Sunday, June 29, 2008

Little changes...

Joy has made enough progress that at this point, the changes are subtle. She's gained back some of the weight she's lost, is grazing out on the pasture (occasionally), and will actually doze in the sun.

About dozing in the sun...I think this might be in response to the SLH Bright Eyes. Since she's been here, she has stayed in the barn during the day. Yesterday, despite the heat (95 degrees), she stood out in the sun dozing. I found that to be interesting. Her eyes are also no longer weeping yellow gunk. I remain cautiously optimistic.

Because Joy hangs out in the barn so much and uses her stall as her bathroom, there are a LOT of flies tormenting her. I sprayed her down with fly spray last night and she was a lot more comfortable.

*RANT - Why can't a fly spray maker create a sprayer that friggin WORKS!*

The only fly spray I've found that has a spray that makes a fine mist and works every time is "Go 'Way Spray". I really like it because it doesn't contain chemicals, which could exasserbate her allergic reaction. I've also used it on myself. It's expensive, but since it's a very fine mist, a little goes a LONG way.

Friday, June 27, 2008

OH! So she DOES graze...

I turned the horses out on pasture and after wandering and pacing a little, Joy started grazing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

SPA DAY...sort of.

I came home from work and cleaned stalls and runs. I have tomorrow off and didn't want to spend my weekend free time cleaning stalls. It's supposed to be in the 90s on Friday, 100 on Saturday, and 104 on Sunday. Yup...I think summer just might finally be here. (Candice - it's headed your way)

After I was done and had eaten a bowl of CapN Crunch (MY FAVORITE!) I got the rubber nubby stripper and worked Joy over. I got a surprising amount hair off her top line. It's like she's still letting go of her winter coat. Then I took a brush and got her all cleaned up.

I'm back to thinking that she's still got a fungus thing going on. She's got the "gunk" under her mane. It's a LOT like Honey had that didn't go away until I roached her mane. Her bald spots on her shoulders have new baby hair growing in.

I found a new sore on her belly, just behind where the cinch would go. It looks like she's been biting at it. I found a WONDERFUL belly sore sealer that keeps the flies away for days at a time. Vicks Vapo Rub! Cheap. A little goes a LONG way! And it's "medicated". I'm going to put it on under her mane and see if it doesn't help her out there. If nothing else, she'll be able to breathe better. (LOL! That's a joke!) (Well I thought it was funny)

She also has a sore on the point of her hip. I'm not sure what this is from. Biting, maybe?

There's a product that someone recommended for itchy skin called Calm Coat. I'm going to look for it tomorrow and at least read the label.

There was an oil slick on Joy's water, so she's still itching where I put the MTG. It's helping but she's still itchy. I thought about giving her another bath, but feel that it will just dry her skin out. Maybe Shoulder to Shoulder dandruff shampoo would work. I'm wracking my tiny pea brain trying to figure something out that will give her some relief. I feel so sorry for her.

She has calmed down a LOT! She doesn't pace nearly as much and isn't freaking out when I enter another stall. This poor girl has a LIST of issues that need resolved. Unfortunately, I don't have one miracle pill to give her and fix it all at once. I'm just tackling one issue at a time before I move on to the next issue.

So just HOW did Joy get into this mess? First of all, she's been a broodmare. Good ONLY for producing babies. Each baby took more of her reserves, depleting her body mineral storage, taking calcium and other minerals from her bones and tissues. Without FEEDING extra minerals during gestation, the mare just got further and further depleted. For broodmares, hay and water is NOT enough!

As the years passed and the babies were born, Joy's body just couldn't take it anymore without displaying some symptoms. Allergies is most probably a result of a compromised immune system. She had lice and rain rot, also an indication of poor immunity. She is experiencing problems with her eye sight. Malnutrition is the likely culprit. She doesn't need HAY. She needs supplements! Minerals and vitamins.

I occurred to me that she's probably been in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) for most of her life. This has significance because the PNW is NOTORIOUS for being selenium deficient! I'm picking up a selenium supplement tomorrow. Luckily, it's relatively inexpensive. A shot from the vet would be best, but he wouldn't give it without running a blood panel. I don't have that kind of money to put into this mare, and even double dosing a feed through, I won't be able to overdose her. But it will help tons if she is deficient in selenium.

