Friday, June 13, 2008

Peruvian Power!

First, an update on Limerick. She seems to be recovering from the colic well; she is pooping normally and staying hydrated. My vet suggested I buy Succeed Digestive Paste so I ordered that on Monday night. It arrived yesterday in a box of thirty tubes. Two tubes a day for a week to start, then one tube a day thereafter.

According to the box insert, one can top-dress the horse's grain with the paste. However, I suspect Limerick will eat around the paste if I have the barn guys do this so I'm going to administer the tube myself every day.

I gave her the first tube this morning shortly after her breakfast. I put her halter over her head and led her out to the cross ties. When she saw the tube in my hand, her eyes went wide and she clamped her lips shut.

"Hey, this stuff is supposed to taste good," I said.

Uh huh, nope. Nothing that comes in a tube tastes good!

"No, really." I let her sniff it. Her nostrils flared but her eyes remained wide. "Okay, then."

You're supposed to squirt a little at a time onto the tongue to allow the horse to taste the stuff. I tried this and she promptly tried to spit it out. So much for that. I squirted the rest onto the back of her tongue and made sure she swallowed it all.

Poor thing is sick of the tubes! First the bute, then the electrolytes, and now this.

When I put her back in her stall and said goodbye, she didn't acknowledge me.

You came out here just to stick another tube in my mouth--hmmph!

Oh well, she'll have to get used to it--she has another three weeks of this.

Some good news--the blood the vet drew last week to test for Cushing's, insulin resistance, and thyroid issues came back clean! Lim is still lame though, so tomorrow my farrier is taking a look at her and the vet will be back next Tuesday to further evaluate her lameness. My vet is becoming my best friend these days.

On Wednesday, I visited a friend--the same one that rode Limerick three weeks ago (yup, the day I broke my toe). I've ridden her little gray Arab gelding a couple times but that day, I rode one of her Peruvian Pasos, and in an authentic Peruvian saddle, no less!

I have never been on a gaited horse before so I wasn't sure what to expect. I have read the breed profiles of various gaited horses in Horse Illustrated magazine and time and time again, the profiles will state how smooth and comfortable they are. But there's nothing like a firsthand experience!

The horse was a bay with a long black mane, a narrow blaze, and kind brown eyes. Halfway through grooming him, I went to his head and put a hand alongside his soft muzzle. With my other hand, I rubbed his forehead beneath the long forelock and whispered, "Take care of me out there, hmm?" He closed his eyes and licked his lips.

My friend got on him first to check the saddle and rode him at a gait on the lawn of her backyard. His knees kicked up high and out, and the legs on each side moved forward and back at the same time. Last time we rode together, she had ridden him and I tried hard to watch him as I rode alongside on the little Arab. But that was nothing like seeing the horse move from the ground!

Then it was my turn. Feeling funny about riding on a nicely manicured lawn, I walked a circle, then, remembering what my friend had said about the horse's ability to gait at the speed of a quick canter, I tried to be gentle when I asked for a gait. With head held high and ears pricked, he moved forward. It was sudden, yet so smooth, that it took me a second to realize he was gaiting. My hips moved side to side with the saddle. I marveled at his gentle power as I steered him around the shrubbery on the lawn.

When our trail ride was over, I was amazed at how much time had passed. What a fun horse he was to ride! I'm already itching for another chance!

1 comment:

BansheeBreeze said...

Coming from somebody with ALOT of experience with Succeed paste from the track, here's the 2 easiest ways I've found. First method is you can actually squirt it into her cheeks, just put it the corner of her lips, push it back, and squeeze it all out, or you can do half on one side and half on the other. If she wants to open her mouth or spits that out, here's method 2. You hold down the tongue and lower jaw with one hand, shove the tube as far into the back of their throat as you can, and squirt it quickly so it kind of projectiles. It's not fun but it works, lol. Fortunately that paste is pretty sticky so it's harder to spit out. The stuff really works though, you should see results in a month. I've never heard of giving 2 tubes a day, ouch, that stuff is expensive!! Congrats of getting to ride a gaited horse too, what a blast!!