Horse Behaving Oddly - Please Help! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 03-23-2012, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Horse Behaving Oddly - Please Help!

I have an almost four-year old AQHA gelding that we bred, sold, and reacquired in August because he wasn't doing well. With the help of expert, caring re-habbers, vets, and farriers, he is back on track physically and looks better than ever. Aside from special trimming and shoeing, he has no special needs. This horse has always been extraordinarily calm, friendly, and kind, often referred to as an "old soul". He loves cookies, food and attention. He is staying, and being worked at the re-hab facility until we find the right home for him.

Twice now, he has exhibited a set of symptoms that are completely inconsistent with his normal personality and behavior. He won't come up to the fence for pets or cookies - seems scared - and won't raise his head higher than about two feet from the ground, even to retrieve cookies from his feeder. He is not jumpy or extra-energetic, just very apprehensive. After it first happened two weeks ago, the manager of the facility took his vital signs, walked/trotted him around, and generally checked him out. During this time he acted completely normal and they did not observe any more symptoms until I experienced them today. The symptoms seem to appear and disappear quickly.

Someone asked if there is HYPP in his background. There is not. There is nothing we know about either his dam (who we've owned for eight years) or his sire, a well-known and very successful show horse/stud to suggest that would be a genetic/breeding issue.

Does anyone have any insights or suggestions to offer? Whatever light you can shed would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 24 Old 03-23-2012, 08:09 PM
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Wow.. Weird. I was also thinking something neurological.. Does he seem in pain when he lifts his neck? does it look stiff?
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post #3 of 24 Old 03-23-2012, 08:26 PM
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I'm thinking it might be something psycological? Was he abused? Someone to rough with him? He could just be remembering some kind of harsh treatment.

Horses are scared of two things... Things that move and things that don't.
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post #4 of 24 Old 03-23-2012, 08:36 PM
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Now that you said that Ray, that sounds very plausible. I think I'll change my answer to that :).
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post #5 of 24 Old 03-23-2012, 08:53 PM
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Colic? Horses don't always show colic symptoms in the ways we'd expect.
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post #6 of 24 Old 03-23-2012, 09:11 PM
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The 1st thing I would do is get him a chiropractor
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post #7 of 24 Old 03-23-2012, 10:35 PM
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How is his vision?
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post #8 of 24 Old 03-23-2012, 11:31 PM
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Is he stretching his neck, coughing, or looking uncomfortable at all?
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post #9 of 24 Old 03-23-2012, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you!

Thanks for your replies! Abuse is not a possibility. This horse was not managed very well in the recent past, but he was loved. Earlier, he was with a trusted friend and trainer, and currently he is receiving excellent care. I think the chiro will be the next step. Appreciate your feedback! Julie
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post #10 of 24 Old 03-23-2012, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Answers to Questions

He isn't coughing, aor doing anything with his neck to indicate discomfort, except that he doesn't seem to want to raise it. He's not trying and then showing pain, he just isn't raising it.
Colic occurred to me as well, but when he showed symptoms two weeks ago, he snapped out of it right away and never did anything colicky. He doesn't seem particularly distressed, but if you know this horse, you know this behavior is very odd. Thanks, Julie
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