The Horse Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hm wasn’t entirely sure which sub forum this should go in but anyhow,
My little pony has become increasingly more spooky over the years (he really wasn’t very bothered by much for a while), and has culminated in him having absolutely massive reactions (just absolutely shooting out of there) to not very much at all.
Today with my trainer she went to get on holding a whip and he had a total meltdown, he’s seen them before he has literally never been hit, it wasn’t sudden, it didn’t touch him there’s no discernible reason we can think of for his reaction.
I got on him the day before & he was foot perfect, tense as he always is but fine to get on, this came out of nowhere in terms of what he reacted to but not the fact that he’s been increasingly spooky & anxious. He’s been very weary of people that he doesn’t live with or know well (ie people making deliveries). If you didn’t know any better you might think he’d been recently taken out of an abusive home. Other than times he’s been away for breaking, schooling or looked after whilst I’m away I know everything that’s happened to him in 8 years of his 9 year life so that’s not the case.
I’m trying to think of what could be causing this, I cannot emphasise enough how out of proportion his reactions are, he was so upset today he didn’t want my trainer to stand anywhere behind his head by him at all and he was as tense as I’ve ever seen any horse. It’s just not like him at all either.

So I’m thinking first ports of call are any pain issues, there’s the obvious back, teeth, tack though he’s upset without being ridden too so perhaps not tack.
Eyesight seems like something we should check too and then perhaps ulcers? Obviously I’ll speak with my vets, they’ve known him most of his life too so know what’s abnormal for him, but any other thoughts
?
I haven’t ruled out that it’s something behavioural, I’ve heard in recent years that some other horses from the stud he’s from have been less than easy but I don’t know what those horses vs his breeding is like so I can’t tell if that’s a related factor, anyway he’s always been a bit sensitive but this is something else, he also genuinely seems petrified of some things and as I’ve said before it’s just not him and there’s nothing I can think of that would’ve caused this to start, perhaps I’ll have to think a lot harder.

Obviously throughout all of this I’m also working with my trainer who also knows him well, I’m not just attempting to figure out anything on my own, I’d just really appreciate some suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,603 Posts
What does the vet say — you HAVE involved a vet I hope:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,549 Posts
It might be useful to post some more information. From what I'm reading above, he's more or less OK with you, but not so with the trainer? And he's been ridden by this trainer a fair amount? If so, I would wonder if she's doing something he doesn't like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,498 Posts
Yes, we need more info. Tell us about how he lives. Is he in 24/7 turnout or stalled all day? Is he with a herd or by himself? What does his daily routine look like? What is he eating? How many rides does he get in an average week? Are they arena or trail rides? Do you ride trails with a group or is it just you and your horse?

Other things to check in terms of physical issues: ulcers, Lyme, neurological issues...

Have you tried doing ground work or liberty work to see if he is better when you're not in the saddle? Hand-walking on trails (not riding) can be confidence building, but I realize this isn't always practical. You could also try having him assessed by a body-worker to see if they can relieve tension or identify physical issues.
 

·
Registered
Elle, 1997 Oldenburg mare
Joined
·
2,085 Posts
A magnesium deficiency could be another thing to look at. Adding a good quality magnesium supplement to his food for a couple of months shouldn't do any harm and might make a big difference. You could also have all his food tested to see what might be missing.

The other thing to assess is how many "rabbits" he's carrying at once. He's not exploding because of whatever the stimulus is that's making him explode, but because he's holding so much anxiety about something -- physical or mental -- that he's always riiiiight on the edge. Are there ways to reduce his "rabbits?"

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It might be useful to post some more information. From what I'm reading above, he's more or less OK with you, but not so with the trainer? And he's been ridden by this trainer a fair amount? If so, I would wonder if she's doing something he doesn't like.
He's more settled with me but not 100% compared to how he has been, he's worse with her I don't know how he'd be with anyone else, I don't want to put anyone on him without them being 100% clear on how he might react.
About 1-2 years ago she rode him 50% of the time as I couldn't and never had a problem, she hasn't changed anything about her riding nothing is new so I can't imagine it's something she's done, I'm also always there when she's been riding him in the last year as I always get on after so I know everything she does with him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, we need more info. Tell us about how he lives. Is he in 24/7 turnout or stalled all day? Is he with a herd or by himself? What does his daily routine look like? What is he eating? How many rides does he get in an average week? Are they arena or trail rides? Do you ride trails with a group or is it just you and your horse?

Other things to check in terms of physical issues: ulcers, Lyme, neurological issues...

Have you tried doing ground work or liberty work to see if he is better when you're not in the saddle? Hand-walking on trails (not riding) can be confidence building, but I realize this isn't always practical. You could also try having him assessed by a body-worker to see if they can relieve tension or identify physical issues.
Out mostly 24/7 over summer, he comes in every afternoon to be ridden, groomed etc. It's the same routine he's had for the majority of his life except for winter when they have to come in more (perks of living on a flood plain..)

He's in a small group with one other pony, they're kept at mine so they're the only ones here. The other pony is 2 so he's never really on his own when one goes out for rides etc.

He's ridden 5 days a week, usually we go on on trails for about 2 of those, normally alone but he's never really any better with a nanny horse, if something makes him jump he still has the same reaction even if the other one hasn't had it (and in the past I've found that when he reacts, the other will ususally have some kind of reaction to his reaction)

I have him booked in with the vet physio which his vet wants him to have before we book him into the local hospital for a full work up.
The vets are a bit tricky at the moment because they don't really want to (can't really) come out for anything that isn't an emergency or doesn't require you to be anywhere near (ie they'll vaccinate horses they know) so whilst my vet who knows him and agrees he doesn't sound like himself he'd rather book him straight into the hospital in this instance which is fine by me tbh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A magnesium deficiency could be another thing to look at. Adding a good quality magnesium supplement to his food for a couple of months shouldn't do any harm and might make a big difference. You could also have all his food tested to see what might be missing.

The other thing to assess is how many "rabbits" he's carrying at once. He's not exploding because of whatever the stimulus is that's making him explode, but because he's holding so much anxiety about something -- physical or mental -- that he's always riiiiight on the edge. Are there ways to reduce his "rabbits?"

https://youtu.be/yfd8cpI-baw
Not sure how that didn't occur to me but yes have popped out to get him a magnesium supplement to see if it makes any difference.

Yes this is basically what I'm thinking I'm just trying to figure what the 'rabbits' (we call them spoons) he actually has, ie whether something is hurting him & causing him tension or something like that.
He's definitely just more anxious in general than he was but nothing has really changed, the only real big difference over the last years is my friends gelding moving out last year so I'm trying to do some detective work to figure out anything that's changed that I haven't realised or if it's something physical that's taking up his mind.

The only other thing I can think of is that we've had a lot more people walking past his gate and saying hello to him and that maybe someone's done something to upset him but he still happily trots up to people to say hi if they're out there.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top