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Concerned about my horse, looking for some input.

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        05-31-2013, 04:07 PM
      #21
    Teen Forum Moderator
    If this horse is 100 lbs underweight, I do not think that working him hard is a good idea.


    Magic Melly- if your horse has been alone for the majority of his life, he may also be suffering from sensory overload and the inability to communicate with his kind. He may be excited to see others of his kind, but he may not know how to interact correctly with them and so he is fretting. This is sort of what our TB filly is going through. She's had a tough life and needed to be quarantined for a few months due to a virus, then a bad injury, and I don't think she had any companions at her old home. She grew up virtually alone, with no communication, no friends (she was also an orphan, and missed the vital teachings that a mother gives it's foal). So when I started trying to introduce her to other horses, she'd be over the moon with excitement, whinnying to them, dancing, pacing, etc., but as soon as she got to where they were, she had no ide what to do. She'd just stand there, eyeball them for a few minutes, and walk away dejectedly when they chased her away (due to her lack of ability to 'talk' to them) or ignored her, and start focusing on a new horse in another place that she could see, and start calling to them, pacing, fretting, etc.

    Your horse's behavior reminds me of her's though maybe a little more extreme due to whatever personality differences, environment differences, etc that they may have. With our filly, we've just tried to introduce her slowly to being with other horses of her kind. We're starting with a docile 'everyone is my best friend' type mare, and slowly introducing her to more dominant, demanding herd members. It overwhelms her sometimes and she'll 'freeze up' and sort of zone out to ignore them, but she is slowly learning to exist with other horses.

    This, ofcourse, may not have anything to do with your gelding, but I figured it was worth sharing just in case he might have similar problems. Think of it as him being a socially awkward kid that needs some help adjusting and learning to communicate. If that IS his problem, moving him constantly, or switching his herd mates up won't really help solve the problem. He needs to feel comfortable in his 'home' (HIS pasture or a neutral grounds, don't bring him into another horse's field and expect him to fit right in) and have others introduced to him slowly.

    Of course that's all assuming he was alone when he lived with you at his old home. If he grew up in a herd, this is very unlikely to be his problem.
         
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        05-31-2013, 04:20 PM
      #22
    Green Broke
    At his old home, was there a particular type of bedding ? A dog or cat that was his buddy ? Endiku has a good point, about not knowing how to become part of a herd. Maybe another horse would help, or goat etc. I would be careful adding minerals etc to his diet,without a blood test. Also be careful of herbal remedies as mixing certain herbs together can cause toxicity.
    Maybe you should add some cob back to his diet , since he was on it prior to the move, and this made to many changes for him to mentally handle.
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        05-31-2013, 04:21 PM
      #23
    Trained
    I don't recommend working the horse hard but I recommend working the horse mentally. You have to get this horse's mind on other things to get his body back, as with ALL horses. I like to take the approach of working them smarter rather than harder, a method that hasn't failed me yet!
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        06-06-2013, 09:57 PM
      #24
    Foal
    Thank you all for your insight... *AN UPDATE* ... he's put back on some weight, some days he acts like his old mellow laidback self, then the next day, he's back pacing the fence line calling.. Still not interacting with the other gelding he is turned out with... I lunged him a few days ago and after a little while he was responding well and focusing on me and what we were doing. I thought I had had a break through... But yesterday the farrier came and we could barely control him under halter, until the farrier had had enough of his behaviour and smacked him, only then did he calm down and stand like he used too.. We have used the same farrier for the past 10 yrs so basically Kassanovas entire life. When asked what he thought of the horses behaviour he simply said he saw a thoroughbred 1 time take an entire year to settle after it was moved. I sincerely hope that isnt the case with my horse... You know im starting to wonder if he is proud cut?? I mean I watched the vet geld him as a 2yr old... I had two paint mares that he was stalled and pastured with, never once even when they went in to heat did he display any signs of this behaviour.. And before the mares as a stud colt he lived with a gelding in the same field and after the mares he again lived with geldings. At this new place however he is stalled and put to pasture with another gelding and the mares are in the next field over.. he's acting studdy, which in 11 years I have never seen him exhibit these behaviours... Like this is madness, like someone took a clone horse and is literally swapping them, complete different horse. I just don't know what to do. Maybe im grasping at straws but im at my wits end, wondering if I am going to have sell my life long friend.
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