Not the same horse after barn move - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 04-07-2016, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Not the same horse after barn move

Im not much of a poster on these boards. Normally I just sit back and read others posts. So heres my story and please forgive me if it is kinda long.

6 months ago I bought my first horse. I leased her from someone for one month before buying her after finding out the owner was selling her. A couple weeks after buying her we did an exam and come to find out she has arthritis severly in her pastern. (Us not getting a pre purchase inspection is a whole different story but we have learned our lesson)

She is 20 so she is an older horse. After about 5 months at the barn where we bought her from, we realized we wernt at the barn we wanted to be at. Things were going on we didn't like and only stayed because we had bought her from someone in this barn.
We found a barn that we really liked smaller, older horses and the people seemed like good horse people. After moving her she has changed into a horse I dont even know, she no longer respects me, she has terrible anxiety and its really taking a toll on both of us.
Its been one month and a week she has been here and I still wont ride her. She runs up and down the arena throwing her head and crying, blows past me when theres a door open or shes going to her stall, wont stand still when cross tied, spooks very easily, and pays me no attention.
I miss my old horse the one who would stand by my side patiently for an hr if I asked her. The one who listened and I enjoyed being around. I dont really ride her anymore because the vet wants me to bute her beforehand and I dont feel thats whats best for her and I prefer not to lunge her for the same reasons. She limps after and I feel its cruel in some ways.
She is on a daily dose of previcox but that doesn't seem to be helping much either. Im at wits end I love her, but am so frustrated by the disrespect. It seems like ever since I moved her she could care less.

A few things I forgot to add. She was only at the barn I bought her from for 5 months. She wasnt handled often before I bought her but was perfectly fine when we left and im trying my hardest and all options. So if anyone has any advice or input that would be great. Thanks for taking the time to read.

Last edited by Foxhunter; 04-08-2016 at 04:01 AM.
Pilotswife13 is offline  
post #2 of 19 Old 04-07-2016, 10:50 PM
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If you won't work her and won't medicate her long enough to take the inflammation down so the Previcox can build to a therapeutic level, you're not going to be able to fix this.

First, arthritis gets better with movement. At first, yes, you limp and it hurts but the more movement the more limber the joints will get. Bute will help this, it will take away the pain and help take down inflammation. Drugs like Previcox take time to build to therapeutic levels and in humans, they frequently prescribe pain meds and prescribe physical therapy. Her PT is you riding her or lunging her for a while each day.

She's blowing past you and disrespecting you because she's got nothing better to do and obviously you're not getting after her. Is there someone at the new barn that can help you and show you some ground work and things to do with her to get her respect back and get her listening to you again? If not, then I recommend you get a trainer to come in or send the horse out, and you take lessons on the ground while she's getting her refresher.
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post #3 of 19 Old 04-07-2016, 11:31 PM
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^^^ what dreamcatcher says.

You don't say what your riding experience is. On the face of it, I think not alot.

The first thing you need to do is get control of you horse on the ground. Rushing through gates and doorways is a no-no. Someone can get hurt and first in line are you or her. Horses need leadership, she needs you to be her leader. She is probably feeling lost at a new barn and no support. You can not treat even the calmest horse like a new puppy. When you want her to move over, she moves. If you are leading her, it is not acceptable for her to run you over or pull you.

I think you will find that when you re-establish leadership, alot of your problems will disappear. Its about getting her respect. If necessary, get some assistance with this. It's not going to get better on its own.

There are some useful videos on u-tube by excellent trainers. Worth checking out, especially if you are unable to get help straight away.

Good luck, keep us updated.
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post #4 of 19 Old 04-07-2016, 11:38 PM
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make a list of all the things that have changed with the move. there are things that change, that to a human are trivial, but to a horse they are huge.

like, amount/quality of turnout. number of horses she can see or interact with during turnout, quiet at night so she can sleep, change in feed, change in ?

