I need to do the full 10 days, confirmed, so more play time with Rigsby.
Today he learned to skip...
The other horses I have taught this to (Charles and Jay) took 3 sessions to learn skipping at canter. Rigsby did it in one!
With the others, it was about helping them feel confident. Rigsby was confident, but would rather not canter as that is somewhat energetic...
Cantering round is not playing to Rigsby's strengths. Need to find new games. Putting the bin out and Cob Polo were new games just for him. Need to get my thinking cap on for some more that Rigsby will enjoy more than tearing round!
Haha, I have taught three to do it, and it has never gone pear shaped. I mean, I have whooped them accidentally up the bum, or got tangled before, but they know that it is simply an accident and we are OK. Not hurt one, so they just mind their own business and canter round (except Rigsby, he only does a bit of canter before informing me he is old and semi retired). The others were my eventers, rather well bred, one competing at BE Novice, the other had done BE to 100, but had done SJ to Fox, so not slouches.
Isolation day 3... Mr Red has been a long-suffering superstar. He hates playing games and hates going to the horse shop.
Today, Rigsby learned basketball
. He doesn't join in mentally with silly games like some of the others, but neither is he bothered in the slightest. He would just rather eat!
Mr Red used to say such folly was a waste of time, until, one windy day, I was out on Jay Man, known as very sharp before I bought him, when a sheet of insulation blew across the road and right into him.
Many horses would have shied into traffic or something. Jay was just OK. Didn't really have an opinion, as he knew what to do, he stood still and awaited instructions.
So, I don't think Riggers particularly enjoys these sessions, but he is pretty ambivalent and is learning skillz!
After this. Mr Red did a bun run to the local tack shop, which has a cafe. Cream scone and flapjack
Next up, cutting the fields and hopefully more fitness. I seem to have broken the hoover. Hey ho.
Rigsby has had 2 days off, my day 4 and 5 of isolation.
Yesterday I was busy bottoming the kitchen, so housework all day. All cupboards emptied, windows and even walls scrubbed. I did put Rigsby's hay nets through the washer, followed by dog beds, so Mr Red won't 'need to know'
I had some less than pleasant computer work to do regarding mum's estate. It has been in the 'too hard to do' box. I have no excuse whilst isolating, so today I got it done. It was as bad as I thought, going through all the old stuff. Opening the boxes both physically and metaphorically.
Riggers therefore got another day off. When I had a comfort break, I snapped a photo of him having a break too. He does have 4 hours at grass a day, the rest of the time either in the stable or (mostly) turned on the arena.
I have also trimmed his feet. They aren't getting any roadwork now I am isolating, and his feet are tough and grow quickly.
Anyway, he looks quite content with a couple of days off!
so both heston’s are from the same cut/field if im understanding correctly? If so, and theyve been on it since winter, the hay doesnt sound like a trigger culprit.
But if you bought another heston from same supplier and dont know if it was same field/cut than the winter bales youve been using, it might be a causative factor.
Im not referring to sugar levels of hay causing sudden symptoms resembling lami/gaining weight. Im referring to herbicides and possible pre-harvest ‘dessication’ of hay fields with glyphosate - it helps the grass dry quicker - as a causative factor.
Glyphosate causes pancreatic changes and sugar metabolism issues, and many herbicides used now are ‘persistent’ endocrine/hormone-disrupting technology. They’re often used as they require only 1 pass for stubborn weeds like dock etc, the older types of herbicides would do a partial kill so many required 2 tractor sprayings. So the newer class of herbicides are called endocrine-disrupting as the chemical is designed specifically to interfere with the endocrine/growth/reproduction cells of the plant, killing it.
So far there’s been 1 study linking endocrine disruptors to ems conditions in equines. The research for equines is sparse and most studies refers to other test subjects aside from equines.
I never considered it before i got a batch of hay from a supplier - old meadows, low sugar grasses, mixture of grasses - ideal in terms of sugar. Literally within 24hrs of feeding it both horses were footy. even the younger gelding with massive soles and sturdy feet got footy. It was bizarre. The farmer who sold me the hay first said to me “we’ve got a clean farm here, spray for everything” - he meant no weeds in his hay, he sprays the whole place annually.
