Friday, February 26, 2010

Getting Ready for Spring - - The Results

Part 1

It was nearly a week before we began to see signs that Solidare was gaining weight. Subtle changes made the mare not look "quite so bad" at first. It was more of an impression than anything clearly measurable but it was all we had to gone on.

At first it was hard to trust this belief but as each day went along it became a little easier. By the end of the second week there was no doubt Solidare was gaining weight at an appreciable rate. Her ribs were not quite so exposed and something about else about her looked better too although I couldn't quite put my finger on what that was.

Along with the weight gain, the mare was acting as if she felt better too. Solidare still wasn't moving around much with her feet unless asked to move but she was turning her head to see what was going on her about her. This was something she hadn't seemed to care much about just a few short days before.

Before long I also noticed Solidare's appetite seemed to improve with the amount of time she was hand walked. I stumbled across this information by accident. Checking on the mare before I loaded horses to go work, most mornings I'd find her hay strewn all over the place. A couple of mornings I found the mare had completely cleaned up all her food.

When I went searching for clues to explain the difference between these mornings, I discovered on the days Solidare had finished all her breakfast, Dave had handwalked the mare while Lindsay feed the rest. On the other days she wasn't hand walked until sometime in the middle of the day.

I decided to track this information to see if or how the hand walking was really affecting her meals. At first we just tracked the time of the day of the walking and what effect it had on her eating. Then we got more specific and tracked the actual time walked compared to her consumption of food.

What i learned from this was the mare definitely ate her morning meal much better when she was hand walked before she was fed. If she wasn't handwalked before that meal, it affected how she cleaned up her food throughout the entire day. If I added a second bout of hand walking i could actually increase the mare's allotment of food and she'd clean it all up.

That's when I began to suspect this whole problem with Solidare losing weight had been caused by her lack of movement. It made sense that her immobility could affect her gut. If her gut slowed down it would not utilize her food like it should. That would explain how the mare could be eating as much as she was yet still losing weight.

I called the vet to talk to him about these observations. He was totally in agreement that the mare's immobility could very well be at the root of her poor condition. There is really no other explanation for the improvement in the mare's condition.

The other good news is that Solidare's body is beginning to show some signs of improvement in muscle tone. Obviously we have a long way to go, but there is definitely evidence the hand walking is affecting more than just the mare's appetite. For the first time in weeks, it looks like there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

To be continued................

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  1. What a great observation! She is such a beautiful mare! I'm glad to hear that she is gaining a little and is more alert! How much longer does she have until foaling?

  2. Good to see she is picking up.Stall rest is a funny thing isn't it .When is the mare due to foal

  3. Great that you found a way to begin to regain some of her body mass/muscle.