Today at practice, I saw/experiewnced something a bit concerning. Brown, a fifteen year old mexican mustang, was completely not himself.
Usually he's a bit cranky and belligerent -AFTER- being ridden a while (practices are three hours long, riding being an hour and a half plus half hour of cool down time). And when ridden, he's very responsive and a very good horse. I trust him enough one on one to ride him bareback. But today, he was not there at all mentally. You could just see it in his eyes that he was just on autopilot when he did some things. He was un responsive, spookier than ever, and wired.
My instructor thought that just walking him around and getting him moving would set his mind back in. It resulted in a lot of arguments, and him bum-rushing everything. We had snow falling off the barn, so at first we thought he was just spooking. But later on, the snow would fall and he would not even spook, yet he still carried on.
When walking and attempting ground work didn't amount to anything, my instructor tried riding him. I had never seen my instructor spin, back, side pass that horse so much before. Brown even launched a crow hop which he has never done in the entire time I have known him.
The other horse, Dill, was as calm as ever. He was not under the crazies that brown was going through.
Then after we dried him with a towel (he was drenched with sweat from working himself up) he kept kicking out when someone tried brushing under his belly. He never did that before, and it was curious. The instructor had to brush him back there and he settled (stopped kicking and stomping) and we think he was just greatly agitated by the way his fur was rubbed.
In short... Brown had a major mental block and we tried everything we could think of to get the block to pass... It was worrisome because it felt like the brown we knew hitched a ride to nowhere and left some gremlins to house sit.