As I expect Grace is going to make some big changes over this first year, I thought I'd start off with journaling her progress daily. Following is her first two weeks. I try to progress her a bit every day, not just in basic nutrition and dealing with the sarcoid but also in trust, manners, and the basics. I think eventually this little mare is going to end up being a very heavily muscled little horse! She has a large frame for her size and even being completely out of shape still has quite a bit of muscle.
I hope you enjoy our journey together!
Day 1 Monday April 30, 2018
Went over to the barn owner’s house (Gary) to help his son Sterling load up Grace. It was a 3 horse rust bucket with no dividers. I put Grace on a lunge line so that there was plenty of room for her to pull back as she had already shown signs that that is her first reaction to pressure. Sure enough she wouldn’t even put a hoof on the ramp and when I tried to encourage her she went backwards. She got the first one as a “freebie” but the second pull back was met with a bit of discipline. It was a bit of an argument getting back to the trailer but on the next try she put a foot on the ramp and was given a lot of praise. One more approach and she walked right in and stood there like it was something she did every day! Once the door was closed and I set her loose (was a bit of arguing with Sterling over loose vs tied up horses when there are no dividers but I won) and a bit of pacing, off we went! We took it super slow and I watched to see how much bounding around the trailer did…but she appeared to be traveling quietly once we got moving. We safely arrived at our place to find her standing in the middle of the trailer backwards. I had heard that that is the natural way a horse will place themselves if left loose and sure enough she did! She unloaded quietly, spooked at the chickens (expected as they tend to rush out of bushes to chase people down for treats) and off she went into her new stall. The minis surprised her quite a bit but she seems to like them. Other than eagerly eating up her new foods, the first day was pretty quiet. First days foods were orchard pellets, rice bran, calming herbs and Iron Horse.
Day 2 May 1 2018
Day one out in the front turnout! I discovered she has a very lovely floaty trot! She also seems sore on her feet. Out in the sun you can see how toxic her skin is and she has a lot of rub marks and lost hair. She wouldn’t allow me to catch her until I put the other horses in, but she did get a bit of exercise as I herded her around trying to catch her. Once the other horses were in she came to the gate and stood quietly while I haltered her. Added to her mix Cootie Kicker and Viral Down. Her poo if very erratic at this point but not unexpected. I also washed her sarcoid and area with a tea made of chamomile and calendula. She was not thrilled
Day 3 May 2nd 2018
Spent another day turned out but I put her in a smaller turnout so I could catch her a bit easier. She and Senti had the typical mare-ish squeal fest and I had to yell at them. Grace doesn’t get my “mom voice” yet but Senti got the hint and moved away and pretended she wasn’t doing anything wrong. Smart Mare.
Day 4 May 3rd 2018
Another day out. Ended the day by selling Senti to a lovely couple. She doesn’t need me any more so its time for her to go have a “real” job lol. They want to turn her into a mom (which I always wanted to do but wouldn’t since we boarded) She isn’t happy in our new place but these folks are gamers and I think she will have lots of fun with that. Its what she was bred for. For Grace I lightly lunged her to see what she knows. She wasn’t thrilled but she also is not totally ignorant. However she was very naughty for the farrier, Bobbi, and while Bobbi couldn’t get her back feet done (due to being “kicky”) she did manage the front feet and did work with her quite a bit on the back feet. We have our work cut out for us! Washed Grace’s head again but she was less than thrilled. However she tolerated being hosed down very well (as she was hot and sweaty after working out) and allowed me to mist her head without too much rebellion.
Day 5 May 4th 2018
Today I was late feeding (on purpose) as I wanted Grace to be extra hungry and focused on her bucket. While she was eating, I used the red lens on the Aah light and bathed her head area around the sarcoid. She wasn’t too thrilled to start with but did allow it after a few minutes. I was surprised to note that the sarcoid “fluoresced” some. Tomorrow I’ll try the blue lens. Today Senti leaves for her new home. Her and Grace have already bonded some but I think Grace will be less anxious with Senti gone. Senti worries too much.
Day 6 May 5 2018
Sent Senti off with her new owner Richelle today. She was difficult to load but we managed. Surprisingly there was no screaming for her friends and Grace actually seems calmer with Senti gone. I think Senti has been a lot of the “marish” issues Ive had to deal with. Grace is happily running in the big field and doesn’t seem the least concerned…for today anyway.
Day 7 May 6 2018
Grace’s first week here. I put her outside in the AM but when I went to get her in the PM she was very nervous. I put her in her stall and she became very manic, pacing, wouldn’t eat her dinner, and kept looking over the stall wall at the minis. At about 10pm Drea went out there and she was still pacing. Nothing I could do but let her calm herself down. Not sure what I am going to find this morning….
Day 8 May 7, 2018
Went out to feed the horses this morning and found Grace dry, but obviously had sweat soaked herself. Water bucket empty, but at least she ate the little hay I had left her. She looks very dehydrated and unhappy. She’s going to have to learn to moderate her emotions!
