Moe hasn’t been himself for the last few weeks- he’s been lethargic and reluctant to move very forward under saddle. Usually, he’s a hard worker who tries his best even if he doesn’t completely understand what he’s supposed to do. Lately, he’s been half-dead in the ring for both me and his lesson kid.
Nothing has recently changed in his diet or routine. His appetite is as hearty as ever, he isn’t sore or stiff, he’s drinking well, he’s pooping well, and he isn’t exhibiting any unusual behaviors except for being really, really lazy.
When the vet was out last week, I had her check him for ulcers, do a fecal test, and do some bloodwork on him. I heard from the vet earlier this week: Moe’s bloodwork is completely normal and his fecal egg count is zero. He had no ulcers, and while his teeth need to be floated, they aren’t so bad that they’d cause major problems with his ability to eat or work. I was relieved to hear his bloodwork was normal; I was terrified he was anemic from kidney disease or cancer or some other horrible thing.
Interestingly, she suggested he might have sand accumulation in his gut. I was surprised to hear this, as the barn isn’t on particularly sandy soil and he isn’t eating his grain from a dirt floor or anything. My vet suggested putting him on Sand Clear for a couple of months to see if it makes a difference.
I rode Moe yesterday after dropping off his Sand Clear; he was lethargic and kind of sour again. There’s no way I’m taking him to next week’s schooling show- he’s obviously not feeling 100%, and I can’t ask him to go gallop and jump. I’ve given some thought to how to change our training plans. I’ll have his teeth floated in the next month or so. (I can’t afford to have them done right away, as my recent vet bill was appalling thanks to Moe’s bloodwork and Gina’s breeding soundness exam.) Moe started Sand Clear today, so I’m hoping that between that and floating, any physical issues will be cleared up. I’m also going to give the dressage a break for a while. It’s never been his favorite activity. I’ve been gung-ho to work on it because it needs work, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was getting a little burned out on it. So over the next few weeks, we’ll head out to the hay meadow to hack, and we’ll go over some mini courses in the outdoor arena. I’m hoping that giving him a mental break and addressing some physical concerns will have him back to his normal self soon!
And if he continues to act lazy and unhappy? We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it; Moe’s certainly earned a retirement if he wants one!