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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Shot reactions :-(

This is the first year in a while that my horses have had reactions to their spring shots.  My thirty year old mare, Sparky, was just fine, but that is because we front load her with IM Banamine before the shots, and then I give her a half dose (500 lb.) that evening and then another half dose in the morning.  At her age, I don't even want her to look at me funny after getting her shots!  I don't mess around with a geriatric mare who is prone to colic anyway.  So my is in totally agreement to my desire to give her the Banamine regardless.  

Thankfully, Reva and Dreamy's reactions were pretty mild.  Reactions to vaccinations are common and usually resolve on their own fairly quickly.  The morning following their shots (Tuesday), Reva acted as though she felt "yucky" and had a fever of 102.2.  Reva is probably the least stoic of all three mares and it is very obvious when she does not feel good.  I swear she does the horse equivalent of a sick kiddo who wants mom to snuggle them on the couch.  She practically begs to have her head hugged and will lean down onto my chest and stay there.  It would be quite cute if she was not sick.  Reva had a dose of the Banamine that morning and then Bute that night.  She did not have a fever the next day (Wednesday) and was a bit subdued but definitely felt better.  By Thursday she was totally fine.

Dreamy was stocked up in all four legs on Tuesday morning.  I gave her Bute and turned her out for the day, knowing that moving around is much better than standing in a stall all day.  She was totally sound and her legs had no heat, they just looked like stovepipes.  That evening they hadn't gone down that much, so I gave her more Bute and wrapped her in Back on Track standing wraps for four hours and then regular quilts and standing wraps overnight.  On Wednesday morning her legs were just a tad puffy, so I discontinued the Bute and just turned her out and did the regular standing wraps overnight again.  By Thursday morning her legs were tight and normal.

None of them had any neck swelling, which has usually been the common reaction around here.  This was the first time I had a horse stock up after vaccines in my almost twenty years of horse ownership.

Obviously it could have been worse, so I am thankful their reactions were typical and resolved without too much trouble.  How about your horse(s)?  Do your horses have spring shot reactions?  Do you do anything special (space out the shots, pretreat with an NSAID, etc.)?  


  1. Mine (and the horses at barns where I've worked) have always been easy with one exception: a gelding who was the least stoic of any horse I've ever met. If he were wild, the wolves would've taken him out as a yearling, he's so wimpy.

    My vet wants the horses IN and CLEAN(ish) when we give the shots, and then OUT IN THE PASTURE for the rest of the day. I think that helps a lot--movement is goodness.

  2. We do the rabies and intranasal strangles/strep separately from the 5-way and West Nile. The only horse of mine who's ever had a bad reaction was Pie last fall - we don't know if it was the flu/rhino booster or the rabies (he's on a fall schedule for rabies and my others are done in the spring), or just the timing with him developing EPM. There's one rabies vaccine - I'm not naming names for obvious reasons but your vet can tell you - that has a reputation for causing bad reactions - our vet doesn't use that one.

    I will probably give Pie some bute or banamine - whichever the vet recommends - before his spring vaccinations just in case.

  3. So sorry to hear about your ponies. I always worry about reactions to shots. We make it a rule at my barn not to ride or work the horses on vaccinations day.

    I think that you are doing the right thing with your older mare. Why risk it?

    Hope everyone is feeling better soon.


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