Sunday, September 14, 2008

Easy as One, Two, Three

Worming has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I've got one vet who insists that I must worm my horses every six weeks and another vet who prefers every twelve weeks. Some people take the view that wormers are poison and not good for the horse in frequent doses. I decided to take the middle road and worm every eight to ten weeks.

My challenge is remembering to worm my horses when they are due. I'm supposed to go straight to the calendar and write down the day of the next worming each time that I complete a round, but I don't always remember. The next thing I know, my horses are scratching their rumps on the chicken wire. My first thought always is, "When was the last time I wormed them?"

I run inside, flip backwards through my desk calendar until I find the date of the last worming, and count forward. When they get to the point of rubbing their rumps on the fence, it is usually twelve weeks since the last dose. Twelve weeks is definitely the maximum amount of time that you want to let your horses go without a mouthful of paste.

My usual routine is to halter each horse one at a time, lead it to the tie on the side of the horse trailer, stick my thumb in the side of the horse's mouth, and squirt the wormer in once they open wide. It can be a struggle and take several minutes and lots of patience if the horses decide that they don't want to cooperate.

However, this weekend the worming was easy as one, two, three. The horses were lined up at the gate, because it was their feeding time. I simply carried the tubes of paste out there and went right on down the row of them going thumb - squirt, thumb - squirt, thumb - squirt. They all happily opened up without a single complaint. I guess there's nothing quite as effective as peer pressure. They were like kids trying to show each other how brave they are while getting a shot.


Andrea said...

Wow, that was really easy. All of ours get it about every other month. But we mostly notice it when they start rubbing their tails too. All of ours are good at it except my 3 yr. old gelding. But I tricked him the other day. I did it from the right side not the left. He wasn't suspecting a thing. Whuahahahah. :)

Rising Rainbow said...

I hate worming. It's never as easy as 1,2,3 but I guess it can't be such I have 28. But it's getting to be that time again. Yuck!

Shirley said...

I think horses can sense if we get tense about worming, then they figure "oh-oh what's up!" but if we nonchalantly trick 'em, it works great!

Callie said...

I worm every 12 weeks, well really four to five times a year. I give a combo paste in spring and autumn and plain ivermectin in summer and winter. Works pretty well for me. Usually they are pretty good about taking it!

Jenn said...

Nice, quick and easy! What good ponies you have.

I imagine living in a mostly dry area, like you do, worming isn't quite as necessary as often because the climate isn't ideal for parasites. Since we live in a really damp, humid region, we do have to worm every six weeks because the nasty parasite larvae multiply like mad in our climate and the horses can get loaded pretty quickly. I time my wormings with visits from the farrier. He comes every six weeks in the summer, every eight in the winter, so after each horse has his/her feet done, they get wormed. It's the only way I remember to do it!

IamRockinHorse said...

I also use the farrier visits for my worming calendar. It makes it easier to remember when they're due. This puts them on an 8-10 week schedule since they only get trims.

Victoria Cummings said...

Happy Birthday, NM! Hope you're having fun!

Twinville said...

I've yet to see my horse rub her tail on anything. Because I bought her during the late winter, and she was wormed before she arrived, I didn't worm her for about 15 weeks. I was surprised at how easy she took it, too, as she is my first horse and I had always heard such stories about wormer frustration.

I love the image of all 3 of your horses lined up waiting to show off while taking there wormer meds. hehe

By the way....I saw on Voctoria's blog that you left a comment about your birthday being today.

And I just can't let your day go by without wishing you the best birthday ever!!

Happy Birthday, NM! :)

Laughing Orca Ranch
New Mexico

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Argh. Blogger comments have been so buggy lately, so I can't even comment on the comments.

At any rate, thank you for the birthday wishes. I have been really busy lately, thus the few and far between posting and comments. I'll write about my b-day soon.

sidetracked said...

I have never had an issue with worming any of my horses. I uncross tie them, take the cap off the tube, stick it in the corner of their mouth, squeeze and hold their heads up till they swallow. Piece of cake and all done it about 30 seconds. I always go into it like it's not a big deal and it's done and over with. My horse fusses way more over having a bath, he syas he'd rather be wormed hehehe.

Jamie said...

Happy birthday from me too.
Hope you have a great one.

I too, worm when we shoe, which is usually anywhere from 6-8 weeks.
I have 2 that do very well, in fact 1 I think likes it - she seems to suck it out. The other 2 I have to hide the tube and sneak it in...LOL

They can be a pain, but I think we have to do it.
Glad you had a good experience this time - maybe they are getting use to it.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Lucky, lucky me...with most of our horses living in large(several hundred acre) pastures-they get de-wormed 2x's a year. Whether they need it or not-LOL...I jest on the last sentence.

The guys in town get it 2x's a year as well-May and November, but are on a daily dewormer too.

In our area-Bots are the biggest problem, so deworming after it freezes and again in May is pretty necessary.

Saddle Mountain Rider said...

I agree with Shirley :) ; horses know when we are tense and it makes them apprehensive. Happy Birthday!