Draft Crosses & Tying Up
My husband and I both own TB X Drafts. My husband's horse tyed up for the first time about three years ago. We have been able to manage him pretty well with low carb high fat diet, 24 hour turn out, and a strict exercise program. He had one minor incident during cubbing this season, but he was back hunting after just a couple hunts off. Yesterday his horse tyed up and my, now five year old, mare did also!:( I am in shock that both our cross breds are having the same issues and wondered if any other hunt horses especially the draft crosses are dealing with this too?
As foxhunters are know to ride pretty hard it's very important to have our mounts fit enough for what we ask of them. Our horses are fit! I know that's not the problem and I also believe that others who hunt must also experiance this problem and would like to hear what triggered it with your horses and or what you have done to prevent it from happening again?
What are you feeding.
Only times I've ever had any tie up is when they've been run too hard when they weren't fit enough. Also have had issues, with both DraftX and TB's, during hot-warm weather.
Are both of yours fully clipped? And fit?
Only time I had it was when my horse was kept in a stall. Never happened after 24/7 turnout. Watch your calcium/phosphorus ratio.
Have you looked into EPSM which is commom with draft-crosses? It is controlled by diet and exercise....high fat/low carbs. It has made a difference in my horse. Lots of oil, regular exercise and turnout.
That is exactly what I was going to say, Caromor. It is most common in drafts. Check out ruralheritage.com.
I've been lucky (knock on wood)
Since you already had a problem - perhaps a muscle biopsy might be helpful - or you could talk to your vet about his/her opinions on Chromium, Magnesium, etc.
If you're not already doing so - switching to a ration balancer and then adding fat might be an option - the ration balancer would ensure the horse is getting enough vitamins and minerals - without adding a lot of calories.
(some people just cut grain and add fat - but they may be shortchanging the horse on nutrients that help prevent tying up)
A rather inexpensive supplement to try might be AniMed Remission. It's got stuff in it that is supposed to help horses just like yours.
Whether it works or not - I'll leave that to others to discuss. I found Remission to be a cost effective option instead of just adding plain Chromium.
I think you're on the right track with turnout. Good luck.
Vitamin E and Selenium
I used to live in nevada, and hunted with the Red Rock Hounds. We would routinely ride 25 to 30 miles each time we hunted.
Our huntsman always gave her horses (and the horses that were ridden hard & boarded there) a monthly shot of Vitamin E and Selenium. It is a BIG shot, always gave it down low on the butt in case of abcess. I would have her give my horse a shot maybe 2 x per season, because I didn't go 3 times per week, etc, etc.
Her theory of 'tie-up' was that she believed that horses are born with an amout of selenium in their systems, and when it's gone = it's gone. There isn't any science behind that, just 25 years of hunting experience and managing her horses. She also believed that the injected selenium worked better than supplement fed with selenium it.
I have draft crosses that I hunted, and never had them tie up. We rode first field. I did warm them up at the beginning of the ride, and let them tell me when they were done.
We also lived in high desert, where there was no selenium in the soil. THe low carb, higher fat diet was fed, too. But she only fed alfalfa, and pasture - plus bran mashes, etc.
I hunted draft crosses, and never had any tie up issues. I did warm them up and quit when they 'told' me they'd had enough. good luck.
Ditto the EPSM, though it sounds like you have already made the diet adjustments. May need to up the fat even more. Our hunting and eventing draft crosses get no grain, only alfalfa pellets with lots of oil added, and two flakes of brome per meal. Contolled grazing, mostly dry lotted as the airferns gain weight just looking at pasture. Ditto the advice to check E/Sel of the diet and suppliment if needed.
I've had a TB and a full-percheron tie-up while hunting: both were fit horses and it happened very early into the day's hunt...the TB was tense because of slick footing. The TB could also tie-up playing on the lunge. Since we went to the high carb, no low fat diet, we've (knocking on wood) not had any repeats, and it's been about 8 years. The TB is now retired and the draft was sold, but all our hunt horses (TB, draft-crosses, and warmbloods) are hunting well on the high fat diet.
Your horses may benefit from warming up slowly with a quarter sheet before the hunt moves off...sometimes it's the cold day with a run right off the bat that brings on an occurance, or a tense day due to bad footing, etc.
When I was hunting the TB mare who'd tied-up, I carried Banamine with me on the hunt, just in case....
I have a TB mare who has a condition similar to the draft problem - in TBs it's called RER. We struggled with it for more than a year. In addition to the high-fat low-carb diet, (which is a must) she must be not only fit and turned out 24x7, she must be ridden EVERY SINGLE DAY. If I miss one day, she ties up.
Oddly enough, she has never tied up hunting! She usually ties up the day after, or at least she did until I started the every day regimen.
Good luck, it can be a viscious cycle.
Super response to my tying up questions! Thank You:)
We are following many of your recommendations already but got a couple fresh ideas from this thread. It's so nice to have the ability to pick your well educated brains.
I've never been sorry before to be pretty sure that I recognize someone on here... and I'm so sorry.
Since we talked last (if you are the person I'm thinking of), I've played around with some things with Toony. Since you're hunting, you have many more options than I had eventing. My info's for TBs so take it with a larger grain of salt than normal. And I'm not saying the feed change doesn't work for some horses, but it doesn't work for all - so I participate in better life through pharmaceuticals.
Robaxin and banamine before XC seemed to help, even though I had a long lag time (6 and 12 hours, respectively). I started the robaxin a couple of days out.
Dantrium - not sure whether it'd work on a draft X, but the results in TBs have been good. I have a copy of the write up of the study somewhere, but I think if you google you'll find it. When I was at the track vetting Kingsley the vet told me that they were using it with good results. I never tried it because it's illegal for eventing.
RVI. No one can tell you why, but apparently it works on some.
Milk of Magnesia. Lots. 1 qt 2x a week for a month, 1 qt 1x a week for a month, and then every 2 weeks for the rest of the season. Crazy old track vet thing - but you know, from a track vet of sufficient reputation that I'd do backflips if he said it'd help.