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jody johnson
New Member
Username: jojohn

Post Number: 2
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Friday, Mar 6, 2009 - 10:37 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I bought a 4 yr old unbroke mare 4 yrs ago. She is appendix, and race bred. She is highly intelligent, has mucho heart, is very fast, and always thinking something is about to kill her. We broke her ourselves and went very slow, and she has never been abused, hit, or hurt to my knowledge. She loves competition and has been running barrels and doing very well. Never has had gate issues, in fact, she gets on the muscle into the gate because she wants to go. Thats the problem. She always wants to go. We constantly slow work. Hours and hours to relax her. Walk and pet, walk and pet, walk and get off, walk and pet.....This works but the time factor is killing us. I don't grain her, she is fed alfalfa, because grass or oats causes her to sweat profusely and tie up. Alfalfa has worked the best. I thought she might have ulcers because during alot of travel she tends to lay alot when we get home. She does have that wild eye look about half the time. That look says, I might jump up and paw you, but she never has. She is agressive toward other horses and definately an alpha mare. Then other times, she is surprisingly the horse of my dreams. But this takes more time to achieve and I hate exhausting her so she will behave and think. I am about ready to try fluphenozine but am kinda scared. I haven't known of any horses personally that have had bad reactions, but I haven't used it myself. She is so sensitive that I thought I might just give 1cc, but someone told me that might not even work. The vet said 2.5cc. I just want to knock off the explosive energy and anxiety. I want her to run, of course. Any suggestions?
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Lilo
Member
Username: lilo

Post Number: 1053
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Friday, Mar 6, 2009 - 11:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My first instinct is: Natural horsemanship - done correctly. Parelli, Clinton Anderson (to a degree - I do not believe in everything he does, but like his groundwork), John Lyons, Frank Bell ....

That is just how feel. There are many people on HA with a lot more experience than me. Most especially, Dennis. Maybe they can give you advice.

Good luck,
Lilo
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leslie645
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Username: leslie1

Post Number: 646
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Friday, Mar 6, 2009 - 11:37 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Jody
Just curious...Is she stalled or turned out? Do you trail ride her or just arena work? My barrel horses were trail ridden every day( for atleast an hour...sometimes many many hours). It helped them learn there was a time and place for the explosive energy.
L
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jojo
Member
Username: jojo15

Post Number: 1030
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, Mar 6, 2009 - 12:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sadly, this is sometimes just the nature of the beast. (no pun). I had a mare like this for 8 years. Problem is you just don't know when to stop. then you look back with all your hardwork and see that it was always a 2 step forward, 4 steps back process. We never gained. And then i personally get sucked in with only remembering the good vs. the not so good.

leslie makes good points is the mare mostly stalled? how much turnout daily? how much riding daily? how much training daily?

I would pull the alfalfa. its still a higher protein. And rethink giving her a 12% feed ration with some coastal or Timothy / alfalfa mix hays or just grass hays. Or pull any grain and just grass hay and see how she keeps. Just to see if this is where the pyscho is stemming from. give it a few months too.

but if you have tried all this. love the horse, and want to try the meds, i guess thats the next best thing.
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: hollyw

Post Number: 217
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Friday, Mar 6, 2009 - 12:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

You said you thought she might have ulcers. Have you had her checked for them? Might be a cause of her "wild-eyed" look and her antsy-ness . . . as if she's trying to run from the pain.

My first mare was a lot as your mare. Once through a gate into an arena, "slow" and "calm" were not in her vocabulary. Many folks I knew had two horses: one for gymkhana and one for Pleasure.

When you first "broke her out" did she do lots of walk and and slow work? Did you only allow her to move out when asked? I know that with trail horses I've had, when they wanted to move ahead of the leader and got all jiggy and hot from being held back, I'd get them on a small circle until they would lower their heads and W-A-L-K . . . and then drop the reins and trust them to move forward . . . and if they started to move faster without being cued, I'd repeat . . . and repeat . . . and repeat . . . until, finally, as soon as i thought the horse was going to speed up, I'd start to lift one rein, and they'd immediately decide to walk.

