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Sometime back I got on here and asked about tying up after my horse tied up 8
miles into a flat race. I promised the whole story after I got back blood
work, and as it pertains to the ongoing selenium thread, here goes;
Background first... I have had Rayna for nearly three years. She had been
100% stabled all her life and has learned very well the joys of being a horse.
She is on pasture all summer, with grain twice a day. In winter she is in at
night with grass hay, a little alfalfa, and grain.
Her grain rations have always consisted of whole oats, corn oil, molasses,
probiotics, loose salt( 2 tblspoons) cracked corn, vitamins, Selenium/E, and
biotin. She gets alfalfa pellets in the summer instead of alfalfa.
She has ben a hard keeper, but very healthy.
I ride 3 or 4 days a week, 15 to 25 miles at a time. Everything here is
steep, rocky and muddy a good share of the time. Her feet are EXCELLENT. I
never have any leg problems. I usually pack her pretty heavy here at home,
about 225-235 lbs ( she is 14 hands, 782 lbs by tape) and have NEVER had her
tie up at home.
I only ride a few rides a year, cant afford to do more. Last year I went to
the Oregon 100, did a 50, got pulled at 43 miles, cramping in the hind end.
We were in third place at the time, and she was doing GREAT. Came into the
vet check at a trot and her pulse was 56. Stopped for water, ate some hay
while milling around waitng for the vet. Waited for about 2 minutes at the
vet, she asked me to trot out and Rayna couldnt move. Her whole left side was
stove up in the rear. An hour later, after the trailer ride, she was still
cramped. About and hour and a half after that she was fine. No dark urine,
acting fine mentally and physically. Hauled her home the next day, and she
was still fine.
Did the Animal House ride in April, the 30. Rayna did great! Things were
really maniacal at the ride ( ask anyone who was there) and Rayna was a basket
case the first 14 miles. After the hold, it was nirvana. Got 6th place.
Then.....( ominous music ) KKS Windsong......
Nice flat ride. Relatively fast start, but nothing dramatic, and certianly
nothing I havent done here at home several hundred times.
About 6-7 miles Rayna is breathing funny, not deep and slow like normal with
type of work, but not panting either. I slow her up, look for lamness,
bugs,tack problems etc, decide its just an off day for her and continue on at
a slow trot for a few minutes. Try a canter, but it feels odd. Like she is
heavy in front. ( Rayna is a nicely collected horse, her gaits arent the
smoothest, but her canter is pretty good, usually) So I slow down again. By
this time I am at the first water, which she wont drink, as usual, so I get
off and sponge her. Tell the riders with me not to wait as I wanted to stay
there a while and see if she is okay.
Continuing to sponge, I glance back and realize her whole hind end is
twitching and jumping! Great : (
Take her up on the road ( water is in a gully) and my normally sure footed
mountian horse FALLS DOWN.
She couldnt walk, her rear heels wouldnt touch the ground and she was
I told some riders to tell them back at camp ( 7 miles away) that I had a tied
up horse, please rescue us.
And I waited, and waited for 3 hours. No sunscreen ( planning on being in
camp at 15 miles) only 1 nearly empty water bottle, no shade, and its warming
Finally a man shows up in a small pickup, no trailer and tells me no one can
get me. All hell broke loose when someone got kicked and badly broke her leg,
life-flighted to Yakima. ( Lucy, I found out later. We were camped next to
So I start heading back, leading Rayna. Very slow going at first, but by the
time we got to camp two and a half hot, thirsty miles later, she was dragging
Vet didnt see any reason to treat, she was happy, moving, eating, drinking.
Took her to camp. liniment rub on the butt, massage, hay, carrots, then
Gatorade and shade for me.
A while later she peed. You know the one; dark reddish black stuff. Told the
vet. But as she was fine in all other respects, she said to do what I had
been doing and she'd be fine. Which she was.
Hauled home Sunday, no further problems.
So of course I picked the ride vets brains and everyone since who would
listen. Changed my feeding to less grain, no corn, and was amazed at how much
more grazing she does.
Had my vet draw blood, full count and a selenium count.
Bloodwork showed the residuals from tying up. ( blood was drawn 2 weeks after)
And her red cell count was low, 32, should be 35 at least.
Put her on RED CELL, triple doses, to up her selenium as well, and waited on
the selenium count before doing any more increasing.
Got it back, terminal wait : ) Normal is 160 - 400, Rayna was 98. Bingo!
So, I've got her on the triple red cell, til the gallon runs out, 8 mg of
selenium a day in the powder, plus what's in the Horse Gaurd vitamins.
Do I need to up her more? And for how long? When should I test her again?
How come I never had trouble at home, even though I ride her faster, heavier
and steeper than at the rides? Was it the stress from being trailered,
something I rarely do?
On a positive note: I did Renegade Rendevous a couple weeks ago ,the 25,
great ride, steep and wonderful, Rayna did great, in spite of my paranoia. We
got 6th place and threw a shoe somewhere the last six miles! She was sound as
She is a great little mare and I want to do right by her. I am also planning
on breeding her to a nice Crabbet/ Spanish stallion next year and would like
to know if the selenium thing is going to be a problem at that time.
Thanks so much to all of you for your great brainstorming and ideas! And
thanks to Kim for nutrition analysis and ration adjusting.
Sorry this is so long, but I'm worse in person!!!!
Julie and Rayna
Brush Prairie, Wa
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