Monday, January 27, 2014

No Clear Diagnosis for Toga....yet!

Hi everyone!

So, we heard back from Virginia Tech on Toga's diagnosis and well, there isn't a diagnosis yet! After the bone scan and other lameness exams it still seems like it's his right front foot. His hind end arthritis is not an issue at the moment and he flexed great and jogged sound. Go figure! His coffin joint was injected and now he is allowed to be ridden again.The positive is that at least these tests ruled out the "heinous" stuff, but it's still frustrating. Keep your fingers crossed for poor Toga that we can figure this out and keep him sound!!

For now, we will leave you with a photo of best buddies:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Southwind Getting More Snow?! How to Make Sure Your Horse is Warm

Well, Monday is here again and the forecast of 4-6 inches of snow for tomorrow is looming over us. Here in Damascus, Maryland we have already experienced several snow days this winter.
Have you ever wondered how to tell if your horse is truly warm in the snow? How do you know if their coat or coat plus blanket are sufficient enough to keep them warm? Here is an article by Nancy S. Loving, DVM on the topic.

Q. In the winter, how do I know if my horse is warm enough?  Is his winter coat sufficient for warmth or does he need a blanket too?

A. Horses respond to the shortened days leading up to winter by growing a winter coat.  It is this hefty fur coat and the underlying fat that insulates a horse against inclement weather.  Sheds and stalls provide additional protection from wind, rain and snow.

However, a thin horse or a hard keeper may need added protection from the elements.  In today’s age of hi-tech materials, there is a huge selection of blanket possibilities.  So, when you drive down a country road, you will likely see horses sporting all colors and types of blankets in the chilly winter weather.  How can you tell if your horse is comfortably warm and snug beneath his blanket, or if he is OK without one?

As a general rule, most healthy, unclipped horses don’t need added blanket protection in temperatures above 10 –20 degrees Fahrenheit.  Below that, a blanket helps conserve calories and keep your horse comfortable.  A wet horse often shivers as a natural response in order to warm the muscles.  This does not necessarily mean a horse is chilled, but rather it’s his body’s way of coping with the environment.  Offering extra grass hay will help him stay warm from the inside out by utilizing the natural combustion chamber of the hind gut as it digests the high fiber ration.

If your horse is blanketed, put your hand beneath the blanket to see if he feels dry and toasty warm.  If so, then he is likely just fine.  The danger comes from over-blanketing.  Too much insulation, particularly on a warmish day with the sun shining, creates a possibility of overheating.  If your horse feels slightly damp (sweaty) beneath his blanket, then the blanket needs to be removed. A fat horse or one with a dense and thick winter coat may do better if left without a blanket. Usually, a good plan is to remove a blanket during the day, especially when the sun is out, and then replace it in the evening when the temperature drops.  If your horse doesn't wear a blanket, be sure to brush out his fur and remove mud and dirt so his hair will fluff up to retain heat.

--Nancy S. Loving, DVM

Stay Warm Out there Maryland!!!

To access the full article, click here.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Catch-Up!!

Hi Everyone!

We hope you had a wonderful weekend! Things are going well at the farm lately for all the horses, boarders and of course mascot, Brody!
Here is Addie's pony Thomas in the snow last week:

Toga heads to Leesburg next week to  for a bone scan. We hope to figure out this weird lameness that is only detectable when cantering to the left with a rider on his back. Did not block to his foot, so that's good news!  We hope it can be treated but mostly just want to know WHAT it is!!! Say a prayer and keep your fingers crossed for Toga!

Also, with this weather warming up a little bit after the "Polar Vortex" we received last week, I was able to enjoy a nice trail ride!

And in case you missed it on Thursday, here is a photo of Sheri and her first pony, Pudge, who started it all for Sheri! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Brody the Helper

Hi Everyone!!

Hope you all in Maryland are staying nice and warm with this crazy "Polar Vortex" going on! The horses here at Southwind are doing well and everyone is comfortable with plenty of water and hay.
In light of all the cold weather and negative temperatures, we wanted to share this video of Southwind's Mascot, Brody, helping out in the barn! Enjoy!

CLICK HERE to see Brody in action!