This story is about CINNY’s health and nutrition.
How important do you think nutrition is for individual horses?
Hi, my name is Michelle.
My family and I would like to share our story about our horse Cinnamon (CINNY), and how we got started in researching for the proper nutrition and supplements for horse’s individual needs.
Short Intro About CINNY
CINNY was a half Quarter/half Arabian mix who was very proud of herself and had a beautiful high-spirited attitude and smart. She became part of our family the summer of “2000”.
Peppermint candies were her favorite treat, and when she heard the paper make a noise, she would start bowing.
She loved trail riding with other horses; she had to be in the lead. Our daughter did speed shows with CINNY, and after she made her run and stopped at the gate to walk out, my sister would yell at her and say “good job CINNY.”
CINNY always whinnied back, and the crowd would clap and cheer her on, and it was so awesome. Rode her in parades
.We had her bred, and she had a beautiful colt (male). Named him Taiga. He was with her for 13 years before she got sick. In October of 2015, we sadly had to let her go. The story below explains why CINNY was so special to me.
The Story is
We always had horses growing up. In my early teens, I had a horse that I had raised from a baby, and when he got old enough, I broke him to ride and taught him to rear up on his hind legs when I pulled and tugged on his reins. When I was 20, I got married and moved out.
Shortly after I moved out, my dad and his friend decided to get my horse out and ride because they had a little too much to drink. Neither of them rode horses. As my dad climbed on my horse, he held on to the reins and pulled them tight, causing my horse to fall on top of him. My dad had broken ribs.
After my dad healed from the broken bones, he had made a phone call to a guy and sold him my horse without telling me. So I was going to my parents, and as I arrived at the driveway, a truck and horse trailer was pulling out of their driveway.
I get out of my car, and my dad said: “there goes your horse, he is too dangerous to ride.” Oh, I was furious. My dad getting hurt was not my horse’s fault. My dad was in the wrong for attempting to ride my horse.
I never forgave my dad for selling my horse even though I didn’t let that get in the way of still having a relationship with my parents.
Husbands Wonderful Surprise
When I married my husband, he had promised me that we would have horses. Well, I did not think that it would ever happen. Three beautiful kids and ten years later. We finally had our own house and land. Yay!!! An exciting time for our family.
A couple of years later, he asked me if I still wanted horses. Yes, of course, I did, and so did the kids.
It was spring, and we started putting in a fence and getting ready to find our first horse. In the meantime, we put the word out and also searched the newspapers, but wasn’t seeing any good horses. But it takes time.
Then on one Saturday morning, my husband was outside drinking his coffee and had snuck down to the mailbox and got the paper and looked through the for sale ad. A lady that ran a horse rescue had an advertisement in the newspaper for a horse.
He called and talked to the rescue lady and set up a time to look at her. He went into the house and asked if we wanted McDonald’s for breakfast. We all said, yes. We only live about 5 miles from town. Didn’t tell us about his side trip he was planning to make while he was gone to town.
He Should Have Been Back Already Where Is He?
Ok, He has had enough time to go to town and be back, but he isn’t back yet. I tried to call him a couple of times and got no answer. I don’t know about you, but when I am expecting someone, and they haven’t shown up, and I can’t get a hold of them on their phone I start worrying that they were in an accident.
Well, I started to worry. Now 45 minutes gone by. I called again. No answer. Then he finally called me back. He said, “sorry I’m on my way, and I will be there in a few minutes,” and then he quickly hung up before I could ask him any questions.
As soon as he walked in, I started asking. “What the heck took so long”? “Where did you go”? “What were you doing?
Calmly he said, “calm down and let me explain.” I responded, “it better be good.”
He said, “I have a surprise for you all.” So we are like what is it and laughing excitedly. He said, “I went and looked at a horse, and I think she is perfect, so I bought her.”
I said, “WHAT! No, you didn’t”. He said, “yes I did, so are you still mad at me”?
Then I said, “NO!” “I’m not mad; I’m just hungry.”
The kids and I gave him a big hug, and we were so excited. He said, “OK, then let’s eat, so we can go back and see your horse and bring her home.” We sat down and quickly ate our breakfast. The kids were jumping up and down and laughing. I was excited too.i
Yes, I would have liked to have gone and seen her first, but I also love my husband for surprising us, and I trusted his opinion, and if he thought she was right for the family then she’s the one.
