The Choctaw Princess has been here for six months now. The before photo on the right does not do justice to how skinny she really was last fall when she arrived. But, in the after photo on the left, you can see she has filled out and muscled up from her neck and shoulders all through her back and hind end. She is as gorgeous now as I thought she would be then.
Some food and correct exercise does do wonders for a horse. Right now, the Choctaw Princess looks like a gray horse because she has shed her long dark winter guard hairs. What you see is her short thick light colored layer of insulating fuzz from the winter. Underneath that, her summer coat of short slick dark hair is gradually growing out.
Her weight is good and she is carrying herself well. Her attitude is cheerful and responsive. She will wander about keeping my weeds and spring grasses trimmed. She whinnies when I bring her probiotic CBD mush out. Occasionally she seems to have difficulty swallowing, but I do not know if that is neurological or if it due to wads of fiber from her worn down teeth. Either way, she is getting more pellets and less hay.
But as long as I let the Choctaw Princess decide what she wants to do and when she wants to do it, and as long as I maintain her hemp scrap dosage, she appears stable enough. Getting her nervous system to settle down has even gotten her coat to settle down. But, I have to leave her gate open so she can put herself away anytime she wants too.
If the gate into her own pen is closed when she is out and about or I put her in a different enclosure and close the gate, she paces. She rapidly becomes more and more agitated until she gets glassy-eyed with her pupils start blowing open. Her movement becomes jerkier and her ability to negotiate sharp corners rapidly declines, but she will keep going until I put her back in her own pen.
Once on home ground, she stands immobile for hours. Or she decides to ignore hay, pellets and fresh greenery in favor of checking out her own manure piles and carefully selecting the ones she wants to give a second run through her system. I suspect that she chooses to eat manure that has high levels of CBD’s to boost her dosage, but eating manure could also be part of her neurological dysfunction.
At this point, I just focus on avoiding stressing her. All the rest, I have to let go by the by. I find it ironic ironic that I have to explain that there are limits to my ability to keep a horse with a slowly disintegrating central nervous system going when I had to argue just as hard in the Choctaw Princess’s favor when she showed up as a walking skeleton.
Regardless, as long as I enjoy her company and respect her limitations, we are doing fine. So fine in fact that people keep questioning why I claim she is steadily getting worse.. I tell them that I am not going to turn away from the aid of one of humanity’s oldest friends in the plant realms if it will help her.
But, they need to understand that CBD’s are a kindness, not a cure. While I have great respect for the power of the hemp plant, I was taken aback to see claims on line that there was no equine ill that CBD’s could not fix. . If the diagnosis is inevitable decline, then I am all for making a horse’s last days easier.
But, I am always aware that the degeneration is progressing even if the symptoms are disguised. If your horse needs anything that disguises pain and changes their central nervous system functions, you need to take a serious look at how you are handling them. Keeping your horse healthy, happy and sound come first, so I’ll be blunt.
If your horse is not going well under saddle, you need to figure out the source of the problem. Do not cripple your horse by covering up problems with drugs. Hemp products all too easily disguise pain and genuine injury, so I would never use or recommend them for a horse that is being actively schooled or ridden.