I got the vet to give me her thoughts on Kachina's condition and nutrition. I told her about how it's been a slow road to build topline on her. She said that I can add some protein or fat and that might help, but that she thinks Kachina looks good right now, so doesn't have any concerns from a health perspective. She also noted that with Kachina's build she won't be a horse that ever gets a super beefy topline. I was hoping for a more solid recommendation from the vet when it came to food, but this essentially gives me the all clear to try a couple different options and see what works so that's good too.
The vet was overall very pleased with Kachina's teeth, she had a couple of small points near her tongue but nothing bad. The vet recommended waiting 18 months before looking at her again. The 24/7 forage with the slow feed net is likely a big part of why her teeth are looking so good. The vet and I both love the nets for so many reasons.
Kachina got a different kind of sedation this time, I'm not sure exactly what it was but the vet said that it is better for stability and giving them control over their legs sooner, but that it dulls their mind and digestive system a bit longer. It was weird for me because Kachina looked sober but her reactions were delayed which just made it seem like she was ignoring me. We walked outside the clinic to get pictures taken for the Coggins. Kachina had her head up and was walking normally, but when I'd ask her to stop, that message just wouldn't compute as soon as it should have and she was basically dragging me along at a walk a few times. Getting her pointed the right direction to get on the trailer also took a few tries.
Once we got home, I had orders to keep Kachina off feed for 2 hours. Kachina was a little offended about being poked and prodded at the vet, but she was really mad that I was keeping her away from her food. Especially since Kachina gets free feed hay, she's usually not terribly food motivated, but yesterday she was doing her darndest just to reach a single blade of grass. I put her in the round pen and we did a bit of groundwork to try and distract her from food. Her reactions still seemed a little slow so I tried to keep the ground work simple and just reinforce concepts that she already knows. She still didn't try to mug me, but she was clearly upset that she wasn't getting the treats she normally does for certain responses. She tried to give me the cold shoulder to let me know that scratches were not an adequate reward. I had to put on the pressure a bit to let her know that walking away from me and turning her back on me was not an acceptable response. She started listening better after that, but her expression was still seriously grumpy.
Finally, when the two hours were up, I gave her a treat and her whicker was so loud and excited that you'd think she had been starving for weeks. I put her back in her pen and she dove into her hay with gusto. We'll see tonight whether she's forgiven me or not. Poor hard done by mare *eye roll*
Does your horse get mad at you when you have to go to the vet? What's their least favorite part?