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We Are Flying Solo

March 8, 2011

Who Said Horse Owners Weren't Creative

Once Solo finishes his 14 day regimen of daily omeprazole later this week, he graduates to ranitidine. Dr. Bob merrily handed me this big jug of pills and says, "Here, give him 5 of these with each meal."

I look at pills. I look at Dr. Bob. Because horses are so easy to give pills to. Especially shiny, picky, food-snob horses who don't even like peppermints. I open the jug and sniff suspiciously. Dr. Bob watches me with great puzzlement.

"Do I have to crush them up then?" I ask warily. "Because Solo is not going to eat these voluntarily."

"Sure!" he says as if this is all no big deal.  As if now I don't have to come up with some ingenious plan which involves my BO not having to crush horse pills every time she feeds and Solo not snuffling out the medication into a neat little pile left in the corner of his feed bin.

My last experience with crushing horse pills (aside from SMZ's which dissolve so nicely in water) was watching lifeshighway with a bowl and a hammer and a strategically placed paper towel, banging away on a daily basis. I am committed to go to any lengths necessary not to engage in this particular activity.

I go home and check with SmartPak, who, much to my delight, will not only grind it up for me, but add yummy flavours! Yay for no work for me!

But for the next month, it's me. And the jug. And five fat yellow pills per meal.

Ho ho, nasty pills, I am tricksier than you thought! Enter my compatriot, Mr. Pill Crusher and his strong, inescapable jaws! Combine that with a little tape, some empty SmartPaks, and my favourite sharpie...

And VOILA!! I emerge victorious!! One neat little package for each meal.

Just one more day I escape my BO's hatred at feeding time...


  1. Coffee grinders are also great for pill crushing. You can get one for $5 and they annihilate pills at the press of a button. LOL. Very creative solution. I'm sure the BO appreciates your effort.

  2. I agree with Dom, coffee grinders are awesome for grinding pills!
    Another solution, in case a horse sifts through powder, is to get a 1-2 foot length of firm tubing (like a hose), funnel the powder in, place one end in the horses mouth and blow into the other end. Great cowboy trick I learned years back. Quick and easy.

  3. LOL, well, I don't drink coffee, so not much use in me having a coffee grinder, so I'll stick to my $3 pill smoosher. Good tip for those who may have a grinder though. But then do you get little bits of drugs in your coffee??

    Nice hose trick, Heather, hadn't heard of that one. I usually just add a bit of water to Solo's feed to the powder sticks to the pellets and that seems to work.

  4. Hey, the hammer works! It is also a good stress reliever.

  5. In lh's defense, she is right, the hammer did work.

    SB, while I appreciate your high words of praise, it's just the OCD at work, I cannot take credit.

  6. Oh this brings back memories. 30+ years ago when my TB gelding had navicular, I always kept a supply of bute tablets that I crushed with a hammer and put the powder in little baggies. I boarded him about 45 minutes away and my family joked that I'd be in trouble if a state trooper ever pulled me over and looked in my trunk and saw all my little baggies filled with white powder.

    I hope Solo is a good boy and takes his medicine.

  7. Hahahah, OUAE! I drove around for a week with a used syringe on my dashboard after giving Solo an Adequan shot -- I too wondered what enforcement response would entail!

  8. Good thinking. Sounds easier than giving my cat pills. He would eat the liverwurst around the pill and spit out the medicine like watermelon seeds.

  9. I gave Ranitidine for a while and used exactly that little pill crusher. Worked great!

  10. Aren't you clever!
    Ha - I just started giving Chester Hemp smells like peanut butter - and it tastes good too, because YES, I tried it...and the first night, he wouldn't eat it unless I hand fed it to him (princess), the second night be snuffed around his feed bucket and sulked (snob). He FINALLY realized that he was going to have get over it and now he - who is a very slow and deliberate eater to begin with - eats twice as slowly as normal and pouts at me in between bites.
    God I love him!

  11. We always used a coffee grinder, too; just had a special barn coffee grinder so, no, there were no horse tranquilizers in anyone's coffee (although a few peeps could have used some for sure). Otherwise, a plastic bag and a hammer work great.
    If Solo turn his nose up at the powder, I would try some Cocosoya -- that stuff is pony crack, they can't resist it!

  12. Oooops. That last comment was me. Someone else was signed onto Google on my computer. *hhmmmppfff*

  13. Val -- get thee to your small animal vet and get a pill popper for the cat. Best. Invention. Ever. (Yes, I have a cat who can hold a pill in his mouth for 45 minutes and swallow and STILL spit the damn thing out.)

    Barbara, OMG, I love it.

    Braffie, Chester just doesn't know what's good for him.

    Frizzle and all your other personality, I would not mind horse drugs in my drink at all.

  14. Brilliant Idea! I wish I thought of this when my horse was on the same regimen!

  15. Thanks, Allison -- keep it in the ol' memory banks for next time!

  16. OMG! Can I join the we <3 Jimmy club??

  17. Oh yeah, SB, all you need is a Trapper Keeper to write on!

  18. The "barn" coffee grinder is an excellent idea. My two horses are major pigs though and will eat anything I put in their grain.

    I do add a bit of corn-oil to my mare's smartpak mix to make it stick to the pellets. I do the same when I have to give her Cough Free, because someone will not stop stuffing their head in to the center of the round bale. Bad pony.


  19. You mean the round bale is not a "self-dispenser" to stick one's head into??