Monday, May 21, 2012

couple of PSAs for horse folk: HA gel and sink holes

The first one I meant to post about previously but it keeps slipping my mind... for anyone who uses or wants to use HA (hylaronic acid) for your horse as a joint supplement but feel the products one can find are too expensive, here is a very cost effective way to add this to your horse's diet.

My understanding about HA is that it is best absorbed in gel form. I buy pure, human-grade HA powder from My Best Horse (click above tab to get more info on this super online shop for horse supplements) and make my own.

You'll need a 30cc dosing syringe. The instructions for mixing up a dose for a 1000 or so lb. horse are as follows:  mix 1/4 tsp (about 350mg) of the HA powder with 20cc of water in the dosing syringe. Shake, refrigerate, and shake a few more times over the next hour or so. You'll see this turns to a beautiful clear gel which is ready to squirt into the mouth of your horse. This amount is two doses - I give half to Salina and half to Keil Bay so we make up a new syringe each day for the two of them.

I gave Salina a double loading dose for the first 3 days with good results.

A wonderful benefit to doing this... I mix my powder and water in a little glass before pouring into the syringe - and when I'm done I swipe out what is in the glass and rub it into my hands and face. Works just like the expensive face creams that use HA as a main ingredient. :)


The second thing: this morning I was walking around the front field. I tend to be out and about in our fields regularly as we muck and compost our manure. I was actually this morning bemoaning the fact that I took a break yesterday and no one else pitched in. Okay... I admit, bemoaning is not quite the right word for what was going through my mind!

But then as I jammed the muck rake through a pile of manure, I saw the giant, just bigger than hoof sized, knee-deep sink hole. It was one of those holes that you just almost have to sit down and catch your breath when you see one in your field. Did they see it and walk around it? Were equine angels taking care of them?

I don't know, but I am completely grateful that none of this herd managed to run through that area and hit that hole. It makes me shudder even now to think about it.

I collect any rocks I find in the fields and stack them by fence posts and by the bottoms of our trees. Sometimes they get pushed back out into the field area by busybody equines, sometimes we get a huge deluge of rain and they wash back out a bit, but it only takes a few minutes to stack them back and on a day like today, when there was a big, deep hole that needed to be addressed immediately, all I had to do was walk a few feet in any direction and find one of my rock stashes to fill it.

There are days when I wish for barn help, other days when I wish for the pasture equivalent of a RoomBa, days when I think I have just gone over the top thinking I can compost every piece of manure that falls on this farm. But when I see one of these holes I realize how good an idea it is to get out and walk the areas our horses live in. There are all sorts of things that can be noted and repaired while doing so, and the likelihood that anyone else would be so attentive... I'm not sure I could find anyone quite as OCD as I am about watching for these things!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Glad you found that hole before the herd did. Nobody really cares about what we do or would take care of the farm the same way. It's more work for us but worth it.

Interesting about the HA. I'll confer with J. and see if we should use it. Thanks for the info.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Good thing you found that hole! No substitute for eyes on the ground.

Too funny about the rocks - I save the ones that migrate up into the arena. I've built a self draining platform for Val's water tub with them.

Thanks so much for the HA info. How often do you give Salina and Keil their gel?

billie said...

A, I agree - no one cares as much as we do about our horses and doing things right.

Re: the HA gel - I think it can be helpful in older joints and/or joints being heavily worked, as in jumping, etc. (people, dogs, horses). As usual, it can be really helpful in some cases and not as much in others - I have heard Dr. Kellon recommend trying a full dose for 3 days and if you don't see any difference at all, it probably won't be helpful on an ongoing basis. I did see a good response for Salina - not as noticeable with Keil but he likes getting the spa treatment even if it means gel in the mouth. :)

I have used it before for Keil Bay and Salina with decent results - but it's so expensive to buy. When I discovered I could make it myself I couldn't resist trying it out. So far so good.

And my hands and face are getting really soft. :)

billie said...

C, it's a daily dose. I can't believe how well it works.

Love your water trough draining rock stack idea! I might need to try that next. :)

Matthew said...

I saw the rocks piled in that hole and thought about how watchful you are and was very glad.

billie said...

Matthew, it was one of the bigger ones I've seen since we moved here. I'll eventually take that giant rock off the top but wanted to let things settle first!!