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Acting Out

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  • "cribbing blanket"

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    03-04-2013, 12:01 PM
  #11
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
I wouldn't discount physical issues - be good to get her checked out, especially if she's only 3yo & worked & not living naturally - some good reasons for physical probs to be more likely.

But I am thinking mental/emotional stress. I wouldn't play that down any less either, because aside from it not being nice for her to always be cooped up alone, her behaviour could not only cause obvious physical injuries, but - I think even more importantly - stress causes other physical probs(gut, metabolic, disease, etc). I may have it wrong, but it sounds like she's stalled 24/7, only gets out on average every other day & that's into an arena or 'work' without company of other horses. I would drastically change this management & keep her in 24/7 turnout with a herd.
I agree, I too believe she's possibly stressed from loneliness. I don't doubt that.
She has been checked out for physical health at the beginning of this issue and checked out at a healthy normal 2.5 year old at the time.
She is not stalled 24/7. She has a huge corral attached to a barn that she has free choice of in and out of the stall. There are two other mares that share that barn but not close enough to touch noses. She did get turned out daily into the arena but she started busting the fencing and that's become costly.
Her 'getting worked', I should have been more specific. The work is a bit of lunging, some pressure and release games and detailed and fine tuning on ground manners. I ride her maybe once a week for maybe 10-15 minutes mostly at a walk very little at a trot. I spend a lot of time with her just hanging out too.
The majority of my life I've had only one horse at a time and never had them become lonely like this or act out like this. If that's what she is is lonely.
Boarding, I don't have much of the choice to turn her out with the other horses unfortunately. I have seriously started to think about getting her a companion, possibly a miniature donkey?
     
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    03-04-2013, 12:37 PM
  #12
Weanling
For a companion, you can scan and see if anyone is looking for a place to board whether with a smaller creature or another horse, I don't know how your place is set up so far as payment and such (if you can share cost)- that way you aren't necessarily "stuck" with an animal that you may not be interested in keeping. (That's why I decided to foster- I wasn't 100% sure if I was ready to take on the expense of an additional horse, though I was possibly interested in getting a second horse for a multitude of reasons). Our rescue group has donkeys and such as well. Fosters have to cover all basic costs (food, feet, vet, etc), and get assisted with any emergency medical, or special care (if they get seriously injured, need special shoes, or are seriously ill). They usually have a long list of horses, ponies, donkeys, etc that are listed as companion only animals for injuries, but aren't special needs- and since they are harder to adopt they are usually free to adopt.

One thing about rescuing a companion animal is you generally get a better idea of temperament (they aren't trying to sell you something, they want to find a right fit).
     
    03-04-2013, 05:18 PM
  #13
Trained
Wausuaw, that would have been a sight! You didn't catch any on video did you??
     
    03-04-2013, 05:29 PM
  #14
Weanling
Unfortunately no :) I did try though! She seems to know when cameras are involved... She can be quite interesting at times.
     
    03-05-2013, 08:50 AM
  #15
Super Moderator
I would suspect this being her version of a 'stall vice'. You see 'weavers' and 'stall walkers', 'hole diggers' and, of course, 'stall kickers'. Stalling some horses contributes to cribbing, blanket destruction, etc.

I would first consider a 'toy' of some sort to occupy her time or a companion animal first. Is complete turnout, with or without other horses, an impossibility? Is daily work of a challenging and demanding sort out of the question?

Can you put her on a different feeding program that promotes calories from a different source? Sometimes changing up a feeding program can really change a horse's demeanor. I would also add Magnesium (Mg) to her diet. Horses deficient in Mg can be become real basket cases.

Just out of curiosity, how is this horse bred and what is her occupation or future occupation?
loosie likes this.
     
    03-05-2013, 02:39 PM
  #16
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
I would suspect this being her version of a 'stall vice'. You see 'weavers' and 'stall walkers', 'hole diggers' and, of course, 'stall kickers'. Stalling some horses contributes to cribbing, blanket destruction, etc.

I would first consider a 'toy' of some sort to occupy her time or a companion animal first. Is complete turnout, with or without other horses, an impossibility? Is daily work of a challenging and demanding sort out of the question?

