older horse becoming agressive - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
smr
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older horse becoming agressive

I have a question and was wondering if this is normal. We have a 20 year old standardbred. We have owned him for about 6 years. He was very mild when we got him and my then 8 year old duaghter took him as her first horse. He has always been the horse we let new riders train on. He has never been domanite or agressive toward other horses.

This summer we had lots of rain in western Ky and since this horse doesn't get road much any more he gained a lot of weight from all the grass. Now he has decided he is the Alfa male in our group. He becomes very agressive during feedings and seems to be very hiper when I take him on rides.

Is it normal for a mild horse to change and become the domenate one among the other horses? He looks healthy but it does have me worried.
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 09:32 AM
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Our 22 year old Blazer horse has become a little more crankier as well recently.
It doesn't seem like there would be a problem - but just make sure his teeth are good and he is getting all the nutrients he needs and such.

My horse has also become slightly cranky towards his pasture mate - but not really aggressive.
Maybe its old horse syndrome, hehe!

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post #3 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 09:42 AM
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Has there been a change in feed? Change in tack and saddle? Change in pasture companions?
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 09:42 AM
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It could be due to pain. If he gained weight and had, say, arthritis or chronic low grade laminitis that was aggravated by the excess weight, them got put to work, he could be cranky.

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post #5 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 10:02 AM
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It could be due to pain.
This is also what I was going to say.

I had to put down one of my horses last year. He normally was always on the bottom of the pecking order. But he was becoming more and more aggressive and just plain CRANKY. It was not like him. But I knew he had arthritis and it was bad enough to the point that I could no longer ride him. So I made the decision to put him down because his PAIN was making him miserable and cranky.

My guess is with your older horse, there is pain going on somewhere and he is lashing out.

When it the last time you've had him evaluated by an equine vet?
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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SueNH...that's what I was thinking also. It just doesn't seem normal that for so many years he was picked on by the other horses and now he is the dominate one.
Chickenoverlord..there has been some changes but nothing lately. I did switch to a different feed, it has lots of corn and is 10% protein...but that was awhile back.
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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beau159..Isn't 20 years old a little young for that? He does have an appointment next month with the vet, maybe I should go ahead and bring him in. Like I said, I can ride him just fine, he keeps up good with no problems. He just seems agressive toward the other horses.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 11:50 AM
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Has his attitude toward people changed? Is he willing under saddle? He may have just gotten fed up with being bullied.

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post #9 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by smr View Post
beau159..Isn't 20 years old a little young for that? He does have an appointment next month with the vet, maybe I should go ahead and bring him in. Like I said, I can ride him just fine, he keeps up good with no problems. He just seems agressive toward the other horses.
I have 6 year old with arthritis.

20 Is older, we feed joint supplements to anyone in high performance, or older then 10. I have a 14 year old with "arthritic changes" in his fetlocks. And I have a 12 year old that now has a clicking hock. (Sign of arthritis) and A 13 year old with a knee that has been known to click.
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chickenoverlord View Post
Has his attitude toward people changed? Is he willing under saddle? He may have just gotten fed up with being bullied.
he still comes to me when I call and he does great on the trails. He has always been the one that follows the other horses on the trail and that really hasn't changed.
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