Hello Everyone! Happy St. Patty's Day!
So I have this 15 yr. Old TB mare that is so unpredictable on trail rides. I took her out the other day and she got herself all in a tizzy for what I think was no reason. She starts huffing and puffing, trotting, trying to buck and run off and we were not even that far from the barn. I rode her in the outdoor arena before heading out and she was completely normal so I know it was not a tack problem. Some people at the barn are calling it the "spring stupids" but I don't know if that is the whole reason for the way she behaved. She has acted like this before, but then other times, mainly when my 15 year old neice rides her, she is an angel. Back in the fall a friend of mine wanted to ride her out and she would walk along with the other horses normally and then all of a sudden huff and puff and trot..etc. Then she will calm again for about 5-10 minutes and then start all over again. I just don't get it! I thought most horses liked to trail ride! Is it just that she will never be a good trail horse, or do you think there could be something else going on? The barn manager said that I should keep track of when she acts like that and see if it coincides with her cycle, she thinks that maybe she is crampy a couple of weeks before her cycle. Any ideas of how I can help her through her anxiety? I have tried taking her out to the end of the pastures and then turn around and head back to the barn so that she knows that we are going to go back to the barn. I am really at a loss and don't know what to do. It is really aggravating to ride a horse that is not so predictable, not to mention it is not safe. I would really like to trail ride with her and my friends. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all!