On Our Way To See Our New Horse.
So now on our way to see our new horse and the anticipation is overwhelming, the closer we get to where the horse is. My heart was beating so fast, and I was nerves. When we arrived, we had to walk around the barn, and the lady had her standing there tied to the back of the barn waiting for us.
As I came around the corner and seen the horse standing there, she looked at us, and her ears perked up, she was so beautiful. I had tears in my eyes and almost crying. My husband was right; she was perfect.
Her name was Cinnamon (CINNY) for short. I couldn’t wait to get her home. The lady thought CINNY was around six years old, but she wasn’t positive. We loaded her up in the trailer and took her home.
I called our vet as soon as I could to have her examined by the vet. Got great reports on CINNY.
He also examined her teeth and said, “from what he could see, she was around six years old,” like the lady we bought her from said. He also said her age was just a guess as well.
12 Years Gone By:
12 Years have gone by, with lots of trail riding and riding in parades. Hauling CINNY at the fair and taking our camper and camping for the whole weekend and watching our daughter do speed events at shows.
Also, joint high school equestrian for four years. The grandkids rode her. Oh my goodness, I could go on and on, but I won’t.
It was always easy to keep weight on CINNY with just grass hay, simple pellet rain, and pasture. Never had any issues, so we didn’t have any reason to dig into proper nutrition. We also had two other horses, and they were easy to feed too.
Then In 2012, CINNY started to lose some weight and noticed she was leaving clumps of food on the ground. Called the vet and had her examine her and vet said “her teeth needed to be filed down.” I had to find a dentist for my horse.
Sign of teeth problems To Look For In Horses.
Quidding>means (when chewing hay and grass they can’t break it up to swallow, and it balls up in the horse’s mouth, and it falls out on the ground).
It’s caused by the horse’s teeth not filing down on their own and the back teeth row and they et sharp on the ends. When the horse eats the sharp teeth cuts into their gums so the horse tries to chew differently to avoid any pain in their mouth and they lose their food and because they lose food, they lose weight.
I called the dentist to come out. And check her teeth. He said, “her teeth in the back of her mouth was too long and cutting into her jaws,” so he filed her teeth down to make it more comfortable for her.
When he got done. He asked,
“How old do you think she is”?. We said, “late teens.” With the age that we were given when we bought her. Then he said, “well I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but your horse is in her mid to late 20’s”.
Woah!! Yeah, that was a shocker!
That is a big age difference. I was kind of upset, but at the same time, I knew that her age was unsure, just not that much.
It is what it is. Move forward. That helped her from being in pain and got some weight going back up, but not completely. I bought her different rains that didn’t work. Started researching proper nutrition on horses.
A Year To Get CINNY’s Weight Backup
A year finally getting CINNY back on track with eating and her weight Then slowly she started losing weight again. One day I was out feeding and noticed that CINNY was standing with her head down and not eating. Now, what is wrong, I thought!. Oh no! she was choking. I started panicking.
She was sweating and stretching her neck and trying to cough and thick white snot coming through her nose and out her mouth. So sorry for the details. I called the vet.
After she calmed me down, she told me that horses can still breath unlike us humans, and she would be ok. I just needed to help her get the lodged food down her throat the rest of the way and clear the blockage.
The vet gave me instructions on what to do to help her, and then she would come out the next morning to see what was going on that would make her choke.
I had to rub from her jaw down her neck to help push the food through. I finally got it through.
What a relief! There was a feeling that I felt that there was something seriously wrong with her. I didn’t sleep well that night.
What The Vet Found The Next Morning,
she had lost some of her top teeth, and the ones she did have were expired. (wore down to the gums). That dentist didn’t mention anything about her other teeth bein worn down.
They loosened more after they were filed. The vet had to put her on a special diet. Which required us to soak all the food that she ate, morning and night.
(3 different grain dishes)
which consisted of beet pulp, hay cubes, and senior feed.
She could no longer eat dry hay or grass (she tried to nibble, but didn’t get much).
CINNY did very well on her *special diet*.
Her weight started increasing again, and she was her happy self again. One year passed, and she has kept her weight, and she was great.
The second-year she had a tough time with winter. I had two blankets on her and when spring finally came and I took off her blankets she was so skinny. I had the vet come out and examine her.