Joy has a lot of problems. But I think they can be fixed. Joy CAN be restored.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


It was a very quiet evening. It was beautiful out, no wind, high, wispy clouds. And...I didn't ride. I didn't even pull anyone out of the barn. No excuses, I just didn't.

Joy is looking great! She's put on weight and I noticed tonight that even her top line is filling in.

I continue with the GOBS of feed, the supplements and all that. She just looks good. She was actually very relaxed tonight. The neighbor worked one of her horses and Joy looked, but was quiet. Not even so much as a nicker.

Two more days until I can open up the pasture again for grazing during the day.

I wish I could figure out how to get pictures to upload. May have something to do with my daughter streaming....

I guess I'll go to bed early.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Joy gets a workout

It's really simple to exercise Joy. I simply take a horse away from the barn. Or as easy as walking into a stall with a halter. Leave the stall or return the horse, she settles down.

She is still very itchy, though I think some of it is relieved by the MTG. I noticed her doing something very strange tonight. She was using one back foot to itch the back of the other back leg. Kind of like when you pick up your foot and use the top of it to scratch the back of your calf. It was really strange. I've never seen a horse do that before.

The horse I took away form the barn was Kaci. The big bay gelding former jumper I picked up for the cost of fuel. He's got the prettiest long floating extended trot. Now all I have to do is work up the courage to ride it....

Monday, June 23, 2008 stress?? YUP!

Cathy was right on...AGAIN!

Joy has stress. Stress when the other horses leave the barn. Stress when she can't see them. Stress about feeding. Stress. Stress. STRESS!!! YAAAAAAAAAA!

I really noticed it when my neighbor was in the arena with her gelding. This boy is far enough away that I seriously doubt that Joy can see him from her paddock. She happened to notice him moving around the arena and went NUTS! Seems like there was activity and it might be one of her buddies. After all, he was a sorrel. Redman's a sorrel.

At first I thought that she'd lost sight of Angel. But her attention was on the arena. Yup! That was it. Somebody was in the arena and she hadn't seen him leave.

Then I actually DID take Redman to the arena for some work on his stifle. Joy lost her mind. Up and back and whinnying and raising a ruckus!

If she had nothing else going on, I'd put her on the SLH Keep Cool, but with everything else going on, I want to resolve some of her other issues first. I hear that Dynamite products have something called Easy Boy. I haven't tried it yet since I've had such good luck with SLH.

Good Lord! This poor mare is a MESS!

I went back on with the MTG tonight. She's not a itchy as she was when she first got here, but still itchy. The oil of the MTG also keep the flies away. I just wish it didn't smell so bad.

Oh yeah...Joy is DEFINITELY in heat. At the end of the week, she goes back on the SLH Liver Cleanse.

Hmmm...What next?

I actually saw Joy lope. I had taken Angel for a ride out on the trail and before I left, I opened Joy’s gate to the pasture. When I returned from my ride, Joy saw us, whinnied, then loped up to the barn. She has buddied up with Angel and seems a lot more relaxed when Angel is locked off pasture. I would like to turn them out together, but with the kicking behavior that Joy has displayed, I don’t dare. The other night, joy was raising a ruckus because she knew Angel was out there, but she couldn’t see her. So I brought Angel up to the barn and locked her gate, seeing how we wanted to sleep.

Her front left ankle is still swollen and after her loping display, she was definitely lame on it. I gave her some B-L Solution to make her a little more comfortable. That's what I love about that stuff, you can feed it day after day and not worry that it will cause damage to the stomach lining like bute will.

Another I noticed that concerns me is that Joy will squat and push. It’s different than a “squat and pee” posture. She actually pushes, like she’s trying to pass something, but nothing comes out. Initially, I though perhaps Joy was in heat, but she’s only next to another mare now that I’ve moved her. She also does it when she’s alone and Angel is way out on pasture.

Thinking that there may be some kidney issues going on, I took Joy off the SLH Liver Cleanse and put her on the SLH Kidney.

I’m anxious for the SLH Bright Eyes to arrive. I’d like to see how Joy improves on it.

