Total Nightmare

Alright, so. I made a kind of suspicious post the other day when I announced that something had happened with Shalom and we were basically on the fence over what to do. I haven't really wanted to post about it yet, but I'm 95% sure what's happening and I thought I'd finally make a post about it.

A few days ago, we got in contact with another previous owner. He let us know that Shalom (Dot, as everyone called him) is not a kids horse. He gets very dangerous when being ridden and if he gets out of breath, he will flip out on you. He said he's okay for the farrier until you get to the back feet, then he kicks out. He also said never to trust him in a stall because he's always aggressive. We already knew about that stall issue and we've been working through it. IMO, that's not a forever issue and can be fixed. Well, flash forward 2 weeks of having him and he has officially improved a lot. Before the farrier came on Wednesday, mom was in there directly after feeding time and rubbing him, grooming him a little and combing out his mane. I swear, I've never seen a horse look so blissful during grooming. He literally stood there with his eyes half-closed, leaning into the brush and into mom the whole entire time. Not an aggressive bone in his body at that moment. She went out yesterday when he was eating his grain, kneeled down at the large crack at the stall where we slip the bowl in, and started petting his head. He happily stopped eating for a moment to lean his head into her like a cat.

Shalom says love me feed me pet me cuddle with me

So then we started talking again a little, and he told us some of the things he was feeding him and we got some information on what he did with him (work wise and etc) and all of a sudden, it made sense. I won't post anything about what he was actually feeding but yes, it'll make a horse hot and hyped.

Also, when C the farrier was out, he did absolutely perfect. The only time he was upset was when he was pushing on his gut (very lightly) to get him to move over. He barely touched and Shalom was obviously unhappy so we're betting on ulcers, which is previous owner did say he has issues with. So onto ulcer meds we go (I would love recommendations) I'm really thinking it's to due with his stress...maybe? Anyone disagree/agree?

The dreaded back feet being trimmed....while Shalom naps.

Front feet, asleep with mom rubbing his head.

So dangerous it's obvious he's going to attack.

So far, instead of getting meaner with weight like the person said he would, he's gotten sweeter. I haven't seen a mean bone in his body. Now, if we were to put him on feed to make him hot? Well, let's all remember when Red got hyped up on his feed when we were getting him to gain weight and I was terrified as Red bolted and almost ran into everyone he saw.

Yeah, my horse isn't dangerous but you can definitely make just about any horse dangerous with the right amount of oats and sweet feed.

Forever posing.

He is 100% attached to mom. When she leaves him, he literally doesn't finish his food because he sits there and looks for her. He'll settle down eventually, but he gets very sad. Instead of not wanting her around during feeding time, he loves for her to be there. When he see's our car, he takes off running to where we normally stop in the road to say hello and sits and waits for us to come see him. (Seen in above picture) Granted, we're being extra careful, but so far I'm feeling good about this horse.

Also, every single one of his old owners want him back.

I don't blame them.


  1. So glad he's doing better! Wonder how he ended up in such bad shape with the rescue if he had good owners who want him back now? Some things I never will figure out... but anyway. Glad he's with you guys. And looking better already I think, from that last pic! :)

  2. Yay I'm so glad he's settling in so nicely. Ulcers could definitely be a possibility if he's been stressed, underweight, adjusting to a new home, etc. I haven't ever treated for ulcers, but I do feed alfalfa as a preventative. It is very soothing to their stomachs. I just put a couple of handfuls of alfalfa chaff (you can use pellets and soak them if you're worried about choke) into his feed. If you can get it in bales you can feed a flake a day and that should help. As for treating I've heard Gastroguard works but is extremely expensive. I think Smartpak carries something that works. There are cheaper options though but I forget what they are because I've never used them..... sorry I'm not much help. Good luck!

  3. It's interesting how feed really plays into their temperament. I would take what the old owner said with a grain of salt!

  4. Sounds like he's very happy to be in the right home, on the right diet, with wonderful horsey mommys. =)

  5. Sweet feed can make a horse go crazy. A lot of them are really sensitive to feed changes, so your story doesn't surprise me. I would hit him with a round of GastroMax 3 (I believe that's what it's called). It's cheaper than GastroGard but it will help heal the ulcers. After that, a good ulcer supplement like SmartDigest will help keep him happy and comfortable long term. Ulcers can also make a horse very hot/aggressive so treating them will make him even more chill.

  6. Lily my TB cross is prone to ulcers. She gets fed hay before being ridden, alfalfa prior to rides that are going to be more than an hour long. (Alfalfa is high in calcium, which acts as a buffer for stomach acid) She's had 2 flare-ups in the 3 years I've had her. For flare-ups she needs proper treatment, which means she gets UlcerGard from the vet or Abprazole from www.abler.com. Abprazole is a generic UlcerGard available without prescription but it comes from overseas so it takes about 2 weeks to receive. It is literally half the cost of UlcerGard.

    For maintenance, Lily lives on the UGard supplement. She doesn't get flare-ups as long as she stays on the supplement and her diet is managed appropriately. UGard is not expensive: one month of it in Smartpaks is about $20. I prefer the pellets to the powder. I personally don't recommend SmartDigest as an ulcer preventative: it is for digestive support but doesn't have gastric protectants in it. Lily's second flare-up occurred while on stall rest when I took her off UGard and onto SmarrDigest. I wrote a blog post about it last year and talked to Smartpak themselves about it. For ulcer prevention in a Smartpak brand supplement, you want SmartGut.

    Lily lives outside 24/7 with access to pasture + hay prior to workouts as described. She gets hay 24/7 in the winter, and she is on Triple Crown Senior, which is beet pulp based and low in starch.

    And yes: high sugar diets can cause hyperactivity but they can also contribute to ulcers. Hope Shalom feels better! He sounds like a really nice horse.

    1. Thank you SO much for this. It helped a ton!!!!