Behavioral Changes?

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Behavioral Changes?

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

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        06-02-2011, 11:32 AM
    Behavioral Changes?

    Hi guys!

    I've missed this place a lot, and I know I owe an explanation of my abscence but for now I need your opinion on what this could be!

    I moved my horse to my house (he was boarded for about 4 months under my ownership previous to this) about 4 months ago and he has been a different horse ever since then. He is difficult to catch (which isn't a big deal at the moment as he is on stall rest for a few weeks), he moves away from me when I go to pat him.. he sometimes even cowers down if I move too quickly. He is spooky and jumpy at everything. It is a small battle every morning to put his fly mask on until he realized that he has worn a fly mask a million times before. He used to be really bonded to me but now he acts like he did when I first got him... Distant and almost disrespectful.

    The factors that have changed are:
    -He hasn't been ridden but twice in the months he has been here... When he was boarded I rode 3 times a week.
    -Feed. He was on Patriot before and is now on Ration Balancer.
    -He no longer lives with horses, though there are two mare in an adjacent lot.

    The weird thing is I took him to the vet last week and he acted perfectly. He let the vet pick up his feet easily, he was quiet and not spooky at all (he was falling asleep in a busy room) and he loaded quietly there as well. He seemed really dependent on me there though... I left to go to their office and he was whinnying after me and pranced around a bit.

    This is my first spring with him, but I was told he is an air fern. However, I am having to feed hay in addition to his grazing because he is skinnier than I'd like.

    Is this anything to be concerned about?
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        06-02-2011, 02:19 PM
    I don't understand "air fern"?

    I think the biggest factor would have to be not having other horses with him. That is probably the thing which most affects a horse's emotional balance.
    Are the two types of feed much different in calorie, carb or protein balance?

    I don't know what advice to make except to ride him more and don't *****foot around him. If he is lacking a leader and the comfort of having that, then you might actually make him feel better by pushing him a little. Not meanly, but just making him move over, round penning him and pushing him. It might be that by pushing him he will see you as a leader to be respected and thus feel more comfortable. Just a thought.
        06-02-2011, 02:41 PM
    Air fern meaning he get fat easily... Gaining weight off of air figuratively. He goes back to work as soon as he's healed. Thanks though! I usually just ignore his outbursts but ill move his feet next time.
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        06-02-2011, 04:19 PM
    Its probably the lack of another horse. Even when my guy was new to my home- where there were 2 horses already, anytime he could not see them he was a TOTALLY different animal. I couldnt blanket him, I couldnt groom him, he was very pushy, etc. Even a goat or sheep to keep him company might make him feel better.

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