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favorite this post Do U Have A Horse That Has Stones, Chokes, Old, Not Doing Well? (horse owners anywhere) hide this posting unhide

Do U Have a Horse w Stones, Choke or Old, Not Doing Well?

A couple tips if you are at your wits ends to help your Horse with intestinal stones. My Arab is 29 years old 850 lbs. gelding. My issues were 1 1/2 years ago where the vet seemed to feel a stone in intestine and one came out after oil treatment only the size of a nickle. (She said Paints and Arabs seem to be the highest w these problems, and my thought was Arabs live twice as long as most horses into their 30's as long as we keep them safe and watch for colic's etc... their odds could be high for anything living twice as long!) But he was going thru a bad colic, after our walking , getting 1 gal of oil and pain meds from vet and my prayer group praying for him he didn't look like he would make it thru the night. In the A.M. -I peeked around the corner to look out and he was up eating some wet bran mash I had left for him! Yes I thanked God for that! But After I bought him from a friend about 5 years earlier I switched him over to only Alfalfa which he loved and he had been on a variety of feeds when owned by last owner (Better diet) and alfalfa is high in minerals which can create stones etc so I weaned him off of that which he hated all other grasses but loved his senior. So my thought was ok.. stones... blocking.. long tube.. why not feed him like he is SUPPOSED to be fed like a GRAZER and maybe small amounts of feed more often can go over the rough spots easier? During this time I also soaked his food so it was like soup and his gut gurgled real loud hoping that would go thru easier too. I was determined to help him so for my Christmas gift I ordered a used automatic feeder even though we didn't have electricity out back (although most of them run on battery) This is a 'drop small pellet or senior type' you can find from 350. to 400. The hay feeders are larger and have gone up in price to 2000. now which you can put small clumps of hay or wet pellets and trays drop with a garden type timer. I am pretty lazy in AM's since I am up late so even though this only had a 12 lb hopper (although you can find them w 25 lb hoppers and a splitter if you have 2 horses) I thought it could feed for me in the AM's then I could feed extra times afternoon and eve. So he now eats 20 small portions a day every hour. Depending on the weight of your horse and how many ounces per drop. It also helps with Choke 'that we cause' by feeding only 2x a day with big buckets that they grab too much food at 1 time, not given enough time to salivate so the pellets stick. This feeder spends 3 min dropping 5 or 6 little batches - there is no gulping! Also use a longer feeder like a bath tub, not deep buckets- so they have to go find each pellet while they do that they create more saliva which is good for digestion (so this also helps w ulcers). I could go on and on about probably being good for weavers and many other boredom problems since you can set it to go off in smaller portions every 15 min if needed! Also he wasn't the same for a while so I thought I would exercise him since they need the blood pumping from the frog in their hoof to pump blood thru their system could only help so i started slow 5 circles around small arena both ways since he would only go slow. Sometimes they like to go on walks and perk up so I took him to a big arena after he was doing a little better and started running and slipped a little and seemed to pull something so again was very slow and go until he would pick up speed walking then we added trots, 5 both ways until he was doing good, added 5 lopes both ways, slow to fast for warm ups, then always backed him up at the end just for a change of gut movement. That took many months of exercise not knowing if he woulds ever feel good enough to lug me around anymore? Its been a 1 1/2 years now and we went on a ride and he was fine! They say if a horse can eat hay let him eat as long as he can rather than other foods but I would have to had cut w scissors some orchard grass which he likes now. I had his teeth floated to see if that would help w hay but THEN he started quidding, balling up his hay in his mouth which makes it easy to choke on the balls, hence the scissors. Then we went to a paper cutter w the long razor handle which worked cutting grass hay, harder to do alfalfa but I like to add it in as a treat and warms them up on cold nights if you have 1 horse it took a while but if you need more we finally resorted to an electric branch chipper (Gas types are not good for this) I used one by SUNJOE and easy for women to use, it saves a lot of time if you have an old horse that has bad teeth or one with stones you can feed shorter stem and smaller potions too. You will have to look up the automatic feeders if you need one. Most are made out of the country, mine is by 'Ifeed' (ABout 400. new, I bought 2nd hand but was new in package for 250.) I think from Sweden. I didn't have extra money to spend on this but I feel the money I save on vet bills or wasted food over say; 10 years and not see the sad painful look on your horses face is well worth it. It also synthesis's food better so there is less waste and works in your horses system better to get rid of that hay belly and a slew of other benefits. I know its hard when you work, the easiest thing to do is throw 2 flakes of hay over each day but you have a lot love, time and money invested why not treat them the way they should be, feed them like nature. I see horse people all over feeding them incorrectly -2 hunks of big dry flakes every day that reeks havoc on their system. Even if you could only add an extra feeding mid day or have your help do a 3rd feeding, anything is better than 2x a day. Even if you throw a carrot or apple over the fence for a treat- do it at a different time than your feeding to get their juices going to keep ulcers form happening. It's time to realize the old Cowboy way needs to be brought up to today's level of education! I also have a tip to save 30. a month right of the bat if you choose to get a automatic feeder from somewhere, mine paid for itself in 8 months but I don't want the city to get bombarded so you can email me for that info. OR this won't cost you a dime if you have time to do extra feeds. Add these examples w light exercise and see if your horse doesn't do better and help them live as long as they can! The feeders are not babysitters for you to go on vacation for the weekend! you still have to keep an eye on it and refill. I have had such good luck with this I just wanted to share for the sake of the horse! I am happy to answer any questions if you are in the same boat
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