Mood Change in Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-07-2011, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NC
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Mood Change in Horse

I have had this horse since he was a yearling. Always bright eyed and spunky. He is now 5 years old and it seems like over the past year all of the spark has gone out of him. He is still sweet, lovable and willing, but just subdued. I have had a complete vet examine done and worked with a nutritionist on feed. There are no health problems. Is this type of personality change normal at this age? My vet says that he is just maturing and becoming more laid back. Maybe it just seems more drastic to me because I still remember my frisky young boy.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-07-2011, 09:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
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I think your vet is spot on, that he's just maturing and becoming an adult horse. Youngsters are naturally more playful and energetic.

As long as your vet isn't concerned and your boy is happy and healthy, I don't think there's anything to worry about.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-08-2011, 08:26 AM
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I agree he is probably just maturing but you do know your horse better than anyone.

I might suggest having a GOOD equine chiropractor look at him and pay particular attention to the poll area.

If he was a fractious young man, he could have done anything in the pasture when you weren't looking - lol lol

I had a horse like that once Along with his sacrum being out, so was the Atlas bone which is in the head/neck area. The chiropractor told me horses do, indeed, get headaches. Some just deal with them quietly while others have a change in behavior - sometimes bad behavior but not always.

Even though you have conferred with a nutritionist, you didn't say what the outcome was. Sometimes food allergies can be developed as time goes on and that will change a horse's personality; although that generally plays out in snotty behavior. I also have one of those - he is oat/corn/soy intolerant.

Once you've elminated these final things, then it's probably back to the vet's conclusion that, at age 5, he is maturing and quieting down some
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-10-2011, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NC
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Thanks for the replies. My horse is on grass and hay only with 24/7 turnout. He also has a white salt block and a Purina Free Balance mineral block. The nutritionist had the hay tested and, while I know that can change from bale to bale, she did not think that he needed anything else. He is a very easy keeper in light work. I guess if it is a food allergy, it would be something in the hay or field and that could be hard to detect. My gut says that it is not allergy related. Same hay supplier, same hay type and same field since he was a yearling.

I also do not think that it is pain related. I started this horse and am the only one that rides him. I feel like I know him pretty well. I know that horses can hide pain, but the subtle signs, like tail swishing, head bobbing or unwillingness are just not there.

I am pretty sure that it is just that he is maturing, but wanted some back up on that. I tend to obsess sometimes. I just really miss the spunky little guy that had to be in the middle of everything that I was doing.
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