Total Fear Day--I froze at the mounting block! - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 37 Old 11-21-2019, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: WIsconsin
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Question--about my spooky horse who wasn't always spooky. Could her anxiety be nutritional? She's only been at this boarding facility for a few months and her owner mentioned that she worried about her horses getting fat because the pasture there is so rich compared to what they were used to. Could there be more carbs/sugars in the pasture and now the hay (which I think is grown on the farm)? If so, I'm not sure what I can do about it, except talk to the owner about giving her a calming supplement. Anyone have any recommendations? I am an amateur herbal healer, a shamanic practitioner and former Veterinary Technician. I prefer to try natural things and I'll have to look up what herbs and supplements are safe for horses. I also want to start giving her MSM for some stiffness and creaking joints. Any other recommendations there too, I'm all ears.
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post #32 of 37 Old 11-21-2019, 01:09 PM
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Could be a few things that you could look into:

-Ulcers (can cause major personality changes, definitely including spookiness). If she's going long stretches without hay during the day, that alone can cause them. Even horses on a diet need constant forage -- they just need it managed by being fed in slow feeders.
-Magnesium deficiency in the diet
-Vision problems
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post #33 of 37 Old 11-21-2019, 01:19 PM
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Is there any way you can ride with someone else outside the arena? Someone with a calm horse that isn't going to spook? Seems like spooky type horses go so much better with a companion.
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post #34 of 37 Old 11-21-2019, 04:08 PM
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Also, keep in mind that most horses are a bit silly when cold first sets in. If that is the case with her, she should settle down in a few weeks.

“He is a bit fresh today” is often heard around the barn these days, whilst the rider is fluttering in the wind, holding on for dear life and swearing like a sailor hoodwinked by a “belle de nuit”.
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post #35 of 37 Old 11-21-2019, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Location: WIsconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knightrider View Post
Is there any way you can ride with someone else outside the arena? Someone with a calm horse that isn't going to spook? Seems like spooky type horses go so much better with a companion.

Yea, that might be a good idea, except that this boarding facility is always deserted when I'm there. I've met two other people who board there--but one is a young girl who does hotshot stuff on her Western horse and I've only seen her once briefly and the other I've only seen twice while she was there brushing out her horse and then putting him away. The next time I see her I'll ask if I could meet her there for a ride someday. Honestly, this place is totally deserted most of the time, even the property owner is usually not there and the barn manager doesn't get there until close to 5PM--long after I'm gone. I could drive up with a trailer and steal a bunch of horses and tack and drive off with no worries. haha. My husband had to run to the gas station one day and it felt a little unsettling to be completely alone on this 80 acre property with 3 barns and indoor and outdoor area, trails and lots of grounds. I didn't ride until he got back. On the other hand, it's wonderful having both arenas to myself all the time!
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post #36 of 37 Old 11-21-2019, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteadyOn View Post
Could be a few things that you could look into:

-Ulcers (can cause major personality changes, definitely including spookiness). If she's going long stretches without hay during the day, that alone can cause them. Even horses on a diet need constant forage -- they just need it managed by being fed in slow feeders.
-Magnesium deficiency in the diet
-Vision problems

Interesting, I'll look into these! She has very weepy/crusty eyes. That's how the eye condition that led to my vision loss started--and animals can get it too. And from what I can tell, they get fed hay in the morning and maybe at night. I've been out there as early as 10AM and there has been no hay, and as late as 4PM and there was no hay. And there is no feeder in their paddock--so the hay just gets fed on top of the absolute muck and puddles in there. They don't get fed in their shelter.
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post #37 of 37 Old 11-24-2019, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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I have had the idea to start riding obstacle courses with my Icelandic. I don't think she's ever done this before. But both of us are very bored riding around in a circle in the arena and she's too nervous and spooky right now to take on the trail. The farm where she's boarded has a lot of obstacle equipment I can use to start building short obstacles and build up her confidence--and start using some scary items when we're ready. I will also need to see if she will sidepass, and/or if I can teach her to. And turn on the forehand. I feel really good about this. It's specific stuff to work on, rather than riding mindlessly around the arena--it's pretty safe if I don't introduce too many scary elements at first, and it's a discipline that is not hard on an aging horse, and not dangerous for an aging rider! LOL I am very excited to ride tomorrow and set up a short path of poles, some barrels and some cones and maybe a pole to step over. As of a month ago, her owner did rider her over a large teeter board in the outdoor arena and she did great. I've walked her over it in hand and she was great. I may try riding her over that if it's not too mushy tomorrow. But i'm going to start indoors. I feel like this will really hone my riding skills and give me specific things to focus on/work on and help her relax and focus on me--and become less spooky overall with me as she learns to trust me and has fun at the same time. Woo Hoo!
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