Hi Elizabeth,

It’s been so long since I’ve sent updates! So much as happened, though, and all great news! I moved barns the end of last year and it has been the best decision ever. I’m training full time with Marie Morgan and clinicing regularly with Debbie Bowman. As for my beloved OTTB, Cadence and I are on our journey to Third Level!!!!! He’s such a special horse. He’s been very successful with solid scores in Second Level at recognized shows and have qualified our Second Level Freestyle for USDF/GAIG Region 9 & SWDC Championships. In addition, we are focusing our schooling efforts on Third. I hope to be able to show Third Level and earn my Bronze Medal at the end of this year since he’s catching onto flying changes quickly. I’ve also started a website (www.ermeldressage.com) for me and my horses; have a few video clips of Cadence posted as well.

I also wanted to share my experiences of ulcers in horses, especially because of how common it is diagnosed in racehorses. Last year, I noticed that Cadence was very lethargic and depressed during the summer. I struggled to keep weight on him even though he was getting generous portions of hay and additional forage. I assumed his change in behavior was the result of the Texas heat, but continued to research to figure out what was wrong. I finally found my solution after talking with other horse owners and vets about the behavioral changes. I tested my suspicions by giving Omeprazole (i.e. Ulcergard) for a few days to see.

What an amazing difference – Cadence went from standing in the corner of his stall with his head hanging low to his usual, vibrant, curious self. We’re talking only three days to notice such a dramatic change. I immediately put him on the treatment dose and have had to continue with maintenance dosages periodically. I also always give it to him every time we show or travel away from home. He’s learned to let me know when I need to provide additional maintenance doses. Although it is very expensive, I have to say that it has been worth every penny because he is happy, alert, and never looked better. He started gaining weight very quickly and his attitude was as if he finally could relax and take a deep breath. I’m also supplementing him with aloe vera juice and oat flour on a daily basis to help keep his stomach happy.

Hope all is well with you,

Cadence and Emee

Elizabeth’s Note: Ulcers are often cured by Rantidine which is a lot less expensive than Ulcergard (Omaprazole). If you think your horse has ulcers, consult with your vet and then try Ranitidine (Zantac). You can get it at Costco, Sams and other warehouse stores. The price is less than nine dollars for 19o tablets. Your horse will take 10 to 20 tablets twice a day. Another option is to have your vet write a prescription to Wickliff Pharmacy and get 100 doses for about $30. Tums makes another good addition to the feed or for treats if your horse has ulcers.