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Easy keeper with ulcers

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    #21
    Originally posted by kande04 View Post

    I think that may be one of the best solutions, although I'm finding that I have to keep increasing the size of the dry lots to prevent them from turning them into dirt.
    That's kinda the definition of "dry lot"

    I may have found a solution, though. Our pasture is a 4 acre field, which I've now split up into strips with hot wire. The strips are narrow enough so that I only need one post to run a hot wire across each strip, which makes it much easier to increase the length of each strip as they get it grazed down too short.

    The only problem is that the grass is so short that they have to be out there fighting the bugs a lot longer to get enough, so I've been letting them out at night in their restricted patches of grass, and then locking them up during the day and feeding small amounts of hay.

    Feeding horses was so much easier before I knew about ulcers!
    Strip grazing can be very useful It sounds though like you're allowing the grass to be grazed too short which, over time, will make it more likely you have less grass and more weeds, so keep an eye on that.

    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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      #22
      Originally posted by JB View Post
      That's kinda the definition of "dry lot"
      True. :-) Not sure what to call them. Sacrifice pastures? I'd like them to remain pastures, but just with very limited grass. The problem with horses though, is that no matter how fat they get they think they're starving so just keep going over and over and over the same grass until they turn it to dirt.

      I used to worry about the horses tearing the pastures up running around, and then about overgrazing, but finally realized that all I have to do is mow, fertilize, and fence them off the overgrazed parts and the grass will recover.

      So now to figure out how often and how far to move the cross fence. At least the step-in posts make it easy enough to do it often.





      Comment


        #23
        Grass that short is stressed and high in sugars. They're going to love it.

        Fat horses who are "starving" are likely leptin-resistant and already, or on their way to becoming, IR.
        ______________________________
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

        Comment


          #24
          Originally posted by JB View Post
          Grass that short is stressed and high in sugars. They're going to love it.

          Fat horses who are "starving" are likely leptin-resistant and already, or on their way to becoming, IR.
          They could be leptin resistant, but all of my horses do it (eat the pastures down to dirt) and none have ever shown any signs of being IR or Cushings. That may simply be because very few of them have ever had free access to grass, because as soon as they start to gain too much weight I restrict them? Or maybe I've just been lucky and haven't had any IR horses?

          I feel like my choices are to let them eat free choice but on short, sparse grass vs restrict the amount of time they have on good grass and fill in with hay so that they don't go too long between meals.

          Right now I have two on full turnout with sparse pickings, a mini on sparse pickings with supplemental hay, and the other two on twice a day turnout on good grass with supplemental hay.

          I don't think the overgrazing is a sugar issue because as soon as I move the fence they go right to the longer grass. It could be a leptin issue though, in that they want to eat more than what they need to meet their calorie needs.


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            #25
            It's all about wording and intent of those words. Horses are designed to graze 16-ish hours a day. They eat what tastes good. Combine the biological drive to put their head down and bit off grass and chew, with higher sugar grass, of course they're going to go at it. They're not "starving", they're doing what horses do.
            ______________________________
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

            Comment


              #26
              Originally posted by JB View Post
              They're not "starving", they're doing what horses do.
              Oh they're not starving, but just seem to think they are. If they didn't think they needed to be out there chewing the pasture down to nothing they'd be in their run-ins to escape the flies.

              When some of them were still growing and could be on full time pasture they'd go out every few hours and fill up and go back in their run-ins. That was great because the pastures weren't overgrazed because there was plenty of grass and they only ate a small percentage of it, and there were no issues with empty stomachs and ulcers. I'd guess that the overeating could have been caused by restricting them, except the overweight issues (when they stopped growing) preceded the restrictions.

              It's such a shame that they can't/won't self regulate their intake so they aren't either locked up for long periods, or out there fighting flies. As soon as we start mowing the hay I'll feel better because then I can feed them fresh hay so won't feel like they need the grass as much.