Joy is “fed up” enough now that she’s getting picky with her feed. If I want her to eat something, I have to give her that and only that, otherwise she won’t eat it. I also have to have her on the hungry side, or she’ll walk away from it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Joy got a bath today. It's about 90 degrees, and I found some shampoo that is Antimicrobial, Antifungal, and Antibacterial. A triple shot is case any of those are still living on her skin. I soaped her up and let it sit before rinsing.

Then I squeegied it off and rubbed plain yogurt into her wet coat. I smooshed it in making sure it made it down to her skin.

She is eating really good! Pretty much not stop. I keep SOMETHING in front of her at all times. I do see little slobbered hay balls come out of her mouth when she eating hay, so Cathy's call that she needs some dental work is right on spot! It'll probably happen on July 11th, as that's the soonest I can get the gal up here to work on her. After that, I think she'll have a much easier time eating.

I locked Joy out of the barn. She was just too dang messy. Her stall was becoming a cesspool., with flies and gnats and the smell. Since then, she hangs out in the shade of the barn, but will also walk up to the gate to squeal at Angel. I haven't seen her kick at her in a few days, so that's good news. She was beating the crap out of the stalls.

Joy is very friendly and sweet. She likes attention, mostly scratching her itchy spots, but she also seemed to enjoy her bath. She stood quietly and didn't flinch when I turned on the water and started spraying her. She arched her neck as if it actually felt good to her.

One thing I noticed, is that her "butt hair" (the hair over the top of her butt from the flanks back to the tail head) really holds onto the dirt and sand. That's goes for all horses, for that matter.

I'm expecting the SLH Bright Eyes and Worm Foe today, so she will start on the supplements with this evening's feed.

UPDATE: The yogurt dried and for now Joy looks white and flakey. It looks HORRIBLE! She'll get rinsed tomorrow. I think she actually felt better with the MTG, so I'll reapply that tomorrow.

She was actually looking spunky this evening, whinnying for the other horses out at the end of the pasture. She paces like a horse that can't see. Along the fenceline, never up the middle.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hopeful Epiphany

So I was driving home thinking about Joy and her itchys.

I remembered six years ago when we had a litter of seven Jack Russell Terriers. When the pups were six weeks old, pooping and peeing everywhere, they all came down with a itchy rash that made their hair fall out. It was in different places on different pups. One had it on front legs and paws. One had it on his belly. One had it on his back. One had it on all four paws.

So I collected one pup and headed to the vet. He did a scraping and determined that it was neither lice nor mites. He gave me a bottle of anti-bacterial shampoo and a bill for $100 and sent me home. A week later, the pups were no better. So he said “Come on down and I’ll give you an anti-fungal shampoo.” $35 dollars later, I was back home washing puppies.

Let me tell you something. Seven Jack Russell puppies is a LOT of puppies!

A week later, the pups were still no better. My husband and I were just getting ready to give yet another bath, when I had an epiphany. What if it was a yeast infection? I mean humans can get yeast infections in areas where it stays moist. After all, my son had gotten one when his sitter didn't change his diaper often enough. The puppies piddle and walk in it, then lay in a big pile. Even though we changed the newspaper twice a day and the bedding nightly, they still could have it.

So I jump in the car and head to Walmart and buy a quart of plain yogurt. We slathered the puppies in yogurt, then placed them in the tub and let them lick themselves clean. The puppies got yogurt on their meals and within 24 hours were 100% better. By the end of the week, no more itchy skin, no more red. They all survived it and fully recovered.

So, if Cathy has used anti-fungal shampoo and treatments, what if Joy has a topical yeast infection? I mean she’s from western Washington and it’s been a very wet spring. She had rainrot, which is a fungal infection. Why not a yeast infection?

I have a round stripping brush with rubber nubbies on one side. It’s WONDERFUL for shedding out horses. I worked Joy over from her poll to her tail and I was surprised at how much hair came out from her withers back. And it was oily, but that’s not where I put the MTG. So again, I’m thinking yeast infection.

Joy is currently on a probiotic meal for the INSIDE. I’m headed to Walmart for some plain yogurt for the outside. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the cure for the terrible itching was a simple as a $2 quart of plain yogurt???

