Owning your first horse can be the most exciting thing to ever happen. It can also be nerve racking. Especially if it is suspected that your mare could be pregnant.
For the past couple mornings, Cookie has been standing under the trees instead of eating the leftovers from the night before. The weather has been very muggy, high humidity, and we did have some thunderstorms come through and dump a bunch of rain. The nasty days usually is cause for her to be a little upset-excited. I don't care for that weather either. However, when I go out to feed, even in nasty weather she usually always greets me with some nickers and is ready to eat her breakfast. Not so for the past few mornings.
I had come to realize that I had given her more alfalfa than she was accustomed to which caused a stomach upset. Her stools are loose, which is better than dry stools. Dry stools leads to constipation and impaction colic. Loose stools can be controlled to some degree with a small feed change (less alfalfa) and some Pro-biotics to replace the good flora in the gut. This morning, I cut her alfalfa back to 1 lb of alfalfa wetted and put her usual stuff in there plus some Pro-Bios. I'll give her that for a few days or until her stools are back to normal. Aside from them being loose, they are normal size, color, amount and smell. I'll continue to monitor her droppings throughout the next few days and see how she's doing.
I contribute some of her behavior to the weather and changes in her system should she be pregnant. I say "should" because I never had her palpated to be sure. She certainly is looking more pregnant in the last week than she has before. Barring the large abdomen isn't due to swelling or bloating of some kind. I pray she's pregnant and not the latter.
I also found her lightly sweating and breathing heavier, though her pulse was normal. I decided to lunge her lightly this morning to get her moving and giving her exercise helps to keep things moving. Only a walk-trot lunge for about 10-15 minutes. She didn't sweat up and I allowed her to change speed if she wanted to and of course she did. Feeling frisky like she does when she first lunges she took off farting, bucking and shaking her head then slowed her pace some. Then we hand walked for a little bit to cool her down.
I walked her into her stall and gave her the opportunity to eat the hay she had left before and she ate, but didn't seem all that interested. So I turned her loose. She then ate some hay from under her shelter but looked so sleepy, like she couldn't keep her eyes open. As time went on, the weather turned a bit breezy and rainy she perked up some and went to continue eating in her stall.
I went and fixed her alfalfa and brought it out to her. Of course she ate every bit of it, including what she dropped. lol She licked her salt a little bit, continued eating her hay. I'll go out in a bit and check on her. It's like having a sick child. You can't do much for them but you can't help but worry a bit.
(*Note) This pic of Cookie was just taken 4-11-13. I can't seem to get any good pics of that big belly of hers. lol
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