For the last 2 weeks he's been effected by grass. The Autumn cooler nights and warm days, plus rain, has meant (I think) that the grass has increased mycotoxins. There are about 300 mycotoxins that scientists believe demonstrate toxicity in people and animals. I think Maraschino has eaten all 300.
He had limited grass the last 72 hours, double doses of Mycosorb (which binds the toxins and flushes them) and two servings of Magnesium, and so I thought it would be safe enough to leave him turned out for 3 hours. How wrong was I?
I got home after going out for breakfast and to the farmers market - and the whole paddock was annihilated. One end to the other. I put him straight into the round pen - which is now a mud pen, and left him there for the rest of the day. He was covered in sweat and tucked up - he hardly stood still for the rest of the day and remained tucked up and also didn't eat much hay, or drink any water. Not only is it stressful for me, but for him too - not to mention bad for his health.
I only have two paddocks and they are too wet now to get any base in on the round pen before winter, plus I think I'd need to get the topsoil taken out for anything ontop to be effective. So I am trying to resign myself to keeping him in boggy mud all winter. I don't really have much other choice.
He was relatively quiet in the pen all day - just walked back and forth in a tear drop pattern from the gateway. Would go to one side and stare into the distance at imaginary noises, take a mouthful of hay, walk some more - or should I say slosh some more.
At 4pm I got him out and he haltered calmly, lead nicely, but not calmly, and I brushed him then took him onto our lawn, which isn't muddy, and did some squeeze game between me and the boundary fence. He didn't turn well, would go past me then turn but not face me entirely - so I played hide your hiney a bit. It improved and after what seemed like 50 of them he licked and chewed.
Interestingly though he took the time to nibble on the tall weed over the fence (playfully).
We stopped to talk to George on the way past the lounge, then back to the wash bay
- then I asked him to back into his yard like we have been doing every day. Got it on video too.. check out his muzzle twitching. And the shaking afterwards.
This is him just after I fed them, in the yards....obviously looking at something - in between mouthfuls... normally nothing distracts him from his food.
While I was repairing the divets in the paddock this afternoon I was wondering what an earth could have scared him so much to make such a mess, and I was at a loss to know what to do... then George yelled out as he was walking to the barn - asked what I was doing and I just completely lost it and burst into tears. He said don't worry about the paddock, just keep him off the grass... we came up with some ideas of doing the round pen base later.... after winter, but nothing to make it bearable for now. I thought about getting some sand in but I think it will just mush into the mud. If anyone reading this has any ideas let me know. I can't get a digger in to get rid of the topsoil till the paddocks dry - late spring.