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #27
                Update on my easy keeper with ulcers: she is still the same horse, but SO much nicer. She's less wiggly, and the grumpy faces only happen when I won't let her graze. I'm riding her for 15-25 minutes on the local trails, paying close attention to her anxiety level, and each day she is a little more calm, *and* we go further. She meets me at the gate when I go to her paddock, or at the very least comes my way. In-hand, she seems to be getting the idea that she needs to be paying attention and not trying to herd me if she wants to graze.

                Current plan is to get her switched to Outlast from her RB and add a multivitamin/mineral supplement.

                This horse has always been anxious about food, since I bought her. I just never thought of her as ulcer-prone, especially after, around age 15, she became an easy keeper.
                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #28
                  Further update: 1 more week of Gastroguard. No re-scope will be needed, given the dramatic change for the better. She's now off her ration balancer, and getting a cup of Outlast morning and night, and I give her a cup before I ride her. She's now also on High Point Grass vitamin/mineral; I chose it for the minimal fillers and small daily dose. Rides are 30-40 minutes, all on the trails, mostly walking but I'm asking for trot or canter occasionally and she's willing.

                  She still wants grass more than anything, but is far more willing to listen when I say "not yet." One scary but amusing thing happened... I arrived at the barn last Sunday and she was nowhere to be seen. Empty paddock, halter on the gate, and she's not the jump out of the paddock sort, especially since the paddock has an electric fence wire along the top (it's not hot, but she will not get near it.) Eventually I found her... she had done the limbo and gotten *under* the fence where the bottom rail was missing, and was happily munching grass in the small fenced area she got into. No harm done as she hadn't been there very long. The missing rail has been replaced. Goof.
                  You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                  1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    #29
                    (Most of her hay feedings are now in a net, too. It doesn't slow her down a lot but maybe a little?)
                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                    Comment


                      #30
                      Try the nag bags for hay nets ... I use the 1-inch hole and it REALLY slows him down. As in, he gets tired and just stops before the hay is all finished. Since he's definitely a super easy keeper and I am struggling to get weight off and keep it off, it works for me.

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #31
                        Originally posted by bathsheba8542 View Post
                        Try the nag bags for hay nets ... I use the 1-inch hole and it REALLY slows him down. As in, he gets tired and just stops before the hay is all finished. Since he's definitely a super easy keeper and I am struggling to get weight off and keep it off, it works for me.
                        I hate to say this, but the mare has yet to have a hay net or hay bag that really really slows her down. 1 inch nets? Not a problem; she eventually chews holes in them. Her current outside net is a 1.25 inch hole Nibble Net. Expensive but she can't chew holes in them. She does. Not. Nibble. She yanks out pretty good size hanks of hay.
                        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                        1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                        Comment

                          Original Poster

                          #32
                          Further update: once we tapered the gastroguard dose and switched to the ulcerguard maintenance dose, her symptoms came back . She's currently getting omeprazole shots once a week for 4 weeks. There was a massive change in her behavior between Saturday (before the first one) when she was high-anxiety about *everything*, and Tuesday (the day after the shot). BUT I can't do this long term!

                          Someone suggested to try sucralfate once she's through with the shots.

                          The question is .... what is a good long-term protocol?

                          We're still using Outlast as her concentrate, with High Point vit/min added, instead of a ration balancer, and I am using the Outlast treats. She looks great! Our trail rides are up to an hour now.

                          She's getting most of her hay in a NibbleNet now... still attacking the nets but they slow her down a bit.
                          You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                          1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                          Comment


                            #33
                            quietann - I've had extremely good luck with a product called Visceral + from Mad Barn. They are a fairly small Canadian company, but I know folks in the states who buy from them and have great luck with quick shipping. I have been able to take a horse who came to me with the warning "he gets ulcers if you look at him sideways" and strong recommendations to use UG several days before and after any stressful event to a very happy, cool customer who gives no sign of gut discomfort. And he is... not stoic Scott, the owner of MB, and all the staff are honestly great folks who really really know their stuff, so if you are looking for some guidance I would highly encourage reaching out to them.

