Herbs and Such for a Nervous Horse - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-25-2013, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Question Herbs and Such for a Nervous Horse

So I have a very very nervous spooky jumpy mare. Shes and arabian/quarter horse paint mare. Its not behavioral, I trained her as a two to four year old and there were no signs of this. She then spent 13years with a horrible family. I've heard, and from her scars don't doubt, horror stories. She has every reason to behave as she does, and she seems to remeber me(after about 5months) and is much calmer around just me. I've heard that apple cider viniger will calm a normal horse. Anyone heard the same, or seen this for themselves?

Also, looking into Bach Flower Remedys. Any thoughts? Thinking rescue remedy and rock rose.

Or any herbs someone would recomend, or try for yourself if you had this mare?
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-25-2013, 09:58 PM
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After 13 years, it sounds like a training issue - on her end. She's bad a ton of bad experiences and probably has zero trust in what's going on and zero confidence in herself. I would try running her through some obstacles and desensitizing.

What kinds of things does she spook at? See if you can recreate them on a smaller scale and control her exposure and temper her response.

It's still a work in progress with my own Arab but that's worked more than anything else. He's sub a nervous looky-loo at times that sometimes I have to start back on it again.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-25-2013, 10:36 PM
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Bach Flowers, definitely. And check her diet. Eliminate hot feeds, add magnesium.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-25-2013, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Well.. with me, theres no issues at all. At the most she'll startle slightly at unexpected surprises. However, bring anyone else into the picture and shes gone. I had her to where she'd let one of my friends ride her. Due to a saddle slipping the woman fell off, no one was hurt. And the mare took it like a pro. However, my friend was then afraid to get back on. Led her home, and didn't want back on her for a few months. Now shes back to doing what she did with me at first. Turning and bolting towards home. As SOON as she gets nervous she goes up, spins, and bolts(at a trot only) ... She can be doing this, shaking her head, jumping and rearing.... Friend gets off, I get on. Head drops she may try to turn around once, but doesn't try to bolt. And we continue the ride with no issues other than normal jumping at things any horse would. Shes always slightly flinchy on the ground if you move quickly in any way she can think means your about to strike her. At this point shes back to only me riding her, issue is that means I can only have one friend at a time over to ride because the older gelding won't carry anyone except for me, and one friend that he knew when he was also a baby.... I've excepted him and his quriks... But with her she had been fine with other riders. I've also had other people try and its the same thing
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-25-2013, 10:57 PM
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She sounds sensitive and reactive. If her rider is going to make her feel a abandoned no wonder she doesn't have confidence! Your friend and the horse could probably use some confidence building activities together.

What is she eating? What's her work level like?
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-26-2013, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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She gets an organic grain feed, she was on sweet feed with them, and refused all pelleted feeds. Its a little corn, mixed with oats barley, and very very little molassas. Mixed half and half with alfalfa pellets. She gets 1lb a day. Half at night, half in the morning. 1lb soaked and drained beat pulp at night. Grass Hay. And whatever she can find in the field for the day. Shes turned out all day everyday, from light till dark. Longed 3times a week. And rode very very little. Due to an injury I've been told to cut back riding, 2xs a week. One for the gelding, one for her.... She IS very reactive.. But will be ok at home if I'm right around to talk to her now and then while others work her, from the ground. And I don't blame Phouka for feeling abandoned, and now acting like this because of it. Just trying to think of ways to A: calm her down without drugs, because it can't be fun been so frightened all the time you know? And B: try to get her to where others can ride her, because she loves to be out being rode. It makes her so happy =( And once a week just isn't enough. Its not that I'm angry she won't let others ride her, its that I myself can't do it as much as she needs at the moment.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-26-2013, 11:17 AM
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I might take the alfalfa away from her and add either straight timothy cubes (which will need soaked) or straight timothy pellets, which I don't soak but do add water at feed time.

I agree with the magnesium.

Since I have a registered Arab and have had three Arab/crosses in my lifetime, I am respectfully saying her reactiveness probably comes from the Arab side of her. They do not easily forget or forgive the sins committed against them.

I rescued my registered Arab 20+ years ago (he is 27+) and to this day, the halter needs to go over his head in slow motion or the person putting it on him might need rotator cup surgery. It's just who he is, I deal with it in a place that is half between his needs and my rules, and we're both happy:) As an FYI, he is also the absolute best toddler and baby's horse I have ever owned and you can't put a price on that one:)

I'm sure a lot of this is poor training on the previous owner's part but I am also willing to blame them for a lot of poor handling.

I wish you the best in getting her over these issues.

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-26-2013, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToManyHorsesAndOnePony View Post
She gets an organic grain feed, she was on sweet feed with them, and refused all pelleted feeds. Its a little corn, mixed with oats barley, and very very little molassas. Mixed half and half with alfalfa pellets. She gets 1lb a day. Half at night, half in the morning. 1lb soaked and drained beat pulp at night. Grass Hay. And whatever she can find in the field for the day. Shes turned out all day everyday, from light till dark. Longed 3times a week. And rode very very little. Due to an injury I've been told to cut back riding, 2xs a week. One for the gelding, one for her.... She IS very reactive.. But will be ok at home if I'm right around to talk to her now and then while others work her, from the ground. And I don't blame Phouka for feeling abandoned, and now acting like this because of it. Just trying to think of ways to A: calm her down without drugs, because it can't be fun been so frightened all the time you know? And B: try to get her to where others can ride her, because she loves to be out being rode. It makes her so happy =( And once a week just isn't enough. Its not that I'm angry she won't let others ride her, its that I myself can't do it as much as she needs at the moment.
I'd definitely look into supplementing magnesium, an essential mineral for nerves, and pretty much low in the soils everywhere.
You can try Rescue Remedy first, or get a mix done for her, containing Star of Bethlehem( the trauma flower).
Instead of longing, I'd do in hand trail. Running in circles is not very demanding for the brain, but watching where to put the feet is. It will also help create trust between the two of you.
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-26-2013, 03:55 PM
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I didn't read the whole thread, but as far as your main question about the herbs there are plenty of things. I sell essential oils so I have a little experience with them. :)
Pure Lavendar oil right under her nose will help with calming. It's the thing I use on almost all of our animals that are anxious about something. I use it on myself too. LOL
There are plenty of others but I won't go into great detail on here. If you have any questions or want a website referral where you can get them please feel free to PM me. :)

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