Horsey Blues

This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  panache 3 years, 9 months ago.

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  • NinaJD Original Poster NinaJD
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 139

    My mom’s horse hasn’t been himself the last few days.
    He’s been kind of mopey and just not his normal goofy self.
    He’s eating and drinking, pooping and peeing normally.
    He just doesn’t have his normal gusto for his grain, the other day he ate some and then walked away from it. He’s picking at his hay, not really interested in it either.

    We have moved to a new barn(though it’s been about 3 months). All horses moved with us(we just moved properties with our boarding facility). They are in a smaller area, because fencing isn’t up yet.
    His weight is good. He’s just acting BLAH.

    I took him out for a walk today and he perked up some, munched on some grass with his normal enthusiasm..but once he got put back in the pen with everyone else went back to his moping.

    Do you think he just has the winter blues?

    "Take the time it takes, so that it takes less time."
    "Expect a lot, accept a little, reward often."
    Pat Parelli

    ottbrider ottbrider
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 33

    This is odd to me, but he seems sad. He could feel like he’s missing you or your mom. Horses can get depressed, even jealous. My gelding wouldn’t let me touch him for almost two weeks and would pin his ears and strike at me when I came near him after I got my new mare. I just needed to spend a bit more alone time with him and then slowly bring her in. It doesn’t sound like a health problem, but I could be wrong. Maybe he’s just feeling a bit homesick and it hasn’t shown until now. This is just my best observation, hope I helped!

    No horse is incapable of learning- riders are just incapable of teaching

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    Not all horses handle change well. It could be that he is depressed and missing the security of his previous routine. Different hay, different water, different turn-out arrangement, different view, diffdiffdiff. From a psychological pov, his security has been rocked, his place in the herd disrupted and the daily routine altered. Not in a bad way, just different. Geldings, I find, generally tend to need more reassurance and reaffirmation about their place and purpose.

    Even if the same horses and people are still involved, the view changed, and that can mean learning a whole new set of environmental influences that will dictate the need and degree, or not, of survival and coping mechanisms. This might sound a bit odd but it is possible that he is exhausted from coping (exhaustion can open the door for depression). Spend as much time with him as possible, if there is any chance for the opportunity to replicate any of his previous routine, that might help. Change can be difficult, and not just for animals : )

    Also, never wrong to consider health issues, some afflictions can be very subtle and horses, by the time WE notice something NQR, can have been harbouring ill health for a while, not wanting to be seen as vulnerable.

    I wish you an easy solution that brings your boy around soon : )

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 3

    A couple of thoughts. If he’s not eating his grain and is just picking at his hay, it could be dental problem or ulcer issue. If you haven’t had him checked for either recently, something to consider. You don’t say how old the gelding is, if he’s an older citizen, I’d lean more towards a dental problem.
    Have either of the food items been changed recently? Even if it’s the same supplier for both, if its a new batch it could be a different grain formulation or hay from a different field. Put some molasses in his grain, maybe chop up some apples and shred some carrots to try and encourage to eat it. When my horse periodically goes off his feed, I mix all those things in with his grain and coax him to eat it, literally hand feed him. Try some hay cubes.
    Something weird happened with my horse earlier this winter, he literally could not pick up anything with his “lips”, he couldn’t grab treats, it was like they are paralyzed. My sister said to check for any kind of bites or injury. He didn’t have any and the situation resolved in about a week. Could be the gelding got into some kind of plant material causing an allergic reaction of some sort which also might help to explain his being mopey.
    Has he had a recent vet visit for vaccines? After my gelding is vaccinated,he goes “off” his grain for a week or so, and doesn’t eat as much hay. That’s normal for him and I don’t worry about it.
    Last year he got a foot abscess and didn’t eat his grain while that was in progress, but, afterwards he was back to eating normally.
    And, it could be as you say, the winter blues. Maybe do some ground work with him, introduce clicker training or other things to get his mind going. Play “games” with him. If the situation doesn’t resolve itself in a week or two or gets noticeably worse, call the vet.

    Keep us posted on how it resolves.

    NinaJD Original Poster NinaJD
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 139

    We took him out for a walk the last two days. Hes perked up some. Yesterday he nickered at us when we came up to the fence. I think he’s tired of being cooped up. He ate his grain with more enthusiasm yesterday and went for hay too.
    Hes 11 years old.teeth are good. He hasn’t been vaccinated yet or wormed.
    Hay and grain didn’t change. Same cuttings same field. Grain is the same. Hopefully it was just because he wanted out.
    thanks for all the tips.

    "Take the time it takes, so that it takes less time."
    "Expect a lot, accept a little, reward often."
    Pat Parelli

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    Can’t speak for anybody else but this winter, in New England, has literally tapped me for all I am worth. I can easily empathize with your Mom’s horse : ) Ready for Spring in no uncertain terms! Hope the boy snaps out of it as the warmer weather creeps in..

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 10

    Have you checked his temperature?

    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 29

    you could probably see if you could get him more turn out if you think he is tired of being in his stall

    Life is not about waiting for the clouds to pass, its about learning to ride in the rain

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