Posts Tagged ‘minnow

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Pony

Pony Penning 2013 // Chincoteague Pony Swim // Painting Pony

A common saying among those that own Chincoteague Ponies is that they can get fat on a cement slab. Which pretty much means they can get overweight just by looking at grass!

It’s true that they are easy keepers, but they also love to eat in excess. Too much grass is not a good thing, and can cause laminitis among other issues.

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Over the years of owning Chincoteauge ponies we’ve tried many methods to manage their weight during the months when the grass is very lush (which in our area can even be early spring and late into the fall). I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of all the different types of muzzles, along with their pros and cons, that we have tried over the years to help limit their grass intake.

Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, but it does contain some affiliate links. We are not biased towards any particular muzzles, and only chose the ones that work best for our ponies.

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Best Friends Grazing Muzzle:

Pros:

Cons:

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Shires Pink Grazing Muzzle:

Pros:

Cons:

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Harmany Grazing Muzzle:

Pros:

Cons:

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Tough 1 Grazing Muzzle:

Pros:

Cons:

Greenguard USA Pony Muzzle Review with Painting Pony

Greenguard USA Grazing Muzzle:

Pros:

Cons:

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Tips and Tricks we’ve learned:

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

What do we recommend?

After testing pretty much every muzzle on the market, we have picked out ones that work best for each of our ponies. Here’s our recommendations:

Minnow – our pony that can (and has) slipped every single muzzle we’ve tried on him. It’s a constant battle, but switching them up on him seems to do the trick. He wears the Best Friends Muzzle & the Tough 1 Muzzle currently.

Blitz – less inclined to slip a muzzle, and a pony that gets worked enough that sometimes he doesn’t have to wear his as often. He wears: Greenguard USA Muzzle & Best Friends Muzzle currently.

Boomer – he’s pretty tolerant of the muzzles, but every once in a while decides to slip them. He wears: Greenguard USA Muzzle & Best Friends Muzzle currently.

How to Choose the Best Grazing Muzzle for Your Horse

Know of any muzzles we haven’t tried yet? Send your recommendations our way, we love to hear about new products on the market!

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Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow gets new X-rays

Those of you that have followed our ponies’ journey from the beginning may remember that our little Minnow has battled with Ringbone since 2008. Ringbone is essentially a form of equine arthritis, a bone growth in the pastern or coffin joint of a horse. And because in a lot of cases people choose to euthanize a horse with Ringbone (because there is no cure), I have decided to document Minnow’s journey in pain management in the hopes that it might help someone else battling Ringbone in their horse.

Maintaining Ringbone - Minnow injection // Painting Pony

Earlier this year we noticed that he seemed to be more lame on his right front (his initial diagnosis and treatment has always been for his left front), so we decided to have him re-xrayed since it’s been 2 years since we last had him checked.

Minnow Ringbone X-Rays // 2015 // Painting Pony

Here’s the shot of his left front, 2 years after being injected with Ethyl Alcohol to help the joint fuse faster:

Minnow Ringbone X-Rays // 2015 // Painting Pony

Here’s what it looked like the day we had it injected:

Managing Ringbone - Chincoteague Minnow's Trip to New Bolton // Painting Pony

As you can see the joint still is not completely fused, but it’s a lot closer, and it’s actually straightened out some. Which I think has attributed to him being more comfortable on it.

So let’s take a look at the right front, the one that has started to bother him more recently:

Minnow Ringbone X-Rays // 2015 // Painting Pony

Minnow Ringbone X-Rays // 2015 // Painting Pony

It’s hard to tell, but there is some white shading around the pastern joint, and indication that Minnow is at the beginning stages of high ringbone in his right front pastern as well. Our vet consulted with New Bolton Animal Hospital, and determined it’s still too early to inject with Ethyl Alcohol for it to be effective. The fact that he’s also developing this in his other leg further proves that in his particular case it was more genetic than anything. It makes me feel better to know, no matter what I would have done, he would have developed ringbone anyway due to his confirmation.

Chincoteague Pony Minnow trains for Pony Penning 2012

But not to worry, Minnow is still doing well (he’s super Minnow after all)! And here’s how we’re managing pain today for him:

Minnow is currently taking 1/2 a pill of 57mg of Previcox daily as well as a scoop of GLS joint supplement. Once starting the Previcox we noticed an improvement in Minnow’s pain. He seems much more comfortable and we even noticed an improvement in his limp (on both legs).

Chincoteague Pony Minnow trains for Pony Penning 2012

If you’d like to check out our previous attempts to help Minnow with his Ringbone diagnosis, you can read more here:

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow’s Trip to New Bolton

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow tries Ground Control Shoes

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow gets injected with Ethyl Alcohol

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow tries GLS

If you have a story to share about your horse and Ringbone, we’d love to hear about it! Post a comment on this blog post, or share it on our Facebook wall.