If the issue is gut pain, then that has to be addressed first. If the issue is the horse not waiting for the cue to move out, then you may have to forego the barrels for awhile until you get her mind with you.
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LL
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Username: frances

Post Number: 839
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Friday, Mar 6, 2009 - 3:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I too would first stop the alfalfa and see whether feeding nothing but a good grass hay calms her down. I know you say you still want her to run but it's probably better to quieten her as much as possible first of all, and then if she hasn't got enough energy for your goals you can start adding back.

And as much turnout as possible.

Of course it may be a training issue, or simply her personality, but it's amazing just how much feed affects behaviour in my opinion.

Good luck!
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Erika L
Member
Username: erika

Post Number: 1612
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, Mar 6, 2009 - 4:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think some of you might have missed why Jody's feeding alfalfa. Lower in starch to avoid tying up.

I personally don't think its a feed problem. I think its a training/anxiety problem. She must think that under saddle means "go". Maybe Denny can help with that.

If she's just a very anxious mare, like Jos says, that may just be her nature. My older mare is similar--just very sensitive and ready to go.

It helped a lot to teach her a calm-down cue. I did that by using Holly's method, but adding a little rub to her wither just in front of the saddle. Eventually, just touching that spot told her it was okay to slow down and walk on a loose rein. Once she "got it" it worked like a charm. I guess it has to be their decision to take it easy. I wonder if it has anything to do with being an alpha mare? Mine is also. Best to let her decide rather than try to exert my will upon her.

I wonder if anyone else has concluded this with an alpha horse?
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jody johnson
New Member
Username: jojohn

Post Number: 3
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Friday, Mar 6, 2009 - 6:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We live on a farm, and she stays anywhere from a 30x20 pen to a 40 acre pasture. She gets lots of trail time, and we rarely run a set of barrels at the house. Rubbing down her neck seems to work best at calming her during a work out, our work out is mainly diagonals and 20 meter circles to try and control speed. We walk the barrel pattern a couple times maybe, but asking her to trot it would be unfeasible and just cause anxiety so we don't do that. Needless to say, at barrel races, we don't bother with exhibitions. Grass hay ties her up and causes profuse sweating so we dropped that. Constant reassuring and taking her out 6 days a week seems to be the only thing that keeps her sane but my schedule cannot always do this...so we are always starting over. I can't even think about selling her cause most people would not put in this kinda of energy. She could easily turn into one of those barrel horses that give all others a bad reputation if someone jammed on her. Has anyone tried the Fluphenozine?
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Erika L
Member
Username: erika

Post Number: 1613
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, Mar 6, 2009 - 6:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sounds like a tough schedule for anyone who wants a life. Did you read the article associated with this topic, Jody? It sounds like it might be a solution for you , but it is a little scary about the fine line between effective and toxic levels.
Hopefully Dr. O will opine soon and help you out.
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Erika L
Member
Username: erika

Post Number: 1614
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, Mar 6, 2009 - 6:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Forgot to add that I have hunted my horse with a very low dose of acepromazine and it really helped (she was so keyed up without it that she wouldn't even look where she was going and would clear 3' jumps by a mile--got tired of hearing, "I don't know how you stay on her!"), but I didn't like dosing her every time we went hunting, so I eventually just decided it wasn't the right job for her. I wasn't aware of a longer-acting drug that might have been better.

Hope you'll let us know what you decide and how it works out.
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Jesse Mitchell
Member
Username: mitch316

Post Number: 42
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 - 6:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sounds like you just have a very high spirited horse to me, but that is just my opinion. If you rule out the ulcers, it would seem to be just her nature.(also ruling out all other medical issues). I have been on a horse farm my whole life, and worked with an equine vet for several years as well, and now have my own little horse farm, and have seen horses that are just go, go , go , all of the time. My advice, for what its worth, which may not be much, is to avoid "drugging" this horse into submission. And submission is what all of us horse riders are trying to achieve any way right? You obviously have experience with horses, and many may disagree with me here, but I believe any kind of drugs or medicine should be used as little as possible. I mean after all, would we tranquilize our kids, husband, or wife, if they were high spirited? Just a little humor there!

But this is just my opinion. A behavioral specialist can help make a permanent change (maybe), whereas drugs are just temporary. Once again, I am sure there are many that will disagree, but in my professional experience, there is just some kind of underlying issue when in order to handle, subdue, work, or whatever you are doing, you have to tranquilize the horse, something is just not clicking right. Just a thought! (hopefully this don't sound critical, been working on my doctoral assertion all night, so I hope it doesn't sound mean!)
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Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 3754
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 - 7:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Jody. I owned a wonderful barrel horse years ago she was good! She was a lot like your girl all go, and also the alpha mare. I found with her and also a "high strung" horse I own now is it is best not to fight the "energy" Somehow you have to learn to harness it, and put it to work...not an easy task with this type.

