Radar (cont #3) : Once a Race Horse, Always a Race Horse?

“Actually, there is. Believe it or not, geldings and stallions who have this condition respond really well to raspberry leaves, or Mare Magic. Do you have any of that up in your store?”

“In fact, I do. I have a big bag of Wendals Herbs Raspberry Leaves sitting up there right now.”

“Get them,” she said. “Give him the loading dose, but never reduce the dosage.”

“Really?”

“Really. In fact, with stallions, sometimes we give them Regumate and that really calms them down.” Regumate is like birth control for horses. It suppresses estrous through the breeding season and is given to mares who are uncontrollably bitchy and uncooperative during estrous. I never in a million years would have guessed that you could give it to a stallion, however.

“So, Doc how long before I notice any changes in Radar?”

“Give him at least two weeks on the raspberry leaves. Then I would bring the two horses together again in the arena for introductions in a safe environment and see what happens. He should start to calm down and mares should no longer be an issue for him.”

“How long should I continue giving it to him?”

“Forever,” she smiled. “Don’t ever take him off of it.”

Three days later Susan and I agreed to hit the trails alone, just the two of us, no mares allowed. Radar was calm and steady and led the way that day. He displayed his usual, going-away-from-the-barn walking speed and Earl fell behind early on. No worries, though. Earl happily trotted up behind Radar when he fell too far behind and it didn’t bother Dar one bit that day. Once our direction of travel changed however, Radar’s GPS “radar” kicked in and he quickened his pace, leaving Earl farther and farther behind. It only took a few months of trail riding for my horse to understand which direction is “home.” He was not at all anticipatory the first several rides out as I always took him to different trails. But now I can no longer fool him and he knows which way is north, south, east or west and which direction the barn is from wherever he happens to be at the time.

That day, once Radar realized that the trail we were on was heading in the general direction of home, he started acting up, wanting to just take off and get there. So we decided to head back out into the maze of trails. He obediently turned away from the trail heading home and we continued on. I was really just trying to tire him out so he would be a little less frantic about getting back to the barn so we turned onto a trail that is really just a big circle through the trees and brush that turns back onto itself. We’ve been down this trail before, and Radar figured out after the first couple of times that the trail didn’t actually “lead” anywhere, but rather comes out exactly where it starts. Today he stopped and told me that he knew exactly what I was up to and he wanted nothing to do with it. I really had to urge him on but he finally stepped onto the trail.

We walked that circle at a really fast pace, passed a jogger, and lost sight of Earl around the continuous bend early on. We had almost completed the loop and were just about to the beginning again when Earl came galloping up behind Radar and my horse exploded.

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Shelley Headley

I was born in Oregon in 1960. My father was in sales most of his life and we found ourselves living in Ohio, Connecticut, and Michigan before I returned to the Pacific NW, moving onto a small island in the middle of Puget Sound, in 1986. This is where I finally settled down and now happily live on a small boarding farm, Cedar Valley Stables, where we tend to our horses, several English Labrador retrievers, assorted cats, birds, and a flock of wild turkeys. Our store, VI Horse Supply, Inc., was founded in 1998 on Vashon Island. We started our store out of necessity—there were no feed stores located on this Island. We quickly added hay from eastern Washington, feed from Nutrena, and basically went crazy from there. We now represent and carry products from these fine distributors: Cargill-Nutrena Feeds, LMF Feeds, Standlee Hay Products, Manna Pro, and Mid Valley Milling. Horse blankets and sheets from Horseware, Ireland anchor our horse clothing line. Horze Equestrian and Outback Trading Company keep our customers stylish no matter what they’re up to. Products from Uckele Health and Nutrition form the basis of our supplement recommendation protocol, but we also carry nutritional supplements from Cox Veterinary Labs, Animed, and Select, plus others.

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