September 19, 2012



Connor recently went from being drylotted all summer to being out on pasture again.  He’s still not easy to catch, but so far I am 2-2 on walking up to him and catching him myself in the pasture, and the barn staff has things set up to where they just open the gate to his pasture and he runs down the track and into his stall at night, so things seem to be fine with that for the moment.  

Connor, destroyer of sawdust
What’s not fine is his stall.  He’s always drank and peed a lot, and Shae did too when I had him in 2010, so I was not initially concerned when my trainer said he was peeing ‘a lot’, but then I was told later that he is going through a bag of shavings a day and that it’s dripping when they put it into the wheelbarrow – once –an-hour levels of urination.  There’s nothing I hate more than being a burden on the barn staff, especially since I am also part-time barn staff and so I empathize greatly, so between that and a desire to keep Connor in perfect health, I am determined to figure it out.

My usual suspects for equine problems go in this order: diet/environment, lameness, illness.  It seems obvious that diet is the culprit here.  He was on a drylot all summer with no grass and all hay, then two weeks ago he was put onto our pastures that came back with the rain that fell over the past month.  Two things are possible: first, the moisture content of his diet skyrocketed between the drylot and the pasture.  Second, he could be insulin resistant.  He is a pony breed, after all.  

So, while the easiest thing to do would be to put a grazing muzzle on him to test the theory, the smart thing to do is to call the vet and have his bloodwork done to check his blood glucose levels, among other things, and possibly a urinalysis.  His weight has stabilized to a perfect level (we had bumped his grain up over the summer as he gained muscle but lost weight) and his coat condition has improved 100% since he went back on the grass, so we are reluctant to put a grazing muzzle on him.

Vet bills, ahoy!  Stay tuned.


  1. Hoping for just the change in diet/environment. You are a good horse mom to call the vet and have him checked out though.

    Riva is our first mare and to me, she urinates so much more than the boys. I am told that is normal - but she goes in one spot in her stall, a lot!

  2. It's the grass. The moisture content is through the roof. Since it started raining again, all the horses have been peeing like crazy. Guinness pees when I bring him in. He pees after I ride. He might throw in another pee just for the hell of it.

    Last time I trailered him, he peed when I got him out of the trailer. Peed on the trailer (think pee RUNNING out of the trailer). Peed after the ride. Peed on the trailer ride home. And peed in the stall at home. These were not insubstantial.

    All the horses have been doing it. The aisle-ways are a MESS!

  3. Jen, Roscoe pees more than the big horses. We have to keep his stall bedded well.
    You could try putting him on a magnesium supplement like Quiessence. It can help if he is borderline isulin resistant.
    This end of summer grass is really high in sugars so even if you only muzzle him until the grass goes dormant it might help.
    Good luck with the tests.

  4. Good on you to have him looked at. It might be nothing, but if it's something, it's good to know. Hoping for nothing! :)

  5. Timely post. We have just been discussing having a urinalysis done on Chevy. He frequently pees before and/or right after I ride. Will pee in the washrack, in the trailer, or wherever he happens to be when the need strikes him. It seems like unusual behavior to me except he has done it ever since I bought him in late July. Who knows!

  6. Alanna, I am kind of like you. This seems normal to me, and his stall has never been good. I wish he could be out 24/7, but that's just not possible. Keep me posted on how yours turns out if you have it done, I am curious.

  7. Conner looks like a bigger version of my Shy! And she is hard to catch, too. Hope to hear that the bloodwork turns out fine and it is just a side effect from being put back on grass.