Serious horse question, but, probably Girls Only. Be forewarned. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-24-2011, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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Serious horse question, but, probably Girls Only. Be forewarned.

Ok,
I have an odd question, but I am being serious.

Does anyone else have a horse freak out when you are having your menstrual cycle?

I ask now because though I have been around horses my entire life, I've never had one do so, however, I have a few days until I can test my theory, but I think that's why my boy has been acting like such a poop.

The first thing he does every time I bring him in or remove him from his stall is put his head down, getting ready for his ear and neck massage. His nose is usually about waist level. We have never had a problem, however, 5 days ago something happened and I'm trying to figure out what it is.

He put his head down for me to get his ears and neck, I leaned over to kiss him and I static-shocked him. He didn't seem upset for about two minutes, but then started yanking his head up and shaking it back and forth.

Well, the lady I bought him back from had electric fences, so I thought, okay, he's upset about the shock and so I tried to work him through it, but he kept getting more and more riled. Once I would step back from him he would settle his head so I could reach it, but once I stepped back into him he would start all over again. This was so unlike him I got very hurt and upset, because I have worked hard over the last six weeks we have been back together to make him understand that he will NEVER be hurt by me, EVER. I know it's a process but even in the months I had worked him before I bought him, he had never acted this way.

Then two day later, it happened again. I thought, Oh GOD he is NEVER going to forgive me for shocking him and how do I get him to understand it was an accident... But both days, as soon as I climbed up on his back... he was fine. Calmed right down. I would climb off, he would lower his head and then immediately start tossing.

TODAY: Same dang thing. So finally, I cross tied him in a corner, facing me, and let him sniff all over me until he seemed calm, I would raise my hand and he would be fine and as soon as he would lower his head for my touch, he'd freak, but this time he was snapping at me. We worked through it some by standing in the corner for about 1/2 an hour and I untied him, braided and unbraided his forelock and though he was still edgy, he stayed put.

I have NO other problems from him. He rides fine, he doesn't quiver, he leads fine... no problems.

So, the only thing I can think of, before I call the vet out to see if he is in some sort of pain, is that it may be because I am on my cycle and I have extremely heavy cycles.

I've thought back and have looked at the calendar and I have NOT ridden him during these days before. Last month, our first month back together, I worked the entire week of cycling and only made it out to check his water, give him a pat and a cookie.

So...if anyone has any idea about this... a little help? Could it be that he smells what he percieves to be an injury or danger? Or should I just call the vet? The next time I see him will be friday and I will be through, so I was going to wait and see if he spazzed or not...

AH! Sorry this is so long, but I'm entirely perplexed.

He knows when you're happy
He knows when you're comfortable
He knows when you're confident
And he always knows when you have carrots.
~Author Unknown~
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-24-2011, 02:19 AM
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Stranger things have happened. It may have been the static combined with the smell of blood that really put him on edge. I would say give it a couple of days when you are not on your cycle and see if that changes anything. I have also heard that grooming your horse with dryer sheets will get rid of the static so that you wouldn't have to worry about shocking him again.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-24-2011, 09:24 AM
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Jack has never acted differently, but honestly he's pretty oblivious,lol. However, I work studs and have been warned to be very careful with them during my TOM. The most I have ever experienced with the studs is them getting pretty rambunctious but that could also be attributed not being worked, mares in season, weather, etc... It wouldn't surprise me though, they can be pretty sensitive. On another forum a woman said when she got pregnant her horse completely changed with her, almost became aggressive, and after the baby was born he went back to normal.
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-24-2011, 11:41 AM
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I ride a very sensitive mare. She's only reacted during my week if it was stressing me out and making a bad mood worse. If I'm even a little stressed out she feels it and freaks out. I've also heard that sometimes horses think you're dying because of the smell of blood. I would say just reassure him and try to make it a normal thing for him to experience.

"The wise man thinks he knows nothing.
The fool thinks he knows everything."

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post #5 of 13 Old 02-24-2011, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tymer View Post
I've also heard that sometimes horses think you're dying because of the smell of blood.
Not to be gross or overly personal -

In this day and age there is absolutely NO reason to be able to 'smell' when a women is menustrating. We can take a bath or shower daily. Timely changes and proper disposal of sanitary products should eliminate any odors.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-24-2011, 12:03 PM
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mls, the only thing is that horse's noses are so much more sensitive than ours is. Just because we can't smell it doesn't mean that they can't. Hormone levels also change during that time so it may have something to do with our general body odor being slightly different that is enough to freak out a sensitive horse.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-24-2011, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mls View Post
Not to be gross or overly personal -

In this day and age there is absolutely NO reason to be able to 'smell' when a women is menustrating. We can take a bath or shower daily. Timely changes and proper disposal of sanitary products should eliminate any odors.
Of COURSE there's not, silly, but dogs can smell it as well as other animals, it's not JUST the blood it is the hormones.

And to the rest of you, thanks for your replies. Today is my last day so I am going to see what he does on friday. Butch has always been overly sensitive to me and it COULD have been my cycle topped with the fact that I am stressed to the max, even though I try hard to check that at the barn door.

Thanks for the advice about the dryer sheets, I will leave some at the barn.

I am really praying this is what it is, in a way, because if not, we have some (MORE!) serious things to work on. Thanks everyone!

He knows when you're happy
He knows when you're comfortable
He knows when you're confident
And he always knows when you have carrots.
~Author Unknown~
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-24-2011, 12:37 PM
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Before Siaga was gelded, at 2, I was always very careful around him during the monthly visit from Aunt Flo. I'd hardly ever work with him during that week, basically I'd just do the bare minimum of feeding him and watering him and mucking out the stall and such, and then after that week, jump back in. After he was gelded, I worked with him regularly that week. On bad days, he'd sense it, and he'd be jumpy and nervous, head high, eyes wide, but I don't know how much that had to do with the scent of it, and how much that had to do with me being in a bad mood because of bad cramps. (This was before I was on the pill, where the cramps were often so bad as to make me unable to keep anything down, including pain medication, and would leave me feverish and all. So glad that's over ... for now, until I decide I want kids or some such.)

Anyways, after he mellowed out, it doesn't bother him at all.

Also, I agree with smrobs. A horses sense of smell is very great, add on top of that Jacobson's Organ (which allows them to trap and analyze the smell of pheromones, which is often what causes males to curl their upper lip and 'smile,') and you can see that not only are they likely to smell the blood on us, but also the chemical changes that the body is going through.

Wherever man has left his footprint in the long ascent from barbarism to civilization we will find the hoofprint of the horse beside it. ~John Moore
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-24-2011, 09:01 PM
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Are you sure it's not just a full moon...?
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-24-2011, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for sharing your stories, all. I've not approached this subject before and couldn't find any articles or anything on it, which is totally odd.

Like I said, I've never had this problem before with ANY horse and I've worked with a gajillion.

I try to keep in mind that for the last five years this horse has not been intimate with his owner, he was merely a field pet, ridden about 5 times a year. I try hard not to get upset when we have a setback, but it's hard. I don't know who is more sensitive, him or me.

Ha-Ha, about the full moon. Both of my goofballs were acting so silly during the last full moon and it didn't help that it was super warm outside (40 +) for the first time in forever. I still find myself fascinated by how everything gets them so excited. Nut cases.

He knows when you're happy
He knows when you're comfortable
He knows when you're confident
And he always knows when you have carrots.
~Author Unknown~
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