The strong low pressure system that is producing our snow is supposed to pass to our south tonight, and then arctic cold and winds are supposed to sweep in later tomorrow. When we experience these dramatic pressure and temperature changes, a couple of the horses who are prone to weather-change colic need careful watching. I try to watch carefully every day, but pay extra attention at times like these. Both Fred and Joe have had weather-change colic episodes in the past - Fred is particularly prone to colic, although he's been doing well (knock on wood!) since he moved back with us almost a year ago. A number of the other horses have had colics before - Maisie is prone to serious impactions (she's had two, once of which required a visit to the vet clinic) and I carefully watch her water intake in the winter and the quantity and quality of her manure, and also supplement her feed in the winter with plain table salt to encourage drinking. Dawn's had a couple milder colics and Noble's had one attack of gas colic. Thankfully, I've never had to deal with a torsion colic (knock on wood again).
This morning, some of the horses weren't 100% normal. When I blanketed him, Fritz was very crabby - this is unusual for him as he's normally pleasant in the stall. He was kicked by Scout a couple of days ago, and he may just be a bit sore. I heard the impact, but didn't see it - it was a low thunk, not that nasty cleaver-into-meat sound that heralds a serious kick injury (I've heard both and there's a big difference in the sound). I checked Fritz over carefully afterwards, but there was no obvious sign of impact and it's possible Scout caught him on his blanketed area.
Blackjack was a little bit quieter than normal - he didn't nicker loudly for his beet pulp as he usually does, but he did eat well and I got a quiet nicker when I went to take him out. Fred actually pawed and rolled once in his stall after I blanketed him, but he did eagerly eat his breakfast and didn't show any further signs of anything - he may have just rolled because the blanket was itching somewhere.
I also watch everyone during turnout, and everyone behaved normally, so I think they're all OK - they just may be sensing the weather change. If anyone has trouble, I'll be on the phone to the vet after checking vital signs including capillary refill - our vet doesn't charge for phone calls and it's good to have their guidance and have them alerted for a possible emergency call even if we don't ultimately need a visit.
If you get a chance, stop by Grey Horse Matters and check out her interesting post "Love the One You're With" - well worth a read.
Here's to winter and snow, and may your day include horses!