                            Of course, there's the grain of salt that you are asking for advice from someone who has a financial interest in the advice they give, but they are truly knowledgeable and educated - and I've always gotten the impression that their motivation is coming from a place of wanting to help horses and owners. I've gotten tons of good advice and help from Scott and his team - often for free (like last week when I emailed in despair and confusion over which !#$#% analysis to order from my provincial lab for my forage ). Anyway, I promise I'm not on their payroll, I just like to spread the word about them! Good people, good product, and honestly tip top results.

                            Comment


                              #34
                              If she has any sort of hindgut issues, the omeprazole could be irritating them. Sucralfate is often used along with omeprazole to support the hindgut. It may be worth trying out and seeing if she feels better after a round of it.

                              As far as long term options, there are lots of supplements that claim to have gastric/hindgut support, and that lots of folks swear by. I think it'll be trying some out and seeing what works for your girl and what doesn't. Just speaking from my own experience with a horse that had more hindgut issues than gastric, the game changer was equishure, and to a slightly lesser degree, psyllium. Completely different horse after that discovery. You might also consider putting her on a good pre- and probiotic. Some people don't think they do much, but I figure it can't hurt

                              Comment


                                #35
                                Originally posted by kande04 View Post

                                I think that may be one of the best solutions, although I'm finding that I have to keep increasing the size of the dry lots to prevent them from turning them into dirt.

                                I may have found a solution, though. Our pasture is a 4 acre field, which I've now split up into strips with hot wire. The strips are narrow enough so that I only need one post to run a hot wire across each strip, which makes it much easier to increase the length of each strip as they get it grazed down too short.

                                The only problem is that the grass is so short that they have to be out there fighting the bugs a lot longer to get enough, so I've been letting them out at night in their restricted patches of grass, and then locking them up during the day and feeding small amounts of hay.

                                Feeding horses was so much easier before I knew about ulcers!
                                Why not just let them have the full 4 acres to graze on ? It would be better for the grass because it won't be overgrazed ( then weeds come). If they are easy keepers just put a muzzle on for a certain number of hours depending on what they need?

                                Comment


                                  #36
                                  Originally posted by candyappy View Post

                                  Why not just let them have the full 4 acres to graze on ? It would be better for the grass because it won't be overgrazed ( then weeds come). If they are easy keepers just put a muzzle on for a certain number of hours depending on what they need?
                                  I have muzzles, but worry that if they get them off and then have free access they'll colic. In fact, one of mine did colic this spring and he was only out on grass for about 3 hours. I took that as a warning, and have been even more careful about how much grass they get since.

                                  I don't care about overgrazing parts of the pasture, because it's easy enough to bring it back.

                                  Comment


                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by quietann View Post
                                    Further update: once we tapered the gastroguard dose and switched to the ulcerguard maintenance dose, her symptoms came back . She's currently getting omeprazole shots once a week for 4 weeks. There was a massive change in her behavior between Saturday (before the first one) when she was high-anxiety about *everything*, and Tuesday (the day after the shot). BUT I can't do this long term!

                                    Someone suggested to try sucralfate once she's through with the shots.

                                    The question is .... what is a good long-term protocol?

                                    We're still using Outlast as her concentrate, with High Point vit/min added, instead of a ration balancer, and I am using the Outlast treats. She looks great! Our trail rides are up to an hour now.

                                    She's getting most of her hay in a NibbleNet now... still attacking the nets but they slow her down a bit.
                                    I have had great luck with Redmond's Daily Gold with my ulcer prone mare. It does have have some iron in it though so maybe check with you vet first if its suitable for an IR horse.

                                    Comment


                                      #38
                                      ClassyJumper I’ve had great success with Daily Gold as well. Cutting soy helped a lot, but the day I added the daily gold, everything improved 100%. It's cheap enough that I don’t think twice about keeping him on it.

                                      Comment

                                        Original Poster

                                        #39
                                        I've got her on a vitamin/mineral supplement, High Point Grass, recommended to me by our own JB. It has most of the same minerals. She's been on extra magnesium basically since I bought her. I've used various things but currently MagRestore.
                                        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                        1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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