A couple years ago I started teaching my "high strung" psycho horse barrels. He caught on fast and loved to do them. Pretty soon every time I would go down to the arena he anticipated the running of the barrels, even tho barrels was NOT the only thing I did with him. I left the barrels up but we did not run them for weeks and worked on control. I would go stand where we took off for the barrels, he would get all worked up (which did spill into other aspects of his riding) And we wouldn't run the barrels. We would do serpentines down the arena instead. Go stand him at the start again and he would "anticipate" we would do leg yields down the arena. ect. You get the picture he was an anticipater(as most barrel horses are). After about a month of this we started the barrels again, he never knew when we went to the start line what we were going to do so wasn't able to "anticipate" the run. He was still very good at the barrels, but with "mixing it up" it took away the anticipation and the psycho attitude. This works on trail too, don't fight energy...put it to work.

Your horse is young yet and is just figuring things out. I have seen fluphenazine used in high strung event horses and both owners had wished after they didi it that they could take it back out. It affected both differently, so the effect on your mare could be different than others. Personally I wouldn't use it

If you don't have the time or are frustrated, finding a good trainer to work with the horse would be a better choice and in the long run cheaper

Good luck
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jody johnson
New Member
Username: jojohn

Post Number: 4
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 - 7:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I appreciate all advice, and I really don't like the idea of using any drug. But it has to be horrible for her to have such anxiety all the time. I re-desensitize her occassionally and that helps a bit. But it is ridiculous. I have 14 horses, half of which are track bred and none of them act this way. Erica says people would say about her "how do you stay on her?" I sometimes feel that way about this horse. If I don't stay with her, she'll just leave me behind no questions asked. That also leads me to Erica's comment on ace. A couple weekends ago a friend said "lets try a little ace and see what happens". We put 3 drops on a cookie and gave it to her and just like Ericas horse, she settled, licked her lips, stood around like she didn't have a care in the world, yet had plenty of alertness to run. Thats when I was informed of the Fluphenozine by my friend. She thought this horse might be a candidate. So I bought a bottle from my vet, but I am worried about giving it now.
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Ellie
Member
Username: skye

Post Number: 169
Registered: 5-2000
Posted on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 - 8:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have seen amazing relaxation occur during acupuncture. I wonder whether that would work? Others have mentioned many excellent natural horsemanship trainers. I especially like Buck Brannaman. I once heard him say about a very green filly, "I don't want to betray her trust" with such concern and sincerity.

Too bad you're not in Maine; I know of a woman who seems to have been born to help difficult horses.

I wish you the best and hope you'll keep us all posted.
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jody johnson
Member
Username: jojohn

Post Number: 8
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 - 8:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

We don't have any acupuncturists around that I know of. We would have to sedate her for that treatment. But that is the one thing I haven't tried. We don have a couple horse whisperers, and I actually used one to get her calm enough for the shoer when she was younger. Thanks.
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Erika L
Member
Username: erika

Post Number: 1615
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 - 8:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, I see the controversy brewing...but, Jody, you are an experienced horseman and it sounds like you have gone to great lengths to help this horse deal. I agree with you that selling her with her current state of mind would not bode well for her--most horses like this would be unrideable if the owner wasn't as diligent as you are.
Do we drug a horse as a first choice, of course not! But if your husband/wife/child had a level of anxiety that prevented normal life, wouldn't you ask a doctor for help once you've tried everything else?

I sense a desperation in Jody's tone, and I for one see nothing wrong with a little help to take the edge off her horse. In my case, my mare Sugar only got so hot in the hunt field, so I was able to retire her to trails where she was happy. Jody's horse is this way all the time, and doesn't have the option to be a pasture ornament.

I doubt there is a market for a horse in this state of mind right now either. She would surely be ruined if someone wasn't fully skilled and understanding. I doubt she would be kept alive for long if that happened.

