I'm not sure if I'm in the right section of this forum for this post but it made the most sense to put it here.
I've had my mare now just about a full year. She just turned 3 and is a complete doll. Very quick to learn and sweet with just about anything.
Im very concerned though, she has started to become destructive in her corral, stall and even the arena when she is turned out. She pins her ears, spins quickly and bumps her rear end into the fence, panels walls or gates. Sometimes throws a full buck into it. It's so random you barely catch her until she's already done it. She's most the time alone when she does it. I'll be in the tack room or walking away. She recently did it while tied but was only able to swing halfway and then kick a pole, I was in the tack room still with in her site. She seems to do the most damage when I'm not even there.
She gets out and worked every other day at least. Her corral and stall is not by any means small. She has a jolly ball. She's fed with a slow feeder net, which takes her a good amount of time to 'graze'.
Is she lonely? Neurotic? She has been fecal tested for all detectable parasites. She's current on all necessary vaccines.
I've never had or even witnessed a horse like this. I'm in fear of it getting worse and causing real damage to herself.
Has anyone experienced this type of behavior???
Could it be flies?
Not much you can do if she does this when you are not around. Does she have any other horses around? Also it could be she is coming into heat and being PMS, aka Pissed Off Mare.
There are other horses on the property but not close enough to touch noses. I am really beginning to think she is lonely and frustrated about it.
I witnessed today what looked like a temper tantrum. I was walking to my truck and heard some banging just to look up as I was getting into my truck seeing her tossing herself into the walls of her stall followed by pawing, aggressively tossing her head and crow hopping preparing to buck. Then pacing and than more aggressive pawing.
I sat in my truck for a few minutes and just watched. She seemed to settle a bit and then I left.
I'll be back out with her tomorrow and getting her exercised pretty good. Unlike today she didn't get out due to weather.
Have you ever checked her udder to see if she has crusty stuff there? If it gets all crusty, it can be very itchy and they cannot reach there at all. some mares need you to clean out between the teats. Some will hate it, other are in seventh heaven when you work on cleaning that area. Gloves!
I wouldn't discount physical issues - be good to get her checked out, especially if she's only 3yo & worked & not living naturally - some good reasons for physical probs to be more likely.
But I am thinking mental/emotional stress. I wouldn't play that down any less either, because aside from it not being nice for her to always be cooped up alone, her behaviour could not only cause obvious physical injuries, but - I think even more importantly - stress causes other physical probs(gut, metabolic, disease, etc). I may have it wrong, but it sounds like she's stalled 24/7, only gets out on average every other day & that's into an arena or 'work' without company of other horses. I would drastically change this management & keep her in 24/7 turnout with a herd.
I had a horse alone for YEARS.. and more than one over the years. They can act out as you note.. but a destructive horse? I have seen those even with a herd and every one was a mare. A hot wire at two levels around the corral fixed the fence issue.. and regular, every day, work.
I never stalled a horse 24/7 (say that too). My horse had about an acre to move around on.. and always had freee choice hay. In fact, all I had for amny years was a run in shed most of the time because it was affordable and better for the horse.
Eventually I did have a real barn with attached paddocks. RARELY did I keep horses in unless it was a due mare or mare with new foal, then I stalled her/them at night.
I would check physical problems, as mentioned above, but sounds more like boredom.
Especially if she is a smart horse- they just tend no create things that amuse themselves. Those things are not usually what you think are amusing. My horse was alone for a year in a large pasture (mostly pastured aside from bad weather or injury) and she progressively got worse until I decided to go out and get a foster horse (only one extra horse was within my budget) and also have a boarder now. I haven't had any problems since then. I was even contemplating boarding her at a facility with other horses (pasture board). She never had real interest in toys, like jolly balls. She'd mess with it for about 5 minutes then turn her sights on something else. She'd try to race cars that went down the road bordering her pasture. She even was going thru a phase where she would run as fast as she could, jump up n the air and throw herself down and roll around (not with me, but by herself). She was worked just about every day.
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