Can Eastern Oregon Hay and/or nighttime lighting make my mare HOT and CRAZY??
My mare has been in a new barn almost a month now...and ever since she has not been herself. She is normally a mellow, almost pokey quarter horse but now she is high, high, high it seems all the time. . She bucks and rears almost every time I lunge her before a ride and it goes on and on and she never seems to settle down. Recently, she bucked me while I was riding her and I fell off....and she galloped across the arena like a rodeo horse.
So...there are only two things that are different about this barn that could possibly be causing this:
1. She is getting 100 percent eastern oregon (orchard) hay of very high quality......and getting a lot of it compared to the past barn. Not sure exactly but I think she is getting at AT LEAST six flakes per day. Whereas at the last place, she was getting a minimum of 3.5 or four flakes a day and the rest was just filler local hay. She only gets a handful of grain so that's not an issue.
2. Second possibility is that the barn leaves a fluorescent light on all night in a hallway directly across from her stall...so the light shines directly in her stall all night long...and a radio is left on constantly to a country station. (The barn manager refuses to leave the barn in total darkness and also thinks the horses need the radio to keep them company). But the radio is annoying to me at times because of all the talking/commercials in between songs. Just me though.
I actually noticed today that my mare was VERY obviously in heat and I have never noticed her being in heat once the past year since I've owned her. I cannot stress enough how unusual it is for me to actually see her in heat...and I know this horse well. So I'm wondering if the constant light has sent her into early or stronger heat cycle and it is making her act more extreme than I am used to seeing her...and perhaps this could be the cause of her bad behavior?
But I also bring up the hay because my dressage instructor firmly believes that orchard hay can make some horses hot...whereas the barn manager says this hay is extremely benign and couldn't be causing my mare to act hot. And with my vet I kind of get more of a "perhaps" answer but frankly she wasn't helpful!!
Would like more opinions on this if possible.