13 September 2010

Embracing your mud hole!

Last week this beautiful guy gave us quite a scare.

Love the piece of hay hanging from his mouth!

He had a severe Colic last Sunday.

One minute he was at the gate
watching me work in the barn.

This is his usual routine.

About 12 noon every day, he comes
up from his pasture, stands at his gate
that faces the barn.
He always gives a good whinny
to Miss D and Annie,
just a little hello, to let them know he is watching
over them!

Then he nickers to me.
Just a little reminder that his lunch
is due at 1pm!

I always let him know he has an hour to wait.
And then Cadence trots back down to his pasture
to graze and wait.

This is our usual routine.


J was bringing up hay and spotted Cadence.
Not grazing, but laying down in his pasture.
Just laying.
(Every morning after he is turned out, he trots
off to his "hole". He drops down and rolls over 
to scratch his back!!)
But, he never lays down outside.
Never, ever.

J came on up to barn, grabbed Cadence's halter,
and jumped the fence to get to him.
He made Cadence stand up and
began walking him.
Poor Cadence was in so much pain.
As J walked him, he bent his knees wanting
to lay back down and roll.
Poor guy looked as if he drunk.

*When a horse begins showing signs of Colic,
you immediately begin walking the horse.
Laying down could actually help the intestine
to continue to twist. Walking the horse
can help ease the gut**

I administered Banamine and called our Vet.
Banamine Site

Clinical Signs of Colic
Pawing and/or scraping

Frequent attempts to urinate

Flank watching: turning of the head to watch the stomach and/or hind quarters

Biting/nipping the stomach


Repeated lying down and rising



Excess salivation

Loss of appetite

Decreased fecal output

Increased pulse rate

A. Stomach
B. Intestine
C. Caecum
      D. Large Colon
The diagram above illustrates the extent of the horse’s digestive system—nearly 72 feet in length from the Stomach (A) to the Small Intestine (B), to the Caecum (C) and then onto the Large Colon (D). By observing the twists and bends in the digestive tract, you can see how easy it is for foreign material to become caught, or become an obstruction in the system, causing food, stones, sand, or gravel to be lodged, and eventually cause a blockage.

Common Causes

Colic can be caused by many things. Here are some common causes:

Sand Colic When horses ingest sand. Horses that are fed on sandy ground or have access to it may eat small bits of sand. Over time, the sand will build up in the intestines and eventually cause discomfort. The horse may be carrying 30-80 pounds before showing signs of colic.

Over Feeding If a horse breaks into the feed area and gorges itself colic could result.

Parasites Worm infestations disrupt circulation in the intestines, or blood clots and bits of dead worms may cause blockages.

Irregular Feed Schedule This may cause a horse to wolf feed if he gets really hungry. Feeding right after work or if horse is still hot also can cause horse to come down with colic.

Sudden Changes in Feed: When you change feeds, or introduce new feed, be sure you do so slowly!

Bad Feed: Moldy or rotten feed may cause colic.

Ingestion of Non-feed materials: Stones, sticks, twine, and wood splinters are examples. Cribbers or horses that chew wood have a risk of swallowing bits and getting colic.

Fine Grain: Sometimes it will pack together and cause blockages in the intestine.

Poisons: Some poisons may cause colic. Moldy feed may cause mold poisoning and colic.

Twisted Intestines: Very severe and life-threatening. There are different types of twists in different areas, and they each have names. Here are a few:

Strangulation: When parts of intestine become entangled in tears in the supportive membrane.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In about 15 minutes of walking Cadence,
we began to see some changes!
He wasn't trying to "go down" anymore.
He began to put his head down, wanting to nibble
on the grass.
He started to look "bright" again.
And then, he nuzzled J!
I called the Vet, who was still on her way and
gave her the latest stats.
We agreed between the meds and the constant walking,
this Colic episode was caught quickly!
Colic is very mysterious.
To Vets and horse owners.
It is also the #1 natural killer
of horses!
How thankful we are that it happened
during the day, when we were there!
And not at 3am.....
And now a short, not very well filmed (!)
video of Cadence.
Just turned out, he is happily running toward
his "hole"!
Although, I am quite certain he was dreaming
of muddier days to come....

Because the "hole" is best when it has just rained!


Because being muddy,
is one of the great joys in this
horse's life :)

And he is one of my great joys!

I hope you enjoy watching Cadence
enjoy life!

Now, go embrace your life.
And find a good mud hole
to roll in!

