Why does my horse do this? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-15-2011, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Question Why does my horse do this?

I just got a new horse a few weeks ago. She is a registered quarter horse paint and is 9 years old. She does the most peculiar thing after she is done eating. When she is finished eating, she goes over and hangs her head over the top rail of our round pen. The top rail is just tall enough that it comes up under where her head meets her neck. I know it sounds funny, but just looking at her, it looks like she is "hanging" herself. She puts her head over the rail, then drops just her head down. At first, I thought she was just putting her head over the rail but after I watched her, I realized she is dropping her head down and there is pressure on her throat. The only time she does this is after she eats. She does not have any visible signs of an eating problem such as choaking and such. Anyone have any ideas?
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-17-2011, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monicadunlap View Post
I just got a new horse a few weeks ago. She is a registered quarter horse paint and is 9 years old. She does the most peculiar thing after she is done eating. When she is finished eating, she goes over and hangs her head over the top rail of our round pen. The top rail is just tall enough that it comes up under where her head meets her neck. I know it sounds funny, but just looking at her, it looks like she is "hanging" herself. She puts her head over the rail, then drops just her head down. At first, I thought she was just putting her head over the rail but after I watched her, I realized she is dropping her head down and there is pressure on her throat. The only time she does this is after she eats. She does not have any visible signs of an eating problem such as choaking and such. Anyone have any ideas?
She is cribbing in an untraditional way. My old mare used to do it too. She would put her head over the stall door and rest her throat on the top, then push down and suck air. Mine did it all the time and it was out of boredom.

If it were me, since she only does if after eating, I would have her checked for ulcers. What are you feeding her?

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-17-2011, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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We feed whole oats and a 12% pellet. All our horses also have free choice hay. She doesn't do it after eating the hay...just the feed. Very peculiar..
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-17-2011, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monicadunlap View Post
We feed whole oats and a 12% pellet. All our horses also have free choice hay. She doesn't do it after eating the hay...just the feed. Very peculiar..
It's not peculiar at all if she has ulcers. Ulcers are very common in all horses. Oats have a very high NSC (sugar/starch content). A diet high in NSC will flare uncers up, BAD. My opinion? You should get her scoped for ulcers. A diet low in NSC is the healthiest option for ANY horse, but ESPECIALLY one with ulcers, or that is prone to ulcers. Alfalfa hay is also very helpful in the case of ulcers.

What is in the 12% pellet?

It could also be boredom, BUT you dont know until you get her checked.

*RedmansFoxyChic*Starlites Chapparral*ICF Take a Chance On Me*Jay Bar D's Sunshine Jaybar
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-26-2011, 04:08 AM
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Yeah, it's not uncommon. Do you ride her much? If no, turn her out or lunge her to prevent boredom. If she is not doing any harm to herself, or doesn't seem to be, then it's probably just a bad habit she picked up when she was younger and cannot be stopped.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-26-2011, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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First of all, thanks to everyone for the helpful advice. I am going to talk to my vet and see what he thinks about her behavior and if there is anything I need to do for her. No, EquineLover, I haven't had much time to ride her due to the weather. It has been so cold. Can you exercise (lunge) a horse when it's only in the 20s to low 30s? Hopefully, this week, we will be able to ride more. The weather is suppose to be unseasonably warm.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-26-2011, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monicadunlap View Post
First of all, thanks to everyone for the helpful advice. I am going to talk to my vet and see what he thinks about her behavior and if there is anything I need to do for her. No, EquineLover, I haven't had much time to ride her due to the weather. It has been so cold. Can you exercise (lunge) a horse when it's only in the 20s to low 30s? Hopefully, this week, we will be able to ride more. The weather is suppose to be unseasonably warm.
I would ride in the 30's, but def not in the 20's..brrr LOL

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post #8 of 8 Old 02-01-2011, 12:01 AM
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Yeah, agree with previous. Studies done on horses that crib show an extremely high percentage have ulcers, or were very likely to have had when they formed the 'habit' due to unhealthy feeding practices, such as too large/infrequent meals and grain & molasses & other starchy ingredients.

I too would think that if it's boredom or it's become an obsessive compulsive thing then she'd do it much more frequently. If you can't ride your horse & she doesn't exercise herself much in the paddock, or is stabled so she gets very little, yes, you need to exercise her daily, regardless of the weather. Digestion & overall health is also influenced by the amount of exercise.
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