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Hello!
I bought a mare about 7 months ago and I knew her for a year before I bought her. She’s always been moody when saddling/blanketing/riding in an indoor. When i bought her she was very cinchy but has gotten better with that. When I walk towards her with the saddle and pad, she instantly pins her ears. She’ll bite at the post shes tied to. Has never offered to kick. She does the same thing when I’m blanketing her: I’ll walk towards her with the winter blanket or sheet and her ears are instantly pinned and when I put it on her she bites the post she’s tied to and pins her ears. She also pins her ears sometimes when I curry her chest and belly (more when it’s cold outside). She’s been treated for ulcers, is on 24/7 grass hay, and gets Purina enrich with a joint and hoof supplement. She’s been seen by a chiropractor and has gotten massages. After her last massage she was very sore and not herself at all. Her saddle fit has been checked. I’ve tried multiple cinches and pads. Her moodiness gets worse as it gets cold out. When I ride her in an indoor, her ears are always back, as if she’s listening, but will pin hem sometimes as well. Then I take her on a trail ride and she is a completely different horse, loves to run, ears are always up, not cinchy when I tighten the cinch, etc. I’m wondering if someone has delt with a similar situation? If so what did you do to make the horse more enjoyable to be around? Do you think it’s more behavioral or something I should have a vet out for?
 

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This definitely sounds like ulcers. How recently did you treat for ulcers? Was it treatment following a diagnosis or just treating just in case? Did the treatment seem to help her behavior? If so, did the behavior return after treatment was finished?

I think (if she DID have ulcers and DOESN'T anymore) that she might have been saddled and blanketed enough inside to associate the pain with the saddle and blankets in the indoor environment only. Either that, or she's distracted enough when she's outside to not notice the tack as much.

If you haven't had a vet out yet, I would definitely consider getting one out, ideally one that is experienced/trained enough to recognize any body pain that may or may not be ulcer-related.

Is there any issue with tacking and riding her outside more often? If that's where she's happy, that's where I would do my normal daily routine with her. Yeah, I know, I know, inside is more convenient in bad weather and horses should get over it and training should correct it - I've heard it before, may or may not agree on some of those points - but honestly, if it really makes her that much happier, why not?
 

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My first horse was like that. She was very sensitive to girth pressure. I never did find any way to improve it. I was careful to slowly tighten the cinch with breaks between. But even to this day she pins her ears at blanket time. She's fully retired from riding. I don't even blanket her unless she's cold. Right now she's full body clipped (cushings coat). When my younger horse was shivering the other day, she was nice and warm without a blanket. All i could think was the old horse was smart enough to get out of the wind, or she's just a tough old mare. My other mare is a wimp when it comes to cold temperatures!

I honestly think she would rather be slightly chilly, then be too hot under a blanket. She tends to walk off if you come up with a blanket.
 

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We have a mare that is the same way. We knew her for several months before purchasing her about a month or so ago. She actually tried to bite me yesterday when I was tightening her cinch. The vet is coming next Thursday to check all of ours out. She also tried to bite my kiddo when she just asked her to back out of her way while cleaning the stall.

Our mare is just like yours in the fact that once riding on the trail she is delightful. Ears perked up. But in the arena she will frequently pin her ears.
 

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She's a mare...what can I say lol...moody snappy cinchy... bit like me.. no seriously if it's not ulcers she's just a moody mare...ours is the same,she doesn't have ulcers but can be an absolute cowbag when she feels like it.
She goes and stands with her head in the corner of her stable when you show her the tack,she squeals at you if you brush her belly,she will pin her ears at you if you so much as look at her and she's in a bad mood
Mares are such lovely creatures lol🤣🤣🤣😂😂😳😢
Mares are an occupational hazard lol
 

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Sounds exactly like how my mare was when she had ulcers.
Your mare may still have them or they could’ve come back. It is possible...maybe get her scoped to be sure? How long was she treated for? I’d definitely get the vet out, although they may suggest that she has ulcers too. Could be something else bothering her though. There’s ALWAYS a reason.

My mare was still a bit iffy sometimes when I went to tighten the girth after treatment, I think because well, the ulcers were painful & it’s probably hard to get over. Now she is rarely girthy. No more ulcer symptoms.

Have you tried giving her some marshmallow root with her feed? I give that to my mare, it helps to prevent ulcers. It’s good for their stomach. Some people use aloe juice as well. Just an idea.


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I know it's a common belief, but I couldn't agree less with you Chaz, on the sentiments of 'she's just a mare'. I've known & dealt with many horses like you describe yours, both mares & geldings, as well as many, many 'nice', well mannered, happy mares & I don't think it's at all to do with sex personally. The exception seems to be that occasionally mares are 'crotchety' at certain times of 'the month' due to discomfort/hormones... just like some women are. But if they're like that mostly or always, blaming their sex is just an excuse.
 

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Someone put this up on Horse Forum years ago. My vet said checking for ulcers is expensive and at times inconclusive.

I used this method with my horses, treated the ones that showed what Mark DePaolo demonstrated, and check them regularly with this method. I think it is pretty accurate.

 

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I know it's a common belief, but I couldn't agree less with you Chaz, on the sentiments of 'she's just a mare'. I've known & dealt with many horses like you describe yours, both mares & geldings, as well as many, many 'nice', well mannered, happy mares & I don't think it's at all to do with sex personally. The exception seems to be that occasionally mares are 'crotchety' at certain times of 'the month' due to discomfort/hormones... just like some women are. But if they're like that mostly or always, blaming their sex is just an excuse.
AGREED. My old BO kept saying that Promise was just 'being a mare'...but I was like no, she's never like this...& what do you know, she ended up having ulcers...there's always a reason.
 

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My mare is the same.....has all the symptoms above, very biter and when scoped we saw ulcers. I’m now treating for stomach and hindgut ulcers with Omeprazole and sucralfate meds I order from Canada. Cheaper than the $40 per day dose . I’ll do this until I see improvement. Not riding since she turns around to bite my boots. Still in pain.
 

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^Interesting. I know that omeprazole doesn't actually heal ulcers, just stops stomach acid, but never heard of sucralfate so looked it up. Now off to start a thread so as not to by Jack this one, if you'd care to come comment Susan Z or others with exp of it.
 

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Oh, lucky you @therhondamarie !!! I know it's extra trouble and expense, but the adventure of a lifetime! . . . like discovering you are pregnant. When is the foal due?
Well we have no clue when she was actually bred as we just bought her, but the guy we bought her from (sort of to rescue her tbh) had gotten her from an auction in May. We are estimating that she is 7-8 months per the vets best guess.

I've done the foal thing sooo many times and it's just so much work. I know I was planning on adding more horses once we purchased our property, but now there is this lil' guy. I'm really just hoping for healthy for her and him at this point as she had not really great care prior to us purchasing her and who knows what was happening with her before May! I am hoping that the pregnancy is what is making her a little moody.

Although I have to say that PopTart is quite a pain when she is in heat. Squeely and irritable. She seems to get super sensitive body wise as well.
 

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Someone put this up on Horse Forum years ago. My vet said checking for ulcers is expensive and at times inconclusive.

I used this method with my horses, treated the ones that showed what Mark DePaolo demonstrated, and check them regularly with this method. I think it is pretty accurate.
Thank you for posting that!
 
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