Kanika (that we nicknamed “Nina”) is a six year old mini mare. Typical with every horse that comes into my hands, she has her issues. She came to me in a trade for Little Cloud that worked perfectly for all involved. Nina’s previous owner had only had her since November 2019 and was wanting her for a therapy horse but instead proved to be quite a handful! Cloud came to me a horrid mess, but after rehabbing him, I was sure that he would make a wonderful therapy horse! I had had Cloud up for sale/trade for many months, and the “right” person had just not come along. As it happened, Nina’s owner saw my ad on Dreamhorse (where she says she normally did not look) and we had a mutual friend who was able to tell her about Cloud, and tell me about Nina and some of her issues. Nina came to me a very nervous, jumpy and high anxiety little girl! The first thing I noticed was how sucked up her belly was. Her owner told me that she had a hard time keeping on weight and it was suggested she be put on senior feed…at age six. This was obviously a very wrong choice as that and her previously unknown diet was leading her down a path to laminitis, as can be seen by the very cresty neck. It is a common “solution” to feed more calories to a hard to put weight on horse, which does nothing to solve the underlying issue…the inability to put on and hold weight. Nearly every horse I hear about that has an issue with holding weight is because of a digestive issue and most of those horses’ diets can be traced to being fed soy products. This is of course first ruling out a genetic issue such as HYPP or PSSM but that is a very small percentage of the horses with weight issues that I come in contact with.
LEFT: First day, sucked up belly, so tight ridge line of muscles showing
RIGHT: Twelve days later: Relaxed belly, ridge line still showing as the muscles are still very stressed and its showing in the hair line. Hair is starting to look "fluffy" as coat condition improves.
CRESTY NECK: Funny thing is, its not very noticable until you grab a hold of it. Its about a 4" crest but blends unusually well into her neck. If she was an older horse, she probably would have foundered by this point.
I started Nina out with a complete diet change, like all the other horses I deal with. Nix the senior feed! A simple base diet of orchard pellets and rice bran, adding in Tummy B Calm, and Calm Down Now to address the digestive issues and the anxiety. After several days I added in Cootie Kicker to flush the toxins from the processed feeds and you can easily see after less than two weeks, there was not only a physical change, but a huge reduction in anxiety. It should also be noted that the old Aunties, Sandelee and Amber, put Nina in her place and “mothered” her so she felt more comfortable in her new location.
Its been almost a month now that Nina has been with us, and as it happens, she is the sweetest little doll! She has started sassing Auntie Sandelee a bit at the feed tub (Sandelee is the mother of all) but other than a bit of pushiness, there have been no issues with the three. Her belly is much more relaxed and she is putting on weight. Her colors are changing as well to a greyer tone rather than the chocolately tone she came to us with. It will be very interesting to see her completely shed out colors this summer! As she has not really started shedding out (where the Aunties are shedding very nicely) I suspect that her thyroid is sluggish as all the other minis that have come into my hands.
A year of straightening her out, and then plans for a baby! Something I have not had to joy of doing, as of yet.
Cloud by the way, is having a lovely time bonding with Kanika's previous owner's special needs son. They have become best buds! He does indeed make an awesome therapy horse!
For those interested, her first herbal testing was on May 2, 2020 and her is what she chose. She has been changed to a custom blend of her herbs, which she is very much enjoying!
POSITIVE/NO LICK CHEW (mostly just trying to eat the baggie!)
Kanika Day 1