Deirdre's KTDeirdre

'This story has been a few years in the making but I will try to give the Readers Digest version. I bought my lovely Andalusian thoroughbred cross mare ‘KT’ back in 2008. Then she was a stunning dappled grey with black points.

I very soon discovered that the lovely KT had quite a repertoire of self protection behaviours that she defaulted to if she was put under any kind of pressure. She kicked, she bit and would run me over, barging me with her shoulder.

Worst of all she had perfected the art of getting the angle on me by bracing her neck and shoulder then proceeding to "leave the building" This was particularly when faced with what I thought was a reasonable request like please load on this float ...or please let the nice farrier guy trim your feet. "Nope" she would say..."not a chance...bye...."






Being the determined type, I recall on more than one occasion doing my Indiana Jones impersonation being dragged along on the ground hanging onto the lead rope chewing on gravel while KT covered the ground at the rate of knots. You might ask why I even bothered with a potentially dangerous horse like this and looking back on it I wonder myself but anyway I guess at that time I thought that I had to tough it out and hope things would get better. I tried to get the odd "expert" in to help but their approach had limited success.

I always knew that KT was a really good horse but couldn't find a way of allowing her good qualities to show. Anyway you get the picture. Through this time, KT would also develop a hard cresty neck and had fatty deposits on her rump. I knew she was a potential candidate for laminitis so as much as possible I restricted her grass intake by keeping her on short grass and fed hay instead. Despite this, on occasions especially in spring and autumn she would come very close to getting into real trouble with laminitis.

It was about six years ago that I decided that KT was just too much for me and it was time to sell her to a home that knew more than I did.

At that time I had got to know Jenny Paterson and my son Jacob had also become pretty handy with a horse. They both really urged me to change her diet to the regime that I have continued since that time salt, minerals and low quality meadow hay. I realise now that poor KT was grass affected. Her system was so scrambled that she wasn't able to learn and because she couldn't learn she would fight with me ...etc etc and so it went on in a dangerous depressing cycle.


The Solution!

Once the diet was sorted and after a complete restart by my wonderful son, a kind, sensitive, willing and talented big, generous, gentle horse emerged. She now loads in a float, stands like a lamb when trimmed and tries her heart out for me.

But 18 months ago despite my vigilance, lovely KT who having had lesser laminitic episodes in the past, foundered in the most catastrophic way. The long and painful journey she endured to recovery is something that I would never want to put her through again. It was over 12 months of her eating only soaked hay, SOS salt and minerals. KT wore boots lined with carpet underlay on her front feet and stood on a soft surface to help along with the pain-killers. Through all of this plus the work of an amazing farrier and a whole lot of luck KT recovered.

Today she lives on a track system with a supply of hay 24/7 and only goes on grass in high summer for a few hours a day. Now when I hear people say how mean they feel taking their horses off grass and giving them just hay I just ask them if they would rip their best friends toenails off because that's how much it hurts horses when they founder.
I am no expert but I know that KT will be staying off grass getting regular exercise (like... real exercise...trotting and cantering not just walking around) and I watch her like a hawk. I think that KT and my Indiana Jones days are over and I am grateful that I was able to learn how to manage my lovely mares health so that we can have fun together out there like everyone else. 
Thank you Calm Healthy Horses and ProvideIt.'

Deirdre Ryan
Director Salta Limited

KT today, moving freely and happily.