Zora & her horse
"Bill" - 08-01-1999
In the summer of '97 I
noticed "Bill" (my kid broke, laid back all-round horse)
occasionally jerking his head violently while I was riding him. By
February, 1998, he was constantly jerking his head as if he had nose flies or
bot flies bothering and rubbing his nose on the barn, fence, his legs, and
ground while loose in his run. In April, when I began to "leg"
him up, he was dangerous to handle and to ride as he violently continued the
In June, I took "Bill" to the Kansas State
Veterinary College where, because it was cloudy and he was in a stall for his
observation, he showed no symptoms except popping his lips.
Diagnosis, head-shaking syndrome. Treatment: Give Cyproheptadine 4mg,
increased from 30 tablets to 70 tablets per day, and use a fly mask. The
treatment was only mildly successful, and it was not fun to ride my head jerking
horse. I did notice that on cloudy days, I had my old horse back again.
In late January, 1999, I found
information about the Guardian Mask on the internet. I got my first
Guardian mask with #90% sunshades in early February, 1999. What a
difference! "Bill" now is completely off Cyproheptadine except
only as a precaution, when an intermediate, visually impaired girl uses him for
4-H pleasure and horsemanship. Taking the mask off just before going into
the arena, she won the Grand Champion pleasure and Grand Champion horsemanship
classes on "Bill" in July, 1999 at the local county fair.
"Bill" only jerks his
head on extremely bright days, and then only moderately. Most days he is his old
self. I am able to compete in barrel racing with him, taking his mask off just
before my run and putting it back on as soon as the run is over. In June,
1999, he won the 3D Champion buckle for me at the state NBHA Finals, plus a good
sized check. I compete on him weekly. Without the mask, which
he wears from sunrise to sundown except on cloudy days, Bill was useless.
Now I enjoy working with him once again, thanks to the Guardian Mask.
Thank you Zora for sharing your
experience, and congratulations on your winnings! That is terrific
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