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.