Mine experiencing symptoms like this prompted research for the past 18months into this subject. The equine world is awash with lami/ems and similar endocrine issues, and sugar is being ‘blamed’ for the whole lot. Of course feeding high sugar foods all the time causes issues, but we’ve got horses so bad in the equine world they cant be on a paddock at all!
I personally think we need to widen our focus and start to see the correlations between agri chemical changes/use and increasing swaths of equines suffering with weight/lami/ems symptoms while practically being on starvation paddocks and very lo calorie foods.
If the horses gut and pancreatic balance is altered by herbicide and glyphosate, that is why grass/unsoaked hay/any grain is a big no-no, as they cant process sugar. Sugar is being identified as causative to increasing symptoms, while the root cause is what’s causing endocrine disruption in the first place. Sugar doesnt cause endocrine disruption. Sugar metabolism is controlled by the pancreas and some minerals. Sugar doesnt cause the pancreas to go awry - its designed to deal with sugar. Something else causes the pancreas to stop being able to successfully break down carbs.
Don’t forget, we’re not talking about grains here, we know theyre higher sugar, we’re dealing with horses not being able to
Consume relatively low sugar hay Without it being soaked to death.
Did our previous generations of horse folk before 1990 have to soak all hay, avoid grains completely, muzzle 24/7, and ensure badly kept grass paddocks due to equine obesity/lami epidemic?
The elephant in the room no-one likes to talk about is what most forage is sprayed with. Many dont realise edocrine-disrupting new classes of chemicals are being used routinely now, especially these past 10yrs.
Dosage of spray is advised on the labels but that requires compliance by farmers in the field. for a particularly heavy infested field of weeds a farmer would be inclined to make a stronger batch.
Im a member on a popular uk farming forum, i read regularly the attitude towards sprays and their use.
If sugar was the cuprit mine wouldnt be able to graze the long grass fields theyre in, year in year out, while having no weight/feet issues. Yet a new batch of hay added to their regimen caused classic lami symptoms, and fat pads etc….switch to hay not sprayed and they recover.
Enquire how your hays are treated - what’s used for weed control….get supplier to tell you the actual product, and whether pre-harvest dessicating spray have also been used (indicating a glyphosate treatment - these will be very dry bales completely bleached throughout the bale with no green in it at all, hay also that was left laying on a field and got rained on and not regularly turned daily will also be bleached with no green so dont assume all bleached bales are dessicated with glyphosate, either way its badly made hay we shouldnt be feeding)
It took me 3 months to find out from a huge uk supplier of haylage what herbicides they use. Their agronomist skirted around the issue for months, telling me what they dont use….whereas all i asked was, what they DO use. It turned out to be a persistent endocrine disrupting spray, of course. So good luck finding out what‘s sprayed on crops, its like drawing blood from a stone.
We need to support organic hay merchants. Try yourself, switching to a hay you know for sure isnt treated with modern agri sprays.…note changes in your horses weight/feet/gut health.
Wow, that is a very informative reply. I was keeping horses back in the 80s and you are correct, only fat ponies on really lush grass seemed to get laminitis. It seems like an epidemic now.
We stopped spraying on our own land long ago. Use local hay, same supplier each time, but not the sort of person where I could easily enquire what is sprayed onto it without being shown the door! Old school. I am soaking though.
In winter, now mine is no longer showing EMS, I had planned to move to a laminitis friendly haylage. Just because we are not on mains drainage and dealing with hay soak water has been a headache. I wonder what they are sprayed with? I may email them this reply and enquire, if that is OK?
It also helps explain how Trinity Consultants L94 may work, as Simon explained how it helped the organs detoxify. That would make sense as to how it improves the condition. I had been ready to feed P45 as well when he was at grass, but we are up to 4 hours a day now, and he is on the slimmer side still; us using no sprays may help explain why there has been no resurgence in symptoms.
Do you have a link to that study? I would like to send it to my (very supportive) vet.
