My Mare Is Not Quite Right Mentally
Alright, so I have 7 horses in all at the moment. My show mare, and the one that is most important to me, just isn't quite right.
I'll start from the beginning.
Esperanza, an 8 year old grey appendix mare(never been bred) has a history of lameness after going into season. We're going to have her ultra sounded to see if maybe her ovaries are giving her trouble, but that's not what this thread is about.
Before recently, my mare was very different. I learned everything I know on her. I went to my first show on her, I jumped my first jump on her, I even fell off of a horse for the first time on her. We've been through a lot, and I'm really worried about her.
Usually, Espy is the leader of the herd. She leads the herd in mass gallops, she's always the first to the food(Loves food), and she's dominant and confident. She's not afraid of anything(except refrigerators and trash.. and beat pulp. And people wearing PJs. But that's beside the point).
So, about 3 months ago, she went into season. She hadn't had much lameness after seasons lately, so I wasn't too worried. When I noticed she was a little off at the trot, I passed it off as her feet being a little long. But once her feet were done, it didn't go away. My vet came and observed that she was standing really wide(like when they colic) and decided it was an internal pain. Since it always seemed to be on one side or the other, he suggested that it might be her ovaries when she goes into season. So now we're waiting for her next season.
Luckily, the lameness faded to nothing. But she wasn't right mentally, and still isn't. She's MUCH more subdued than usual. Sometimes she eats, sometimes she doesn't. She lets other horses chase her away from the first pile of hay. She'll still defend her food from the ponies, but not the horses like she used to. Instead of galloping with the herd, she just stands in the trees.
So, we do have something weird lurking around the property. We're not sure what it is, but it's something. We've lost 4 cats(nothing coyotes couldn't do). But we also lost a goat. There was no evidence except a few clumps of goat hair, and the head had been chewed off and left behind. Creepy, huh?
I suppose she might just be afraid of this predator. Her behavior gets weirder at night, and she does seem like she's more on the look out. But I', still worried.
She had a complete personality change, and I'm afraid she won't go back to normal. It's almost like she's depressed.
Any input at all would be greatly appreciated. Espy is very very important to me, and I'm worried about her.
I would suggest you consider any changes to her environment, workload and feeding. You know her better than anyone, so if you really are worried it might be an idea to have her checked over thoroughly by a vet, or even a ranch hand. I really hope she's okay.
I JUST went thur this with my mare... get an ultrasound done ASAP instead of waiting. My mare had an infection ... with my mare we stiched her since I have NO plans on breeding her and she tends to be a dirty mare. We also treated her with Excede for the infection it's been a week and she is acting better already.
I am sorry, I have no expeience with mares, or this type of behavioral change either, but I would suggest to get her checked out right away (don't wait until her next season). Better to rule out anything you can in the meantime. I really hope you can figure out what's going on - please keep us updated!
I agree, get her "woman parts" all checked out. She could have an infection or a tumor on one of her ovaries, or cysts. You want to find out ASAP if it's something you can treat, or just have to manage. I'd also have the vet run blood tests to check for hormonal issues and other possible causes for this change in behavior.
For now, can you put her in her own private paddock? Does she stall well? If so, you might consider keeping her in at night, with a friend across from her or a goat in her stall with her (if she likes the goats). I would definitely "pamper" her as well, lots of treats, special attention, scratches, etc. I wouldn't ride her until you've figured out what's wrong.
I would definitely get an ultrasound done sooner rather than later. If she's got an infection, or something going on, then the next heat won't make a difference, get her tested, and see what comes up. Better safe than sorry later. I would maybe set up cameras outside, if possible, so you can see whats lurking around outside. It might be worth your while to talk with a local wildlife person, and let them know what you found with your goat, and your horse's behavior at night, and see if anyone else in the area has mentioned something. And also how big is your goat? If its a pygmy goat, then I can see a bigger coyote maybe hauling it off, but still weird that the head was left behind. I don't know of any animal that would chew off the head and leave it, they would generally drag the entire carcass into the bushes.
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