Persil BeaucoupPersil and me

Persil Beaucoup is my special little man.

He is an Australian Stock horse and he is a horse with whom I have formed a unique bond.
Around 11 years ago I rescued Persil from an appalling situation. Originally bred for Polocrosse, he played only a few games before he was chased through a fence by motorbikes and injured himself so badly he was turned out for a year.

The day I saw him I was shocked, he had been herded into a large round pen by motorbikes and was in the process of being abused by a bunch of 'cowboys' who were angry at him because they couldn't catch him.

I couldn't get him home fast enough. From the start he seemed to trust me though he was always a nervous type.

No one except me could near him the paddock for a couple of years and when I introduced him to a new person, he would stand behind me gently holding on to my fingers with his lips. I rode him in CTR and endurance and we did fabulously well. Persil loved being out in the rough country back and beyond where there were no people, his stamina and willingness to blatt about at speed no matter what the terrain earned him the nickname - The Pocket Rocket (he's only around 14.3hh)

 

In the Beginning...

Not long after he arrived, I had a series of accidents on him.

Every time he shied at something, he would then go absolutely bezerk, throwing me and galloping off only to panic because I was not with him - I used to find it amusing that he would always come back and get me no matter how large the paddock and how far away he had galloped. I knew he didn't mean to do this and that there was something wrong.Finish Line

Most of the time and on the endurance courses, he was brilliant and we were coming home with first and second placings everytime over extremely tough hilly country.

I figured it must have been a pain issue in his back and had a series of chiropractors/massage people and vets inspect him - no one could find a thing wrong.

Finally after a particularly nasty fall, in which everyone was telling me to 'get rid of him', I discovered a wonderful elderly man who called himself a 'Bone Setter'.

He worked on Persil for about an hour and from that day forth I have never had this issue again HOWEVER other trouble was brewing.

Persil was becoming very tight and tense in his persil nutting offmovement. He would look after me when I rode him but if anyone else hopped on him he would go bezerk.

I put it down to his past abuse and turned him out for a while hoping his movement would come back and the tenseness would right itself.

Then I moved down (from Hawkes Bay) to North Canterbury and out to Eyrewell.

I was appalled to see Persil absolutely drop all condition despite 2 hard feeds a day and plenty of grass! I began to doubt my ability to 'keep horses'. I thought he should be OK as I had a mineral block in the paddock and he was being fed enormous quantities of sweet feed!

His condition dropped more, he looked as if he had a heavy worm burden despite having been wormed. A vet who came out to look at him said he just looked like a horse who had been turned out and wasn't too worried - but I knew better and I was panicking.

I had a worm count done which initially came back with almost no worms but fortunately as I was so worried I had it done again a few weeks later to find he was riddled with Strongyles. ARRRGGHH!!!

The Strongyles worm can sometimes be missed in a worm count depending on where it is in the cycle - this is something I am very aware of now!

I wormed him specifically for strongyles but still he did not pick up condition, not only that but his movement was stiff, he couldn't track up, in short - he was a mess.

persil looking awful!I thought I'd try to find another home for him with someone who might be able to do a better job of caring for him, but Persil almost killed the boy (who was very experienced) - Persil went bezerk and threw him.
I realised I couldn't let him go anywhere and fortunately at about that time I met Jenny!

Meeting Jenny!

Jenny took one look at him and said "oh well he is a clearly a 'grass affected horse'".

"I've been feeding him a toxin binder" I said, and, when she said he needed some quality minerals, I thought - oh Gawd here we go - hugely expensive stuff that probably won't do squat.
How wrong I was and what a learning curve!
As I had nothing to lose and was ready to try anything I did everything Jenny suggested - Persil went onto a diet of Speedi Beet and crushed barley to which I add Premium NZ Horse Minerals, AlleviateC, 2 Tbsp of Salt, GrazeEzy and ToxDefy.

Within 6 weeks I had a different horse.persil grass affected!

His movement became more fluid, his condition - well you can see for yourself in the following photos.

I thought it was incredible and was over the moon but when Jenny came out to see him, she said, 'Hmmm', you can see he is still very grass affected' - I had changed his diet hard feed and mineral wise but had not looked at the grass.

I thought Jenny was mad - 'look at him I said, 'he's a completely different horse!'.

She pointed out that although he looked fantastic condition wise, he was still very tense - you can see it in the photo above.

'He needs to be off that green grass' she said.

It took about a year for him to come totally 'right'.Persil racing around Damage that has been done over a long period sometimes takes a little longer to fix.

Here he is charging around in 2012 about a year later - despite the arthritis he unfortunately suffers from, he is still a very active boy.

Incidently I have found that GrazeEzy (1/2 measuring cup), mixed with water and syringed in eases his stiffness within a few hours!

Also I was in store for another shock when I had the Horse Dentist come out to do his teeth. This time they sedated him and gave him a thorough going over.

I had thought Persil was around 15 years at this stage - it turned out that he was in his mid to late twenties!

This meant three things to me -

1. That he was in incredibly good condition thanks to the minerals and Jenny's advice for a horse of this age with the hard life he had had.

2. That the abuse he had suffered in terms of incorrect diet (and starvation) had been going on for a lot longer than I had thought - the damage was there and explained why the strongyles had taken such a hold on him and why it had been so hard to get condition on him over that first Autumn/winter in Eyrewell.

3. His arthritis was not so surprising at all.

Persil and me
Note: The broken elbow was in no way caused by Persil!


Persil in 2013

I have retired Persil now, due to his Arthritis but the changes I have witnessed have been incredible.

He is a very happy Uncle to Zephyr and the two of them play for hours at a time.

Here are some recent photographs of him that show you just what a happy horse he is...

On the morning of Zephyr's birth, Merlot became Kissing Merlot(Much to Persil's great joy) uncharacteristically cuddly and allowed Persil a kiss and a cuddle over the fence...

Merlot did not allow Persil anywhere near her baby by for around 2 months. Their first meeting was stunning - Persil was incredibly gently with this little baby horse - his 'nephew'...

Meeting Zephyr

Persil and ZephyrThe two of them spend most days playing a game I call 'Ad it up to 'ere'. Check out The Zephyr Files for a full photographic record of this.

Persil, now in his late twenties, gallops about with Zephyr like a young colt. He adores his 'nephew'.

persil leaping about

 

Calm healthy horseThis last photo shows how calm Persil has become - he has lost all his tenseness and marches around like he owns the place.

Actually, I think he does.

I can't thank Jenny enough for helping me with my horses! I don't think Persil would be alive let alone as well as he is without the help she has given me.

I can't reccommend the ProvideIt Mineral range enough and will NEVER again make the mistake of assuming that all minerals are the same!

UPDATE
Persil in 2015 at 31 years in winter (August 29th)

As you see in these pictures, persil does not look his age at all. Thanks to ProvideIt minerals and a mix of tuermic/cracked black pepper and flax seed oil for his arthritis (see turmeric user group on Facebook)
Persil just keeps getting better and better.
He and Zephyr continue to play every day. They are inseperable. Here are some photographs taken on the same day. Never believe an old horse can't have muscle tone. This year, when Persil dropped bit of topline I replaced his Premium minerals with PremiumMVA, and well, you can see here - no shortage of muscle tone in this old guy.
Enjoy ;-)

2016

In February the decision was made to have Persil put to sleep.

Arthritis had spread to his hips and he was in danger of collapsing and being unable to get up. He had nasal polyps which were starting to become a hindrance to his breathing.

It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make but the right one.

He was an incredible little horse, a fantastic mentor and playmate to Zephyr.
RIP Persil Beaucoup