Depressed acting horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-20-2014, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Tennessee
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Depressed acting horse?

He's a 6 year old off track QH gelding. I bought him on 1-12. He has a hairline fracture in his right front knee and up until last week was on strict stall rest. I led him out on a daily basis especially on warm days to eat his hay outside or if the weather wasn't favorable I let him eat his grain outside. He's acted quite depressed since the day I got him. No temperature, up to date on all vaccines, coggins, and worming. Drinking and eating like normal. He's in contact with people and other horses daily. He just seems to be far more mellow than an off track horse should be, with an injury or without.
My friends mom worked on a TB racetrack when she was younger as an exercise rider and she said they all have impeccable ground manners. I'm beginning to think he may just be so willing and well behaved or he was taught to not throw his head or keep it high?
I know when he arrived he had a mild case of lice and had normal shipping fever and was sore from the 8 hour trailer ride.
His lice is cleared up, the swelling in his knee is down, it no longer stays hot, and he's barely limping now. I've let him meet each of my horses in a controlled environment and he's been out with a little mare for the most part so he has a companion. I knew horses would/could get depressed when they had to spend long periods of time in a stall, but I figured he would pep up since I've allowed him turn out area.
Any help?

Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high, keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky, & live like you aint afraid to die, & don't be scared, just enjoy your ride.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-21-2014, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Tennessee
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Any help??

Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high, keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky, & live like you aint afraid to die, & don't be scared, just enjoy your ride.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-21-2014, 02:01 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Its possible he is depressed. Race horses sometimes just get burnt out. There have been a few ottb's that came to my BO's that were just exhausted, and took up to 6 months to go back to their normal selves. Have you checked for ulcers? Off the track horses often have them, and keeping him on strict stall rest could have made them worse..
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-21-2014, 05:27 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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It took my mare months of just being in a paddock until she started to be a horse again.

Once his knee is done you should maybe consider turning him out for a while so he can decompress and get all horsey again. It's been great for many OTTB I've known.

Feed could be an issue, if he was on a high grain diet and is now on a sedentary one his body is probably adjusting.

Or he could just be bored and sad stuck in a stable all the time.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-21-2014, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
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What do you have for him to do in his stall? Stall toys could help keep him entertained. I personally like the Uncle Jimmy's hanging balls, the amazing graze (with Cheerios), and a shatter proof mirror (it helped my bosses stall weaver a great deal when she was on stall rest. Can you get a few 12 foot panels and build her a large "stall" outside?
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-21-2014, 08:58 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Missouri
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There could be something internal going on that is causing him to be like this.

Could also do CBC to see if he is lacking in anything?

Thyroid will make one be like this, as will all sorts of other things.

And are you sure he doesn't have a low grade infection, do you know what his normal temp is, so you could tell if it is high or not?

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