Pacing The Fence
Starting late this afternoon, I looked out the window and saw my 8yr old tb mare pacing the fenceline. She is walking back and fourth, probably about 50ft before she turns back each time.
I went out to see if I could figure out what she seems so anxious about and noticed that as she is pacing, she is also touching the fenceline with her nose as she is walking back and fourth. when she saw me out there, she came straight to me. I pet her and tried to talk to her to calm her down.
She has plenty of hay and water out with her. she is also out there with my 4yr old tb mare who seems perfectly relaxed just eating the hay.
when I talk to my 8 yr old (Samra) she seems to relax a bit and goes back to eating her hay, bossing around the younger mare, and being her usual self. After 5-10 minutes she goes back to walking the fenceline.
We moved about a week and a half ago so its a newer environment but they adjusted very quickly and easily and never showed any signs of nervousness or upset.
Not sure if this could have anything to do with it, but both mares also just came into their first heat of the season and are both making it very obvious.
Sorry that seemed like rambling. Any ideas why she could be pacing or things I could try to get her to relax?
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There's something over the fence she sensed that she wants. A cute boy more than likely.
thanks for your response. its a rather windy day and we are down wind so you may be right. she's going on about 3 hours now and has made herself a nice little rut in the dirt along the fence.
day 2 of pacing continues... she's been pacing for the majority of 7 hours today. she stops and eats for a few minutes and will get some water, she will come say hi when i go outside, but then its right back to pacing that fence...
Hmm.. Maybe try adding a different horse to the herd? She may not be comfortable with the younger horse as a companion..
i only own 2 horses and they are kept at my home so i am not able to add another horse unless i buy another one (which i don't want to do at this time). they have been living together for 6 months now and get along very well.
WE may never know what it is thats caausing her to pace. But I have an idea it may be a bit of anxiety from the move. Something along the lines of missing the old pasture/barn/home.... She'll most likely calm down before too long and settle in to her new home. She might smell/sense something down wind. Have you checked to see if there are other horses in the vicinity?
My horse is a serial fence pacer, doing exactly what you describe yours doing, when something about the stable makes her anxious. Like yours, mine would come straight to me and remained completely fine to ride. I have theories as to what causes it but no way of knowing for sure. As I keep her at livery/boarded, I don't have that much control over management so the only solution I've found is to move her to a place that she finds acceptable.
The bad news is that since you're keeping yours at home, you obviously can't move them. But the good news is that you're keeping them at home so management is all up to you and not some yard owner with their own way of doing things. Some of the things that may have set my horse off were uncertainty in her daily routine and not being able to see other horses, and perhaps the phase of the moon. For instance, I can't keep her at those DIY yards where everyone follows their own schedule and all the horses are in and out or being fed at different (and random) times. Drives her nuts.
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