Cold, icy water means less water consumption, which can set the stage for choke.
If you’ve ever seen a horse choke, you’re not likely to forget it. Choke occurs when food gets caught in the esophagus, not in his airway, as occurs with people. The horse will cough and retch. Heavy salivation is likely, and he’ll be anxious and upset. He likely won’t eat or drink.
Choke can be mild, but it’s always a veterinary emergency, especially since its symptoms can mimic those of rabies.
When choke occurs, dehydration can occur rapidly, and the pressure on the esophagus can cause an ulcer or rupture. Unfortunately, choke is likely to happen again, because scarring in the esophagus usually occurs after a choke or the choke may have been caused by a motility problem in the esophagus.
Horses prone to choke should be fed wet feeds, and all horses should be encouraged to consume adequate amounts of water. Add one ounce (two tablespoons) of table salt to your horse’s feed every day to encourage more water consumption.
Wet feeds are easier for the horse to swallow and chew. Good choices for wet meals include:
•Beet pulp is well tolerated even if fed occasionally. It soaks up four times its volume in water. Add 2 to 3 oz. of rice bran or 4 oz. of wheat bran per pound to balance major minerals. One pound beet pulp about equals 1 pound of oats in calories.
• Soaked hay cubes or pellets can hold up to twice their volume in water. They take longer to soak than beet pulp but are a good choice for horses that can’t chew hay well. Substitute pound per pound for normal dry hay.
• Complete, senior and high-fiber feeds can also be soaked before feeding. They contain high-fiber ingredients, such as hay, beet pulp or soy hulls, and hold about twice their volume of water. Caloric values vary widely. High beet-pulp feeds with added molasses may be similar pound-per-pound to straight grain mixes, while complete feeds can be as low as one-half to three-quarters the calorie value per pound as grains.
• Wet wheat bran is well-liked by most horses. It has a mild laxative effect, and its high phosphorus content requires mineral balancing, if it’s fed regularly. You can accomplish this by feeding 1 to 1.5 times as much by weight of alfalfa pellets/cubes with the bran, or by adding 1.5 tablespoons of calcium carbonate powder or crushed human calcium tablets to the feed (5 grams of calcium per pound).
Monitor your horse for signs of dehydration or an inadequate water intake. Watch his manure for changes to small, dry balls or any evidence of mucus on the manure, and check the mouth to be sure it feels moist, indicating adequate hydration. Skin-pinch checks are difficult under heavy winter coats, so we don’t recommend using them in the winter months.
Please visit us at www.savvysportsaddle.com for a look at our Bob Marshall treeless saddles, as well as a wealth of other products for horse riders, horse owners, and horse lovers of all disciplines! Great equestrian products at great prices!
By Lisa Bolivar
Originally published 01:00 a.m., January 8, 2010
Updated 08:38 p.m., January 8, 2010
PLANT CITY — A joint effort to rescue a dozen special needs horses
avoided tragedy Friday when two feuding parties signed an agreement
that saved the animals from euthanasia.
The horses were scheduled to be put down next week prior to a Jan. 14 eviction deadline.
Bernadette Resnik, operator of Aziizi Foundation Inc., a nonprofit
horse rescue organization founded in 1996, and her landlords, Peter and Roberta Murray of Plant City, had been in a dispute over past due rent that resulted in a court-ordered eviction.
While the battle over money continued, donations to the foundation
dwindled and the fate of the horses, four of them blind, remained
“The landlords are evicting us, but they are going to keep the nine
horses until they can find homes for them,” a relieved Resnik said.
“Thank God the Murrays stepped forward.”
Martin County Sheriff’s office confirmed that Resnik and the Murrays
signed an agreement that allows the Murrays to take immediate
possession of nine of the horses. Resnik will keep three under her own
Problems arose between the friends after Resnik failed to pay six
months of rent a situation she said resulted from a misunderstanding.
“This has been a huge emotional roller coaster ride,” Resnik said.
Court documents show Resnik had an agreement with the Murrays to build a $12,000 barn on 2 acres of their property at 6860 S.W. Market Street in Palm City, Florida and then begin paying $500 per month rent two years into a 30-year agreement.
Because building the barn took time to complete, and because Resnik
understood the lease would take effect two years after physically
moving the horses onto the property, there was a disagreement in when money was to be paid.
“By the time we raised the money and built the barn, 14 months had
passed since the signing,” she said. “I didn’t pay any rent until last
March, and they backed up the due date to the beginning of the signing and that held up in court.”
Eviction and a $6,500 bill to Resnik is the result.
Roberta Murray said the situation is unfortunate because both women
have the welfare of the horses at heart.
“We had been friends at one time. We just had a problem when it came to the care of the horses,” Murray said
Roberta Murray thinks she has found homes for three of the blind
animals, but that will not be confirmed until next week. She said she
also may have found some foster homes for a few of the remaining
animals, but that is still up in the air as well. Both women have agreed to overcome their differences and work together to get all of the horses placed in homes.
“Bernadette ran out of money, she was having a hard time trying to
place them, and then there was talk about having to euthanize them, and I just can’t stand that,” Roberta Murray said. “They aren’t going to be put down now, but this may take a longer time that we planned to find them homes.”
IF YOU WANT TO HELP:
Bernadette Resnik of Aziizi Foundation Inc., and Roberta Murray need
help finding homes for nine special needs horses. None can be ridden,
four are blind, but all need to be adopted to homes that will care for
them indefinitely. In the meantime donations of feed and hay are
WHO TO CONTACT: Call Bernadette Resnik at 284-6873 or call Roberta Murray at 286-1369.
Please visit us at www.savvysportsaddle.com for a look at our Bob Marshall treeless saddles, as well as a wealth of other products for horse riders, horse owners, and horse lovers of all disciplines! Great equestrian products at great pri