I am back to putting Chewy in the round pen daily. We have been applying a product called, "Coat Defense" to help combat his skin issues and although, very slowly, it does seem to be helping. He still keeps trying to scratch his itches on the trees in the pasture though. He practically mutilates himself but continues to do this! He still has flaky skin under his hair but it is now healthier skin instead of wet, inflamed, and funky smelling skin.  I feel I would be a bad horse owner if I just let him carry on with this behavior, so back to the round pen it is. 

The bad news?  Chewy STILL itches on the trees because once that habit formed, it is near impossible to stop it. Travis even covered the trees at Chewy's level that he itches on. Now he goes to different ones.  We even have a scratching post that Willow and Clover use, but Chewy chooses not to. So...he still has bald patches.  (Sigh)

I also made a mistake in trying to slowly change his hay to a mix that he enjoys much more than his bland grass, but I should not have done this because I think it caused inflammation which caused his feet to be sore again. This morning I hosed his hooves with cold water for 10 minutes, brushed him down quickly (because he really wasn't in the mood) and I applied the Coat Defense to his hair. Then we slowly walked to the round pen where I immediately "released any pressure" and let him go, to hang out outside. He is much happier outside in the round pen than in his stall so we will continue to slowly and carefully switch him out. Willow always grazes close to the round pen when Chewy is in it so he likes to be there. 

We move the round pen every day or two for a change of scenery, just to keep things interesting for Chewy and it gives them all a different place to graze on.  We are through the most lush part of the spring grass so I feel that is not a danger to Chewy.  I also have to remind myself that he has been this way for years and even though I absolutely hate to see him in any kind of pain, he can handle it. Unfortunately, this has been his way of life for a long time.  

I have even contemplated giving or selling him to a reputable rescue that may be better able to meet his needs and might have access to more updated equine facilities and care.  The thing is, rescues are struggling everywhere!  Just like myself, they are running out of hay, money, and resources. Plus, it would be a very long haul for Chewy because the nearest rescue is in Sisters Oregon, which is roughly a three hour drive from us.  If they could not take Chewy in, it would be even farther to haul him anywhere else. 

It took Chewy three months to start to relax and accept us. I would hate to put him through such change again and I can not sell him to just anyone for fear that he would be mistreated or neglected again.
After much thought, I circled back around to the conclusion that Chewy will stay with us and I will just have to see him through. 

This is hard you guys!  I also worry about Willow from time to time simply because she is a senior horse and I have to keep an eye on her weight and health, too.  She seems to prefer winter over summer heat. Last year she was in a stable during the summer with daily turnout in a round pen, but this year she has an acre and a half of pasture with lots of trees for shade and it is always breezy up here on our hill, so I am hoping she will have an easier time through the heat.

There are so many more animals that we have who have needs also.  We have the goat, who recently got into a horse feed bucket and landed herself at the vet, but she is now fine. (Naughty goat.)
We have two senior dogs who really just lay around most of the time, and enjoy daily walks down the driveway with the kids. We also have a turkey, a rabbit, and 8 chickens.  (I'm pretty sure the rabbit is old too but I will have to go back and look at what year we bought him. It seems like we have had him forever but he just keeps going like the energizer bunny.)

I am sure that eventually one of the other animals will get a turn for me to share and tell their story.  The pony won't be taking front and center attention forever. I would like to do a piece on my beloved collie dog and share some fun pictures and stories of the poultry gang soon.

Please keep Chewy in your thoughts and send us some love.  I WILL never give up!  It helps to share the trials and tribulations with like minded animal loving people.  I could not do what I do without the support of others.

Feel free to follow along with us on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

Thanks for reading and there will be more updates soon to come!

Amy Darr
3 Corners Farm
Mosier, Or. U.S.A.