Saturday, September 20, 2014

Otto has Arrived!!!

I got a call earlier than expected this morning from the shipper. He was 20 minutes away at about 9:30 this morning.. I was only just barely through my first cup of coffee after a restless night , due to both being anxious for Otto's arrival and also having some severe stomach pains. I hurriedly got myself dressed, threw on a baseball cap because there was nothing else I could do in short order with my saturday morning bed head . I  poured myself a second cup of coffee and walked to the end of the road to flag down the shipper so he didn't go zooming by our road. I didn't want him to have to get his big rig turned around because he missed our road. He was there in short order and I am not sure who was happier that the trip had come to an end,  me, the shipper Bob, or Otto..

When Bob opened the back of the trailer, I wasn't sure if he had a horse in there or a giraffe because seriously , all there is to this colt is legs...

He leaped out of the trailer ( and almost onto Bob)  took a look around and quickly put his head down to eat grass. Bob said he did a great job traveling and reportedly ate and drank well. He didn't look too bad but definitely seemed on the thinner side than I like my colts to be.. however, he could have had a recent growth spurt so I don't mean that as a negative towards the previous owners. I also know how it is to keep weight on TB and TB types.

 I led Otto over to his corral , while Bob unloaded the hay bale and bag of grain the previous owner sent along. Bob and I chatted briefly but I could tell he was ready to get home, so we got all squared up with paperwork , I thanked him and  sent him on his way, which he was glad to go.  Mr Legs promptly ran into the electric fence with his nose within 5 minutes of being turned loose in his corral and got a little snap on the nose.. (a half hour later he did the same thing so hopefully he gets it now.. don't touch the fence) He was interested in drinking but didn't want to get too close to the stock tank so I gave him a bucket instead, which he dove into. He promptly started grazing as well. He seemed to be taking it all in stride, atleast as well as can be expected after a colt has been on a trailer for three days(with overnight stops and unloads ofcourse). Certainly not easy on the poor kid!

He was surprisingly quiet and seems to be a reserved horse. It might just be the shock of all the changes but I hope his quiet attitude is just his approach to life. Through the day today , I would throw hay and check in on him. He wasn't too interested in me for most of the day but I didn't expect anything different. Once I felt that he was mostly settled in and wouldn't try to go through the electric fence or do anything to try to kill himself, I had to run into town. I was gone about 3 hours, and worried the entire time ofcourse but made it home to see he was still there. He  was however laying down. I wasn't really alarmed by this as I am sure he was probably exhausted and kind of glad he was feeling safe enough to rest. He promptly jumped up when I parked the car and got out. He seemed fine. I unloaded the car and then made my way out there to check on him again. (Yes, mother hen mode was definitely in the on position today).

He had just about emptied one of his water buckets and I noticed that he was very sweaty in his chest and neck area. I thought that was strange . It was warm out today, about 75,  but he is from Missouri , and he doesn't have much of a coat so it didn't seem like he should be sweating.  I was a little concerned at seeing this because it didn't really make any sense.  He seemed fine otherwise. He had been eating, pooping and drinking and didn't  seem to be in any distress of any kind. I haltered him up and took him for a little walk (oh we have work to do on leading properly!) to take a look around and for me to see if he showed any sign of an some kind of issue. He pooped again and seemed fine so after about 10 minutes I put him back and gave him a flake of hay , which he dove into.

 Some of the sweat had dried but it was a tacky sweat. The kind of sweat a horse gets when they are dehydrated. I did a shoulder pinch and he was definitely dehydrated. I wondered if maybe his electrolytes were just off kilter , which would possibly cause this?? I wasn't entirely sure but it seems to be the only thing that made any sense.

The good news was that he had been drinking well all day so I am thinking he just needs time to rehydrate and replenish his electrolytes. Until about 5 pm I had only seen him urinate once and it did look a little concentrated. I mixed up some soaked beet pulp ( I was anticipating needing it and soaked it ahead of time)  and his grain (3 -way , which I will be changing , but one thing at a time ) and added a little salt. He ate it right up. Then drank and drank and drank... then a little while later, I saw him urinate again. It looked better and he definitely had more volume output.

He has a salt block and loose salt in his corral but hasn't touched either. I will repeat the beet pulp with salt again tomorrow and see if he is any better.
He seems to be acting fine in spite of the dehydration, or what I believe to be the case. Hopefully it will sort out by tomorrow.

He let me groom some of the mud off of him while he ate . I thought Montana had mud.. Apparently Missouri's mud hardens up like cement. I still don't have it all off him but didn't want to over do it. He is pretty thin skinned. He needs his feet done really bad but that is going to be a process over the next several months.  He doesn't seem to know much but he is fine about being handled and he isn't the slightest bit stud like. He definitely needs some increased caloric intake. It's possible he recently had a growth spurt but he is pretty thin for my liking. I will be starting him on a junior feed along with Sweet Pro's Equipride supplement to try to get a little  weight on the boy. Ofcourse, my concern is his joints. With him being so big at such a young age, that is always a concern. He hip bone reaches just below my chin. I will have to stick him to see what he stands at but I would guess he is about 14.2.

He does seem a bit lost and lonely,which breaks my heart . I would like nothing more than to turn him out with Cassidy, but I  want to keep him quarantined for about a week to make sure he doesn't start displaying any symptoms of anything. I don't need 5 sick horses.

 I am so glad he is here and I really like him. He seems like  a very sweet boy. He already has it figured out that I have treats in my pocket most of the time and is getting pretty sure of himself about asking for them.

More updates as the week progresses.


irish horse said...

He's so cute! Love his color right now, and his long legs. I'd be a worried mother hen too, but hope it was just stress and new environment. I'm sure he'll settle in and you can start introduction him to the new grown-up horse world. Congrats!

Jonna said...

He is settling in but he does seem to sweat more than I would have expected. I did three days of added salt to his mash and it didn't really make too much of a difference other than he is much better hydrated now but still a sweaty little dude! He's been doing great. I love his color as well but will likely lighten as he gets older, like most grey's. Those legs are really something.. he is like a daddy long legs!