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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does your horse play? I've never once seen my horse, Zeus, run around or kick up his heels. I even tried letting him run in the indoor arena, but he just stood there like..."What now?"
I tried getting the lunge whip out just to encourage some movement, but he just didn't seem to want to do anything.
Is this just his personality?
 

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Does he have any buddies to play with?
 

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My horse is the same way, lol. I think its just their personality...my gelding is more of the serious type and doesn't mess around. His 2 bffs out in pasture are 5 year olds so you'd think they'd entice him to play since they are just babies and they are glued to his side 24/7. The 2 babies play right by him but my guy just supervises.
 

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We all don't or can't monitor our horses 24/7 to see what they are doing during that period.

Our horse lives in our backyard and a VAST majority of the time he is either grazing or eating hay or hanging out with the other horses on the properties around us (on the other side of our fencing).

Occasionally... Maybe every third day or so... We hear him galloping around like a fool on the two acres he has. If we make it out there to see his act, he generally stops and pretty much looks at us to say 'wattsup?!'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He's new to a herd setting; The last place I boarded wouldn't let him be with other horses :( Now he's with 9 other horses, all geldings. He still doesn't seem to play. I really do think it's just his personality, but wanted to see what others thought
 

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It may change over time. I know a horse who was a very serious type, never played in his last herd, but now, in a new place and herd, he's goofing around all the time, playing like a foal. And it is very possible that he's having short bursts of fun and games while nobody's there to see it. ;)
 

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You bet my boys do...and they scare the bejesus out of me EVERY time! I have to turn and walk away and hope for the best when they get to bucking, running, and doing crazy moves lol. But they both are very playful in that way, some of our horses though don't and just look at them like they are aliens with their antics lol.
 

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If he hasn't been in a herd setting for long he may just be still feeling out his place in the world. He will figure it out.
 

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My gelding used to play with his two best friends (both Arab geldings that belonged to friends...which is why my big ol' draft cross now acts like an Arab when he gets it in his head that something is scary :lol: ). But when we moved barns, he stopped playing. He's the "boss hoss" in turnout, even though he's the youngest (and biggest), but he doesn't want to be boss. Even my "new" BO (we've been at the new barn almost a year) commented on the fact that my 4yo doesn't really play.
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I have had my mare for almost 2 years. She used to be a polo pony and is the most "serious" horse I have ever met. I have never seen her play with her pasture mates. When they get all silly and start running around, she moves out of the way and just watches...she gets a little nervous, but i don't see any playfulness in her.

BUT, one of the barn workers told me that the feed buckets were turning up all over the pasture and they couldn't figure out what was going on and how they were getting off the fence and turning up in different areas of the pasture...until they witnessed Miss Isabella stealing them and depositing them throughout the field.

So, I guess she has her own ways of playing.
 

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It can take a while for horses to adjust to being a herd situation. After a few months once the learn the "rules" they can become more playful - and some horses just aren't playful.

He's not going to play in the arena - that's a "work" area.

Also, you could just be missing the time they play. Sometimes in bed at night I hear the horses thundering around outside just being silly.
 

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I have a 7 month old filly that does not play. Out of all the pictures I've ever taken of her (THOUSANDS), she is always standing, grazing or walking. No running around, no bucking, rearing, playing, nothing. The 4. Adult horses we have will be up at the barn eating, and she's in the back pasture WALKING up to the barn. Alone. At 7 Months.

Some horses just don't play.
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I have a 11 yr. QH mare, 10 yr. appy gelding, 5 yr. old gelding and 4 yr. gelding (my mare's son)........the two younger ones play all the time, on cooler days they do manage to get the older two to run and play with them. My mare loves me to chase her, she will run around the manure pile and I will cut her off and she tries to deek me out LOL I had one boarded here and she was here for over two years.........took her a year before I ever saw her playing with the others......they all have different personalities......
 

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One of mine does, he is a baby so naturally he should be more active, I don't see it a lot because if I'm out there he thinks he needs to be up my butt seeing what I'm doing, during that time, he's dumping buckets, and chewing on tack, and trying to wiggle between me and whatever I'm doing, and one day he was trying to climb into my nephews lap while he sat in a chair.

My other horse does not, because he has no personality.
 

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My old horse was a stallion till. 3,5 then. I gelded him. In a field on his own, with other horses, he would be eating, then leap in the air, rip around the place for a few minutes then eat again. Very amusing!

First time he was turned out with another horse? Didn't bother with him.

The only time he changed was when he got his Shetland herd. The Shetlands were able to run around the yard and all five would hang out by him.. Loved it!
 

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Don't worry - some horse never 'play' or want to interact with other horses. Willow enjoys a good scratch but she never joins in the mad run arounds with Jazzie and Looby - she just looks at them as if they're stupid. Looby likes to gallop about but hates any physical contact from another horse and the only time Honey and Flora ever gallop or buck is when they're racing up to me to come into the barn - I've had those two since they were 3 year olds and they've never been any different
 

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Level of sillyness/playfulness can also be related to the weather and feed. The 7 year old gelding I ride is an angel in the summer but gets super frisky when it gets colder. You can't even lead him from the barn to the pasture without any sillyness (tried to nip the pony ahead of him in the butt). The owner recently reduced his feed and now he's behaving a little bit better again.
 

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I recall an article in Equus not too long ago citing a study that it's "normal" for horses to not really play much in the field and that horses that do play a lot (especially the more aggressive play) tend to be the ones that are most stressed.
 

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My boys are out 24/7 and they keep each other entertained. My yearling plays more than my 18 year old pony does, but they're both pretty lazy. When the other horses are ripping around in their paddocks or run by, my boys just stand there.

There is definitely a difference in energy level between my two, who get constant movement and mental stimulation every day, and the other horses who are stalled half the day and are rarely ever worked with.
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My horse doesn't really play. At least, not that I have seen. He's a twenty year old gelding, and is perfectly happy following around his buddies, though doesn't typically kick up his heels.
 
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