look at these things first.
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post #5 of 19 Old 04-08-2016, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Hi guys, yes people at the barn have helped me with her and done the same things I do and she acts the same way to them. I guess I should say it this way. The vet told me a month and a half ago to give the previcox a "couple weeks" and by that point we will know if it is helping or not. If it didnt help then its time to talk retirement. I get that the more she is worked the better (for lack of a better word) her joints will be. Thats not really the case with her. It gets worse the more she moves. She has bone spurs which hurt her tendon so she wont flex all the way, so I wont bute her on top of the previcox. Id much rather enjoy my time I have left with her as just a companion horse If I have to. Im not the most experienced and I will admit that, but I learn as I go and have surrounded myself with very educated people who dont hesitate to help. A woman from the barn is having a trainer come in to try to help me but I havent done anything different on the ground than when a trainer came in when I first bought her or my lessons before buying her. I know its time for retirement, no riding or whatever that entails but I still want her to respect me even without the extra tension and pain on the legs. Thanks for your help.
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post #6 of 19 Old 04-08-2016, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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I forgot to add. I know I need to get the respect back. This has never been an issue. She would stand in the stall door until I released her, stand cross tied for an hr if I asked her, did what I asked while riding in and out of the barn, never invaded my space. I did not have an issue with respect until the move.
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post #7 of 19 Old 04-08-2016, 04:07 AM
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Horses are not silly.

The move obviously unsettled her and she probably did many little things wrong due to being unsettled, these probably went uncorrected so escalated until you have what you have now, an ill mannered horse that does what it wants.

She needs some very firm, fair corrections.
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post #8 of 19 Old 04-08-2016, 04:36 AM
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she could have been bonded to another horse, hence the running the fence and crying.
she could have been 'medicated' to be calm at the old barn.
Not all horses adapt to change. Have you had her vision checked ?
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post #9 of 19 Old 04-08-2016, 08:20 AM
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Has anything else changed since the move? Are you feeding exactly the same thing in exactly the same amounts (grain, hay, supplements)? Are you sure? I say that because sometimes BOs make decisions for you that you might not even be aware of and your horse may be getting something extra. Is the routine the same? Is the horse getting the same amount of turnout?

If everything is the same, then clearly, the horse is reacting to the change and/or to the pain. I think that at that point, only an experienced trainer can tell you if this is something you can fix.

I'm sorry you're going through this. It must be completely heartbreaking. But I've heard of horses having severe anxiety after moving barns. It may go away once the horse settles into its new environment. Horses have amazing memories and like routine. It will take a while, maybe several months.
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post #10 of 19 Old 04-08-2016, 10:32 AM
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For what I can add since I bought a new horse and my experiences with this matter:

When I visited the horse I bought before I bought her- she was much calmer and all. When she was brought to our barn we board her at-she was so nervous, skittish and even spooky- you nailed it- talk about a different horse! At first I was like wow, what did I get into? This horse suddenly had an issue with her back feet- wouldn't let me touch them without her kicking. Even having her belly curried she would fuss about. She danced on the cross ties, rushed when being led....

But what I did was worked slowly with her. Yes, I too didn't ride her right away- I wanted to develop some trust and bonding first. I'd put the horse on the cross ties in easy view of the other mare ( because now, my horse can't stand to be away from this mare friend she has) and I would talk nicely to her and groom her. It was rough in the beginning when I am used to an older lesson horse. But I would come in the evenings when it was quieter in the barn and work with her for short periods of time.

Then I'd start coming at other times. I would start to work with her feet, correct her when she would try to kick, lead her around, and just let her understand I wasn't hurting her, but working with her.

If she is really kicky, a carry a crop and hit her in the leg ( not hard, but enough that she knows something is coming and its not ok to kick) If she rushes when walking, I turn her in circles. I can calm her better on the cross ties and she doesn't have to see the other horse. She still can get a little any on the cross ties, but its never as bad as in the beginning.

So here we are 4 months later. Have all her quirky behaviors stopped? No, but they dramatically decreased. The whole buddy sour speil was a new one- but she eventually calms down in the ring when she is there and not the other mare. Sometimes she is just like the old lesson horse on the cross ties, sometimes she is a little ancy. I can pick out all her hoofs now, I learned what I was doing wrong and my horse is trusting me.

It can take time. Maddie, her buddy, adjusted a lot quicker than my horse did- but she is also 18 where mine is 8. I may not have the best advice due to not having years of experience, but my advice is to slowly work with your horse. Work to develop the trust and respect again. If you are nervous around her, she will be too ( my horse was!). Understand that the move has effected her, so help her adjust to the new barn by becoming her leader. You can start by just talking to her when she is in her stall/paddock. Do short sessions on the cross ties. Hand graze her. Lead her around the arena. ( bare in mind, i had help with my BO in the beginning, she would show me how to do things better and tell me what to do since I was used to an older lesson horse.)

As far as her arthritis, I don't have much advice with that, but as others said, make sure that issue is taken care of to eliminate that as a cause to her stress.

But good luck. I know its a bit discouraging, but work on slow and steady steps and be confident that you will regain her respect and trust.
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