We’ve had Popcorn a few weeks now, and he is doing very well! We put him in a stall next to Quixote, but he began weaving a lot, so we put him into a larger paddock… where he still weaves a lot. Popcorn is in love with Devon, who lives next door, and he will weave even when Devon is standing right next to him.
Weaving is when a horse moves his weight from one leg to the other, often moving his head from side-to-side. It stems from boredom and isolation; horses who do not get out of their stalls, who do not get to interact with other horses, and who do not get worked much may start to weave. Sometimes horses will stop when they are in a larger area, have food in front of them, or are turned out with other horses- but not always. We are continuing to try different things with Popcorn to help to alleviate this issue as much as possible.
Another issue we noticed predominately with Popcorn is that he drooled a lot, and had difficulty chewing. We tried to give him half alfalfa hay and half pellets, but he seemed much more comfortable eating the pellets (although he wanted the hay), so we switched him to 10 pounds of pellets in the morning and 10 pounds at night- in addition to his grain, of course!
This past week we had the vet out to assess Popcorn to determine whether or not we could get his teeth done to make eating more comfortable for him. He has a slight heart murmur, so we were not certain if the vet would be able to give him a sedative. In addition, Popcorn has a pretty severe underbite, which would make it difficult to use the speculum. The vet said that the murmur would not prevent a mild sedative, however, which was good news, and we were able to get his teeth floated, and she manipulated the speculum so it would be safer to work in his mouth. He had some pretty overgrown areas that were impacting his chewing, and she filed them down so he can eat properly now. Popcorn is still one of the messiest eaters that we have ever known, but at least he has stopped drooling, so there’s that.
As we do with all of the geldings, Popcorn got his sheath cleaned right after his teeth were done while he was still a bit sedated. He had a small bean, but that was easily removed, and he was a pretty good sport about the whole thing.
We will continue to work with Popcorn to get him healthy and happy. He is a very sweet boy, and he deserves the best!