe bet we were no longer on his Christmas card list. He didn’t talk to us for months and to my knowledge never asked anyone how old they thought his horse was.

Let me tell you. It was quite a sight to see. I still laugh when I think about it. I never thought in my wildest dreams that he would do that. I guess I was wrong.

Equine Laminitis

 

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Rotated coffin bone.

 

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No rotation.

 

Somewhere in time’s own space there must be some sweet pastured place

where creeks sing on and tall trees grow, some paradise where horses go.

For by the love that guides my pen, I know great horses live again.

Stanley Harrison

Well it is that time of year when the pastures start to green up and the sugars come to the top.  Some horses can’t handle this sudden onslaught of sugar and the result is laminitis.

Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae of the foot – the soft tissue structures that attach the coffin bone of the hoof to the hoof wall.  The inflammation and damage to the laminae causes extreme pain and leads to instability of the coffin bone.  When the coffin bone rotates it becomes founder.  The only sure way to know if the bone has rotated or become founder is by taking a set of x-rays.  Unfortunately the term “founder” is used loosely and what is just a case of laminitis is labeled founder.  You cannot have founder without laminitis but you can have laminitis without founder.

A good owner, veterinarian and farrier team can do a lot to help these horses if caught early enough.  In severe cases they can have a bad ending though where the coffin bone drops through the bottom of the foot.  It is usually in the front feet, all four feet can be affected.

Symptoms

  • Reluctant to move and they rock back on the hind quarters.
  • They will lie down a lot.
  • It will be hard for you to pick the leg up because of the pain  in the opposite limb
  • The hoof wall and coronary band are often warm to the touch.
  • A hoof tester will reveal pain  particularly when applied over the toe area.
  • The horse will have a strong, rapid digital pulse.

Laminitis can be caused by insulin resistance as well as retained placenta, overfeeding grain, septicaemic  conditions, obesity, and lameness which prevents weight bearing on one of the legs.

I recommend taking the horse off grain and put on dry lot until you are able to get a vet out to evaluate the situation.  The vet will figure out what has caused the laminitic episode and then devise a plan to get the horse on the road to recovery.  He/she will take x-rays and if there is any rotation they will get together with the farrier and decide what kind of a shoe package they want to use.  Steward clogs and heart bars are a common prescription.  I use a Myron Mclane pad and a bar shoe.

I have been lucky enough to work with Dr. Don Walsh founder of the Animal Health Foundation.  The AHF is dedicated to supporting research and education about the disease of equine laminitis.  Checkout their web page at http://www.ahf-laminitis.org.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.  I appreciate it.  I just did the highlights about laminitis/founder.  I hope you enjoyed it and it was helpful.  Remember to spread the love.

 

 

 

Equine Pics

 

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Baby Lady Peppy Lena and EJ.

“I call horses “divine mirrors” – they reflect the emotions you put in.  If you put in love and respect and kindness and curiosity, the horse will return that.” – Allan Hamilton

A short blog this morning.  Some pictures of bundles of joy.  Hope you enjoy.

 

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EJ says “the eyes have it!”

 

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I am sexy ands I know it!

 

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Divot wants to show off her eyelashes!

Got to have some pics of the barn cats.

 

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Pretty and her offspring.

Thanks for taking the time to look at my blog.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Spread the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renaissance Rescue Ranch

 

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“A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.” – Pam Brown

This morning I want to recognize a horse rescue located in Farmington, MO.

“People think we save these horses, but the truth is – they save us.” – Barbara Hutchinson founder of Renaissance Rescue.

Barbara had a lucrative career as an attorney and she walked away from it to turn her full-time attention to horses.  She was know around the show jumping circles and was a a regular competitor.   Barbara and her husband, Laurence relocated to Farmington, MO. in 2005.  Not long after came Zoe, Bailey and then Tristan, dogs who found a loving home then came cats.

Not long after came the horses.  As word got out about her home for retired and injured racehorses, Fairmount  Racetrack in Illinois began sending horses whose careers had been ended due to injury.  Barbara says with a smile on her face, “I just couldn’t turn them away.”

 

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“I call horses “divine mirrors” – they reflect back the emotions you put in.  If you put in love and respect and kindness and curiosity, the horse will return that.” – Allan Hamilton

The Horses

Some arrive with injuries they incurred at the track that ended their careers.  Renaissance Rescue Ranch (RRR) provides rehabilitation and medical care.  Some have been abandoned and some were on their way to the shaughterhouse.

A major international racing syndicate, Team Valor, also places horses with them.  Barbara says she has put a lot of miles on her truck retrieving horses that were many states away.

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Their Mission

RRR’s mission is to rescue, protect, and rehabilitate thoroughbreds in need.  We are a “no kill” sanctuary and will never put down a horse unless there is a medical reason and all other options have been exhausted.  Our hope is to find loving homes for all our horses.

Renaissance Rescue Ranch is located on 75 acres and presently caring for 130 horses.  There are medical expenses, food, shelter and maintenance costs also.  Visitors are welcome and tours are available.  You get a chance to visit it is certainly worth your time.

The expense of taking care of these equines is a huge undertaking and any volunteers or donations is greatly appreciated.  You can visit their website: http://www.renaissancerescue.com and donate through their PayPal account or send your donation to:

Renaissance Rescue Ranch

4305 HWY O

Farmington, MO 63640

(573)-915-4627

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RRR doesn’t rescue only Thoroughbreds.  They have quite a diversity of equines.  I have visited on numerous occasions and can tell you that their rescues are very well taken care of.  They are fed well and loved by the staff and volunteers.  If you live in the area and want to help with daily chores they welcome volunteers.

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Thank you for taking time to read my blog.  This is a very worth while rescue and I appreciate the work they do in giving these equines another chance in life.  My hat is off to them for doing such a good job.  Remember, spread the love.