Wednesday, January 21, 2009

He's just not that into working

Following Dr. B's instructions, I went out to the feed store and bought some alfalfa cubes. Kaswyn has been getting them since Sunday afternoon, but I thought that they might be running low at the barn so I picked up three bags. He'll be getting more than the other horses who get the cubes, so I want to chip in and buy some just to be fair. I also picked up a weight tape.

I know the weight tapes are not as accurate as a scale, but last night Kaswyn taped at 988 pounds. Last spring when he was at OSU he was 1140 pounds. That's 152 pounds less. Honestly he looks like he's lost more than that, but I know he's also lost muscle so he just looks crappy. I should take a picture and post it but I'm embarrassed. Regardless, I'll just be using the weight tape to see if his weight goes up with the addition of alfalfa cubes instead of using it as an accurate measure of his weight.

My plan was to put Kaswyn on the lunge line for ten minutes, but he didn't want to work at all. I went three minutes on one side, then asked him to walk and turn around. Usually when I ask him to reverse on the lunge line he thinks it's really funny to act for a second like he's going to dive bomb me as he turns to face me, and then he tears off in the other direction. Yesterday he just walked in a half circle and half-heartedly trotted off. I only asked him to trot for three minutes on the other side, and then asked for the walk. He did one lap at the walk, then stopped on his own and looked at me like "Okay, can I be done? I'm not into this at all."

My heart is just breaking that my horse doesn't feel good. I'm not surprised, given how crappy he looks. I'm praying that Dr. B is right and he just needs some groceries and time to store up some energy. If he's not better in ten days then I'm getting Dr. B back out and we're pulling some blood.

I shouldn't worry right? He's just skinny...he'll get better. Right?


brigjones said...

Have you tried adding corn oil to his diet, temporarily, to get some fat on his bones? I used it for my hard-keeper TB when we had really cold weather for a few weeks and they were stuck inside due to the storms and it worked like a charm. He fared better than a lot of easy keepers at the barn.

Amy Forinash said...

I forget, has he been tested for Lyme Disease?

dressagemom said...


Good idea. I used to put corn oil in his grain when he was on the chinese lameness herbs, but when I stopped those I left out the oil. Time to add it back in.


No, I haven't run a full blood panel on him. I'm hoping this feed change will make him better, but if not I will have him fully tested. I'll include Lyme too.

Katee said...

18 years old isn't that old especially for a horse like yours that has been kept in good shape for the vast majority of his life. He should still be happy about working.

I feel like you and Kaswyn are forever taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back. I so hope that you can get some weight on him and perk him up and start moving steadily forward! Good Luck!

Rising Rainbow said...

Dandy can do that kind of fluctuation in his weight. Actually I guess he's at that point right now.

I think the hard winter we are having is contributing some. They burn up more energy just trying to keep warm. It's very frustrating.

Anonymous said...

Hi! New to your site. Thanks for your work. Tell me about the Chinese Herbs for Lameness. My horse does the 1-step fwd, 2-steps back also. Has some chronic issues but not in the joints. Those are fine.

dressagemom said...


Welcome to the site! As for the chinese herbs, I used Earth Angel Herbs.

The lady who runs the business is very sweet and talked me me on the phone at length about Kaswyn's issues and her recommendations for what products would work best. I'd give her a call and see what she has to say. I personally used Easy Stride and Nublada's Formula.

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