Roid rage; (def); “Roid rage is a term given to people who act in very aggressive or hostile manner after taking large doses, usually on a regular basis, of anabolic steroids, sometimes nicknamed as roids.”
In other words, what is happening to Apollo.
We noticed a big change on Monday, our trimming day. While Apollo has not always been perfect, he is usually manageable, but not that day. His head tossing and body shoving took a more serious turn, requiring me to amp up my handling in order to stay safe. Sadly, this is not his fault. Let me back up a bit….
APOLLO is a 5 year old thoroughbred gelding living here at Rosemary Farm. He is the son of Contemplate, and the great grandson of Mr. Prospector, who is our Jack’s grandaddy. Apollo has the blood of Native Dancer, Bold Ruler, and Secretariat in his veins. This royal lineage did not however, protect him from being starved for most of his short life. Apollo was born part of a larger group of tb’s owned by a POS breeder, who gave almost no care to his herd. He didn’t even know what baby came out of what mother. Prosecution was underway when he dumped the lot, and a rescue stepped in. The care was shared amongst many, and RF welcomed two of the youngsters in January of 2011. Apollo was older then we first expected, starvation stunting him to just 14.1 hh and stealing his health and his future. Progress was made tho’, he was gentled and gelded and we began to have hope. He had been with us for almost a year when he really plateaued, and eventually was diagnosed with an Inflamed Bowel Disease, which will end his life. To say we are upset is an understatement.
This problem, IBD, affects younger horses and is genetic, but was aggravated by his condition and poor care. In order to keep it in check, and give him some measure of life, he began a course of steroids. This made him happy! And at first, we were happy. Life continued, he chose a mare, he continued to play with his friends. We have experimented with reducing the drug, with mixed results. Eventually they stop working. It’s a juggle as we monitor his condition and balance that with the wear of the drugs on his system.
Clearly we are hitting a new wall.
Yesterday our vet explained about another drug, a more expensive one, to treat his IBD. The drug is $18 a bottle and would last three days at first. Hopefully he would need less as he leveled out again. Problem is, no one has stepped forward to sponsor this boy. He’s not the most attractive horse, he has never had the chance to muscle into the beautiful boy that his ancestors were. He is supported out of the general fund, which includes donations and our personal income. We have been paying for his steroids out of the general fund. I ‘could’ start on the other drug, but I am afraid about the cumulative costs. I wish that Apollo had a champion beyond me, to help him live.
But live he is doing for now. He is best buds with Gracie, an older Lippizan mare here. I suspect that with their bigger bellies, and reduced energy levels, they have found a match. For her sake and for his, I hope that he gets a few years here, to just be a horse.