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This is the post where I’m going to whine about all the things that are going wrong and how stressed I am about it. In actuality, things really aren’t that bad… but if I can’t bitch about it here, then what’s the point? So feel free to skip this entire post. Or stick around and laugh at how easily rattled I am.

The polar vortex finally broke yesterday and I was pumped to visit Miles for the first time all week. As soon as I brought him out and took his blanket off, the joy I had at seeing my pony evaporated. He looks terrible! Okay, that’s probably not true, but his coat doesn’t look good. His clip has grown out, and his face and neck look normal… hairy, but normal. The rest of his body is dull and he’s getting rubs everywhere. His shoulders, his forearms, his butt and his back.
He looks homeless. I couldn’t even bring myself to post pictures because I am so embarrassed.
Miles in his shoulder guard
So then I bring out a new saddle to try, and the fit looks okay… not great, but okay. But I decide to try it anyways and we venture into the arena… where there are little kids on ponies jumping bareback and two other horses hacking. Great. So I start going along, and while I don’t like the saddle, it seems to be the best fit so far. Until I canter.
And Miles feels horrible. Totally discombobulated, like a washing machine almost, with his head in the air, back hollow. I try to get him to stretch out and do anything normal, like bend, to no avail. I stop in the middle of the arena and fight back tears. I switch back to my saddle and after 20 more minutes, Miles feels better, but still, not great.
At this point I’m convinced I broke my pony and I’m practically crying. I didn’t realized just how much he had made his way into my heart until that moment.
So we go back to the barn, and I feel for heat along his legs (none) and palpate his back (no response). So I tell myself it’s probably the crazy weather (it’s suppose to be 45 degrees on Saturday… which, if you’re counting is now almost a 70 degree difference in ONE WEEK) and the fact that he was in his stall for 48 straight hours and I haven’t ridden in four days.
I’m planning on going out to the barn again tonight, so hopefully Miles will be feeling better. And I’m so sick of this stupid saddle search, I might just burn my saddle when I’m done… for good measure!!
Anyways, if anyone has any suggestions for hair growth products, or coat products in general that can be used during the winter, I would be eternally grateful. That way maybe I can solve one of my problems and keep some semblance of normalcy throughout the rest of my life…
And so my coworkers stop looking at me like a three-headed gorilla.


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

17 thoughts on “Stressed

  1. Everything I am going to list are in my arsenal and I’ve pretty much had the nicest looking horse in the barn for the longest time.

    MTG for hair regrowth (will take you from bald to hair regrowth faster than you think). Equifuse Rehydrinse
    Daily rag rubdown/massage. Nothing brings the oils back out like putting your elbow and shoulder into it.

    1. I think the last part is where I’m struggling — Miles HATES to be brushed. Maybe it’s time to really lay down the law and try to get him over it as much as I can.

  2. Curry curry curry. I like MTG for problem areas and I like the old school pink product which name I can never remember for coat conditioning. Also, relax he’ll be okay 🙂

  3. BREATHE. IT WILL BE OKAY. I think everyone is going nuts this winter!! And as far as Miles’ coat… a nice soft curry or jelly scrubber and ELBOW GREASE! Followed up by a good rub with a nubby dishtowel to bring out the shine. You might also consider adding an omega or fat supplement to his feed. But yeah, no topical stuff is really going to help you here. 🙂

  4. Breathe. 🙂 I totally feel your pain. After a month of stall rest Houston was looking a sight for sure. His coat is still mangy but I now swear by the EquiSpa conditioning spray. It is essentially a bunch of natural stuff but it worked wonders for Houston in less than 48 hrs with 2 applications and some currying. Have you thought to try different curry combs? Houston hates your traditional curry that’s made of stiff rubber/ plastic but he loves my curry mitten. Additionally there might be brushes out there that wont irritate him so much.

    MTG is the bomb. For all things fungus and balding. Some horses can be sensitive to it though from what I have heard. When I applied it it was to areas that were already bald and hair grew back amazingly fast. Pony will smell like bacon bits though. 🙂

  5. Remember – a good coat comes from the inside out. Since there is already damage – go with what L has suggested. Consider adding a top dress to his feed – I like Masterfeed finishing touch. My horses are all fat, and shiny with summer looking coats. They are heavily blanketed all winter. Do you change his sheet? Turnout outside and stable rug inside? That is also another thing to consider. Is he blanketed according to weather, whether inside or out?

    Good feed will make a gorgeous healthy coat. Good blanketing practices will keep the coat in top shape.

    Also, all of the horses are a bit mad right now because of the weather and being cooped up. However, the head raising thing makes me think it is back pain. I would give him a few more days off and maybe just try light rides until his back has fully healed. I’m going through the exact same thing.

  6. Just for an FYI, if you ever need tips on hair growth and hair related stuff, I’m your gal. Dealing with Red’s sweet itch has made me a master of horse hair. Like others have said above, MTG is amazing, SWAT is really good too. (I use the paste in the jar, the pink stuff if you can find it.) and horseman’s dream anti-fung-away is great, too. Listerine is awesome (yes, listerine) just dilute it with baby oil and water.

    Red has been suffering as well. :)) Hasn’t been groomed because I’ve been snowed in, poor guy is stiff because of the weather, I have the winter time blues as well and I’m stressed to the max! Just go with it and remember…Summer is almost here!!

  7. I’m a big fan of adding an Omega-3 to Willow’s diet in the winter… makes her look bangin’. 😉 Totally agree with elbow grease though. No product will bring shine to a coat like a lot of currying. When Willow was on stall rest this summer, I curried/brushed her every day, and her coat was stunning. She’s not a fan of cuddling either, but I made her put up with it…cookies help!

    As far as stiffness and stuff… I’ve found a really forward, swinging, stretchy walk warm up to be the best. Hang in there! It’ll get better.

  8. Deep breaths, girl. This is a tough time for horses but it’ll all work out. I’m sure I’ll be crying on your shoulder in a week about how gross Lex looks after being out in the mud. I’m an excellent groom, and I’m happy to come have a look at him any time! 🙂

  9. I’m a big believer the in the Select The Best supplement Nu-Image. Horses like to eat it and it really helps with a good hair coat. And yes he needs to get over his not liking being brushed, a good routine every day (in proper pony club order) will help. Oscar hates it too, but some things they just have to deal with 😉

  10. Somehow I missed this post. With all the great advice you’ve gotten I’m sure you’ll have Miles squared away in no time. I have to deal with sweet itch with Ghazal and it is a pain. Good luck!

  11. I feel you. Courage is rubbing in random places and his coat is dry and dirty and he’s body sore from tiptoeing over ice and WILL THIS DAMN WINTER EVER END?

    It has to.

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