What happened to my sweet, calm gelding?!
I don't know if it's the weather or Blaze getting back to a healthy weight or what, but he's been a monster 2 out of the last 3 times I've been out. I didn't ride him all last week, because we found a stray puppy and it was all I could do to just get out and feed him every night.
I went out on Saturday during the day, and yes, we were having bad weather, a good bit of windy snow. I didn't want to do anything nuts with him, literally just walk him around. He was crazy. I brought him in to the barn, and he kept trying to rear up while tied and dancing all around. As that progressed, it got to the point where all I wanted to do was get a saddle and bridle on. I got the saddle on, but any time I brought the bridle near his head, he'd toss it violently and dance around. I eventually took the saddle off, lef him outside to show him there was nothing terrifying out there, and tried to bridle him again. Same thing, head tossing and moving. I finally got him to accept the bit, but not until after 15 attempts. I have to say, my patience was pretty thin :-| I hopped on and rode him bareback for a few minutes, just so he knew he couldn't get away with being a butthead.
I rode him in great weather on Sunday, and even tho he was actually speedy stinker under saddle, he was sweet and attentive on the ground.
Tonight, it was doing some freezing rain on the barn, and he was a nut. I usually bring him in and feed him in an empty stall, and he kept pacing back and forth, keeping his head held high and neighing. After he finished eating, he was pacing and pawing, and as I opened the door to come in, asking him to back up, he basically rushed over me into the open area of the barn. I eventually got him to stand still long enough to get his halter and lead on, asked him to do a little groundwork like backing up and following me (which he did fine), but he was still very distracted and nervous.
I understand that weather can have an effect on horses and their nerves. They're prey animals, I get that. But I can't have this giant horse trying to run me over because he's scared, dancing over into me, and practically popping his head into my face to avoid the bridle. Tips, groundwork suggestions, advice WELCOME. I also need tips on keeping a cool head, as I get angry when it seems like he's not paying attention, and I don't like smacking him and yelling, which honestly is what I'm been doing. Should I be carrying a whip with me when he's acting all freaked out? That seems counter productive.
Is he in his stall all day? If so that could be a lot of the problem. When my boy doesnt get out he goes balistic and has way too much energy so I let him loose in a field r arena and crack a whip and make him run to let off some steam and then after I try groundwork and stuff.
If he does get out everyday then thats a different story. Although every horse is different you could try carrying a whip with you and whenever he tries to run you overscold him and smack him with a whip.
I do alot of ground work and saddle work where I make my horse try to make a decision and turn a certain way and then correct them and make them go the opposite direction and this keeps their attention on you and that way they arent disracted because they are too busy thinking what is she going to do next.????!!!
I hope this might help, but I will also think of anything else and do some research on it.
also staying calm is really hard but take deep breaths and if you get to a point where you get frustrated stop when you acomplish at least on tiny thing because they can sense when you are frustrated. Even if its just backing up 4 steps anything you acomplish and then stop and try again the next day.
Thanks for your response :-) He's on 24/7 turnout, so he's not being antsy from lack of space to run around! I have him on rice bran to put weight on him, but I didn't think that was supposed to make him "hot."
Good idea about thinking they can go one way and asking them to go another.
I've definitely caught myself getting super worked up and have had to literally take a step back and take deep breaths. It's frustrating, because if something's scaring him I don't want to make the siuation worse but I also don't want to get trampled!
Missy, has this been coming on slowly or was it more like a light switch? Can you think back as to when the change in his behavior started?
I've seen changes happen in horses as they've gained weight and became fit. I've seen it happen with a change in tack. Horses don't change without reason so we need to think about what changed with your horse.
Yea i agree with iridehorses something has made him get this way. I dont think its the rice bran because I have had horses on rice bran before and none of them have ever gotten hot from it. Are you feeding him anything with alfalfa in it like alfalfa mix or anything like that? I had a mare that absolutely could not be on any Alfalfa even a mix. We put her on a alfalfa grass hay mix and she was so hot that I tried to lunge it out of her and she ended up rearing up and flipping over:? it was not good.
IDK if this will help you or not because I am new to horses but your situation sounds familiar to one I have experienced. When we purchased my sisters horse, he was very underweight (several hundred pounds). she went and rode him...calmest sweetest horse you ever wanna meet. They once even loaded him in the side door of the trailer...he was just so passive. We have had him for several months...fatting him up, feeding him really good. The last time my sister tried to ride him....he bucked like a maniac!!!! Not just a little humping...I mean serious bucking like something out of a rodeo. We think the problem was:
feeling good for the first time in a while + not enough exercise= crazy
gl to you and your horse!
my warmblood was sweet as they come while he was underweight and therefore lacking in energy soon as he gained weight and started feeling good he turned into a complete snot lol
is blaze a tb??
How many quarts of the rice bran are you feeding? And how many times a day?
Extra feed (to 'fatten him up' ;) ) could be causing the hyper-ness. Also, I've seen a LOT of 'calm', thin horses turn into brats when they were brought back to proper weight.
If he's near the weight you'd like him to be, try knocking down his food? Or supplementing with oil instead. Any feed, if it's 'too much', can make a horse hot. Hopefully that is the problem--if not, then you're going to have some work cut out for you. ;)
Let's see, where to begin...
iride, the change in his behavior is pretty sudden, within the last week and a half. In our riding lesson on the 29th of November, he was bordering on downright lazy under saddle, and he'd been fine any time I'd come out to see hm that week prior. He was fine and well behaved all last week as well. It was just Saturday that he was a devil. He's always had issues with invading my space, so to speak, but where he's at right now is above and beyond. No change in tack or his surroundings, the only thing that's changed is the weather being a bit more severe.
Jazzy, he's not a TB that I know of, but then again his owners are totally unsure of his lineage. I see more QH than anything else, but who knows?
I've got him up to 1.5 lbs of rice bran a day. Think I should reduce that?
He was VERY zoomy and crazy when I first got him; his owners had him on a really sugary sweet feed. I transitioned him to a ration balancer but he lost weight, so I added in the rice bran. sherman, no alfalfa at all save what little is in their hay, and he's had that since day 1.
I snooped around online, and the opinions are mixed about it making a horse hot or not, so the food itself may or may not be the problem. I used to feed beat pulp for weight, but too much of that too, can make a horse hot. You could try a pelleted complete feed; if he's a hard keeper, perhaps looking into some of the mild ulcer supplements might help him. If he's not a hard keeper, then I would say a complete feed ( maybe a senior feed--a lot of nutrition is packed into each pound) until he regains normal weight, then a normal pelleted feed.
However if he's near the weight you'd like him to be at, I would change him to a normal feed, or knock him down just a bit. It might help. ;)
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