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xxBarry Godden 08-13-2011 05:47 AM

Bright yellow grass
My mare is going through a period of hyper activity - she is the sole mare in a small yard of four horses - 1 mare + three geldings.

Each horse has its own 3/4 acre paddock but they can meet over the electrified tape which separates each paddock

She is presently showing alpha mare tendencies and is behaving aggressively with the other horses. We assume she is in season.

We have noticed unusually that patches of dead grass are appearing
- presumably as a result of her urinations.

Does strongly acidic urine indicate any condition which might affect on her behaviour.?

She is scheduled to go for competition this weekend and next weekend but we are hesitant to take her along unless we can understand and hopefully counteract her behaviour.

Any ideas?


thesilverspear 08-13-2011 08:32 AM

I haven't a clue but if I had a horse as moody and unpredictable as yours I would probably get a vet to have a long look at it, as such behaviour can be caused by pain or hormonal problems.

For instance, a possible cause could possibly be bladder oxiate calcium stones, which would be associated with chronic pain and therefore misbehaviour. Or struvite crystals, which can obstruct the bladder and cause painful urination and may also discolour the grass.

So you really really need to get the mare seen by a vet!

xxBarry Godden 08-13-2011 09:09 AM


We are working on the hormonal theory - but today the question is which additive?

Just to confuse us, this morning she is being good.

Thanks for your suggestion about the kidneys. I'll follow the suggestion up after we have tried Naf's additives this weekend.

Tomorrow lunchtime we have to decide whether to take her to the competition

We'd thought of muscular pain but the physio doesn't think so and she can't find a sensitive spot. Anyway that would not account for yellow urine.
By the way - how do you get a horse to fill a sample bottle on demand?

If only she could talk.



thesilverspear 08-13-2011 09:36 AM

Hormonal imbalance (and resultant bad behaviour) can also be caused by types of ovarian cysts. I have known a few moody and aggressive mares, who people thought were just moody and aggressive mares, but who ended up having an ovarian tumour. Unfortunately this is a bit of a pants diagnosis if you have designs of breeding, since the treatment usually involves spaying the mare. But the result was a much happier, friendlier horse.

I know you've had ongoing issues with DiDi sometimes being fine and sometimes being a lunatic. This screams "call the vet!" to me.

NorthernMama 08-13-2011 11:39 AM

When my mare is in heat, her urine is creamy not a clear yellow. My mare's urine is never clear, but that's her nature. It's change that would concern me, rather than the colour itself.

If your horse is being a brat, I wouldn't take her to the competition -- just the behavior alone could cause problems. But, I don't show or compete so my judgement there isn't very strong :)

I would give her some salt in her food; wet it down a bit to help her to eat all the salt. Hopefully, this will encourage her to drink more. I would want to get as much water through her system as possible.

xxBarry Godden 08-13-2011 12:29 PM


DiDi is noticeably not a big drinker.

You could stand all day with a bucket of fresh water and she won't touch it.

I haven't recorded how often or how much she drinks - perhaps I should start

The more I think about this issue with her the more I am beginning to think that it might be a kidney problem - certainly we must test her.

Saddlebag 08-13-2011 01:05 PM

If she is cycling then yellow urine and it causing yellow grass are normal. You will find it's strong smelling as well. This is very attractive to a stallion. As she gets closer to standing heat she will squirt at the slightest provocation.

NorthernMama 08-13-2011 04:27 PM

Barry, please do let us know what you find out when you get tests run.

xxBarry Godden 08-13-2011 05:05 PM

Thank you for your concern. She is a big puzzle my mare.
Tomorrow is a big day for her - with a bigger day at the Festivals a week later.

Her misbehaviour could be her hormones, her back, or just her temperament and now today Silver suggests her kidneys - which sounds a possibility to be checked out.

If she fluffs the test tomorrow and it is a tricky one at affil Novice level against a lot of competition, maybe we can take the pressure off her - but if she does well, then the pressure stays on.

I just hope she does not flip in the warm up arena where there will be a lot of fancy horses. It is worse than being a father.

thesilverspear 08-13-2011 08:41 PM

If only they could talk indeed...

If there is nothing physically wrong with her and she just has strong heats, as Saddlebags suggested, then a visit with the vet will at least rule stuff out. So it's worth doing as a first step when you have serious behaviour problems.

It just seems to be, from what I can gather reading your posts, that she is very unhappy. A horse who runs backwards, without much of a care about what it runs into, is a horse who is so desperate to get away from something that it has little regard for its own safety. Horses usually don't do things for no reason. It can just be a bugger figuring out what the reason is and sometimes you might not always like the answer.

Talk to your vet, but many years ago I asked my vet about Regumate and he did not recommend using it, on the grounds that it's nasty, toxic stuff that must be handled by humans, especially women, very carefully, and he was of the opinion that management and training changes would deal with heat-related acting out just as well, if not better.

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