Saturday, January 4, 2014

Wanted: Opinions & Reviews

Due to his attitude and picky eating, Alex has been getting another gastric ulcer treatment with Omeprazole for the last month.  Although his eating and attitude have improved, he's still not quite happy.  The feed tub is never licked clean, he always manages to leave just a little feed behind, and I know this isn't just because of the supplements, be cause when he's really eating well, he licks the pan.  He's also still just a little bit grouchy, not like aggressive grouchy, which is how he gets when he's really ulcery, but just not totally content.  Alex is a mouthy horse, in no way do I really ever expect that to change, but this is different. 

I've been wondering if he might have hindgut issues, which is something that Omeprazole doesn't treat.  His current diet includes a low starch pelleted feed and rice bran pellets.  Our supplement regimen is foot, joint and probiotic along with U-7 Gastric Aid for ulcer prevention/maintenance. 

Since Alex still seems a little off, I've been looking at other options.  Basically, I've narrowed it down to three things... Succeed, EquiShure (hindgut buffer) and RiteTrac (this is both a foregut and hindgut buffer) both made by KER.

Although I am warming up to Succeed, with every great review I read, I still feel hesitation.  The KER products are also tempting, but expensive and since they are a LOT of powder, I don't even know if I can get Alex to eat them!  At least the Succeed comes in tubes I can give him orally at first.
I've talked to my vet about this and he said that if I don't feel like it's all gastric since I've treated with Omeprazole, he had heard good things about Succeed.  Other than that, he's kinda non-committal, because otherwise, Alex is in great shape and being fed like a king.

So, in an effort to gather even more information/opinions (my brain is on overload, I've been researching this to death) I thought I'd reach out to my fellow bloggers for any opinions/advice/cautions you might have.

So let me have it, don't be shy :-)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Goodbye 2013: Year of the Snake

“Success is not final…. Failure is not fatal… it’s the courage to continue that counts.”
-- Winston Churchill
Feeling a little bit like I'm jumping on the bandwagon, but since 2013 is now gone, look back at the year seems appropriate. 
After an especially after a rough day with Alex on Sunday, I started thinking hard on this post.  To say 2013 has been up and down would be putting it mildly.
In January, we were just coming out of 3 months of abscess in Alex's left front.  After a long hard winter of soaking, wrapping and waiting, I was so hopeful for the coming year.  We made a lot of progress on the flat and even over small jumps up until mid-April when the wheels came to a grinding halt. 
Back soreness and crud.  Hock injections, back injections and muscle relaxers.  At one point after the hock injections, Alex was so sore that he tried his best impression of the Tasmanian Devil to get me off his back.  After that adventure, I was out of the saddle for a long time, waiting and hoping.
In July we had a County saddle fitting, I learned that saddle fit was the cause of Alex's back problems and we started saddle hunting.
August brought a new (used) County Stabilizer XTR and utter joy, quickly followed by the crushing blow of discovering the tree was badly broken.  While my saddle went back to England for repair, County saved my ass by loaning me a saddle, so Alex and I could keep on, keeping on.
Early September was our first field-trip. Alex surprised me by not losing his shit the first time off the farm, giving me confidence that maybe someday we'd get to a show.  October was truly the month of trick or treat, bringing my saddle back from the County factory and then another crushing blow when the saddle fitter determined Alex had outgrown the medium tree! After a few weeks search I finally made the huge decision to order a brand new County Stabilizer XTR fitted to myself and Alex.  A first in my life, as I have never ever had a brand new saddle in 30 years of riding.
November and December were Alex's wild months of adjustment to the change of seasons for the first time (last winter we were treating his abscesses and he was only being lunged). There were bucks, leaps, hops and even an altercation with the indoor arena wall, but we managed to suffer through.  
This year has been full of lessons in tenacity and patience for both myself and Alex.  I fully admit there has been a lot of sweat, some tears and even a little blood shed, but it has been worth it.  I continually see unlimited potential in my horse and I know we'll get there.
2014 is the Year of the Horse, coincidence?  I think not :-)
Our last photos of 2013:


Stubborn faces on us both.  We're a match!

Bye 2013!