horse seems...sluggish, lethargic, just not herself - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-24-2011, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Virginia
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horse seems...sluggish, lethargic, just not herself

My 8yr old mare Sophie hasnt been herself this past week. She has been getting ridden more here lately, although its not hard rides at all. She was being ridden 3 or 4x a week with a lot of trotting to build stamina and work on some training problems with her. Last week and a half shes been ridden like 5 or 6x a week but most of those rides and are fairly easy, last about an hour but have A LOT of breaks in them, trot for 10 minutes then walk for 5 then canter for a few laps then walk for another 5 minutes or so etc. So it hasnt been hard work, she hasnt been breathing hard at any point in the ride and shes only broken a sweat at the girth. Well for the past week she just hasnt been herself. Shes usually very spunky, quick, wants to work and has animated movement. Lately shes been sluggish, seems to drag her feet a little and hangs her head down a lot. She likes to stretch down but still stays animated and has a lot of movement to her, now its like her heads hanging there and it takes so much to pick up her feet to move. I thought maybe she was a little on the bored side so I decided to trailer her out on a trail ride with a group of other horses. She is usually fighting for lead spot, but throughout most of the trail she was lagging in the back. She LOVES to race horses, and we spent some time cantering and trotting but she was content to hang in the pack, and I even had to really squeeze her into the canter when everyone else was already cantering. I thought shed perk up with the change in training and all and there were moments where she was herself and fighting for the front spot but it was very little. I was thinking maybe she just needs a break. Ill give her today off and go out tomorrow and longe her and see if she feels any better, if not ill give her off until this weekend. I havent noticed a change of any other sort with her, she had a runny nose one evening when I went out to feed but that was the only time I noticed it. her appetite is just as healthy as usual , shes been licking her mineral block and drinking water, every time I go out shes grazing, ive felt her all over and she doesnt have heat in any joints or anywhere else. Shes dropped some weight, but then again she was fat and is now working more and it hasnt been a significant amount so im not worried about that. I noticed a bulge behind her shoulder blade, I figure its a fat bulge from the weight she gained while I was out with an injury and will go away as she gets back into work and is exercised more so I dont think thats a worry either. I upped her grain a little bit, she was only getting about 1/4 a scoop and I upped it over the course of the week to 1/2 since shes working more. Its the same grain shes been on for months and months now, but in the past two days ive been slowly mixing in a new grain. Same brand just going from pleasure to competition grain since shell be getting ridden so much more now. And again that just started the past two or three days, so she was acting odd before then. She was only getting grain the days I rode, so like 3x a week but now that shes ridden more days shes getting grain more days but I dont think its enough to cause a problem?!?!?! The only thing I can think of that has possibly changed at all is that she was wormed on Wednesday (but again was a little odd a day or two before then). I change the wormer each time, and ive never had her act differently after being wormed so I dont know if thats it or not but I seriously cant think of a thing thats changed other than that and exercise. A friend mentioned that maybe with the winter coats coming in shes getting over heated but again she hasnt been sweating and she hasnt felt hot to the touch. Any ideas? Should I wait a few days or go ahead and have the vet out to check her? Anything I should look for to get a better idea? Maybe she was just having an off day and then with the wormer and continued exercise and slight up in feed shes gotten thrown off? I just dont know. Every time in the past when ive changed feed and wormed or anything else shes always been unphased.

Simply Sophisticated-"Sophie" 2003 FSH mare.
Seize the Moment-"Leo" 2010 KSH gelding
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-24-2011, 02:36 PM
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I tried, I really tried to read your post, but such a huge, solid block of text without paragraph breaks is just too much to wade through.
I did not get all the details, but if your horse is noticeable lackluster, and you KNOW her well enough to know this is not her, I would take her temp, her respitory count and try to see if she has the normal amount of poops or pees, drinking water. Does she eat? if not eating like normal I would call vet.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-24-2011, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Virginia
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sry tiny, I typed it all then went back to edit it and all and when I started editing it started deleting things so I figured id better just leave it as it is. I dont know what I did but whenever I tried to edit letters it would starte typing over/replacing things.

Anywho, shes eating fine, has no temp, Im not out there often enough to notice if shes using the bathroom regularly but she did poop while I was riding her on the trail so she is atleast pooping, but it could very well be less than usual. Ill try and pay attention Tuesday because ill be out there for several hours that day.

Simply Sophisticated-"Sophie" 2003 FSH mare.
Seize the Moment-"Leo" 2010 KSH gelding
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-24-2011, 05:47 PM
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Did she grow a thick winter coat this year? I've noticed a lot of horse's in my area have thicker coats than normal while the temps are staying on the mild side. My horse has also been slightly lethargic. I'm also giving him some time off and refresher trail rides now that show season's over. Not sure what to tell you other than keep an eye on her and make sure her body temp is staying consistent with these 20 temperature shifts we've been having lately.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-25-2011, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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Ok, I admit I'm EPM skidish right now. (See my post under horse law) But your horse does have some of the beginning symptoms, (not showing clinical signs yet)
"sluggish, lethargic, draging feet, hard to pick up feet, Change in pecking order, hanging head, muscle change, loss of weight," Google EPM symptoms, and re-check your mare. Look for slight re-end being off? (just walking different, more than a lamness)
It is hard for any of us to tell without seeing your mare. Trust your gut! You know your horse! I think it is worth a vet call now, in case it is EPM.

Bridlewood Equestrian Oklahoma
Boarding, Equestrian Education, Event Facility
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-25-2011, 01:50 PM
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What you're describing has a wide range of what it could be. We could come up with a long list based on what you're describing. The only way to be sure is to get a vet out if continues.

Personally, whenever I see "my horse isn't him/herself" I immediately think Lyme. But that's just because it is very common where I live; next I think ulcers.

Like I said everyone could give you a different answer on this one.

This is what happens when you have democrats in office
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-25-2011, 08:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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Her conditioning may not be keeping up with the amount of work she is getting. She needs days off to give her muscles a chance to recoup. It sounds like she's plain out tired.
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