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Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow tries GLS

If you have followed along at all with Minnow’s journey with high ringbone, then you know over the years we have tried many different things to manage his pain. His diagnosis back in 2008 was career ending for him, but he’s gone on to have a full and loved life as a trick pony. He’s very special to me and I would do anything to make sure he’s comfortable and happy for as long as I can.

Painting Pony Minnow at the Ludwigs Corner Horse Show

Painting Pony Minnow at the Ludwigs Corner Horse Show

Our previous attempts to help Minnow can be read about here:

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow’s Trip to New Bolton

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow tries Ground Control Shoes

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow gets injected with Ethyl Alcohol

Managing Ringbone - Chincoteague Minnow's Trip to New Bolton // Painting Pony

Managing Ringbone - Chincoteague Minnow's Trip to New Bolton // Painting Pony

Since it’s been nearly 2 years since Minnow was injected with Ethyl Alcohol to help fuse his joint I thought it was time for a little update on him. Recently we decided to put him on the supplement, GLS Powder.

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow tries GLS Power // Painting Pony

We had noticed some improvement in a few other horses with arthritis on our farm and decided to give it a try. And after a few weeks of being on it we did notice he was walking much better than he had been.

Here is a few old videos of Minnow before he was injected with the Ethyl Alcohol, and after his injection:

And here he is just a few weeks ago after being on GLS for a few weeks:

It’s a small change, but he does seem to be more comfortable and we’ve even seen him bucking and running more in the pasture. So for now we will continue to keep him on the GLS Powder and hopefully in time his joint will fuse completely and we can only hope he can then be pain free!

P.S. Minnow has turned 20 this year…here’s to another 10 years with him!

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Painting a House

Painting A House // Painting Pony

My parents have been in the process of building their house on the farm for years now. Everyone in the family has pitched in with help along the way, as this certainly has been a DIY endeavor (mainly on the part of my dad). While it has taken years to get to where it is now, it’s finally reaching the home stretch as drywall went up a few weeks ago and the walls are getting painted this week!

When the ponies heard rumors of hiring a painter, they scoffed and offered up their skills as expert brush wielders!

Painting A House // Painting Pony

Painting A House // Painting Pony

Painting A House // Painting Pony

The garage was about as far as we got before Minnow started to realize we’d need a lot more ponies to complete this task!

Painting A House // Painting Pony

Just look at that sweet face, always willing to help!

Painting A House // Painting Pony

I love these photos, because it shows me just how far Minnow has come since he came to live with me in 2003. Back then he would have never set foot in this garage, he was spooky and nervous, and quite unsure. Now he’ll literally go anywhere for me. Walking into the garage was just an average day to him, and he didn’t so much as bat an eye at the boxes of tools and construction equipment. He’s truly one of a kind, and I’m happy that he got to put his little stamp brushstroke on the new farmhouse.

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Whats in a Swirl?

I recently stumbled across an article on Horse Nation about the significance of a horse’s swirl.

A swirl is a patch of hair growing in the opposite direction of the hair that surrounds the area. These swirls, also known as whorls, are most commonly found on the head, the face in particular. There are theories surrounding whorls and how they dictate personality characteristics in horses. Here are a few mentioned by Horse Nation:

1)      A whorl positioned right above the eyes represents the most common whorl and tends to result in an even-tempered and uncomplicated creature.

2)      Whorls below the eyes usually results in a horse with a higher IQ. In other words, this below-the-eye whorl horse might be a trickster who likes to plan his or her escape out of their stall in the morning. They are inquisitive and can be sneaky.

3)      Whorls on the left of the face could suggest a complicated but trustworthy horse.

4)      Whorls on the right can indicate an obstinate personality.

5)       Horses with one long whorl tend to be people-friendly.

6)      Double whorl horses can have multiple personalities. They tend to be more complicated and difficult to read at first glance.

7)      Three or more whorls are extremely rare and suggest unpredictability… so watch out!

So for fun, lets look at the Painting Ponies!

Minnow - Swirl // Painting Pony

Blitz swirl // Painting Pony

Minnow and Blitz have the classic swirl meaning their even-tempered and uncomplicated creatures. Not sure that exactly describes them.

Boomer in the snow // Painting Pony

Painting Pony Blog // Chincoteague Ponies in the Snow

Boomer’s is a longer swirl just above his eyes indicating he’s people friendly but also uncomplicated and even tempered. I would say Boomer is for sure people friendly and I guess he is pretty uncomplicated but he can certainly have an explosive streak. (Bronco bucking has been his hardest habit to break when he’s excited)!

Now I have another horse that has a pretty unique swirl, Niatross aka Nitro is my now 28 year old retired dressage horse.

nitro

Nitro at USDF Young Rider Championships

It’s hard to tell in these photos, but Nitro actually has a double swirl, meaning he can have multiple personalities and also be more complicated and difficult to read at first glance. That’s pretty much Nitro to a T. He’s one of the most challenging horses I’ve ever owned!

What story does your horses’ swirl tell?

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