If your vet said what the proper, minimal dose is, I say give it a try. If it works, you both win. If not, you are simply back where you are now.
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Lori
Member
Username: maggienm

Post Number: 996
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 - 9:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

What is this mare like when she is loose in the field? You said she is an Alpha mare she is alert but is she also relaxed?
What about when you first halter her? If you take her for a walk on the halter does she stay calm?
What I am getting at is at what point does she begin her erratic behavior?
At the point the anxiety starts that's where I would begin retraining her.
In brief I would review NH methods and make sure she not only did what you asked but relaxed while doing it.
Your first session might be on leading or standing still to be brushed.
I also had a horse that was anxious, to other people she had good ground manners, she would stand tied but she would shift her weight, turn to look, in turning she would move her front foot and thought nothing of stepping on mine.
Even when leading she would suddenly turn her head to look behind her or stop suddenly to check something out.
We spent several days reviewing leading and other ground manners.
Just fixing these smaller issues greatly improved her overall behavior.

I tried several other surefire ways to get her to calm down and walk a relaxed with impulsion and rhythm 4 beat walk. No real success.
What I did was lay out several ground poles and a few cavaletti set about 4 inches.
For a month, all we did was walk, back and forth, around, over, beside, lateral work, bending, over the poles, cavaletti, or not. She anticipated also, in her eagerness and I believe confusion as to what was expected of her, she would hugely jump the cavaletti, so often I would walk her up then stop and often turn away from them or stop her over top one and sidepass off. After several weeks of this I added very short trots, short so she was always expecting to stop, when she would take a few trot steps in a relaxed way then we moved on to longer trots.
At this point I was not concerned about form, just relax and response.
Yup I mix my disciplines up.
The good news was that she did learn to relax, wait for my instruction but never lost her gas.

Fortuneatly she did well on grass hay, if I fed her Alfalfa she would have a lot of excess energy.

It seems to me I read about tying up being a lack of mineral of some kind.
I will take a look and see if I can find it.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 22492
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 - 10:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Jody,
If you feel that from a training standpoint you have done all you can and with the great result you had from a touch of ace, why not continue with it? We cannot recommend sedation and riding as it may increase the chance of stumbling but many have found it a useful way to deal with such horses.

The tying up goes along with the this horse's sex and mental type suggest Recurrent Myopathy. But has anyone checked her for PSSM? Substituting fat in the diet for some of the energy may help. Could you detail her diet including access to pasture and all other feeds(amounts, type, and quality) for us?

We have article both on Acepromazine and Tying Up (including Recurrent Myopathy and PSSM):
  • Diseases of Horses » Lameness » Muscle & Tendon Diseases » Rhabdomyolysis: Tying Up, Shivers, PSSM, EPSM
  • Treatments and Medications for Horses » Sedatives & Anesthetics » Acepromazine

DrO
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Ann
Member
Username: dres

Post Number: 2208
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 - 10:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I used fluphenizine on a stalled horse.. gave her 2.5 cc's IM.. it kept her more or less quiet in her stall for 3 weeks.. gave her another injection.. .. this time it did not last as long and she started to become a little agitated.. third shot , sent her thru the roof.. she no longer tolerated the drug and it make her skin crawl.. I would not ride a horse under this influence ..
My 2 cents..

On the first day God created horses, on the second day he painted them with spots..
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Trisha Oliba
Member
Username: drtrish

Post Number: 8
Registered: 1-2009
Posted on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 - 2:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jody,
I have a mare that acted very similar to yours - alpha behavior and hot under saddle. I ended up having her hormones tested and it turned out she was testosterone-dominant; which caused stallion-like behavior. After several months of herbals to balance out her hormones, she is 50% better. Not as mellow as I'd like but manageable and no longer dangerous. This could be completely off base as your horse's problem but something to consider if all else fails. Good luck!
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dustylin
Member
Username: dustee

Post Number: 7
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 - 5:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jody - I had an alpha mare who would challenge every single thing I asked her to do. She always thought she wanted to be in charge. Every day was some new thing she decided to do, and I was so frustrated I would have given her away. I never seemed to progress with work with her. I am a grown woman, and I would sit down and cry almost daily. Out of sheer desperation I tried Wendel's "moody Mare", which is an herbal formula---I used one level scoop per day (I think the directions are for 2-3 scoops). Within four days, this little girl was saying "Please and Thank You" to me, and we never had a problem after that. I tried a few other brands, none of them ever worked like Moody Mare. I kept her on it continuously...then decided I could probably take her off if it. Within a week, same old, same old.....back to one scoop a day. Worth every penny I ever spent for it!!
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Rachelle E. Morris
Member
Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 161
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 - 6:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

If the problem does turn out to be hormones, I also recommend the Moody Mare. I had a very nervous horse that was basically an uncontrollable runaway. I put her on a combination of Wendalls Calmer and Moody Mare 2 scoops each 2X a day and she was much, much better.