That's really interesting and I had no clue about that. Both my horses are very reactive to sugar, which had always seemed odd to me. Now I'm wondering if it's due to the sprays that the farmer uses as the farmer that supplies our hay is the same one that sprays our fields.
That's really interesting, my old ppid horse used to get footy even though he had no grass and I no matter what I did nothing seemed to help oddly he was worse on bagged haylage that should have been safe to feed him based on sugar levels.
Also since borrowed cob has been with us he has just walked through the electric fence so often I just gave up and took it down. I normally strip graze very slowly or track round the edge and feed hay with both those options since there's hardly any grass. I previously had 3 natives with one being very metabolically challenged, this seemed the best way to manage them. It was hard work and not always successful. After admitting defeat with the electric fence I've just left them roaming a 7 acre field and increased exercise to compensate and my welsh pony is looking fantastic and no signs of being footy at all. I was so nervous of letting him have so much grass but he hasn't got fat and he looks so good I'm actually amazed.
Very interesting. Our yard is considered to have grass that's too good for a lot of lami horses and a few owners have moved their horses away as a result. I've always put this down to them taking good care of the land - spraying and fertilising annually and not over grazing so that there's enough good grass in winter that they don't lose weight and too much good grass in summer. I've always thought it's the fertilising rather than the spraying that's the issue, a simple case of the grass being too good, but maybe it's the spray?
I had a good play with Riggers this morning, he is only just learning to jump at his advanced age, neither of us was showing any skill whatsoever, but we both had fun!
Then.... I finally tackled mum's filing cabinet upstairs. I mean, I slimmed it from 3 drawers full to 1 drawer full in lockdown mk 1 last year, but she was still alive then, so I kept anything that she would have missed if she had made a miraculous recovery.
Loads of things needed to go now, I have kept a few, but made sure I was keeping them because I wanted to rather than.... Well, now there is no other reason to keep them.
Her awards, qualifications, passports, driving licences, wage slips, medical notes...
I also found my old school reports. Mostly binned but I have photographed a few as they are funny!
Then, a big burn. Loads of papers. Loads of letters from people, including from her father. I considered keeping them, but in the end didn't even read them as they were personal letters to her, she never showed them to me when she was alive, so it would have been intrusive to pry now she is dead.
Fire felt right. Ashes are final.
It has been an exhausting day!
Riggers had celery. At the end of the day, there is always Rigsby.
He has been cool and comfortable, but only because he is out on the arena at night, 8pm to 6am, then in the field (which has natural shade), 6am to 9am, then in the stable 9am to 7pm, then field 7pm to 8pm then back on the arena...
Thankfully our stables have windows on 3 sides, a tall apex roof and are block built with proper tile, so cool and breezy. Not too many flies indoors, so he spends the daytime naked and cool.
I have kept the hay a constant 3kg morning, 2kg lunchtime, 2kg teatime, 3kg nighttime (with a further 2kg straw) with his speedy beet and chop tea, but he has started to gain weight.
The vet did say cut 1kg of hay for every hour out, and I only cut 2kg for 4 hours out, but the hay is soaked (although for less time in this heat), the field scalped and he wears a muzzle when on the field. His weight up 'til now has been stable, but with it being too hot for work, I guess he is catching up. I don't fancy cutting the hay back any more, nor do I want to cut his field time, so, sometime this week, I will have to pick an evening when it is less hot and ride out.
At least next week onwards we are on holiday, so it will be easier to grab the opportunity to ride. Plus, I feel he had a bit of leeway with his weight. I can still (just) see the outline of ribs, but also some fat... I think he looks better, but the vet would not!
I guess this exact reason was why I had him slim though, there is a little leeway.
Thank you for adding the 2 posts on the possible link between glyphosate and lami on here, that's so interesting. The amount sprayed on hay meadows and on crops (eg kurtail, which is vile nasty stuff, as a dessicant too) is worrying and I have no way of finding out about my hay as it comes from a number of different places. Nice tips about what to watch for colour-wise.
Also loving the Rigsby pics and so glad celerybrations are still a thing!