I have a 6 year old AQHA that I have had for 4 months. She has settled in now to her new home and is showing signs of stress ( she came from a large acre ranch, living mostly in the pasture) to now having daily turn out in a dry pasture and nightly retreat to a stall with a run. While in her run she paces and has managed to dig a pretty large hole (2 actually) the only thing that settles her is eating. She has lost weight and is becoming increasing bracey and spookier on the ground. While under saddle she just wants to explode out into a fast trot and only with time trying to soften her out will she quiet down. Her canter is out of contol, I am constantly pulling on her and altough I try to give her release so she will learn where that "happy" spot is she just runs faster.
She is also an alpha mare in the herd. I do ground work with her nearly everytime I ride to get to to 'hook on' and pay attention, but still she seems to irriated while riding. Saddle fits ok, has had complete baseline Xrays and vet check, so I dont think its med. problem.
She is on U-Gard for potential ulcer that she may be developing from stress.
I feed her A LOT since it seems to settle her
I have recently also put her on a calming supplement
We ride 2-4 times a week
Do you think she just needs more time and TLC?
or is it just her genetic makeup to be the way she is?
Her lineage is Good Asset/Iron Rebel.
is there anyway you can get her a buddy like another horse, or cat, goat or pig?
my horse tends to get that way sometimes if he's by himself for too long of a period, like months at a time.
Her 'brother' not by blood, but our other horse is the closest thing she has to a friend, he is always with her at turnout and are stall neighbors. She really 'chooses' not the be friendly. She is OK with the other 10 horses on the property, doesnt bother them as long as they dont bother her. Dogs, cats etc. are the same.
She is just not overly social.
There's nothing wrong with having hay in front of her all day, especially if it calms her. That will ensure her gut keeps working and acid isn't building up due to stress.
Did you try this horse out at her previous home? How was she there? Do you lunge her first to blow off some steam? Are you feeding grain or sweet feed? Can you enlist the help of a trainer?
It takes some horse's a long time to adjust to a move, especially coming from a ranch to being put in a stall/run. She may of not ever been in a stall for any length of time. I truly don't think my guy and I bonded for almost a year. I took him from his birth place at the age of 8, he wasn't a happy camper for quite awhile. Working with a good trainer turned our relationship around.
Some horses are just unhappy in a stable type situation and need the constant turnout and room to roam. That doesn't work well for us as humans sometimes, as we frequently do not have access to that kind of property. For the horse's happiness, it might be best to see if there is another facility near you where your horse can have constant turnout with access to shelter and friends. You very well could see a whole new, more pleasant attitude in your horse.
Best of luck!
If she's thin and eating calms her I'd be buying a round bale for her. It doesn't sound like she's lonely, just not comfortable. Mine are on round bales for those kinds of reasons. That, and constant access to forage cuts down the risk of colic.
Thanks everyone for your advise!
When I bought her I did try her out at her own enviornment. She seemed fine there, although I could she her marish tendencies roaming her land. My husband wanted a mare!!! ;)
I do free lunge her before riding.
I have worked with two different trainer with two totally different approaches. One is more horsemanship oriented and says that she just needs to build a relationhip with me and the rest will fall into place, ie. she will be more willing to work for me, if she gets to trust me. Which makes sense and although she seems to respond well to it, she is very hard to maintain that calm, cool and collected attitude all through the ride. The second trainer, is all about a give and take. She needs to give and I will give. She doenst give I wont either. This also works, but by the end of the lesson we are both physically and mentally exhaused. I just want us to be happy together! I am off to one more trainer on Tuesday! I dont want to stress her out even more by switching trainers, I just cant seem to find the right fit.
Bottom line I am sure it is will take time! I just dont want to get any worse. and get myself in trouble with a troubled horse.
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