Serious attitude change... : / - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 51 Old 08-22-2010, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Serious attitude change... : /

My mare has been acting really strange lately. Sorry to be brief, but I'm on my phone so I don't want to write a novel.

Basically, this is a horse who LOVES people and would do anything to please them. She has 100% perfect ground manners. She has NEVER bitten anyone and has only kicked someone once (my fault). Other than that time she hasn't even threatened to. She has NEVER reared, bucked, or bolted under saddle. I ride her bridleless and she NEVER does anything but exactly what I want her to do. She has thousands upon thousands of trail miles on her.

Within the past week, she's taken off with me twice out on the trail. She wasn't scared... both times we were trotting along and she broke into a medium canter and wouldn't slow down or stop for a while. Both times I managed to stop her once and she took off again. Then I got her to actually stop. Both times I got after her and she was perfect for the rest of the ride.

During the past week, she's been pinning her ears at people when they walk by her stall. She doesn't glare at them or bare her teeth or even move... she just pins her ears. If you open her stall door, her ears pop up and she's back to normal. This is something she has never, ever done before. She honestly loves people and loves getting attention from them. She doesn't pin her ears when I spray her face with the hose, when I clip her face or ears, when I tighten her girth, or at feeding time. It just doesn't happen.

Now today, when my BO's son went to take her out of her stall to turn her out, she reared straight up and tried to land right on him. He had to jump out of the way. She ran out of the stall and wouldn't let anybody touch her.

I know some of these things might not sound that bad... might even be normal for some horses... but it is NOT normal for her, and that's why I'm worried.

I honestly can't think of anything that has changed in the past week. If you have any ideas, though, please ask because I might have forgotten something.

So... any ideas about what might have caused such a change in behavior?
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post #2 of 51 Old 08-22-2010, 07:22 PM
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Is there any possibility someone else (besides you) mess with her while you were not around? To me it sounds like something happened to her/someone did something rather than health issue. Is she in heat by any chance?
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post #3 of 51 Old 08-22-2010, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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No, not really. They'd have to try REALLY hard to get away with it. She's not in heat, either.

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post #4 of 51 Old 08-22-2010, 07:30 PM
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Sounds to me that someone is messing with her in her stall-just a guess.....and her reaction with the BO's son-hmm. I would watch and see if you think she acts differently with men vs women......and is that different than before? This is just my guess, but I would have a feeling it is a guy from her reaction to the son. I would really watch her closely, and perhaps ask the Bo if someone new is working there? Anyone else noticing their horses are different?
Like a mystery-be a little sleuth.......
As far as the trail-have no idea, but sounds like her reactions are so explosive around the barn, which is why I would look there first.
Good luck-keep us posted, and be careful. I know she would never mean to hurt you at all, but she sounds scared to me.

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post #5 of 51 Old 08-22-2010, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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She doesn't seem to be acting differently towards men, and never did before. My BO's son is only 10!

My barn is a quiet, private place and we don't have any new people there at the moment.

I did just think of something that has changed... I moved her into a stall with no window to the outside about 2 weeks ago. But two of the walls have metal bars completely across the top half, when only one did in her last stall. And she can still see the outside through the walls and the door (it's just across the barn from her instead of RIGHT out her window). It's also a bigger stall and has a ceiling fan as opposed to a box fan so is nice and cool. She has no reason to be pissed about that, right?
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post #6 of 51 Old 08-22-2010, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Okay... this might be relevant. I added a few supplements to her diet right when this started. I didn't really think that could be the cause because I thought they'd need some time to get into her system. I added a vitamin E supplement and an electrolyte supplement (both for endurance riding).

Just thought I'd throw that out there.
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post #7 of 51 Old 08-22-2010, 09:22 PM
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Any chance she had Lyme disease? That can cause very sudden personality changes. Does she object to being touched since she's gotten moody?

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #8 of 51 Old 08-22-2010, 09:53 PM
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Just a guess but maybe its too breezy in her stall (compared to the box fan) and maybe all that wind is irritating her? Does she have new stall neighbors? Is the horse next to her irritating her?

Since this isn't only a barn issue, I would certainly look at taking those supplements off to see what happens. It just seems too dramatic of a change to be something small. Im sure you are on top of it...but how is her tack? Nothing pinching?

I hope you find it soon! The lyme disease is a factor to be considered. The test is pretty inexpensive and honestly, it fits. Sore muscles could have caused her to take off on you and the change in personality is dead on. I lost a horse last year to lyme and it was truely horrible. It would be worth checking into if she has had a few tick bites this year.
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post #9 of 51 Old 08-22-2010, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CloudsMystique View Post
Okay... this might be relevant. I added a few supplements to her diet right when this started. I didn't really think that could be the cause because I thought they'd need some time to get into her system. I added a vitamin E supplement and an electrolyte supplement (both for endurance riding).

Just thought I'd throw that out there.
It's hard to believe those supplements could change something. But I'd remove them just to see what will happen (at least a try). Otherwise I'm out of ideas. Does she react to YOU that strangle on ground?
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post #10 of 51 Old 08-22-2010, 11:11 PM
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To me it sounds like she has been messed with as the other members have said. It sound like she is scared. Could she be in pain?
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