Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My horse forgot how to horse

Ugh. Thoroughbreds. So the past few days Riesling hasn't been quite himself. It got cold all of a sudden and he got locked into his box stall rather than having his full box stall and run because of the wicked ice/mud. Basically, he stopped eating as much. Normally this is a huge red flag, but hes finally fat, for once, so I didn't think much of it. (Also he has been quite fantastic under saddle.)

Because he has been inside his stall so much and doesn't get his usual turnout into the big arena twice a day (its underwater) he has stalked up. So last night I decided to wrap his legs. I came out this morning around 9 and his feeder was full to the brim. They get fed around 5:30AM. His feeder normally gets about half full per feeding and he empties it. Everyone has been gradually giving him less and less hay because he isn't eating as much. Ok something had to be wrong.

I took off his wraps and put him in the indoor for some turnout. He rolled and just meandered around. No big deal. But as I was walking him back to his stall he stopped at a wee little creek and started drinking. And he drank it dry. That was weird. I check his waterer to make sure it is running and it is working fine. Nice and clean and full of water.

This evening I decided to throw him in the outdoor because he only barely touched his breakfast since I had been there in the morning. I figured seeing his horsey friends in the pasture will make him happy. He said hi to his friends and then stopped at the giant pond in the arena and just drank. And drank. And drank. I put a bucket of fresh water in his stall (because apparently the auto isn't up to par) and brought him back in and he cleaned out the bucket, then proceed to happily munch on his hay that he hadn't seemed to touch in days.

What the hell is wrong with my horse.

The  BO is going to take a look at the waterer in the AM to see if he can find anything funny about it that my horse suddenly dislikes. Any suggestions?


  1. I think my two are suffering from a milder form of what Ries has. It hasn't escalated so far as then refusing to scoff everything before them (that would be drastic - the savages), but the first thing they do when I turn them out is dive into the water out there. They too have auto-water dispensers, I have started filling them myself every evening to see if the level has decreased when I get there at midday to turn them out. I did see K suck it up last night after i filled hers... the only thing i can think is maybe they aren't too fond of the feel of water running under their nose from the auto-dispenser or maybe they prefer the ready access to more water in one go when the water is sitting there waiting for them *shrug*
    I am only speculating though - have no real idea sorry

  2. Sometimes auto waterers give off a slight electric shock (particularly in winter when the heaters are turned on) and horses quite drinking out of them. Also sometimes we're less inclined to keep up on cleaning the waterers when it's zero degrees outside. I'd ask your BOs to check and hang buckets in the mean time. It's a pain, but water is pretty freaking important.