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Discussion Starter #1
So this morning was quite interesting...went out to feed like normal, my two horses are literally galloping around the paddock, heads held high. Then they'd stop at stare into the distance. My adjoining grass paddocks were closed off...well Jax decided to ram into the gates to try and run through them. He successfully tore down a small section of my old wood fence in doing so. I finally caught them and brought them in, checked over and they look to be fine...they settled enough to eat:

What's weird is the mini and goats are just carrying on with life as usual while the other two are flipping out! I texted my neighbor to see if everything's alright with her horse. I just can't see any reason for why they're acting like this. They still are some but I have to start working...luckily I work from home so I'm going to be checking in often on them.

Any ideas what could make horses so scared to be running around madly around their paddock?
 

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What kind of wild life is in your area? Around here, moose tend to set them off, more so than coyotes. If you have bears that could be one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Coyotes maybe, doubtful any bears, I'm pretty close to road/highway and kinda one of few small farms in a housing area. I've only ever seen deer really.
 

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We've had this happen down at the barn where my horse is and all we can attest it to is there's some terrifying leaf monster.
I would imagine if it were any real threat the goats would have been spooked too.

Have you checked the surrounding perimeter of the paddock? There could potentially be an animal in distress or a plastic bag stuck somewhere.

Hope everything checks out!
 

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or could anyone nearby be doing target practice, fire crackers, running something through the bush that you didn't hear?

We had neighbours at one barn that would go shooting their guns. I don't know of they had terrible aim or were just jerks because thses bullets would go flying off their property and soars over the pastures. They'd even hit some of the trees and bush that was in the pastures. Horses would go nuts. Even the calmest were spinning and running. Took a bit to figure out what the problem was as all you could hear was a whirling as they went overhead. Called the rcmp on them multiple times.
 

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Agree that a predator would set the goats off too. My horses do this whenever my neighbor gets in a new set of calves. Go figure. It also could be there is a crazy new smell coming down the wind. Goats tend to settle down a lot faster than horses so they may have already decided it was no threat by the time you got out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well what's weird is they've been around gun shots and fire crackers tons and that's never set them off before. They're honestly pretty chill horses, not much spooks them on the trail either. That's why this is so odd for them! When I'm done grooming my morning dog I'll try walking the perimeter though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
lol RIGHT? I called my neighbor, she said he horse is fine and in his stall. Really the only thing "off" about this morning is that it appears the middle stand of my electric fence in on of my fields snapped off? Not sure if that would be enough to set them off or not. They've finally calmed back down though. I mean neighbor had her bird out and t was screaming bloody murder....but thats honestly a normal thing, they hear it every day lol!
 

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I'm pretty sure there are horse eating monsters lurking in most pastures. For over 22 years, horses here have been convinced that a resident horse ghost resides in the shelter belt south of the barn that they have to pass by to get to their stalls! It's not a daily or even weekly occurrence and we've been unable to find anything that should upset them.


Considering the mare, even as a rank greenie, easily negotiating obstacles that experienced trail horses and mules refused, and the gelding was right behind her, that horse eating monster must be really scary since it resides in the pasture that they know like their feed pans!
 

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Being aprey species, horses are hard wired to react to anything different by going into flight mode-then evaluating.
It does not need to be a predator, and one horse tipped into l
alert /flight mode, will transfer that reaction to others
For instance, Carmen is very good with deer, long as she identifies them as such
About a week ago, I was trail riding with a friend, with Carmen and myself in the lead. We had our dog along, and were riding a cut made through trees, in the mountains. There was a fair wind blowing, enough to stir the branches
our dog, to confess, has yet to learn not to chase deer, but will come back when called, after that initial dash
Anyway, Heff, the dog,, must have spotted adeer in the underbrush that we had not noticed, thus tore after it, and all we saw was a streak of brown, and heard the sound of an animal crashing through the brush. Pretty sure it was adeer , and not a cougar.
Anyway, because Carmen had not been able to see it was just adeer, she went into high alert, first blowing through her nose, as horses will do, signaling possible danger.
She then went forward in avery tense, ready for flight movement, totally un like her, peering suspiciously at any branches stirred by the wind.
Took about three miles for her to relax and proceed in her usual manner
I had no way of telling her, other then by my body language, that the animal running through those trees was just a deer, and thus no threat
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Lol!!!! Maybe its the ghost of the zebra that lived here before we moved in!!!! Everyone loves to tell me how there used to be a zebra that lived here!

