A few people asked me how Dulce is doing. Before I start, let me tell you that I’m sick. I have a nasty cold, and my brain is backfiring quite a bit. With that said, let’s get to it.
Dulce is doing great for the most part. He now has pellets galore, he hasn’t had anymore episodes of gas colic (knocking on all the wood and anything else I can find), diarrhea no more, and the weight fluctuations have stopped. I did take him off of Butyrate for a week, and there was a decline. I put him back on it, and all was well.
Every now and then there are some mild ups and downs, but they don’t equate to any weight loss. However, during training, he gets so worked up that I can feel all of the gastric acid shooting into his stomach. It makes me cringe, and a large part of this I fear is my fault.
When I went to pick him up in Kentucky, I was offered to bring home a mare with me as well that was his pasture buddy. We weren’t set up at the time to take in another horse, so I had to bring him alone. I think this hurt him mentally and emotionally. I wish I would have brought her home anyway. So, now I need to undo what I did.
Whenever I load him into the trailer to leave the house, he has a meltdown in the trailer. I have to immediately jump into the truck and drive off, and once we do, he immediately calms down. The thing is these meltdowns may not only cause him to hurt himself badly, his stomach goes to heck and back.
This of course concerns me, because I don’t want him to develop ulcers. Also, I worry about his gut health going downhill on me again. I started pondering what to do and how to undo his fears of being permanently separated from Chaco and Harley, which will not happen.
I had dreams of Dulce before I got him. Shandoka was running straight for me, he runs right through me, and behind him I see Dulce. Dulce comes right to me and drops his head to me. Maybe Shandoka was the answer here. When I agreed to take Shandoka, he was separated from his sister. He called and called for her. I knew that I needed to get him to trust me, depend upon me like he did his sister. As soon as I got him halter trained, I took him for walks in the field that surrounded his paddock area.
Shandoka and I walked who knows how many miles together over the course of his life. We didn’t have a pasture at the time, so I’d walk him around and let him graze along the side of the road. He learned to trust me no matter what drove by….a semi, motorcycle, or a car with a nice glasspack exhaust system. I decided that maybe this is the answer for Dulce. Maybe it would help calm him down like it helped Shandoka.
After I work with Dulce, we go for a walk down to my hay field. The first time we went down there, I was sure I made a mistake. All we did was circle and do figure 8’s, because he was so hot and his mind was everywhere and anywhere but with me. I kept focusing on my breath to keep my energy down hoping he and I could find balance. Finally, after twenty minutes, he took one bite of grass. I took that as a win, and we headed back to the other horses. Since then he has improved each day, getting calmer and calmer. I haven’t even tried out the trailer yet, but soon I will begin to incorporate that into our walks. I will load him before and then after the walk before I reunite him with Chaco and Harley. My hope is that this will teach him that no matter where we go, he will come back home.
For his gut, to help him through this training period, I’m flooding it with good stuff. He is still on the butyrate, the MOS prebiotics, and Ultra Gut Health. Now I have him back on gastromend as a preventative for ulcers, and FORCO, which is really good for nervous stomachs. It also will flood his gut from beginning to end with wonderful bacteria. I also give him Aloe Vera Gel. Studies in Australia have shown that aloe vera gel is much better than juice for the prevention and healing of stomach ulcers. The second best choice is Aloe Vera powder. I will write more about the use of herbs in another blog.
Hopefully, the bases are covered, and we’ll see progress. I absolutely love working with him. He has such heart, courage, and intelligence. Hopefully no ulcers will develop, and his gut health will continue to improve. Even though things are well, I believe it will be another six months before he finds his balance. So far so good, because I can still rub his tummy and he eats like a horse as the saying goes.