• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Anyone else own an extremely high maintenance horse?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Anyone else own an extremely high maintenance horse?

    Just wanted to vent about my mare. She is 4 years old and is the most high maintenance horse i have ever owned. She requires 4 shoes with pads or else she will get an abscess if she steps on a stone (cost $255 every 6 weeks). She is an extremely hard keeper and will only eat triple crown complete...of which she eats 10 lbs a day. She is so picky with her hay that she cannot maintain a decent (emphasis on decent not great) without free choice hay AND free choice dengie. Her feed bill alone every month is $400. Last week i wormed her and she went off of her feed entirely ... expensive vet visit later uncovered ulcers in her digestive tract. $1300 worth of ulcer meds later she's starting to eat normally again.

    Oh, and she grows the longest, grossest winter coat i have ever seen, doesn't START shedding until the end of May every year (and that is not an exaggeration), so she must be body clipped every spring (which she hates and requires a vet visit as she needs sedatives for her head and legs)

    I've never met a horse who is so incredibly high maintenance. Giving her the feed, shoes and medications she needs to be happy is more than my car payment and insurance. I am honestly considering selling her to someone who is more financially able to give her all she needs to be happy and healthy. She is worth it as she is a super athlete, and she is an amazing riding horse. I love her and feel so guilty, but i want to find her a competition home with someone who doesn't mind her maintenance costs. Anyone else have one like this?

    Our other horse is a Frieisan sport horse who eats a handful of grain and 2 flakes of hay...goes out on the trails barefoot and is just an awesome all rounder. I want a barnful of these

  • #2
    She doesn't sound inherently high maintenance - sounds like something is wrong

    I can understand genetically poor feet, can understand a genetically hard keeper, but I've never seen a horse with the coat issues you described who was healthy. Have you had a CBC done? Tested her for IR? Cushing's? Yes, you rarely see it in a young horse but it's happened.

    The coat issue is the red flag for me.

    What sort of deworming schedule is she on? What has she had for the last year, and when? Do you know her whole history?

    A very young horse who is not properly dewormed can end up with permanent damage that could easily manifest as you describe.
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


    • #3
      I know you were venting about your high maintenance horse (I've been there) but it sounds to me like she has Cushings. It's possible, but not usual, in a horse that young. The coat alone makes me think it, but a less known symptom is muscle wasting, which makes them skinny no matter how much you feed them. If you get the Cushings diagnosed then get her on the appropriate meds you may find you don't need to feed her nearly as much.

      You need to have a good talk with your vet about her.
      Pam's Pony Place

      Pam's Pony Ponderings


      • #4
        To answer your question, no. Not even close. I'm sorry to hear about these challenges!

        Originally posted by JB View Post
        She doesn't sound inherently high maintenance - sounds like something is wrong
        This was my first thought was something systemicly wrong when you said at 4 yrs she needs shoes and pads, or she'll abcess. Then the hard keeper part. The clincher is the poor coat. That would be a huge red flag for me.

        What do your vets say? Also, can you track down the breed to inquire if the dam had any health issues?



        • Original Poster

          She's had all kinds of bloodwork for cushings etc, nothing physically wrong wig her other than ulcers and crappy feet. I'm a scientist and have owned er since weaning...has always always been a late shedder and had the best of care and feed.


          • Original Poster

            She's had all kinds of bloodwork for cushings etc, nothing physically wrong wig her other than ulcers and crappy feet. I'm a scientist and have owned er since weaning...has always always been a late shedder and had the best of care and feed.


            • Original Poster

              As for her feed requirements...she is extremely muscular and loves to gallop...she's out 24/7 and spends most of her time running around. She's a big girl with a fast metabolism and I know with warmbloods and tbs its not uncommon for.them to be big eaters. They are bred to be superathletes. She is in nice condiion but is always a little lean...looks like a tb with race training. I have had her thoroughly examined by my vet and she doesn't have any real issues other than princess syndrome lol.


              • #8
                What has her deworming schedule been like her whole life?
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • Original Poster

                  Regular fecal samples and a rotating dewormer schedule if observed elevated fecal egg counts. i really wasn't looking for veterinary advice here...just venting.


                  • #10
                    Regular FECs and deworming based on positive results in a foal-yearling doesn't cut it. A high enough load of ascarids can cause permanent GI damage that could easily be the sole cause of all the issues you are having.

