Colic Awareness Month may be created and shared by people, but ultimately it’s about doing right by the horses we love. And what better way to hear about how we can reduce their risk for colic than “straight from the horse’s mouth,” so to speak?

The official Spokes-Horse of Equine Colic Awareness Month is the adorable Appendix Quarter Horse mare SoCo, owned and love by Taylor Allen of Mulberry, Florida. SoCo will be featured throughout Equine Colic Awareness Month, offering encouragement and promoting the importance of colic awareness and prevention.

Meet SoCo

6-year-old SoCo was adopted by Taylor last summer. Their primary discipline is the hunter jumpers. In Taylor’s words, “SoCo is best described as a princess! She IS a mare.”

“She really is a wonderful horse,” Taylor continues. “From the first time I laid eyes on her at the rescue I fell in love, and I knew I had to have her! She has a wonderful in-your-pocket personality, and is very willing to try. She has done wonderfully with everything I have asked of her – from horse shows to trail rides. I love that I can get on and show hunters one weekend, then turn around and have a relaxing trail ride the next. She is the kind of horse that will follow you around the pasture, even if you don’t have a treat.”

SoCo’s Colic Ordeal

Last December, shortly after she adopted SoCo, Taylor received the call that every horse owner fears: your horse is acting funny and may be colicking. SoCo had stopped eating and was acting funny, and Taylor arrived to find her down in the pasture and thrashing. At her vet’s direction, a little Banamine helped SoCo feel much better, although she still wasn’t eating. By day two, impaction colic was a real concern and her vet tubed SoCo and administered mineral oil. Day three brought with it the concern of a torsion, or twist in the intestines. Day four SoCo somehow managed to right herself and Taylor arrived to find her eating, pooping, and finally out of the woods. It took SoCo around three weeks to fully recover, but now she is as good as new.

Read the full version of this harrowing colic story, featured on the blog in April, in which Taylor recalls the 4-day colic episode SoCo faced – and overcame.

Reducing SoCo’s Risk For Another Colic

This was an eye-opening experience for Taylor, who now takes many steps to educate herself regularly and to reduce SoCo’s risk for another colic. She says, “SoCo’s episode has greatly changed my outlook on colic. I always had an ‘it will never happen to me’ attitude towards colic; I have owned my paint gelding for 12 of his 21 years and have never had more than a very minor gas colic bout with him. When SoCo was diagnosed with torsion colic only 6 months after I adopted her my world flipped upside down.”

“Since SoCo’s episode, I am taking many steps to keep something like this from happening again,” Taylor continues. “While you can never fully prevent colic, you can take many steps to keep it at bay. Since I live in Florida, sand colic is a huge issue. I feed timothy/alfalfa hay which helps keep her digestive system healthy. I make sure to “sand” her once a month with SandClear, a psyllium husk supplement. I am sure to keep my horses up to date with their vaccinations and worming.

What Taylor and SoCo Want Other Owners to Know

“The biggest recommendation I can make to other horse owners is to KNOW YOUR HORSE! Even if you board, stick around for feeding time, turn in and turn out. By observing your horse you will learn all their quirks, likes and dislikes. This is the easiest way to know when something is wrong, and can make a difference in catching a case of colic quickly or being too late.”

Learn all you can from equine experts and expert resources to know what you can do to reduce colic risk, recognize it more quickly, and keep your horses healthy.

Taylor has a handful of places she goes to stay on top of SoCo’s health, “I get my information about equine health care from many different places – magazines, websites, etc. – and I try my best to keep up with current news, treatments, and illnesses. I am blessed to have had many wonderful opportunities to work different trainers and learned a lot from every one. I have an amazing veterinarian, Dr. Christina Ellis of Mid Florida Large Animal Hospital who is always there for me when I need her, or just need information. I work at our local feed store, and my boss, Beverly Lay, is a wealth of knowledge and always has an answer for me when I need one.

Be on the lookout for tips and photos of SoCo throughout the month of June. Congratulations to both horse and owner.

About the Colic Awareness Month Spokes Horse

Colic survival stories were submitted during the month of April to be considered for the Spokes Horse contest. SoCo was selected as our “Spokes Horse” by fan voting on the official Crusade Against Equine Colic Facebook page. Facebook fans had the chance to vote for their favorite horse from among six entries. SoCo brought in 219 votes, putting her in the top spot.

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The Crusade Against Equine Colic is a movement empowering all horse people to learn how to reduce our horses’ risk for colic – and to share that knowledge with fellow equestrians.

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