My mom used to own upwards of a dozen Arabian's back in the 70's and 80's (back when we lived in NC and had a much bigger farm), and now being retired from her J.O.B., she wanted to again own a horse. With that, she recently purchased a 4 yr old Arabian mare from a long time friend (over 30 years) who has always been a trusted source for purchasing quality equines in the past.
The mare was transported up to us from NC (we're in MD) and arrived at dusk last Wednesday, so we didn't have much daylight to walk her around the parameter of the pasture to try and get her acclimated to her new home.
The horse is very friendly and will allow you to approach and pet her a lot, but she is currently acting very strangely during the day when she is always allowed to be outside of her stall (only keep her in the stall at night, leave the door open during the day).
Once she is out, she does not go to any other part of the pasture except a slip of land beside the barn that faces our neighbor's house / barn. See the link below for a graphical representation of the farm layout :
Click here for overhead drawing
The mare basically ate every little piece of grass, clover, roots she could to make it a barren dirt strip (in red on the graphic).
Once at this fence line, she gallops back and forth (about 20 feet) constantly all day, since Thursday (now Monday).
We try to lure her away from it with carrots / hay, and try to escort her to the rest of the pasture, but as soon as she is free (whether we let her go voluntarily, or she makes us let go), she goes full sprint back to this little strip of dirt she has cleared, and continues to "run the fence" back and forth over this 20 foot area.
Any ideas as to why she is doing this?
My thoughts are :
1.) She's in heat and wants to get with the neighbor's horses (not sure if one of the horses our neighbor is boarding is a stallion)? Currently, none of these horses even look in her direction or make any noises to her (basically ignoring her completely).
2.) She just wants to be with the other horses... this seems somewhat unlikely, given she and her sister lived alone on a farm in NC, and they were almost always in separate stalls / pastures. With no concerns about being together / apart. When we were down at the NC farm for a week, she never displayed this type of behavior. Not only that, she doesn't make any other noises (neigh's, etc.), just runs constantly back and forth...
3.) Confused, scared of some sound or animal she's not used to seeing/hearing/smelling? We had a electronic sonic frequency in the garage to keep insects and mice out, it didn't seem to bother her the first night she was there, but since the garage points toward the middle of the pasture, we thought it might be preventing / annoying her from going there. After we unplugged it on Thursday, she still didn't want to go to the other part of the pasture. I saw a farm cat by the fence she was running (cat sometimes uses our barn to sleep in). After I lured the cat into the field to pick her up, the mare walked up interested in what I had, but then went back to running the fence.
4.) or is she just trying to make a 20 ft by 5ft mud pit, and this is typical horse action in a new and strange place?