I just hope it doesn't happen often, it was pretty crazy! I've been here 9 months and this is the first time its happened :(

Last week we were riding some and neighbors started setting off firecrackers, horses didn't even flinch...ZEBRA GHOST? OMG RUN KILL THE FENCES!
 

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Strange, as our horses won't bat an eye at moose, coyotes or deer, but once we had a disaster over a fox. This little fox sat in the backyard and four of the horses FREAKED and busted through the fence. Down the driveway they went. Same as with you, the pony kept grazing like nothing happened. They're strange sometimes :lol:
 

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Strange, as our horses won't bat an eye at moose, coyotes or deer, but once we had a disaster over a fox. This little fox sat in the backyard and four of the horses FREAKED and busted through the fence. Down the driveway they went. Same as with you, the pony kept grazing like nothing happened. They're strange sometimes :lol:
Yup, horses freak over what they don't understand, and it makes no rhyme or reason to us humans, as we think different!
My horses also are used to coyotes, deer, foxes, ect, but not minis hitched to a wagon, obviously!
Took Charlie to a show, that has driving classes. I was warming her up ouiside, and those ponies coming up behind her , hooked to a cart, drove her into terror mode
I asked one of the drivers, if I could just follow their cart with my horse. This gets the horse in the mindset that the 'terror' is moving away from them, and thus empowers and gives them confidence.
I use the same approach if cattle, which my horses are not used to, run up to a fence I am riding along, going down the road, or if some dog comes charging out of a laneway
JUst as a side note, I want to beef up our fences, so I cN BUY some cattle, for two main reasons.
First, we have less horses then we ever did, when actively breeding, thus pasture coming out of our 'ying, yang', and it makes no sense to then need to buy all our beef, plus, I;m tired of having horses that need to get over a fear of cattle, never living with them!
Maybe I'll throw in some mini donkeys and lamas also, as we have had them arrive as strays on our property, setting up major panic reaction sin our horses!
 

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I would trust your horses. Horses are very sensitive. If they are spooked, it is for a reason, something spooked them. Could be a coyote, a bad guy walking around or something else. I would look for a culprit and not dismiss this as a Sasquatch.
 

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Yup, horses freak over what they don't understand, and it makes no rhyme or reason to us humans, as we think different!
My horses also are used to coyotes, deer, foxes, ect, but not minis hitched to a wagon, obviously!
Took Charlie to a show, that has driving classes. I was warming her up ouiside, and those ponies coming up behind her , hooked to a cart, drove her into terror mode
I asked one of the drivers, if I could just follow their cart with my horse. This gets the horse in the mindset that the 'terror' is moving away from them, and thus empowers and gives them confidence.
I use the same approach if cattle, which my horses are not used to, run up to a fence I am riding along, going down the road, or if some dog comes charging out of a laneway
JUst as a side note, I want to beef up our fences, so I cN BUY some cattle, for two main reasons.
First, we have less horses then we ever did, when actively breeding, thus pasture coming out of our 'ying, yang', and it makes no sense to then need to buy all our beef, plus, I;m tired of having horses that need to get over a fear of cattle, never living with them!
Maybe I'll throw in some mini donkeys and lamas also, as we have had them arrive as strays on our property, setting up major panic reaction sin our horses!
A month or so ago I rolled one of those giant spools that hold wire or rope into the pasture and it set them off like nothing I've ever seen. Trouble even went as far as striking it. I had to go in and show them it wasn't a horse eating monster.
 
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