Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Concerns, Cookies, and Colors

First off, I had a request to bring the donate button back for Bay Girl donations, so of course here it is!

We are up to a little over $700 at this moment in time.... sooooo close!!!!!

I really can't wait until this colt gets weaned and poor Bay Girl gets to get on with her life. I'm a bit concerned right now with her condition, and I am essentially powerless to do anything about it given the fact that a) she isn't yet mine and b) anything I do to try and help her could potentially affect the nursing colt, and that is a big gigantic no-no. The main physical issue going on with her right now is her gigantic humongous boom belly, and it only seems to be getting bigger with time. Her condition is better than it was when she first came back, but she is wide as a house and saggy to boot. Coupled with the fact that she has no topline anymore and you can still see her ribs, I'm beginning to suspect that a few things are going on with her.

As far as I know, Bay Girl has probably never had a fecal done in her life, and she probably has also been out on god knows how many pastures with other worm-filled horses, so her worm load is probably high and contributing to the issue. Just because she has been on a "regular worming schedule" doesn't mean anything since we don't know what we are up against. The potbelly with some ribs and a generally poor appearance could of course also be linked to her having a parasitic colt latched onto her at all hours of the day and night, but it of course could also be worms.... or ulcers... or both. The other suspected culprit is ulcers, which also wouldn't surprise me. She has lived in terror for most of her life, fretting about everything under the sun... who wouldn't get ulcers from that? She also eats quite a lot of oats and sweet feed every day, which aren't exactly the foodstuffs I will be choosing for her.

Of course, she could also just have a massive grass belly from stuffing herself with not-so-great quality pasture and coastal hay all the time. Hmm.

She has also gotten a little bit gassy twice now, which is concerning... also potentially related to all of the above things. Her gassiness passes by itself without help of drugs, thankfully, but I'm worried that there will come a time when she will get colicky and it will not be ok.

This is Bay Girl about a month or so ago, looking not so hot:

The big belly wasn't so noticeable then. She always strikes that funny pose when nursing.... no idea why.

Sigh. Hang on baby girl, we'll get it fixed as soon as we can!

In better news, I FINALLY GOT HER TO EAT A DIFFERENT KIND OF COOKIE! It took some convincing, but I was finally able to convince her that it was not poison.

I tried a few tricks first.... first, lure in your prey....

Second, try to fake her out by offering both tasty cookies at once...

Third, watch as she eats the first cookie, then suspiciously snorts loudly at the second, and turns and walks away.

Okay. Guess she is not to be outsmarted.

What worked? I have no idea. She just walked up to me today when I offered her a cookie - the third or fourth time I've offered this same type of cookie, with no interest until now - and she just took it in her mouth and crunched! Apparently she liked it well enough, because even though she made some weirded out faces, she didn't spit it out. Hooray cookies!

Thirdly, and this one sort of comes as a surprise to me too, but I think Bay Girl is actually a rabicano. No, seriously! Despite the fact that she is bay as the day is long - bay enough to be named Bay Girl - she has a curious pattern of white hairs at the base of her tail. I always thought it was weird, and wondered if she had been rubbing her tail enough to cause white hairs to grow. They never changed, however, and continued to grow on in their curious barring pattern. Here's an extremely bad picture of it:

I'll get better ones. But you sort of get the idea.

After much googling for skunk tails, I was able to piece together the idea that she might be a rabicano:
"Rabicano is a specific set of white markings that usually affect the base of the tail, flank and belly of a horse. In its most minimal form, it will show only white frosting at the base of the tail, often called a coon or skunk tail because of the striped appearance. A medium expression will have the white tail base, plus white hairs interspersed over the horse’s flanks, creating a roan appearance."

How weird is that. But the description of a minimally expressed rabicano fits!

You all know I love weird colored horses, so I guess Bay Girl just had to make sure that she fits in!


  1. Hmm.. I do hope her condition is due to her current external parasite, rather than any internal ones.. and fingers crossed there aren't any ulcers at all.. man if I had a lazy three hundred floating around I'd gladly donate the rest! I guess though you still couldn't do much about addressing these issues head-on right now whilst she still has the colt anyway?

    The rabicano tail is most apparent in the first pic you posted, what a funny thing she is!

  2. Donated what I could! These past couple of months have left me with a lot of Dr bills. Looking for the next post to be that you made an offer on Bay Girl!

  3. I can't wait to see what happens when you get her! I have a black rabicino gelding and you can see his "coon tail" pretty well in this picture.

    He's a high expression rabicino though as he has a LOT of roaning throughout his flanks and even has a few white hairs up into his neck. He's quite fun to watch change colors!!!

  4. Oooo first time I've commented- exciting!
    Bay Girl doesn't look too bad to me. She definitely has the 'brood mare belly' which is pretty normal, and will take some time to shrink back, and she is thin- which is why she has no top line or meat over her ribs.
    I've looked after 4 broodmares in the past couple years- and they all had the belly and ribs. Once the foals were weaned the sprung back pretty quickly the the belly disappeared. She doesn't look wormy to me- she has a nice shiny coat and a bright eye.
    I guess it couldn't hurt to get a fecal test, though!
    I'll donate in the next few days!

  5. Most mares do that funny pose when the foals suckle. When they rest the opposite leg, they literally "drop" their hip which opens up their opposite stifle area. Basically it gives the foal more room to get their heads in and puts less pressure on the mares tickly spot. I hope that answers your queries :)

  6. I never heard of Rabicano before - always learning new stuff from you! =)

  7. You have a heart of gold. Thanks for the update.

  8. I have wondered for a while if my brown mare might actually be Rabicano. She only has about 4 white hairs at the base of her tail, but she shedded out her winter coat with fairly significant roaning around her stifles. She is only 5, so I wonder if the barring in her tail will appear in the next few years.