The girls all spent the day out today in the warm sunshine, which should help Grace’s skin issues. She has lost all her winter coat in “clumps” and has nearly zero hair underneath. So the choices are 1) rain rot 2) mites 3) mange. Considering she was inside all winter I nearly ruled out rain rot, however, it would appear someone did blanket her and most likely didn’t remove it all winter as she has heavy signs of rubbing on her shoulders and sores on her hip points (due to being very underweight). The sun should help dry out a lot of the issue. Still too chilly to bath her, though I did hose her down a bit during the hottest part of the day. As with the minis, the rain rot should clear up as her body gets healthier. Its already showing signs of improvement. The sloughing off of hair is expected when giving high levels of Cootie Kicker when the horse is very toxic.
Day 9 May 8, 2018
The horses were not able to get out due to rain. Usually I would not consider the small amount of rain an issue however it was a bit chilly and with Grace’s reduced immune system I thought it best to leave her indoors. I lowered the dividing wall of the stall by two boards making it easier for her to see the minis. This seemed to make her much happier, though she still paces when there is not any hay in the stall. I may go up to giving her two bags a night.
Day 10 May 9, 2018
The horses were only able to spend part of the day outside yesterday…between rain clouds. They seemed to appreciate the couple of hours out and happily went back to their stalls a bit before dark. Grace is eating all of her mash as long as I don’t put garlic in it. That tells me there are stomach issues as I have had many horses refuse garlic until their stomachs are healed up. Will be adding Tummy Ultra to her mix on top of the Cootie Kicker and Viral Down. Hoping to test her with the Herbal Sampling Kit this weekend.
Day 11 May 10, 2018
Managed to brush and trim Grace’s mane today. It is a pretty thin mane, very matted and can’t decide which side of her neck to lay on. A good third of it came off on the brush due to all the knots. As she is still very protective of her head, I haven’t rushed things. She very much wants to be loved on but has that attitude of distrust and seems to feel “betrayed…is the best way I can put it. There was quite a bit of matted hair in the sarcoid today, which continually dries up on the outside, and then burst the top layer off, making it seem bloody and covered in puss and apt to have hair stick to it. Fortunately, I was able to trim the mane back to where that won’t stick in it but the forelock needs trimmed back as well. That apparently is too far to push her today. Will try again tomorrow. The base of the sarcoid does indeed seem to be shrinking so I am hoping at some point it will fall off on its own. As long as it seems to be making healing progress I don’t want to do any major interventions that might cause additional problems. So with Grace we are taking everything slow.
On researching this type of sarcoid, it is known as a “Ulcerative Fibroblasitc” sarcoid. These types of sarcoids tend to be genetically transferred. Surgical removal has shown to spread these tumors throughout the body. My hope is that I can build up Grace’s immune system to a level that her body rejects the sarcoid on its own and that it dries up and falls off. As it is currently the only visible sarcoid, if I can cause this to happen she should remain sarcoid free.
Day 12 May 11 2018
Girls got out late due to a slightly rainy night and are happy to be under the sun again. Grace’s sarcoid has turned very dark and lumpy looking and is shrinking at the base a bit more every day. Its not quick and most people wouldn’t see the difference but Ive spent so much time studying horse issues that I can now see what most people don’t. This helps me know if I am making progress with the current routine.
Tonight I am determined to start treating the sarcoid itself! I will be using bentonite clay and oil to make a paste to be applied to the base of the sarcoid. I also need to see if I can wrap the sarcoid but I think that will be too much for her. We’ll see what we can get away with.
Okay so I wasn’t able (due to grandkids spending extra time with us) able to attack that sarcoid with bentonite clay, but I was able to clean up the area and work more on the trust issue…or lack thereof.
Day 13 May 12 2018
Beautiful day! Have the old ladies out mowing areas of the lawn that have grown too big for the lawn mowing. I call it “field outside the fence”. Its so tall they are hidden in it, and mostly just trample it down but they are having fun doing it! Left the girls out overnight and they did well. No incidences. My goal is to keep them “stall free” from now until winter, barring really rainy days since we don’t have shelters set up yet.
Managed to treat Grace’s booboo with more chamomile and calendula tea and then top off the area with some Equiderma fly spray that I mix half with herbs and some vinegar. She protested pretty loudly to start but once she figured out I wasn’t going to mess with the sarcoid, she allowed me to dose the area really well.
Day 14, May 12 2018
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
I was blessed with an outdoor table and chairs set! Since moving into our new place I’ve been looking for a set but hadn’t had the “spare” money to do so (too busy spending it on broken ponies!) so was thrilled to be gifted with this set! Just needed a good scrubbing, and a day out in the sun. The upside of used is I don’t have to freak out if the grandkids spill something on it <grin>.
Back to horse stuff! Grace was set out in the “big” field today to mow grass and will be left out overnight with access to the small turnout Ive been feeding her in. Sure enough she came in for her Bucket O’Goodies, was re-dowsed with tea and fly spray (this time I was able to spray her whole body) and cut loose again. She stayed in the smaller area over night and did not manically pace like she did when left in the “big” pasture. The old ladies stayed in a small turnout nearby and everyone seemed content. Gaining trust with Grace is a slow process but she has such a sweet heart. She has put on about 30lbs so far. She would have put on more but has had a few manic pacing sessions and worn off a few pounds. We’ve had a few light round penning sessions just to pick up the pace a bit but you can tell her body hurts. A bit of light massage and eventually will start on carrot stretches.
Grace's journey continues HERE