Agree w/ Fine Already and others - have an equine dentist check teeth - this should be done at least once a year, sometimes they need work, other times the teeth might be fine. Also because you are a minor you do need to have one of your parents be involved in your horse's care - to be your voice because as a minor most states do not allow contracts (verbal or written) to be between a minor and an adult. And my above comment was in no way meant to imply that a vet was not necessary in a choking situation; knowledgable observation by barn staff or owner is required during and after a choke.
i also agree that Lauren12 response was way harsh with words like piss-poor, human stupidity, and suggesting to a 15 year old that her horse is better off dead then in her care. Shame on you, Lauren12.
Op, when i was your age, I had a horse and non horsey parents. They had no clue what my horse needed but I had my horse at a barn where the manager totally called the shots when it came to my horse. She told my parents when he needed to see the vet, decided what to feed, etc. Is there any chance you can talk to your parents about moving to a new barn where you will have help and knowledgeable managers and other boarders. Do you take lessons? Maybe your trainer could help you come up with a plan or be the person to talk between the vet and your parents.
Your horse definitely needs his teeth done. Id suggest having your parents out while this is happening and have the vet explain the risks of choke, how to manage it,etc.
Id also suggest showing your parents this forum so they can see how serious this is and because some posters have made good suggestions
Joining pony clubis really expensive but great if your parents will pay for it. Look into 4H too. Cheaper and in some areas, just as good as pony club. I learned so much in 4H.
Good luck and please, don't let negative posters keep you from asking for help!
Lauren12, I'm baffled by your comment to euthanize a horse because of choke and you are talking to a 15 year old girl with parents who are apparently not involved in the horse's care But they need to be. First a minor cannot enter into a contract w/which means if she calls the vet, her parents could refuse to pay vet. Second, there are plenty of horses out there who choke and their care can be managed without euthanasia and some horses resolve a choke on their own w/o the aid of a vet. I know this because I have a horse that's a choker as well,. Sometimes he resolved it on his own, a couple of times we had to call the vet. His was caused by bolting down his food but w/ good stable management he has not choked in about 6 years now. I agree w/ the post that encouraged the OP to join pony club and to learn as much about horse care as possible. There are plenty of good books on horse owner/horse care. Pony club would be an excellent option for many many reasons.
I'm fully aware that choke can be managed fairly easily and successfully with just a little bit of extra work. However, it is completely unfair to an animal to NOT manage it, and to do so repeatedly. It is a PAINFUL condition that causes severe anxiety for the animal, and it is simply neglectful to let a horse choke and not treat it.
My opinion is that horse ownership is a privilege, and one that is not to be taken lightly. It's lovely that the OP's parents bought her a horse, but with that comes a great deal of responsibility, and I agree with other posters that have suggested the OP educate herself (and probably the parents as well...I know non-horsey parents can be uninformed). To me, it is phenomenally irresponsible on the part of the OP, the parents and most of all the boarding facility to let this animal repeatedly choke without treatment.
The definition of equine neglect includes lack of access to veterinary care when needed, whether intentional or not. That is what this is - neglect - plain and simple, and thus why I suggest euthanasia. If this animal is going to be in repeated, prolonged pain, anxiety and fear because of continued improper management and lack of veterinary care, then yeah - I think a painless death is a better option.
I recall you saying he's 8 and hasn't had his teeth done. That would be my first step to helping him out.
If you are worried about him being out, keeping him in a stall and ensuring he has adequate forage for his weight etc is extremely common!
I keep my horses on indoor board and I have no issues. If he can have soaked hay, then what about filling up hay nets, soaking the hay in the hay net and then hanging that in his stall so that it takes him longer to eat, slows him down a bit etc as well as providing your soaked hay cubes and feed.
They were all treated immediately, the second one lasted a little longer but most of it was down, but we did treat him. We didn't just leave him the stall and watch him choke
Was the initial treating vet an Equine Practioner? The AAEP will be able to provide a list of certified equine vets in your area.
It doesn't sound as if any of the vets involved educated you (or your parents) on future management of this horse.
I'm also surprised that none of the vets suggested having his teeth done?
Did you have a PPE done on this horse when you purchased him? had he had choking episodes prior to your ownership?
I'm sadly rather in agreement with Lauren12 - unless you move this horse to a more suitable barn, I worry for your horse's well-being.
You might point out to your parents that a more knowledgeable barn might've saved them that 2K bill & the additional after-bills, that there is No Doubt that horse is now a high choke risk while staying at this particular barn.
Best wishes to you & your horse
ETA sorry you asked about Stalling
Stall him overnight, use enough shavings to soak up any urine etc (then the dirt floor will be fine, come summer), remove any soiled shavings daily, make sure his meals are all prepared by you so barn staff can't makes any more mistakes, talk to the morning person about terms (trades or what have you)
I was also going to suggest talking with the morning feeder and making it painfully obvious to her that she MUST soak your horses food no matter how late she is running. If she doesnt have time for his food to soak, then she should not give him anything at all before she turns him out.
