I fed both horses a bran mash with a serving of Outlast the morning we left (12/27). They were fine in the trailer, other than fussing at one another more than usual in the first part of the trip. Hoss was recently moved into a pen next to another horse, who likes to pick fights. Well, Hoss managed to get the better of his neighbor, badly enough said neighbor was laid up for 3 days. So now, when Demon got to snuffling under the divider, Hoss thought he was a badass and fought back. I'm not positive a tussle is what resulted in Hoss's ear injury and fall in the trailer, but it seems a likely scenario. At least after that point it seemed the two were staying on their own sides of the divider.
Demon rode the 50 on day 1. He did a good and consistent job. I gave him a serving of Outlast at the lunch check and one again when we got back to camp. He also did the fun ride on day 3. That day I gave bran mashes with Outlast and gave him his regular serving with his lunch. On day 4 he did another 50, again going fine. I can't say as he performed any better than he usually does.
|Demon at the vet check on day 1, fascinated by the vehicles at the mine.|
What I can say was different was the quality and frequency of both horses' manure. They were both producing more well-formed manure balls and at a higher frequency. Demon was less likely to slow down or stop to poop. They were much easier than usual to clean up after. In this regard, I can say they were doing better.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch....
Beth has been observing changes in my 3 endurance horses and in the 2 she started on the Outlast before I left for the ride. She noted DC is eating better, even when fed far from the other horses, and isn't charging around her pen when another horse is taken out. Demon seems more cheerful and animated. Hoss is more likely to interact with people other than me. These are all changes I had been watching and not commenting on, due to worries about the placebo effect. Even though I don't really expect changes, and am doing my best to stay objective, of course I want my horses to be happier, so I know it would be easy to think some change I think I see is due to the Outlast. I've been waiting to see if the changes seem to stick.
Due to the changes she's been seeing, Beth decided to start the 4 other horses on Outlast.
In particular, Amira seems to have benefited greatly. I picked up this mare from Iowa in October. It's fair to say she has had a very traumatic history with trailers and was otherwise essentially unhandled. Even when I picked her up we had quite a hard time. It took 5 hours and a rather large dose of sedative to get her on the trailer. Before the sedation, she had at one point fallen out of the trailer we'd gotten her half on, struck her head on a post, and laid on her chest for a solid 15 minutes groaning. I can't blame the horse for being a bit alarmed by people after all she's been through just with trailers. We haven't been able to so much as touch this mare since we got her home. I made an attempt at trimming her feet when she was sedated for teeth and almost got my head removed for my trouble.
|Amira before Outlast. Looking for an escape.|
Before I left for Death Valley, I cornered Amira and got a halter and drag rope on her. Even with this, she was difficult to handle and certainly untouchable beyond her withers. Beth started giving her the Outlast, and the difference is night and day. She was even able to brush Amira down to her hocks, an action likely to result in a kicking fit before. Amira is even different before the Outlast and after, enough to make the product look like magic. I've decided to start giving it to her 3 times per day. Since she lives next to the barn this is easy to accomplish.
|After Outlast. Soft eye and relaxed body language.|
One of the boarded horses, Jack, is reportedly doing quite well too. He's more focused and less suspicious than he was before.
I won't say I'm a believer, but I will say it looks promising, at least for more than half the horses here.