When I first saw him, I noticed his tail looked a little odd, kind of like this:
Actually, it didn't just kind of look like this, it looks just like this, and his tail has been like this for awhile. The rest of his tail is okay looking, pretty long, too, and not too thin and straggly, but the top half is pretty bad, and his mane and forelock aren't very healthy either.
So, last night, I started re-searching. I broke out a cool blue and see-through pen, and some printer paper, and started writing down everything I thought he could have. I narrowed it down to either just terrible allergies, or Sweet Itch. If any of you guys don't know what sweet itch is, it's a form of allergies, the skin gets flaky and elephant like, and they scratch and rub to relieve the itching, causing more problems. If not treated, it's not deadly or anything, but the horse is going to be miserable from the itchiness. I'm still not positive Red has sweet itch, but I'm going to try some of the remedies because I've heard some of them work for just horses with bad allergies. After a year or two, I'm hoping Red's tail will be back to normal. I'm not into the looks, I just love this horses personality. He lets kids hang all over him, and would probably let me swing around on his neck for a few hours if I wanted to. He just has a friendly, "I don't really care" disposition, he's the perfect beginner horse for me, and I can't wait to start our adventures together, but I do want him to look a little better, it makes me sad. :(
So, I found this food that Omega Fields makes, well, it's not really a food, but it goes over top of his grain (The grain I feed my mini is Dumor, but I will be buying a different feed for Red because of his allergies, and because it's bad for a horse to randomly completely switch their food.) and it's supposed to help sweet itch and other allergies. Tractor Supply sells it, too, and that's where we do most of our feed shopping, for the dogs all the way to our goat. There's not a bad review on it, so we decided to spend the 40 dollars and try it.
I'll also be buying a fly mask, fly sheet, Avon Skin So Soft (I've heard it helps with the tail and scabbing) and fly netting. My mom and I are going to try to crochet a fly veil, too.
So, any other tips for bad allergies or sweet itch? I'd love to hear them. :)