KAREN GRIFFITH’S PENINSULA HORSEPLAY COLUMN: Louie brings home multiple awards from state show

CONGRATULATIONS TO Kit Foot’s horse, Barlnk On Easy Street, aka Louie, for his multiple wins at the Washington State Horseman State Finals horse show.

Louie was shown by both Kit and rider Penny Doane.

At a paint breed final, they won the championship all breeds halter buckle (they had to win six other classes to get the overall award), and were undefeated in American Paint Horse Association breeding stock paint, halter, English pleasure and western pleasure to take home the buckle there as well.

Penny also won reserve championship in English equitation 18 and over.

Senior horse care

This winter I’m dealing with the problems which come with old age.

My Welsh pony, Goldie Boy, needs both a winter blanket and supplemented senior pellet feed. For the first time I’m having to separate him from the others horses to ensure he gets enough food to eat.

With the pellet feed he is skinny, but not starving. I have an appointment with Dr. Erik Splawn to examine him and float his teeth because right now he’s not able chew hay enough to swallow SEmD evident from the wads of partially chewed hay he’s spit out of his mouth. Fortunately he hasn’t gagged and choked to death on those wads of hay as some horses have.

Goldie’s problem is a reminder to me to be prepared for old age, by automatically adding pellet (not cubed) feed as they age, plus a blanket and shelter. In fact, even though we don’t have snow and ice on the ground this week, we still need to plan for routine winter hazards.

This includes:

• Water. Extra barrels of fresh water on hand in case electricity goes out, which means you can’t run your well pump to get water. I added a hand pump to a shallow well (13 feet) on our property, but it’s a lot of work to pump the water out. Do you have de-icers on hand to keep water from freezing? I got mine from Clallam Co-op in Sequim for both my horses and dogs.

According to the Stockman’s Guide to Range Livestock Watering from Surface Water Sources, the average horse requires 8 gallons of water a day in the winter and 12 in the summer.

Water quality can affect both total water consumption and the general health of livestock. Elevated water temperatures and objectionable taste and odor will discourage consumption. Reduced water consumption will, in turn, result in a reduction of feed intake, causing weight loss.

• Shelter. This can mean just a tree line to break the wind or a run-in shed for those that live outside year-round. Shelter allows the horse to escape the wind and heavy snow.

• Feed. Increasing feed to provide the energy bodies need to stay warm. As the temperature drops, horses burn more calories. Older horses sometimes cannot properly chew their food.

• Blanketing. While many older horses that live outside will have an adequate coat to keep them warm, a waterproof layer is also important.

Older horses are more prone to skin diseases and bacterial skin infections from excess moisture. Infections can be devastating in winter because you can’t give baths, and a horse might have to be on antibiotics. The rug doesn’t necessarily have to be thick or heavy, but it should be waterproof and breathable.

Take off the blanket and look at them regularly. You can find problems underneath there. Watch that their feet SEmD don’t neglect the feet thinking that they won’t grow much in the winter months. Foot abscesses can be a nightmare in the winter. Also be aware that due to the extremely hard ground in the winter, horses’ feet are prone to bruising.

• Parasite control. Set up a good parasite program for your elderly horse before wintertime. Older horses’ immune systems, especially horses into their late teens and beyond, are not like normal horses.

They can be more prone to parasites. A good deworming program will help prevent that.

• Available salt. Offer your horse a salt block. A salt block is an easy and inexpensive way to maintain homeostasis.

• Monitor water intake and manure output. In order to monitor how a horse’s health changes in the winter, it is important to have a good baseline of its usual routine in fair weather. Know how much water your horse drinks and what its average manure output is.

In the winter, geriatric horses may have a decrease in manure output and water intake. Adding a bran mash to their diet can help encourage drinking and keep their system regular.


• Saturday, 6 p.m. Patterned Speed Horse regional award ceremony and dinner at Islander Pizza in Sequim. Please confirm attendance by phoning Waynora Martin at 360-683-3902.

• Feb. 27, 1 p.m. Junior Rodeo Royalty tryouts will be at Bakers Stable. For more information, please phone Teresa Ballou at 360-928-9691.

• April 23-25. BCH LNT training in the Port Townsend area. For information, e-mail baysinger@centurytel.net.


Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears every other Wednesday.

If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like listed, please e-mail Griffiths at horse play.kbg@olympus.net at least two weeks in advance. You can also write Griffiths at PDN, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

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