2 horses suddenly spooky? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-01-2012, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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2 horses suddenly spooky?

So I went partially away for the weekend (family emergency). My fiance was kind enough to feed/water my horses while I've been away. I came home for about an hour each day and let them out while I cleaned their stalls. My mare is horribly allergic to bugs and there's not enough bug spray in the world that would make it so she could stay out all day. So they needed to be back in before I left again. So they've been pretty cooped up.

But my concern is that in 3 days my horses had no issues with spookiness and have been stalled for multiple days at a time before (horrible weather and such). But this time they've suddenly become horribly spooky, especially around my fiance! When I was cleaning the ponies stall and he came downstairs my pony dodged past me and ran to hide in the corner!! I know for a fact my fiance would never have hurt them or threatened too. The only thing I'd ever seen was once, he was walking over to the pony and the pony turned away, then he took another step, when the pony looked back he was real close and the pony freaked out, my mare freaked out too because the pony did. I think they took it as a sort of 'stalking' action. But he's been feeding them and trying to pet them for days and coming to sit next to them while I'm around to see if they'll come over to him - but they're horrified of him! And of everything else - when I let them out I had to quickly lock them both up again because my mare was just frenzied galloping around her field, because the geese were all around. But this isn't her first time seeing geese! Their diet hasn't changed much (they're getting a little less grain).

I'm just at a loss as to what made my horses both be suddenly afraid of the world!! And my mare has become completely herdbound again, probably that's from being locked up face to face with my pony 24/7 so we'll have to work on that again >.< Just when I thought we were over that!
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-02-2012, 02:45 AM
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Is it "spooky" as in "I am afraid of that!" or just excitement. "Oh yeah! I am out and I am feeling GOOD! WHOO! I am gonna prance and dance and play and jump with all this energy!" Their minds tend to outgrow the stalls sometimes, especially if they are.not used to it for that long.
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-02-2012, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Good question, but it's definitely spooky. When I took my pony out to go get the mail with me he was quite good, but in the 2 minutes I was gone my mare had just had a break down. She was bombing around her field screaming for us. By the time I got her in she was drenched in sweat. I had to walk her out and put a fan on her.

They also spook over my fiance, whenever he comes down stairs my pony bombs his way to the back of his stall, my mare runs outside (indoor/outdoor for her). Which is just crazy too me, they've never been afraid of him before.

It could be too much energy and just over reacting about everything but it's seriously over reacting x.x
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-03-2012, 01:22 PM
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When horses are forced to remain in stalls the diet should consist only of hay. Even then they can become overly energetic if needing to expend it.
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-03-2012, 01:51 PM
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I wonder if they are just used to your routine and how you handle them? That changed and this is the result..

It took my four year old (now sold) some time to get used to the way my husband handled her at first (not bad, but different than the way she was used to). Other than me, trainer, B/O who raised her, and farrier, this horse just wasnt handled by alot of different people and she had her routine, so this new guy coming in doing things different kinda fuzzed her up at first. she got over it.

Now pepper and beauty(more so) are more used to being passed around to people of different experience levels, and other than our little routine of going from arena to back pasture for grazing- I tend to not really stick to a routine. sometimes they go out together, sometimes not. sometimes they go out to graze in the back pasture first thing in the morning, sometimes its toward the after noon. our fence isn't the best (but not in immediate need of repair) back there at the moment so they dont go back there if Im going to be gone for a long period of time. this spontenaety doesnt bug them one bit as there is still decent grass to be chewed in out arena.

may not be the case, but just a prossible option as to why they are acting this way..
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-03-2012, 02:12 PM
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Sometimes animals are better judges of people.
I went to a drive up to get coffee and my dog got very upset at the clerk and was barking violently. The next day I went back to the same place and waiting for the dog to start barking and it was a different clerk and the dog is fine. The dog didn't like the other person for some reason or another. And I am guessing your horses do not like your BF for what ever reason
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-03-2012, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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I think it's definitely the routine change - we just moved here and they just got into my pattern when I went away. But it was odd they were so reactive to him, but he's been dealing with some issues so maybe he's been pushing some negative energy making them kinda nervous.

Thanks for all your responses. I'm back now and they are settling back into their routine, have to restart my mare on her herdboundness, but I figured leaving her face to face with her pony for a few days would cause that anyway.
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-03-2012, 09:16 PM
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It may be they say the real man/boy, and he hides it from you.

You need to listen to them I think.
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-03-2012, 09:38 PM
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Assuming your man is not just evil underneath & just hides it from you...

It may have been that something happened in your man's presence, that they just associated with him, &/or his manner inadvertently caused/perpetuated it. If he's continually trying approach & pet them to get them over it for eg, especially if they're confined & unable to escape, this gives me the idea he's not experienced with horses &/or perhaps too confrontational/abrupt in his approach. Could be as 'insubstantial' as his bodylanguage when he approaches.

Or as churum says, the horses may have sensed something - not that he's evil, but perhaps he was agitated, nervous, upset at something when it first started, which unsettled them. They often seem to know how we're feeling even better than we do!
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-03-2012, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Ya, that could easily be it, he's a big guy and carries himself big, which can be seriously intimidating. My horses are really only used to me handling them ever, and I'm not even quite 5 feet tall. He is much more of a dog person, kinda rough housing and goofy like, which my pony liked very much at first, he was a mouthy little testosterone filled pony.
After clicker training work the pony got over being so mouthy, but then like I said in the OP my fiance was approaching him, standing square and the pony took it as a challenge, kind of stood up to him. Then there was a noise out back so the pony turned away, my fiance moved forward. But the pony didn't notice, and when the pony turned back he flipped out, not expecting him to be so close.
My mare saw the events and when the pony flipped she did too.
I think this may have been the original cause of all this, then me leaving them alone the whole weekend certainly didn't help. If he wants I'll help him spend some time working on their clicker training, that should get them over him.

I guess I was just really surprised!

Thanks everyone for your responses :)
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