I'd also like to comment on the what you said about needing to sedate your horse to do acupuncture. You really shouldn't have to do that, the whole idea of alternative methods is that its drug free. I have had many crazy, nuts and sensitive horses over my 35 years of having horses, it's a sort of specialty of mine, and I have never had to use sedation on any them for any of my alternative methods, including acupuncture. The acupuncture itself tends to calm them down if it is done properly and the needles do not hurt.

I also agree that you need to identify where the anxiety starts to happen and try to avoid it, if at all possible.

I'd like to give you an example from one of my very nervous and highly sensitive race mares.

This mare used to anticipate getting turned loose in the field. 3 steps out of the barn and she would be running around me in a circle and acting like an idiot, also any type of machinery would set her off even if it was not moving and she had seen it forty times going to and from the track. So, I started putting a blind bridle, or a hood with closed cups on her. Voila, walks like an angel, nothing scares her and I don't come back with sore arms from trying to hold her. She goes everywhere with her bridle or hood and she ships to the track with earplugs and her hood. Don't get me wrong, she is still one crazy lady sometimes especially if she's not tired, but the bridle/and or hood makes her much less nervous. I try and work my way around problems to get the behavior that I want, I am not going to be able to overpower a 1100lb horse, but I am smarter than she is.

BTW have you ever tried to plug her ears to see if it calms her down?

The funny thing is as nuts as she is to work with and around, she is a perfect lady in a race.

Now after the race is quite another story

Rachelle
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 22503
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 - 9:11 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jody, I like the idea of investigating her form a granulosa cell tumor as a possible medical cause of the misbehavior see, Diseases of Horses » Reproductive Diseases » Trouble Settling Mares & Stallion Infertility » Granulosa Cell Tumors in Mares.

According to the ad on Wendel's moody mare:
(Wendel's Herbs) Mares are well known for their occasional moods and behavioral problems which are often related to the estrus cycle. These herbs are formulated to help relieve tension and overcome PMT (PMS) blues. Contains alfalfa, basil, chamomile, dandelion, goldenrod, marigold, rosemary and vervain. Coarse ground herbs. Feed 2-3 scoops daily.

I know of no evidence that any of these herbs are likely to have a calming effect on a horse and that a product designed for PMS is not likely to be much benefit in an animal that does not menstruate. On the other side run a search on "Moody Mare" some members have seen a benefit with it's use.
DrO
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Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 2411
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 - 9:26 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sounds like a challenge! My oldest mare turned 20 Friday, a small bay Arab. Even at 20, she has 2 speeds: slow and plodding at a walk, anything faster and off to the races! And snorting and shying at the silliest things.

Doing round pen work, she can trot all day, and still not calm down.

A few things I found that helped: I must be calm to the point of yawning with boredom.

Especially hard when riding when I felt like holding the reins white knuckled and screaming "SLOW DOWN D$^%@!!" (she probably thought that was her name, lol!)

I started turning her into the fence everytime she speeded up. Not a yank into the fence, a gentle turn, and we went sideways a few steps, halt, repeat the chosen gait going forward. Calm, calm, calm.

Backing quietly might help, or it might turn this horse into a horse who rears...use good judgment on that.

Can you let her graze where the barrels are set up? Let her play with them? Maybe that would lessen her anxiety.

Maybe you need to choose if you want a barrel horse, and live with her anxiety and go go go attitude.

Or perhaps finding many other things to do with her. Jumps while saddled but on the lunge line? Obstacle course? Pony her off of another horse on a really long trail ride?

