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post #1 of 8 Old 12-09-2019, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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Hi all I have a bit of a dilemma that I really need help with.
My mums TB x IB (more TB), who is 24 now has a very bad habit when being turned out.
He has always been an absolute gentleman and is such a healthy and beautiful horse. But as soon as winter hits and he gets turned around so that he is out in the day and in his stable at night he becomes a bit of a problem to turn out.
It’s like he goes into this fight of flight mode and just needs to run. Sometimes he gets so anxious that he won’t eat his breakfast but has been recently.
It has gotten to the point that I have to put his head collar on and just put the lead rope through the nose band to take him out as I don’t want the lead rope still attached.
As I said previously he is my mums horse but as she is quite short she can’t hold onto him as he holds his head up too high. (He never ever does anything to hurt anyone at all).
Currently I am the only person that can walk him down to the field, holding a lunge whip in front of his head (as he doesn’t particularly like whips) as a deterant, and hold on to him (pushing him side ways etc). But my mum is consurned as, as it gets colder the concrete gets icy and she doesn’t want him to slip.
He is a fussy eater so you can’t bribe him with treats or carrots, we have tried his bridle and stronger things but he still goes and we would be worried if we couldn’t then get it off.
The track down to the field is part concrete then mud and we just need to make sure he gets over the concrete saftely. And turning him away isn’t an option as we can’t do that on ur yard.
Thank you for your opinions.

Last edited by QtrBel; 12-10-2019 at 05:33 AM. Reason: Remove link
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-09-2019, 06:30 AM
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He is almost certainly doing this because he is uncomfortable in the stable in some way, and can hardly wait to be outside and free.

The best solution for his peace of mind is just leave him out. Feed him his concentrates out in the field. He will be fine. There's no reason healthy horses need to be in stalls, especially if he has a windbreak of some kind out there, and has a nice waterproof turnout on. I am not sure what "turning him away" is, it must be a British idiom I'm not familiar with.

If that is not possible, put a stud chain over his nose, walk him to the field, and then turn around and walk right back to the stable again. Repeat until he is bored and calm, and then turn him out. Invest some time in doing this every day until he understands he can get to the field only if he behaves well.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-09-2019, 07:34 AM
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As above.

Horses do best turned out 24\7. I live in Canada and mine live this way (they have a free access to their stalls at all times so I do recommend a shelter).

If that's not an option, at least leave him out all day and just bring him in at night.

If that's not an option either, you'll need to invest lots of time taking him out of the barn, leading him around, doing groundwork, etc. until he realizes that it's no big deal. The chain over the nose helps - we had to do that with our Arabian initially (especially since my young daughter needed to be able to handle him).
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-09-2019, 07:47 AM
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turn out problems

Hi, your dilemma sounds a bit like mine. We have a 13 yr old rescue (former race horse, he's a thoroughbred), and when we move him from one pasture to another - to give the grass time to recover - he freaks out. The first time we did it (we've had Merlin for 7 months now and working with a trainer to get him used to being handled since he lived mostly alone for several years in his pasture), he kept running around in circles until he broke in to a sweat! We live in Florida, and even in winter it's still pretty warm here. What we're doing to get Merlin to stop being so spooked about being moved from one place to another, is we let him stay in the new pasture for only as long as he's comfortable. When he starts raising his head and stops grazing, we know it's time to go back to his comfort pasture. We've repeated this process several times, and yesterday Merlin was in his new pasture for 45 minutes before going up to the gate and asking to be led back to his other pasture.

I also think it might not be a good idea to force him to move, and it could be that he's scared of the icy concrete patch, as he may not feel steady on his feet. You could try to put down some hay or shavings on that part so that he feels he won't lose his footing. It's not a bad idea to ask a trainer for help. Good luck with your horse, I know we all want the best for our equine friends and sometimes we need a lot of patience
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-09-2019, 08:15 AM
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Once he's in the field, how does he act? Is he turned out alone or with friends and have they made the schedule change to? How many hours is he out now vs before? Stable manners?
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-09-2019, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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He is out for 8h now and was out for 12h, he has amazing stable manners, absolutely fine in the field.
Thank you
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-09-2019, 10:33 AM
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And what about his hay? Did he have enough hay to last him the whole time he was stabled before, but finishes it early now since he's in longer? Thinking if he was going an extra 4h without hay, if he was ulcery that could be enough to set him on edge.


I don't think the 4h difference would be enough to cause him to be fresh otherwise. Though, if you have access to an indoor arena, could try lunging him before turnout.



What point does he get upset, just when you are outside, or does he start getting worried as you are taking him from the stall? Would need to narrow down where the source is, if it's something inside he's not liking and he wants to get away from, or if it's something outside he doesn't want to walk into. Does walking him off the concrete make a difference? Is the footing any difference currently, ie is it already icy?


As far as safety leading, if you have a lunging cavasson, you could use that instead of his halter or bridle. Attach the lead rope to the top ring and you will have greater leverage and control without the risk of harming his mouth if he got away from you.


I'm inclined to think there is something bothering him that the turnout swap is causing as it sounds like he's otherwise a good citizen and walking turnout is not a new concept.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-09-2019, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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He has plenty of Hay and doesnít finish it but he never does as he is not very food fussed.As soon as we get their every morning he is already anxious. He puts his front foot up (which is what he does when he wants shethin) and paces the stable, getting agitated. We have tried making a separate track trough a field but does the same. Currently the footing is not icing but will be in the next few weeks.
It is really strange as for example after we have turned him out we could got and get him in the field and catch him in and he will then be fine until you turn him out again 🤨.
Thank you
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