Monday, April 23, 2012

Cowboy and Cia Update

This is why I love this horse.  He followed me to the front of the house, front pasture where I needed to do some gardening....

and left his herd a mile away.  (picture from side of house looking to the back of the barn where his herd is grazing--you can't even see them they're so far away.)

You may have noticed my blog has been quiet since I started the meds.  That's because things were going so well I didn't want to jinx it by speaking too soon.  And, luckily, I didn't, because things did take a turn, but at least I can't blame it on bad luck.

First, I missed one of his dosages.  The next day he was head shaking again.  I started him right back up, but  there was some more of it today.  Milder than before, but enough for me to mask him again.  Is it that delicate a situation that I can never miss a dose?  Is his dose not high enough?  Does he just need a mask in conjunction with the meds?  (He isn't head shaking right now as he grazes in the front pasture.  I'm looking at him through the window from my desk as I write.)  More later.  I consider this an experiment, and after this whole regimen is completed I'll consult with my vet again and decide the next step.

As for Cia, we definitely took a few steps back.  She had always trusted me and came to me whenever I'd show up with a halter and lead.  Not so now.  She runs from me.  All week I've worked on catching and releasing her.  She is definitely catchable with a little effort, but I'm not used to having my horses "leave" me. She's telling me, "No, thank-you," and "I don't trust you anymore."

Of course, that makes me sad, but I'm not worried.  I know she'll come back around and be where she was with me.  She's already following me along the fence line again when I leave.  It was just a scary experience and she's having to re-acclimate to our ways.  She also doesn't want me to take her off or hurt her.  When she remembers that fly spray, grooming, and masking don't hurt, but help, she'll be on the road to remembering I only ask her to do safe things.  Today, however, she is going to get a little lunging and working on the lead.  More on that later...


  1. I had a similar experience with Minnie when I had to put her in livery and then I couldn't visit her for 10 days because the roads were too icy to drive and she had a bad experience in the mean time. When I got her back, she was not the same and it took time for her to settle and be herself again. You are giving Cia the time she needs and it is obvious that she is already coming back to you.

    Having worked for vets for years I know that it can be very difficult and time consuming to find the right dose for some medications. It might take a bit of experimenting, but at least you know that it does work.

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words, Sandra. It probably is a dosage thing. Also, the arc of getting into his system and working--maybe it takes a few hours after dosing to see the effect. I can't really keep his mask off anymore to test it because it's very sunny out and he sunburns easily. :/

  2. That's so frustrating! I hate it when your horse goes from trusting and gentle to spooky and fearful. She'll come around, it may just take a while.

    Loads of treats and happy grooming sessions are definitely in order! :)

    1. That's a good idea--I haven't been giving her treats other than a little grain. I may have to make some special trips out and do that.

  3. I think it will be just a matter of time before she's close to you again. Wonder if clicker/treat training would get her to come to you quicker? A lot of people seem to have really good results with this method.

    The dosage may have to be adjusted and he might have to wear his mask more often in the sun. Between you and your vet I'm sure you'll find the right combination to help him. The medication seems very promising to me.

    Thanks for the update, I was wondering how they were doing.

  4. Your horses always seem like such faithful companions, I'm sure Cia will come around and be friends again soon!


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.