High Strung OTTB!!
Three weeks ago I got my second OTTB. Her name is Sunny and she is 4 years old. The first week and a half were great; my trainer loved her and she was being well behaved, but a little nervous (understandable).
Recently she has become even more "hot". I test rode her three times before I bought her and she was not like this. She has started bucking and bolting if I do anything more than a walk. When this happens, I just bring her back to a walk and do circles. Before she starts bucking and runing, she twitches her skin and kicks like she has flies, but she doesn't. It's like I can feel the explosion coming. The vet has been out and her teeth are fine, also the saddle fits too. If I lunge her she just gets more fired up.
I'm pretty sure this has a lot to do with the amount she is eating (10 quarts of grain/day and all you can eat hay). She is skinny and we can't cut back on her food. Also, she is stall boarded, so maybe being cooped up doesn't help. I don't want to feild board her because the other horses would eat her food.
Is there anything I can do to make her calm down?? I would ask my trainer, but she is in Europe for a month.
You can't keep a horse cooped up all day, stuff her full of high fat, high calorie food, and expect her to behave when the only exercise she gets is when you ride her.
She needs to be turned out with the other horses, and only brought in to be fed. Once she's eaten, turn her back out again.
I agree. That would be like locking a kid up in a closet every day, while feeding him chocolate bars, then expect him not to go crazy when you let him out. :).
Turn him out, cut back his grain(its the hay that puts weight on best, and provide free choice hay(which you are already doing). Should solve all your problems.
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Any chance of her being drugged before you bought her? And the drugs have wore out of her system?
Have your vet check for ulcers. TBs are prone to them. Her being in a new place, stuck in a stall, and given high amount of grain isnt a great combination and will often lead to major amounts of stress and ulcers.
And i definitely would look into allowing her turnout for at least a few hours a day.
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This is what my TB looks like with 24/7 turnout with his buddies :wink::
Sounds like you would prefer to not put her on pasture. Solution? Arena time! She needs to go out two or three times a day to go play in the arena or area where she can stretch her legs. Being on a feed schedule like that and being cooped up is a recipe for a very stressed out horse and therefore, not very good riding experiences!
The only things my barn offers are stall board and Feild board. With Stall board the horses are in durning the day and then go in the feild over night (during the summer). With Feild board, she is always outside; even for feedings. She isn't dominant, so she wouldn't fight for her food.
It's possible that she was drugged, but we got her from a person with a great reputation and at the vet check the took blood and she came back negative for drugs. This was a week after my last ride on her though...
We are going to cut down on grain and try alfalfa cubes instead. My older OTTB (he's 15) had ulcers in the past, so I know what to look for. Vet was out last week and didn't think anything was wrong with her, but when she comes back out to do vaccines I'll ask her. Thanks for all your help :)
Good luck, OTTBs just have that "sparkle"! I would suggest more turn out time to get the craziest out. Also the kind of grain she is feeding her has a HUGE impact on her behavior. I've heard of a lot of people having good outcomes feeding senior feed to OTTBs of all ages, when they tend to be "hot" on other grain. But I am sure you will find all kinds of talk about what to feed OTTBs on this message board from knowledgeable poeple!
I love OTTB's, but they can be very stubborn sometimes :) She is currently getting COB and Rice Bran with Senior Feed as a supplement
I would go for a decent quality grass hay instead of alfalfa cubes, also. And, how skinny is skinny? She may never be chunky/fluffy.
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