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sillyhorses 03-20-2013 10:22 PM

Ornery Horse :/
My gelding has always been a nervous boy... very spooky. Through training and consistency, he has overcome most of his tendency to spook/bolt.

We hadn't really worked much through the colder winter months, and last month (prior to riding) I noticed a bit of a change in his behavior. He has gotten "nasty"... I'm not sure how else to describe it. I'm thinking that he is sore or in pain somewhere, and it isn't evident what is going on.

I started noticing his "orneriness" when it was feeding time - he would charge his stall window when I'd walk by with another horse. He also did this a few times as I passed with the grain barrel (ALLLLLL of the horses here know that sound).

With regard to work - he just doesn't seem to have much "get up and go" under saddle. He used to be very forward, and though I've worked with him on slowing down, he just doesn't seem to have the energy he used to. When I encourage him to use his hind end and really stride out, the tail starts swishing and his head comes up :-( That leads me to believe that he may have a sore back... but it doesn't explain the crabbiness in his stall (even after DAYS without work). I'm wondering if he doesn't have ulcers?

Has anyone else ever had this experience? The vet will be out in a few weeks for Spring shots... there really isn't anything outwardly OBVIOUS going on (no lameness, no lumps/bumps/swelling or heat). No colick, symptoms directly relating to his belly hurting... he's just... crabby. I'm thinking about trying him on an ulcer supplement in the mean-time, just to see? Last winter, he started chewing his stall walls for no apparent reason. I put him on the stop-chew supplement (don't recall the name), and he quit. He hasn't been chewing this year, but I wonder if his tendency towards being nervous has made his belly icky? He is fed premium concentrates and an abundance of hay... I'm kind of at a loss.

The only other thought I have is that, with all the time off he's had, and with how good of shape he had been in before time off (I am such a fair weather rider :P), maybe he is just being crabby and trying to get away with naughty behaviors? Regardless... it is out of character for him. He has always been a bit lippy/mouthy, but that doesn't seem to have anything to do with this...

It seems like, without a clear problem area, trial and error will be the likely approach, even with the vet.

Any thoughts?

spirit88 03-20-2013 10:59 PM

My gelding got super crabby last summer would kick up at belly and pin his ears when asked to move out. This isn't like him at all he also lost quit a bit of weight.

Had vet scope him he had ulcers. Started treatment and 2 weeks later he was back to his old self.

So when he gets crabby and kicking up at his belly I know he's got ulcers. He's pretty uptight kinda horse.. he tends to be very hyped up when riding doesn't like to walk .

sillyhorses 03-20-2013 11:26 PM

Hmmm... thanks, Spirit. What did you put him on for the ulcers?

catheetiem 03-20-2013 11:28 PM

Sounds like lyme to me. It effects horses much the same as it effects us, achey, lethargic, sore, etc. Horses become temperamental and argumentative.
Horses who have had it in the past can get it chronically.
It usually goes undetected, and the symptoms are often attributed to something else. Ask your vet to do a test for lyme (as far as I remember it's relatively cheap). If it comes back positive he'll probably be put on doxycycline for 30 days, and if that doesn't work they do a more intensive treatment.
So that might be it, we had a little epidemic at our barn last year xD
Ask your vet, see what he/she thinks!

sillyhorses 03-20-2013 11:29 PM

Huh... Thanks, catheetiem! would it show up mid-winter? He wasn't like this in the fall - where I'm at, there aren't any critters to transmit lyme to him this time of year, they're all dormant...

Phly 03-20-2013 11:32 PM

My young gelding went all rouge in the fall/ winter. No apperent reason other then we stopped feeding feed. Just hay. As the weather went winter, we brought feed back. He came back from the spawn of evil. So possibly a lack of something? Also, it tis' the season for fresh, zesty horses. Especially those who got a vacation all winter.
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sillyhorses 03-20-2013 11:40 PM

Eh... I started noticing his orneriness about two months ago. Probably about 2 weeks before I started riding again... and it has translated under saddle to ears pinned, tail swishing and just being "ugh" acting :P

catheetiem 03-20-2013 11:40 PM

Sometimes horses that have had it previously (and yours could have) can have it come up again, even without a new tick bite or anything. We recently had another horse come up with it (and I'm in CT, so we certainly have winter haha)

spirit88 03-20-2013 11:49 PM

He was treated with ulcer gaurd if I remeber right. Had a horse with lyme he had shifting lameness went from one leg to another.

He wasn't just crabby he also got very skinny and just super quite didn't want to move.

catheetiem 03-21-2013 01:01 AM

Spirit, that's what usually happens when it progresses, but what sillyhorses' horse is experiencing seems to be the beginning stages of it.

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