By Patty Wilber
Lucy had become something of a tail swisher, but I finally got it calmed down with regular chiropractic work. Yay!
Then, early this summer she started up again, despite the chiro, and after a bit, she also started to scratch her back, vigorously enough that she was losing hair.
I blocked off her favorite scratching tree and that saved her skin from being rubbed raw, thank goodness..
Then, she started getting hives under her saddle pad. Bother. Lucky for me, despite the hives, she still worked well, with a nice facial expression, so the judges still used her, despite her busy tail and certain discomfort. Lucy can be quite stoic (except for her tail.)
I figured the hives must be due to the heat and the dirt in the saddle pad, so I bought some Lettia Coolmax cotton saddle pad liners, and started washing them, and her back after each ride. No more hives! Quieter tail! Happier to run!
At the last show Buckskin club show of the year (Sept. 26), I made sure to stay off her back unless I needed to be on her, I pulled her saddle midday, and rinsed her back to make sure she did not get too hot. No hives, quiet tail, and she had a really good show that included her best ever cow and reining work, so that seemed to help.
But… the liners like to slip back, so I started pulling them forward and folding them over the front of the saddle pad. That kept them in place, but then she started getting hives in a not very hot or sweaty spot toward the back of the saddle where the WOOL saddle pad was touching her.
So, I looked that up on the amazing Internet, and yes indeed, horses can be allergic to wool. And they can acquire an allergy to wool over time. Some horses become batshit crazy acting when they have a wool pad, so I feel pretty lucky that all I got was a swishy tail and perhaps a reluctance to really run….
(But that lack of run might be her personality or an uncomfortable gut or that she needed a chiropractic adjustment…
So, regular chiro. Check.
And shoes every 5 to 6 weeks to keep her feet right so she doesn’t fall out of adjustment. Check.
And for her gut: daily aloe juice, and Aloe Gel plus Gastro Guard or Gastrix when she shows. Check.
Because basically, I am happy to just throw money at this horse because, what the heck. She is super cool. Super cool. Check.)
But back to wool. I sewed a tab on my Lettia Coolmax cotton liners so I can run a tether through the tab and affix the tether to my saddle horn to prevent the pad from slipping back.
Next, I probably need to find non-wool pads to go on top of the liner, just to be completely wool free!
The Appaloosa World Show is coming up, so by golly, we are going to have all our ducks in a row by then so we can put forth our very best performances there!