Updated photo at here. It's not a close up, but she looks better already....doesn't she?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Aaaahh...THAT'S better...

Cathy made a comment that she thought that perhaps Joy had ulcers, in addition to her other multiple issues. I mentioned it to my neighbor and as luck would have it, she had most of a gallon of Uncle's Sport's Agenda Gut Protector Plus left in her garage that she wasn't going to use. I offered to buy it from her, but she said "No." THANK GOD! A gallon costs $150!!

So Miss Joy started it tonight. With all the stuff I'm throwing at her, she can't HELP but get healthy!

I've got the SLH Worm Foe and the SLH Bright Eyes on it's way, so she'll start on that as soon as it gets here. (I'm thinking Saturday!)

The Worm Foe is a daily wormer that does a slow kill of parasites, so as not to shock her system. The Bright Eyes is basically nutrition for her eyes.

Joy is pacing less, but still hasn't laid down to rest.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Someone ease my worried mind...

I feel so bad for Joy.

When I checked on her just now, her front right ankle is swollen. She may have done it when she jumped out of the trailer. She seem to limp a little bit, but to my uneducated eye, it could be the left hind, which has an old injury. It concerns me!

I scratched her ichty spots, which are still greasy from the MTG. She was totally digging that!

One more thing has come up with Joy after observing her more... I haven't seen her lay down and rest. She rolled once that I saw, though it doesn't appear that she has since. But she doesn't lay down. Once VLC's blog is a link about Saving Argus (Read about him here:

Could it be that Joy is the same? In that she doesn't sleep? Is she in so much pain that she DOESN'T lay down? This really concerns me.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Am feeding
5 pounds hay, 3 pound Strategy GX, 2 pounds Equine Senior, 1 pound Amplify,

PM Feeding – 5 pounds hay, 3 pound Strategy GX, 2 pounds Equine Senior, 1 pound Amplify, 1 ounce FluidFlex, 1 ounce SLH Liver, 1 ounce B-L Solution


The gate to Joy's pasture has been open since yesterday. Today, I let the rest of the horses out in their pastures. Joy came out, put her nose to the grass, snuffled around some, then proceeded back to the barn. Most of the time, she hangs out in the stall. Perhaps this is where she feels most secure?

She nickers for her supper and is really easy to be around. She fusses at Redman, the sorrel gelding on one side of her, and at Angel, the fat appy mare on the other side, but for the most part ignores them.

I can't get photos to load here, but you can view a picture of Joy on my Photobucket.

Restoring Joy

June 17

Restoring Joy

Joy is a twenty year old off track Thoroughbred who fell on hard times. Crippled and skinny, she can’t make money anymore for her owners, isn’t useful, and yet, she fill into wonderful hands.

Cathy took Joy home and cleared up the rain rot and lice that plagued her. When Joy continued to rub her hair out (see photos), Cathy decided that perhaps there was an allergy problem and had a panel run. The vet gave her steroids to give her comfort from the itching. The results of the allergy panel are: Orchard grass, apples, oats, and almost every weed known to man.

Part of Joy’s problem is putting on, and keeping on, adequate weight. As a result, she looks MUCH, MUCH older than her 20 years. She looks 10 years older. Her teeth probably need some work and that will be addressed at a later date.

Cathy, with her very busy schedule, can’t focus on Joy like she wants to, so I offered a solution: Cathy will spend some time “re-training” my OTTB mare Honey, and I’ll work on fattening Joy up.

So, on June 13, Joy came to stay at my house for a while. She has her own open stall with dry lot, and access to pasture.


In low light, Joy does not see well. Even in full day light, I don’t think she sees well. When we tried to load her in our 3-horse slant load, she balks at the door. She dropped her head to the deck of the trailer, and ran her lips along the floor, as if trying to judge the height of the step up. Once she figured it out, she walked right in and stood in place. We got home after 9:00 pm, late dusk. Joy looked for the ground but couldn’t seem to find it. She refused to step out. While my husband holding the lead rope, I popped her on the butt to get her out of the trailer. (I hate doing that as creates a traumatic experience for the horse and she will remember this.) So, with a HUGE leap, she exited the trailer. Once on firm ground, she led quietly into the barn. I gave her some hay, and though she saw where I dropped it, she lowered her head slowly, as if searching for it. Once she found it, she began munching happily, with none of the “new-horse-in-a-new-place shenanigans that usually goes on.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Joy has been an eating machine all day. It started with about 6 pounds of teff hay, 2 pounds of Purina Strategy GX, 1 pound of Purina Equine Senior, and two pounds of Purina Amplify. Just for breakfast. She ate all but a little bit of the hay.

