Need tips on elder Appy/Quarter gelding...?
I just bought my first horse at the end of Aug. I am a beginner accordingly I chose an older horse that spent most of his life at a riding stable. The second 2 months have been awful. He be a little thin when I got him so we started him on senior nurture. He kept having problems, we thought he was choking. The vet floated his teeth (they were really bad) and it still kept occurring. We finally realized he was allergic to the food and was have severe reactions. He was also allergic to the trotter that we tried him on. We now enjoy him on sweet feed and of course plenty of hay and grass but for some reason he still have no energy. He walks around with his team leader hanging all the time. When I ride him I can get him to trot but he have never cantered for me yet. I was merely wondering if there could still be something else wrong. He is 24 years old and spent 18 years of his vivacity at the stables. When I bought him he was still being ridden 5-8 hours a day. He is in a minute in a pasture with 7 other horses. He will kick at the bossy ones but as far as expelling sparkle that's as good as it gets. I have see him run with the herd only once since he's be there.I've only ridden him 4-5 times since I got him could he be bored in a minute that he's not working so much? He was slow and sluggish at the stables if he be in the hack line but would pick up his pace whether in lead (so i'm told). Even there though he other walked around with his head down and slow. Everyone tell me he's just lazy and they think i'm one paranoid since i've had so much trouble with him. He trips alot too. Front feet are shod and I of late had back feet trimmed. I be told he's just too lazy to pick up his feet. Anyway any tips would help out I'm broke from all the vet bills so far but I dearly love him and want him to be ok. Could this all just be pure idleness and maybe he's just wore out from all the years at the stables? If it is newly being lazy what can I do to pick up his energy?
It sounds like he is missing a vitamin, that would explain the ingestion feces. I would recom getting him on some alfalfa that has a higher energy content later regular hay. Have you thought about a supplment for the energy problem. Has he been wormed and up to date on shots? Maybe a mineral block surrounded by the field would help. feel free to email me at fiestykatiewvu(a)yahoo.com whether you have questions !
If he's eating poop, it is often a sign he's not getting what he needs contained by his own food. It can also just be a habit. My horse certainly like to snuffle every turd he comes across, but doesn't actually eat them. I assume that you have him separated during feed, to make sure he's getting all of his meal. I don't think he's lazy, most horses that are lazy do run around within the field, it sounds like he is lacking something, or something hurts. You might want to walk to the library and check out some books on lameness (which might explain his not cantering) and general horse health. There are some tests you can do that won't hurt him that might abet you rule out some physical problems. These are tests that also won't hurt him if you don't do them right, either, approaching flexion tests, and stuff. They are fun to do and don't cost you anything!
My vet is happy to answer question if I call her, she doesn't charge me for phone time, so you might want to consider calling your vet and just chatting beside her/him, to see if the products recommended here are ok to try on your horse. If they are, then give it a step, making sure of course, that there isn't any alfalfa surrounded by those products!
He may also have a neurological issue that make lifting his hinds difficult. Have your vet check for that, but the only way to be 100% certain is to do a spinal touch.. which is costly.
In the mean time you can start him on a supplement such as Lixotinic, commonly referred to as a 'blood builder'.
ETA: 10 days of antibiotics is NOT going to cure Ehrlicchia or Lyme.. Why was he on the antibiotics? What did the vet see that needed treating? Did you do a follow up blood test? Is his white count still elevated?
He's probably a little worn down from the hack steady. A 24 yr old needs limited substance to carry. A young horse carries 20% of their weightiness easily, a 20yr old should only convey 10%. He may also be a little arthritic. He might benefit from a joint supplement, www.horse.com has some that work all right for those on a tight budget. You could also try a vitamin/mineral supplement called, Red Cell. I usually put it in a voluminous syringe and squirt it in the back of the mouth once or twice per day according to the recommedation. Many elder horses stay active and are happy to be out on the trail. My guess is your guy needs some relief with suppliments. It could take several months for him to feel better. As for "laid-back feet", when you ride walk him over poles or trees that have fallen, bring in sure he sees them so he picks up his feet. This can really modernize a horse who doesn't want to be bothered lifting the foot. I even use a verbal command, starting when I'm just leading them on the ground. When we approach a rock or any jib I say "watch your step", eventually just "step". It's amazing how without delay they "get it" and start paying attention to me in the saddle. I see an intent or terrain they need to pay attention to and I just voice "step", they know to watch their feet! I would first get him on a pooled suppliment, give him some time for it to work, and then start building his riding abilities slowly. One partly hour 5 days a week works much better than 5 hours one day a week. As for the allergies, I'm sure they are not limited to the Appy's but I bred and trained Appy's and I must read aloud, they seemed prone to skin allergies. Especially from the little black gnats. I had one who broke out in hives contained by the spring. A steroid shot can be given to ease the bumps and itching. Manure eating can also be fixed with a supplement. Check out that website. Good luck.