                    Did you really just want miserable company for the high maintenance horse? Did you not perhaps want to come up with any suggestions as to what might be wrong and maybe how to fix it, if it can be fixed?
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                    • #11
                      Well that sucks! My blue eyed paint is not as bad as your mare but he is high maintainence! He colics if ANYTHING changes in his feeding, very sensitive, totally off feed if not very careful with worming, blue eyed, no make up so constant management of that (and he still lost an eye). He is prone to founder and now has to wear his grazing muzzle when turned out. He is a worry wort. But...wonderful to ride, loyal, loving. He is now on rice bran to get some weight on him (colicked on beet pulp) and sometimes he tries to sneak out to the pasture before finishing. All I have to say is,"Hey! You didn't finish!" and he comes plodding back to his bucket to finish. Have three other easy keepers (and the donkey who is NOT an easy keeper!) but he has always been in need of just a bit more attention!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JB View Post
                        A high enough load of ascarids can cause permanent GI damage that could easily be the sole cause of all the issues you are having.
                        Thats interesting. Is there anything to be done about this? I am actually thinking of my donkey, just got her in December. her previous owners said she has had "shedding issues" every year and holey moley did she! Had to put her on steroids to stop the itching (did scrapes, fecals, etc). have no idea what her worming history is, and her appetite is okay, but does have a "depressed" presentation and that coat issue.... anyway, had not heard that and any info is GREATLY appreciated!


                        • #13
                          Just wanted to say.. I feel for you.. that does sound like a lot of 'maintenance'..

                          Poor feet, shoes all around, abscesses would be enough for me.. add ulcers, picky eater, difficult coat, and high feed costs.. and I'd feel the same as you...

                          I have a friesian.. and had another friesian before this one.. my former boy.. was the ultimate in low maintenance...sensible, never hurt himself, didn't require a lot of food, awesome feet, always sound, healthy, and with a wonderful temperament... until.. he got peritonitis.. and died.. ...at 16 years old...

                          My new friesian boy.. is not as low maintenance... but honestly, pretty good... and I will certainly NOT complain..

                          Can't advise you one way or the other.. you just have to weigh the good with the not so good and decide if it's worth it. No horse is 'perfect'..


                          • #14
                            Any parasite load that is high enough that goes on long enough can permanently damage the GI tract. A damaged digestive system makes very poor use of whatever the horse is eating. It means more calories just to get enough. It means poorly absorbed nutrients, and without enough nutrients you get crappy feet and crappy coat.

                            If it's permanent damage, no, you can't fix it But it might not yet be permanent. First thing *I* would do is Quest or a Power Pack (and I honestly don't know which is more appropriate for a donk) to take care of encysted strongyles. Then I'd do a FEC 8 weeks after that and see what you have. Do a FEC now if you think there could be a very large worm load. That might change your course of action for right now
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                            • #15
                              Thanks! When I got her we did Ivermec (again not certain of worming hx) but I am going to do another fecal, then see about Quest, then as you suggest, another fecal in two months. Your description just really struck a chord!


                              • #16
                                Did they check vitamin levels as part of her bloodwork? At one point my older mare was low on vitamin E, and that made her a harder keeper and gave her coat issues as well. Supplemental vitamin E fixed her bloodwork, and she's fat and shiny for years now.

                                Though I'd imagine that the ulcers could easily cause her to be a hard keeper with coat problems as well. When my younger mare had to go to the vet hospital for a fungal eye infection a couple of years ago, she got ulcers, lost a bunch of weight (she's usually a complete chub), and her winter coat that year had all sorts of weird long hairs in it as well. This year, no ulcers, her coat is lovely, and she's so fat I had to get out the grazing muzzle for her.

                                Maybe wait and see if the ulcer treatment is enough of a help to take care of the feed/coat issues, and then decide if she's still too high maintenance for you?
                                "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                                -Edward Hoagland


                                • #17
                                  Not quite as bad, but close. My mare has the teeth of a 20 year old horse - and she's 12. Tons of grain, plus amplify to maintain weight. She eats a large bucket of chopped timothy. Shod all around, but we have just started trying fronts only. Teeth floating typically twice a year to prevent waves.

                                  But I wouldn't trade her for the world. She's worth every penny. :-) It is frustrating to see the dwindling checkbook though...


                                  • #18
                                    I believe I probably own one of the highest maintenance horses on the planet. I literally have a vet bill every month for something. Hock/stifle maintenance, very expensive supplement I can only get from the vet for his stifles (Equithrive), constant chiropractic, random injuries/illnesses (all unrelated and usually uncommon - like anaplasmosis, which is rare in our area).

                                    He's a very, very sensitive sort and won't cope with any discomfort at all. For example, he can't go more than 7 months between hock injections because he becomes so irritable that he will just bronc people (I.e., me) off picking up the right lead canter. I've seen the x-rays. There are some very mild changes. I've seen much worse in horses that were nowhere near as dramatic about pain. He just won't. tolerate. discomfort.

                                    Every time I think "you know, this is crazy! Surely he does not need all this!" he proves me wrong. He does need it - all of it.


                                    • #19
                                      Oh yeah, horse I mentioned above is also ulcer prone. Of course.

                                      The last time I let him go "too long" between hock injections, I ended up testing him for Lyme, EPM, and a bunch of other stuff because he became extremely aggressive.

                                      I do just adore this horse and had an excellent ride on his exquisitely maintained self today. So for me it is worth it. But I do probably spend close to $5,000 a year just maintaining him.


                                      • #20
                                        Agree with JB, there's an underlying cause to all of your mare's problems...something's going on with her immune system.