Stacy’s Video Diary: Jac Episode 39- Horse’s mouth irritated by plant material; foxtail, etc.

Jac ran into another physical issue; he ate some form of plant that caused sores in his mouth. The first suspect was foxtail, which is a grass that can get baled into hay.

The vet biopsied the sores and confirmed that the sores were caused by plant material although they were unable to determine if it was foxtail or one of several other plants that can cause the same issue.

Getting all of the small particles out of a horses mouth is not easy. Some could be removed by the vet but others had embedded like little splinters. The vet removed some of the embedded plant material. He also recommended washing his mouth out daily for awhile and we switched the hay.

The healing had to run its course and I ended up losing about a month of training time while allowing Jac’s mouth to heal. I have been planning on showing Jac at some of the bigger shows at the end of the year but a set back like this could change the plan.

I already know that I am unwilling to add extra pressure to Jac for him to ‘catch up’ in his training. I will still allow Jac to set the pace of the training and things will either come easy for him or they will not and I will scratch from the shows.

Issues and decisions like this one are part of the process I was hoping to show by following Jac. The training, just like life, always has its ups and downs.



  1. K. Bockus on June 26, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Now there is a professional with integrity, by not pushing
    Jac to catch up because of an injury!!!!
    Well said Stacy you are truly a shining example for the industry.

  2. Geraldine Hairgrove on June 26, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Thank you Stacy, for your writing about Jac and his training set back. I agree with you 100%!! The health of our horses comes first !! Bravo !! This is another example of your greatness. I admire you so much. 🙂

  3. Janette on June 25, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Poor Jac! I admire you scratching from the shows if Jac is not ready in his own time. Hopefully your example will help other horses also.

  4. Jen Wintjes on June 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks so much Stacey for your honesty about really happens! I really enjoy reading your blogs:) Could you have used a bosal instead of a bit for some of his training?
    Happily following you from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

    • Stacy on June 25, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      Jen- If you watch the video you can see that I did ride him some in one. Oddly enough it still seemed to irritate things, or rather, it made me feel like I was irritating things. Maybe his mouth was that irritated just hanging out in the run…but I felt guilty riding him. The problem with feeling guilty is that you ride like you are guilty…and that is a cycle I don’t want to get into. Does that make sense?

    • Stacy on June 26, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Jen- I also wrote a blog trying to explain even better why I didn’t ride Jac; click here to read it.

  5. Eddie Davis on June 25, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    One disadvantage of traveling with horses, weird stuff happens. Glad it was only a minor hitch.

  6. jessica on June 25, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    I checked my 12yr old gelding last night and noticed he was doing some weird thing with his mouth and tongue when he was eating his grain. He did this the day before but I just thought he was being silly. He was not dropping grain. I looked closer and saw he had one side of his face puffier. I palpated and could feel something kind of firm. I realized he was trying to dislodge something, so I stuck my finger in his mouth up into his cheek and found a wad of material, grass, grain…that sort of stuff. Well the poop swallowed it before i could really check it out. Face went back to normal and he said Thanks mom! The inside of his cheek was maybe a little raw, but his tooth nearest to there was pretty sharp, so I imagine a floating will be coming his way soon.

  7. Kim Stone on June 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Poor Jac, I hope that he has a speedy recover. And thanks Stacy for the post, I have been follow him from episode 1.

  8. Tracey on June 25, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Learning the same thing about alsike clover. When it’s wet it can be poisonous for horses. What a trip!!

  9. Lahle Wolfe on June 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    I am so glad you set such a positive example for others and are sharing your journey with us. Not forcing or pushing Jack to work on an accelerated time table to catch up to suit your needs is wonderful for him, which means wonderful for you in the long run as well.

  10. Cathy on June 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    I had similar issues here in Virginia with our fall hay which had a ton of broom sage/straw which was exactly like you said “splinters”. It was imbedded in my horses gums causing sores in his mouth and awful foul bad breath odor which is how I happened to notice the problem in the first place. Luckily all I did was brush his gums with a soft brush and flush his mouth with peroxide twice a day for about two weeks. So lesson learned, no more trashy weedy hay, ever.

  11. Karen Kania-Forehand on June 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Hahahahaha! I love Jac’s response to all of this.

  12. Beth N-S on June 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    We had Hoary Allysum in our hay late last fall- as the weather approached the single digits for the first time. Horses stocked up in the legs and a few had horrible diarrhea
    – took a bit of sleuthing by our barn owner to figure out the cause! Cleaning diarrhea off horses at 5 degrees is not fun. Arena sand worked best.

  13. Rebecca Parker on June 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I commend you for doing what is best for your boy Jac!

  14. Lesia Lowe on June 25, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    did this happen while you were gone when Jesse was riding him????

    • Stacy on June 25, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      Jesse didn’t ride him much because he noticed something was off and talked with me. I said it did seem unusual so we decided a few days off until I got home was a good first step. When I got back it took two of us to see anything and then we went to the vet.

      • Lesia Lowe on June 25, 2014 at 7:13 pm

        awww I hate he is hurt…. please keep us updated on him…. praying he gets better soon….. :o)

      • Lesia Lowe on June 25, 2014 at 8:41 pm

        oh and I love the color of your fingernail polish!!!!!!

  15. susan talmage on June 25, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    did he eat this in Texsas? If so another good reason to move back to Ohio!

    • Stacy on June 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Lol, yes:)

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