My horse gets hyper in the winter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-28-2011, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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My horse gets hyper in the winter

She will spook at nothing and gallop for few strides, buck out of nothing, when we canter she'll usually have a bucking fit and she'll walk as fast as she can all the way and act nervous. We do trail riding and she behaves as if monsters are following us.
She uses every single thing as a reason to spook. Like dog barking in another country.
She spends the night in and day out. Her feed didn't change last years but I plan on giving her alfalfa and oil, cause she always loses weight in the winter. I know she should eat more hay, but she doesn't want to.

She is normal at home and if I ride her here she's good.

Why does she behave like that and what to do?
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-28-2011, 08:39 PM
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As far as I know, all horses get "hot" in the winter. I guess if you need to, can you lunger her first?
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-28-2011, 08:57 PM
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Hee hee, my horse turns into a fire breathing dragon under 30 degrees! Many many times last winter I stood there watching him tear around in his paddock wondering why I was foolish enough to sit on that thing's back! It's just a symptom of winter. Not much you can do other than use a sticky saddle and longe out a few of her better bucks before you ride. I always say, if you can get through a cold winter without getting tossed, you're doing something right.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-28-2011, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
As far as I know, all horses get "hot" in the winter. I guess if you need to, can you lunger her first?
Never heard that before. Doesn't get much below freezing in winter where I am, but never heard it from people I know that run a horse establishment in the mountains either. Be curious to learn how wide spread it is & what are the conditions.

If it's definitely not related to feed(ie too much energy for winter lifestyle), other possibilities are lack of exercise - is the horse locked up & only gets exercise when ridden or such? If she only does it under saddle, then it could be down to saddle fit, going with weight loss over winter. Could also be nutritional deficiency - eg. magnesium deficiency is linked with nervous behaviour & most horses that have adequate green pick will get enough Mg in their diet, but in winter...
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-28-2011, 10:48 PM
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Horses deap down inside are still migrating herd animals, Their instincts are telling them to migrate south, they cant so they get a little more stressed and run around a bit.
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-29-2011, 12:47 AM
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My horse gets very spooky during winter. I can definitely ride him through it, but I don't feel as though we get anything done because he's constantly spooking at nothing! I feel like I'm always trying to get his attention. Even during lessons, which is when he spooks the least usually (because we're both so focused, I think) he'll be working awesome and then suddenly BAM we're five feet in the air. I put him on "taurine" last year, it was like a $20/month-ish supplement that really helped. It didn't make him dopey or anything, he just just back to his normal self!
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-29-2011, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
Horses deap down inside are still migrating herd animals, Their instincts are telling them to migrate south, they cant so they get a little more stressed and run around a bit.
Since when do horses migrate? They aren't geese...
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-29-2011, 02:02 AM
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They've been migrating for millions of years, just like every other herbivore herd animal.Down the mountains or farther south in winter. Up the mountain and north in summer.
IAW The Gale Encyclopedia of science, "Wild horses also undergo extensive seasonal migrations in search of optimal feeding and watering habitat."
Wild horses are basically extinct but the instinct is probably still there.
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-29-2011, 03:34 AM
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Feeding Alfalfa does it to a lot of horses, be careful not to colic your horse. Sometimes alfalfa can be baled a little hotter which would be why you would see a difference from one year to the next, but if you switched to grass hay only that will help considerably. I am not against feeding alfalfa for the same reason that you stated, it helps keep them looking better, but it can be a bit of a pain when your riding. What i do to combat the problem if feeding alfalfa is let the horse walk like crazy for 5 - 10 minutes and then make them stop and rest until they cool off again. After that they are good for the rest of the day, just seems like you have to get the edge off of them. Just don't get them to worked up especially into a lather because then they will start having problems.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-29-2011, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
Wild horses are basically extinct but the instinct is probably still there.
For sure, considering domestication is something equivalent to a second on the 'clock' of equine evolution. A horse is a horse is a horse!
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