I noticed that you are in Chesterfield Va. There are a bunch of barns around that area that would be a better fit for you and your horse.
And btw, I have a feeling the owner of the barn said he didnt want your horse in the stall because it requires more shavings, someone to clean it, etc and not because your horse is going to colic. Sounds like a lame excuse he thought you would fall for.
Just as an update Apache choked again last week. We called the vet immediately and are now going over there everyday to fed because he only chokes when other people feed!
Your horse choking repeatedly is a sign that there is something physically wrong with him (horrible teeth and he isn't chewing his food adequately; has neuro issues with swallowing; has something wrong with his esophagus, perhaps from a bad initial choke, etc). Every time he chokes, he is further injuring/scarring himself and more likely to choke again and again. Aspiration pneumonia, as he has already had, can be fatal. This needs to stop, now. This isn't something that can be "kinda" managed.
I would suggest a couple of things: 1) Have your vet examine him for causes for the choking. He needs a thorough dental exam and scoping at minimum. Write down your vet's recommendations, or have him/her write them down. 2) And this is not a knock on you at all because you are learning and here trying to get more info to help your horse, but PLEASE investigate moving to another facility. The place doesn't need to be fancy (someone's backyard is FINE), but needs to be run/managed by a knowledgeable and conscientious person who can be primarily responsible for overseeing the care of your horse and making sure that whatever is necessary for his well-being (be it soaked feed or whatever), is adhered to.
Best of luck to you.
As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.
To further my reply I agree with CrowneDragon except if your vet hasn't recommended some of these things then it is probably time for a new vet too.
If you use this vet regularly and had this horse for a few years or even 2 years it would be odd not to have him/her inquire about doing your horse's teeth especially at the time of yearly vaccinations. However, if this horse is new to you then that is a whole different situation except that I would find it odd that the vet hasn't tried to figure out why your horse is choking.
Also, if I boarded my horse and thy didn't feed him properly hand he choked as a result 1. I'd have them pay the vet bill and 2. I'd move my horse immediately. As it has been stated it doesn't need to be fancy but a barn manager, who is knowledgable is invaluable to you at this point in learning.
This isn't meant to be a bash as we know you are young and learning but you are your horses's number one advocate even as a minor.
oh man, there are some really great places to board where you live. Do whatever you can to convince your parents to move! Im sure they hate paying these vet bills! Im also sure they dont want to have to drive out every day to feed your guy!!
This February will be a year I've owned him. But I've but riding him for over a year (I got him from my trainer). We believe that he is bolting his food we had him scope after his second choke because he was still coughing and the only damage the vet found was from where the tube got twisted around from another vet (who we no longer use). We are hoping to get our own barn soon on a big lot with family so moving right now is not an option as this is the cheapest barn that still is pretty nice (has grass, nice barns, helpful friendly people) and we need to save all the money we can in order to by the property and build on it.
We are hoping to get our own barn soon on a big lot with family
Do the other family members know how to care for horses? I recently brought my horses home at age 32 and I consider myself fairly educated (and not afraid to ask if there is something I don't know).....and I have to say it is a bit overwhelming. I can't imagine being 15 and dealing with having horses home and no knowledgable horse adults around. To me that is all the more reason to develop a relationship with some WELL EDUCATED horse people in your area now....so you can have support if you need it in the future.
You really should move to a better barn where you can learn a lot more about proper horse care and ownership before even thinking about having horses at home. Being "the cheapest" is not always good (and honestly, being the most expensive is not always good either, it all depends on the manager/workers/etc) and you would have actually probably saved a lot of money moving to a slightly more expensive barn that had MUCH more experienced and knowledgeable people in charge. You NEED to have this horses teeth done ASAP. He is obviously having issues and they need to be addressed proactively, not just take a "wait and see" approach. I could go on but these are the 2 main things for this point in time.
Yes I have an aunt that breeds Arabians that will be on the property with us. If we can't them to move up here (they live in Texas) then we will be on our own. But my dads the type of person that if he's going to do something he's gonna do it the best he can so he knows some about horses so we talk about stuff that were not sure about and if we don't know we look it up or like over last spring break we went to trainer.
Ok so you have owned this horse less then a year. Do you know when the last time his teeth were done?
As it is almost approaching a year anyways I'd have them looked at again. Ask a farrier, feed store, and/or tack store who they recommend as many vets although they can do teeth doesn't mean they are the best.
Also. If you are insisting he stays there it is a risky move and you will have to be out there daily if not multiple times a day to make sure your horse is being handled properly. You are your horses advocate and guardian.
I'll make my suggestion again -- join Pony Club, which teaches you all about horses and horse care, as well as riding. It is a great support system and network, so if you do bring your horse home you will have some good people to turn to for advice and help.