So one of the things I've only briefly touched on so far is the fact that most of the horses with Gold Chip picked up a fungus in Florida. Something about the sand in the paddocks, and irritation of skin, all combined to make a perfect storm of fungus that literally erupted all over Dante the Tuesday before Rocking Horse III. Except not on his face, neck, or most important not on his legs!
(To backtrack four years, the first summer I owned Dante in 2007, he had scratches (the fungus) on his legs all. summer. long. I battled and battled and battled with it but it only went away when the weather got cooler again. Since then I have never had the same problem. Pretty sure it was because I was a first time horse owner, so I was going to keep all my equipment super sparkly and clean, even if I had to scrub his boots with soap every single day. Looking back, I think the soap was a bad idea.)
So Dante arrives home and he looks like a sorry beast. He has bald patches on various parts of his body where the fungus had already been and was now gone. He had bumps on other parts where the fungus still clung tenaciously. He was also quite ribby. I don't think the hay in Florida did much for him nutritionally.
Ok, ribby was my first concern. We upped his grain, and most importantly, upped his hay intake to as much as he'll eat. Dante has been back in Texas for a week, and he's probably gained 50 lb already. No longer slightly hollow through his haunches. He'll probably need another 150 before I'm satisfied.
Next concern was the fungus that still clung to him. The only product I have ever found that immediately gets rid of fungus is MTG, pictured below. It's pretty gross stuff. Extremely greasy and smells strongly of bacon. You must apply it with a glove or your hand will feel slimy for the next 2 days. But the stuff works. The next day, the fungus curries right off. Of course, then you're left with a bald spot, but you can only hope for so much.
Finally, the bald spots. Well, not much I can do about that. Luckily it's shedding season, so his new summer coat is growing in quite quickly to the bald spots. He still won't be the most beautiful horse at Poplar, but by Jersey Fresh in May, he should be his usual gorgeous self.
On riding notes, we had a pretty low key week. After doing our trot sets on Wednesday, we did some dressage on Thursday and Friday, jumped Saturday, and did gallops yesterday. His gallops current consist of a 20 min trot followed by 3 x 7 min canter sets. He needs to be at 8 min before Jersey, going by my rule of thumb for gallop sets.