Two hours later, she got 4 pounds of dry alfalfa pellets. At 2:30, she got two pounds of alfalfa pellets soaked in apple juice, one pound of Strategy, 1 ounce of Equerry’s Meal for probiotic meal, 1 ounce of Silver Lining Herbs (SLH) Kidney and one ounce of B-L Solution (for pain/discomfort)

For dinner, she got a flake of hay, 1 pound of Amplify, 2 pounds of Strategy and 1 pound of Senior feed.


Joy paces her stall. It’s as if she can’t believe that it’s open. She turned circles this morning, standing for a few minutes, then circling again. It was as if this was a habit that she developed when at the track or in a barn somewhere. Just pacing and circling.

About an hour after I opened her run to give her access to the pasture, I saw Joy walk the fence. She walked completely around the perimeter, then back to the barn.

Several time I watched her walk out to the pasture, then back to the barn. I have yet to see Joy lower her head and graze out on pasture. She did lay down and roll.

At noon, I sprayed her with T-Cleanse by Healing Tree. It’s all natural, herbal, soothing. She didn’t care much for the whole spray bottle business, but I was able to get the job done without fuss or fight.

If you EVER have cuts or scrapes, Healing Tree is the ONLY way to go! T-Zone cream is just short of a miracle! I get all my Healing Tree products from Michelle at Katie’s Coast to Coast.

About 4:00, I actually saw Joy with her head down and eating grass. It was short lived, though. She spent most of the day pacing from the barn, to the pasture and back. I locked her in on the dry lot since I needed the pasture for a horse that would actually eat the grass. Hopefully, she will settle in and pace less.

Joy was limping on the front left. I’m not sure if that’s an old injury, or if she hurt it when she loped from the barn when I opened the roll up door.
Sunday, June 15, 2008

Am feeding
5 pounds hay, 3 pound Strategy GX, 2 pounds Equine Senior, 1 pound Amplify, 1 ounce FluidFlex, 1 ounce B-L Solution

Mid-Day feeding – 4 pounds Strategy GX, 2 pounds Equine Senior

PM Feeding – 5 pounds hay, 3 pound Strategy GX, 2 pounds Equine Senior, 1 pound Amplify, 1 ounce FluidFlex, 1 ounce SLH Liver, 1 ounce B-L Solution


Joy still continues to pace, though is showing signs of settling in. She is showing some personality and temperament by nickering for food, and pinning her ears at Redman next door. She also squealed a time or two at Angel, who is housed on the other side.

I sprayed her with T-Cleanse

Monday, June 16, 2008

Am feeding
5 pounds hay, 3 pound Strategy GX, 2 pounds Equine Senior, 1 pound Amplify,

Mid-Day feeding – 4 pounds Strategy GX, 2 pounds Equine Senior

PM Feeding – 5 pounds hay, 3 pound Strategy GX, 2 pounds Equine Senior, 1 pound Amplify, 1 ounce FluidFlex, 1 ounce SLH Liver, 1 ounce B-L Solution


Joy is becoming more a member of the herd. She knickers for feed, eats treat readily and is interested in what is going on with my husband and I in the barn.

After supper, she took a trip to the beauty parlor for a little oil (M-T-G) massage. If there are mites or something else causing the skin condition, the oil will smother them. Initially, she was kind of goofy about it, but with the massaging in of the oil, she decided that she liked it after all and stood quietly. I brushed out her mane and huge clumps came out. At the base, there are scabs and other yuk, but I massaged the oil in and she seemed to appreciate that.

Unfortunately, the oil will attract and hold the dust and dirt if she rolls, so she’s going to look horrible for a week or so. Thankfully, I only have to rub in the oil every 4 or 5 days. I brush off most of the dirt that I can, then apply more oil.

I have a photo, but I can't get it to upload. :O(