What Does The Vets Examination Reveal?
Yep, unfortunately, my gut feeling was right. CINNY was sick, and it was not curable. CINNY’s body was no longer breaking down the nutrients properly from her food and was not digesting properly. She was not getting much nutrition to support her health, and she would continue to weaken and suffer.
Then came the horrible words from the vet, “CINNY will have to put down (euthanized) before the end of summer because she would not be strong enough to handle another cold winter.” The vet told me to call the Michigan State University and ask if they were able to take her for research and I could donate her, and it wouldn’t cost.
That was so heartbreaking to hear. All I could say is………”How was I going to be able to have her put to sleep”? I prayed for strength to get my family and me through this. I struggled with it for a few weeks before picking up that phone and calling Michigan State University. As heartbreaking as it was. We had no choice, but to let her go.
The fall weather was not far behind, and we were not going to let her suffer through another cold, bitter winter and be miserable and then wind up losing her in the mid-winter. That would be selfish and wrong for us to do.
Making The Call To Michigan State University (MSU)
So I called Michigan State University Equine Student Veterinary Clinic. I was able to talk to the main vet, about donating her for research and She said that they had a waiting list that CINNY would have to be put on. I told the MSU vet to go ahead and add her to the list.
About three weeks went by, and then I received a call from the main vet at MSU asking me if I still wanted to donate CINNY, and I said yes, so I only had two days left to spend with my girl. My heart hit bottom, and I sat and cried.
Sadly on 10/30/2015, We Said Our Final Good-Bye To CINNY
We got up early fed the horses then took pictures of CINNY. My sister and my youngest daughter were the ones riding with me. My husband and the rest of our family said their goodbyes before loading her in the trailer. Sad day for all. I know God was walking with us as because we would have never been able to do this on our own.
We loaded CINNY in the trailer and headed for MSU, crying all the way. When we got there, I unloaded her and I had to walk her in the building to the stall they had ready for her. Three vets were waiting for us.
She Wouldn’t Go In The Stall
At first, she wouldn’t o in the stall because I was crying, and she knew something was wrong. I walked her down the hall and talked to her and had to calm myself down.
When I walked her back to the stall, she hesitated, but then walked in with me. The vet gave her some hay and grain to nibble on to make her more at ease.
I stayed with her for about an hour, my sister stepped in and said her goodbyes and stepped back in the hallway.
Then my daughter stepped in and stayed for a little bit. We all cried. We removed her blanket, and my daughter said her goodbyes and took her blanket in the hallway with her and sat and cried.
One of the vets brought me one of their halters, and I removed CINNY’s and replaced it with theirs. I felt like I was in slow motion.
Finally, I hugged CINNY around her neck and slowly told her; I loved her, and I had to leave now. I walked out of the stall, and I waited for a little bit to make sure she was gonna stay calm. Then we turned and walked away, and I cried all the way home.
The next morning on 10/31/2015, CINNY was put to sleep by the main vet, and the students were able to learn from her situation.
The main veterinarian from Michigan State University called that afternoon and said, “CINNY had a couple of spot areas on her small intestine, so her body would not have broken down the nutrition in her body properly and we would have lost her in the cold winter. She assured me that we did the right thing by CINNY.
A week later, I received a package in the mail from Michigan State University.
The students had cut a long piece of CINNY’s tail and a long piece of her main and braided both of them individually with pink ribbon along with a card.
They were thanking me for letting them learn from her and how they knew how special she was to us and that CINNY was a very lucky horse to have found a family to love her and give her the best life. I sat in the barn and cried some more.
The following Day I Received Another Unexpected Package In The Mail.
Then the next day I received another package in the mail. Senders name said “from your friend” and had my address on it. Then it had my name on who it was for and had my address. I know, weird!
I opened the package, and it was a beautiful silver cross pendant and a card. Yes, again I sat down and cried some more. The package had come from my mom and my sister.
CINNY Is forever Missed, But Our Memories Of Her Is Forever With Us.
Please leave a comment or question, if there is anything I can help you find let me know and I will do my best to help you.
If you have a story to share as well, Please DO!
THANK YOU FOR READING CINNY’s PAGE
RIP CINNY (Mama)
Please contact your vet for your horse.
NOT LEGAL ADVISE