Most likely a combination of different things will help, along with her getting older, if you can wait it out. My mare will still get your number if you don't pay attention.
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jody johnson
Member
Username: jojohn

Post Number: 9
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 - 11:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Last year we had this mare on grass hay and rice bran. She began to loose weight , sweat easily, and became more wild-eyed (anxious). She also began to show signs of tight muscles in the hind quarter and tying up. My father is a track farrier and ex-trainer. He spoke to one of his vet friends there and he suggested putting her back on alfalfa and supplementing with selenium and vitamin E.A low starch high fat diet. This vet said that he sees this in thoroughbreds and she is half thoroughbred but without taking a muscle sample he could not be sure if it was what he thought. So this winter we went back to the alfalfa and found a feed made by purina labeled "wellness" that is a low starch high fat with the Selenium and Vitamin E. We began giving her a cup full morning and night of the grain, and a flake of alfalfa morning and night. She began putting her weight back on and the sweating and tying stopped. This has helped alot. She doesn't get horsey when she is in heat cycle. She is not too bad with any of my horses. If we are at a race and we are warming up and someone gets to close she'll bite them, but never kicks. Just lays the ears back and bears her teeth like she is saying "I don't like you and here is your warning". At home, it is just food agression. She seems to like the other horses, just not near the feed bunk. Of course, she is now feed by herself due to her different diet. She is alot better but she still takes lots of time and energy to keep her sane. Cellular tumor in her ovaries? or where? Should I take her back to the vet and say I want her checked for tumors? Or is there a blood test?
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jody johnson
Member
Username: jojohn

Post Number: 10
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 - 11:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I read the articles you suggested, and I think I might try adding oil to her diet. Is there any special one, or can I use regular veggie oil.
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: hollyw

Post Number: 230
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 - 1:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jody, I used to buy straight Corn Oil in 5 gal containers, but was told that any veggie oil will work the same way in the horse, so I am using regular Vegetable Oil right now.
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Trisha Oliba
Member
Username: drtrish

Post Number: 9
Registered: 1-2009
Posted on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 - 2:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

With her requiring a low starch diet you might be better off using veggie oil instead of corn oil.
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Erika L
Member
Username: erika

Post Number: 1617
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, Mar 8, 2009 - 5:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

There's no starch in either oil, Trisha. It's all oil and they are interchangeable.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 22507
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Mar 9, 2009 - 9:08 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jody, we have an article on fats and oils in the diet that makes recommendations you will find it on the nutrition menu. While I cannot rule it out your horse it does not sound typical for granulosa cell tumor.
DrO
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jody johnson
Member
Username: jojohn

Post Number: 11
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Monday, Mar 9, 2009 - 9:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for all the advice. I think I'll try adding oil to the diet and some alfalfa pellets for awhile and see what happens. Thanks again, everyone.
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Shannon
Member
Username: stek

Post Number: 159
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Monday, Mar 9, 2009 - 2:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jody, if the mare is already being fed alfalfa hay what is the reasoning behind adding alfalfa pellets?

I have not hear of tying up as being connected with grass hay in any direct way, do you know what the specific connection was?

I have heard of a very high-fat/low-starch diet being recommended for a hindquarter muscle wasting problem that occurs in draft breeds but haven't heard of it in TBs. Do you know what the vet would have been testing for with a muscle sample?

I have heard of E/Se being given to aid in recovery from tying up, but have also not heard of any specific connection with the type of hay you feed or the breed of horse. I would think whether or not daily supplementation would be needed would depend more on whether the horse's feed was coming from a selenium deficient area.

I am glad you have found a diet that seems to work for your mare, I'm just wondering what exactly about it has helped.

Dr. O can you shed any light on any of these items?
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jody johnson
Member
Username: jojohn

Post Number: 12
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 - 11:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I believe the grass hay we were feeding was too high in starch. The mare does not seem to handle starch diets very well. We were feed a grass hay called Teff. All my other horses did great on it. She began to have muscle stiffness, sweated more easily than normal, and when exercised would sometimes tie up. She would also act like an idiot. When we switched back to alfalfa and vit.E and selenium she stopped all that except she still acts like an idiot.
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: hollyw

Post Number: 236
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009 - 12:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

LOL, jody.
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elk
Member
Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 866
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009 - 11:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Jody,

I just re-read this thread, and wanted to throw out one more idea, which is pain. I was thinking today about the impact chronic pain can have on a horse's temperament. So if you have no luck with diet changes, and you want another rule-out before declaring her an intractable idiot, it might be interesting to do a full blood panel and lameness eval., in order to rule out pain as the trigger for her stressed behavior.

Let us know how you get on with this one!
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