Horses First Elite Equine Services
Navajo has “poop”!
Navajo is a horse. He came to us two years ago. His first communication with us was a lengthy passing of gas followed by watery diarrhea. Thus began our fond love affair with the old guy.
There were three other aged horses he came with. They were purchased by two kind hearted women. I’m sure the horses’ would have been sad had they not been “rescued”.
We began immediately assessing each of their needs. They ranged from malnourishment, lameness and abscesses to infected eyes. The common need in all of them was trust and love. Every moment with them was spent reassuring them and letting them know that it was okay now.
I’ll tell you about the others another time. For now, I’ll introduce you to Navajo.
We tried to figure out the cause of his problems. It was a process of elimination, common sense and flexibility. We examined his teeth and saw that they needed floating but there wasn’t much left to float. We soon discovered that the only hay he could eat was flaky alfalfa. We tried the other obvious choices such as worming, trying paste wormers, herbs and diatomaceous earth. We got no positive results. Was it bacteria or infection? We started him on probiotics. They immediately eased his discomfort. Good news. We supplemented him with pellets and diatomaceous earth. Also, probiotics for three days every month and herbs to boost his immune system. He was better.
He stabilized for eight months having only occasional diarrhea. Then about two months ago he got worse and was very uncomfortable. He had low energy, watery diarrhea and he would stand with his head in a corner.
Next. Plan C. Or was that D, E or F? One day while sitting quietly in his stall I got an idea. Thanks, I’m sure, to him telling me. I decided it was time to start eliminating the hay completely. I needed to replace it with something he would enjoy, take awhile to eat and have enough nutrition. Beet pulp, barley and pellets. I soak it in warm water until it gets soft. I do it twice a day. The beet pulp takes at least several hours to soften. I give him a big handful of alfalfa also. It is mostly to satisfy him mentally.
Keep in mind that here are other choices of feed and supplements that may achieve the same result. I chose the beet pulp because I learned from a friend and client, named Susan, and others, of the positive effect that beet pulp has. Her horses look great. There aren’t a lot of unnecessary vitamins and minerals in any of these ingredients we are feeding him that he doesn’t need. Some people immediately resort to various “senior” pellets. Some of them are great but a lot of them have some dangerous preservatives in them. As a rule, I am not a big fan. Also, this regimen may not last forever. We may need to change to something else if this stops having a positive effect.
Within five days he had poop like a normal horse! Shaped in balls and everything! He wasn’t passing earth-shattering gas! We haven’t had to wash his tail for three weeks! He LOVES his food! We celebrate the little things here at HORSES FIRST. For now Navajo is happy. We like happy horses.
Best of all, is that sweet Navajo has found Margie, a new friend.
Thank you, Jeanne, for keeping your commitment and love to him.
When integrity and experience count
Contact Jennifer 7M Ranch, Hwy 52, Longmont