Can you put her on a different feeding program that promotes calories from a different source? Sometimes changing up a feeding program can really change a horse's demeanor. I would also add Magnesium (Mg) to her diet. Horses deficient in Mg can be become real basket cases.

Just out of curiosity, how is this horse bred and what is her occupation or future occupation?
As I have stated, she is NOT stalled, she has free roam of the stall in the barn her very large corral is attached to. The very large corral is a good 240x240 foot. Much larger than what most horses have that don't have access to a large pasture or what not. She was in a 48x48 foot corral on a shed row at the last place I moved her from.

She does have two toys she plays with regularly, one a jolly ball(her favorite) and another a large apple.

When she gets turned out to the arena, she is alone, unfortunately. She is boarded with 'show' Arabians and their owners are particular with their horses and such. When she is turned out to the arena she seems to have no interest and just stands at the gate waiting to get out and back to her corral.

As for her feed, she is on Nutrena Empower Balance and mare magic, along with her grass/mix hay fed with a slow feeder hay net. I will definitely look into the (Mg) for sure though! Thanks for that heads up.

She is bred from NRCHA and NRHA and has no occupation as of yet. She is just turning 3 and I am not sure what I want to do with her other than a companion and trail horse. She is coming along very nicely from the training I have put into her already. She is a pleasure to ride when I do ride for the tiny amount of time. And a huge pleasure to be around on the ground. She takes to direction very well and I never feel like I am having to fight her in any way.

These acting out moments are 98% of the time when I am not around or when she is not in my site. I always catch the tail end of the episode from hearing commotion and going to look. I was just lucky the other day when I was leaving to she her temper tantrum from the cab of my truck. The spinning around quickly and ramming her bum into the walls, panels and such while tossing her head angrily with ears pinned and pawing and bucking. She went from a relaxed stand still into this sudden tantrum.

I am really thinking it is coming down to getting her a companion...which is not out of the question but the very last resort.
     
    03-05-2013, 05:23 PM
  #17
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrieannaKelly    
I am really thinking it is coming down to getting her a companion...which is not out of the question but the very last resort.
She's locked in a 'corral'(albeit a large one) and kept in solitary confinement. Sounds like you're not even there daily, so what does that add up to - 23 hrs a day alone?? Why is it a last resort to allow her to have live in company?? Can you imagine only seeing someone you know for an hour or so every other day? Wouldn't you feel a bit anxious & upset when they left?? Don't blame her for being neurotic, but giving her a more natural life would help her health, as well as happiness.
     
    03-05-2013, 05:55 PM
  #18
Weanling
Sable vices don't only mean for stables. Stable vices are used as a general term for any "bad habits" horses pick up that are do to boredom (mostly associated with being only stabled, but happen otherwise). Some are from nutritional deficiencies or lack of natural behavior (such as not being able to graze can cause chewing/cribbing habits). Horses being social animals, need to have some kind of company for the most part. I'm sure there are some that are content alone (there are always exceptions), but as general rule most horses need a companion to be happy and healthy (mental health, that is).
     
    03-05-2013, 06:15 PM
  #19
Showing
I am sure you have heard of solitary confinement breaking down prisoners in the penitentaries. Same thing. She is desperately seeking the company of others, to touch and be touched. When a horse or colt is driven to the edge of the herd it knows in it's heart that it is vulnerable to predators. It will run back and forth begging to be allowed to join the inner group. You know your filly is safe but she doesn't and she knows in her heart she is predator bait. She needs to be with the others.
     
    03-05-2013, 06:38 PM
  #20
Weanling
Thank you all for your advise, I really appreciate it.
I almost feel like I am abusing her mentally the way some put their words here but I know it may not be intentional.
This is my first time ever having to board any of my horses and probably will never again in the future. I am very lucky though that she is only down the street from me and I do get to see her every day. I work five, some times six days a week and she may only see me an hour or two after work but it is every day. On my days off I am there just about the entire day.
The barn owner takes her and lets her out in the arena every other day rotating with a pair of mares owned by another boarder.
I only stated getting her a companion as a last resort for financial reasons and hopes there are other options. Like possibly finding another facility that she can be with other horses.
Again, thank you all for your advise.
     

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