Behavioral or ??

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Behavioral or ??

This is a discussion on Behavioral or ?? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    • 1 Post By GreenBackJack

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        03-07-2012, 06:22 PM
    Behavioral or ??

    *he has the same tack, feed and deworm/farrier schedule. Teeth floated recently. Checked by a chiropractor 6 months ago, passed with flying colors. Same riders, who also ride sevral other ottbs with no issues.

    I know a gelding that has been in the owners possesion for two years. Came off the track as a 5 year old, sound, but needed some time off from hard work because of an over stressed tendon in a hind leg(dont know specifics.)
    -the first 12 months he was well behaved. Had some down time, did a bit in the arena, lots of trails, went to the mountains. Had some get up and go but generaly quiet. Had to learn typical ottb things, steering, reverse, etc.
    -next six months got a bit zippier, the odd crow hop, some prancing. Kept the rides w/t/c very little fast work. Attributed it to his tendon issue being completely resolved and feeling great.
    -Last 6 months. Not ridden a ton, but has become a big handful. If you try to walk him for a ride, he spends the whole thing tossing his head(same bit, teeth done, same saddle), bouncing around, prancing, crow hopping and generaly being an butt. He even pulled back and broke a halter, which he did not even hint at doing for the first 1.5 years. Do you think its all behavioral? Or is their some sort of deficency that could cause it?
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        03-07-2012, 06:46 PM
    To my ear, the way you've described it sounds behavioral. The boy has picked up some attitude and there are hints that he hasn't been corrected and or consistantly ridden/trained in the past several months. Some horses you can leave for long periods and come back to find the same horse as you left. Others will challenge your authority every ten minutes. They're what I call middle management types, always looking for a shot at that corner office. I'd say spend some more time with him on the basics of respect and see if he turns around.
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        03-07-2012, 09:21 PM
    Going with lack of work OTTB syndrome. I don't know too many that can go without consistent exercise without bouncing off the walls. They like to work, so the best thing you can do is give him a job.
        03-08-2012, 02:18 AM
    Super Moderator
    I agree with Greenback and Puck, it sounds behavioural.
    When a horse starts to feel well, and says so with the way he acts, throwing his head, spooking and giving the odd 'whoopee' buck, a lot of owners/riders immediately get worried/frightened and only wants to walk instead of kicking on and giving the horse a lot more work and feeling pleased that they have achieved turning a horse's life around.

    I work with jump racers and hunters (fox hunters not showing) They have a couple of months off in the summer when they are out at grass. They come up in August and for the first month they are like school horses, as they get fitter so they start to see dragons in ditches, they think they are fitter than they are and mess around so my answer is to give them more work at a trot, we have several steep hills so they trot up them and the fitter they get the more sensible they get.

    This horse needs more work. It has nothing to do with his leg injury, it has more to do with his realising that life can be fun and he needs to get on with being ridden more and worked harder.
        03-08-2012, 07:54 AM
    I have an OTTB that's 13, and if he isn't worked consistently he starts to challenge me, always looking for the one shot that's going to put me under/even with him in the pecking order. We're on the tail end of an abcessed hoof and I have my hands full, because I haven't been able to ride him, or work him much at all for about 4 weeks, so I'm starting to scale up his workload, and man do I have my hands full! Once he gets back to consistent work and riding, he'll be great!!! It seems to be the nature of the beast with most OTTB's.
        03-08-2012, 05:05 PM
    Green Broke
    I wouldn't rule out pain just yet.

    A lot can change in six months, so I'd have him checked again by the chiropractor, as well as have his saddle/bridle/bit fit rechecked. He sounds like a prime candidate for a horse whose body has dramatically changed shape over the past couple of years. Ulcers are also a possibility that you should look into.

    Also, if he's been worked less in the past six months, his feed should have been adjusted to match. If he's still on the same rations he had when he was being worked more often, then he's probably got all kinds of excess energy. You don't say what he's been eating, but it's worth re-evaluating to lower high-starch/sugar content feeds.
        03-09-2012, 10:17 AM
    His feed has been adjusted. He gets soaked beet pulp(no molassas) with a small amount of plain whole oats and ground flax, with high quality grass free choice hay. Large pasture with other horses, 24/7 turn out.

    With what has been said, I'm really starting to thing its just him feeling great and having a break from work. Will double check his back when the chiropractor comes out. Thanks :)
        03-13-2012, 02:39 AM
    We have a TB that is very sassy as I like to say now-a-days. We started putting him in the round pen and free lunging him. After 2 days he was running past a mare pinning her ears back no bothering him. Put him in the cross ties and walked away, NO pawing no head bobbing nothing. I agree that it is the alfa perspective and needs time to fix. Yelling and yanking wont fix it just make them head shy.
        03-13-2012, 03:21 AM
    Sounds like it could be kissing spine to me. I hope it isn't, but suggest you get the vet out. Do a thorough work out, rule out pain; then treat as behavioural.

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