Screen shot 2010-06-09 at 4.06.39 PM

**Remember to click on the nav bar at the far right
to make it full screen. We quickly shot this, so the
quality is poor!!


Julie Harward said...

Good thing you guys were there! Oh, I love this horse, he has such a beautiful head! I have never had a horse with colic I guess..good thing you knew what to do. Loved the video too...great to watch such fun ;D

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

What a handsome boy and your video was fun to watch! I am so glad that Cadence is okay!!

I don't know much about horses but last year when I was going past a field I saw a horse laying in the grass. I didn't think anything of it, but when I passed back by a few minutes later he hadn't really moved--I stopped and went up to the owners house and told them and it turned out that he was also having a bout of colic. They were able to get him up and moving but I could see it wasn't easy. I felt like I was in the way and so I left but I was really worried--I drove by the next day and the horse was out there and I was so relieved that he was okay--And I'm glad your boy is too!

RHarper (a.k.a Lucy) said...

Nothing like a 'good roll in the hay'. :)

What a beautiful, handsome guy he is. SOOOO glad it turned out well.

Feral Female said...

I`m so glad it all turned out well! He is a very handsome fellow!

Kathy in KY said...

Hi Misha: I'm glad Cadence is OK. Seeing him rolling on the ground reminds me of one of my cats when he was little. He'd escape out the door to the outside of the apartment, and made a bee-line to the little cement pad and start rolling around. So I was always able to catch him and bring him back in. Aren't animals wonderful? Thanks for sharing your video. What a beautiful guy he is. Take care, from KY.

Sydney_bitless said...

We had a colic scare last night too. I rode Suzy for the first time in a wile. Shes got some arthritis and just like an old person they can be stiff and store just from a walk down the road. She was hurting, or her hock was and it caused her whole body to tense which stopped gut noises. She lay down and rubbed her face and stretched completely out. I gave her a few cc's of banamine and walked her for 10 minutes and she was fine.
After losing Naigen to colic I don't take it lightly at all. A colicing horse will still eat though too so thats not always an accurate indicator the horse is getting better :C

Donna said...

Bless his heart as we say in the South! It is a good thing J saw him laying down. I remember one of our horses having collc one time. My hubby wouldn't let the horse lay down until he was okay.
I loved the video! Reminds me of one of our horses we had called Majic :)

Jeanette said...

I'm glad you caught that colic early. Do you kow what caused it? When you said mud hole I was picturing a huge one like a pig would use!

Country Dreaming said...

Good to know that all is well. I don't like to hear these kind of stories about the horses.
Glad he is doing better.


Rowdy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Snappy Di said...

I don't like rolling in it but do enjoy putting on my boots and splashing through a good puddle! LOL

Great video today, Misha!


Donna said...

Thank goodness that Cadence is OK! Whew!!!

Toemailer said...

I get a kick out of the way he looks at the camera, heh heh, glad it all worked out!

jane augenstein said...

Oh, so glad he is OK! I have had two colic scares with Gilly, years ago; hope I never have to go through that again.
Cute video, what a beautiful horse he is!!

Rural Revival said...

Oh my, what a scare! Misha, watching him run is breathtaking, he is absolutely beautiful. Watching him roll around, I can see what a character he must be!

I'm so glad J caught him in time.

Now give him another smooch for me please, Mr Cadence that is! : )

Hugs ~Andrea~

Life is good! said...

what a beautiful horse cadence is. glad he recovered so quickly! i can see why you love your horse so much. my chocolate lab loves to roll around and scratch his back and he loves to lay in mud holes!

Elle Bee said...

Like always, I learn something interesting about horses when I come here. Cadence is so gorgeous and I'm just so glad he is okay. I loved seeing him roll around on his back. I think he and my children would get along great as their greatest joy in life is being muddy too!

ain't for city gals said...

Woo Hoo...thank goodness you caught this in time..my neighbor lost her horse to this two years ago...now every time I see a horse laying down I worry a bit...

Flat Creek Farm said...

So glad this handsome fella is okay! I enjoyed his gorgeous photos, and that video! I could *easily* find a good mud hole to roll in today.. lol. We got dumped on last night & today. (Guess what, Misha? Fall starts in just a couple days!! Yay!!)
Hugs, Tammy

Sandra said...

That is SO frightening and I'm so happy it ended well! Only one who has been there knows the pain, mental and physical, both human and horse endure until colic has ended. I'm SO happy Cadence is okay.