I get the privilege having my horses at home 24/7/365 and because of this I have gotten to know my horses’ idiosyncrasies and their individual personalities. As a horse owner, we are all responsible for knowing our horses whether we keep them at home or we have to board them. I get to see my horses almost every day at least once a day.
Sunday morning, I went down to feed the horses their breakfast and one of our mustangs, Rosie, was acting “off” and not off as in lame, but “off” as in not herself. I checked her vitals and watched her for a little while. I came back up to the house to ask my mom if Rosie was acting normal Saturday as that was my one day last week that I didn’t get to see the horses. She said that Rosie seemed fine. So I let my mom know that she was acting a little weird and that we needed to keep an eye on her.
The reason I sensed something wrong with Rosie was because she was standing off by herself (my horses are out to pasture during the day together), not coming to eat and just looking odd. There was no sweating, she wasn’t kicking at her belly or rolling around like she was in pain. I took her over a handle full of hay and she started to eat and finally wondered over to the herd to start eating her breakfast. Last night I fed her some grain and she ate it and then walked over to work on some hay.
This morning when I went down to feed, again she still looked a little off. I checked on her several times throughout the day and would make my decision whether or not to call the vet by late afternoon, in time to make it on the schedule before it became an after hours call. When I went down to clean stalls this afternoon, Rosie was hanging out with the rest of the herd, eating grass and drinking water. I didn’t need to call the vet at that time. Finally this evening I went down to finish cleaning stalls and feed the horses their dinner. While I was down there, Rosie pooped, ate her grain, drank some more water and ate her hay.
Knowing my horses well enough to see when things just aren’t right is what saves me the vet calls or tells me when I do need the vet out. I know it can be difficult to learn your horses’ idiosyncrasies when you board them, but you need to pay enough attention to them to know when you need to make that vital call to the vet and when you need to just wait it out. If Rosie had been sweating, rolling around and biting at her sides, I would have made that call to the vet, but this weekend it wasn’t necessary!
Get to KNOW your horses!