A client’s horse, Alectra, a 14,3hh Nooitgedacht mare, came from a very competitive riding centre and was moved to a small yard when I started working with her and her owner. She was ridden by two young sisters who mostly hack and did the odd show-jumping competition. Since they have known her she’d always bucked and bitten. Alectra was known as a mean mare who didn’t like any other horses. Apply leg pressure and she would buck. Not at all happy to go into canter, it took work to cue her to make the transition. With training, the bucking and biting stopped. But as soon as she had a week or more off it started again. She was very unhappy with the saddle and girth to the point of trying to bite when it was done up. Saddle issues were suspected, but even after a change and a subsequent improvement, she was still unhappy with the girth.
Overall, Alectra was one of the sweetest, kindest young mares I had ever met; she always took care of her kids and never intentionally hurt or tried to throw them off. Even though there were improvements in her behaviour, ulcers had been suspected for a few years, Alectra was an obvious candidate for the trial and sure enough, the scope revealed huge, open bleeding ulcers all over her stomach. I couldn’t believe that with wounds that big inside of her she was actually as well behaved and sweet as she was. Despite living in an ideal, stress free environment with great grazing for a few years, Alectra still showed the most horrific ulcers.
She immediately went onto the EQ-ULCER medication; 15g per day. Her behaviour started to improve significantly after two weeks. She was far less girthy and much happier going into canter. At the end of the three month trial we scoped again. We were all in disbelief as to how clear her stomach was. Dr Claasen from Noordhoek Equine commented; “It’s like a different stomach”. No other change in her routine or feed was made.