we currently board our horse at a newish to us barn. The barn she came from (in October) had full day turn out, so this horse was turned out for 6-8 hours every day ( she has always had alot of turnout, actually her entire life). When I inquired about turnout at this new barn, I was told that they were out at least 6 hours a day. Well, that's not the case. My horse goes out with one other horse in a dirt fenced in area (I can't even call it a pasture because it's so small) for about 2 hours and not every day. I've been told they get hay out there and I think they do. Anyway, this horse is now a mess. Very, very girthy and gets angry when we brush anywhere near the stomach. So much so that she will kick out with her back feet or kind of sort of strike out with her front feet (I shouldn't even say strike out because she really doesn't do that bue she will lift her front leg(s)) when we brush around the underside of her stomach. She has also become very spooky and very high maintainence. I thought maybe the spookiness was due to the fact that I had taken her off her calming supps because she was doing really well about a month ago. She is now back on them just to help her get through the day while she's stuck in her stall. Also, her next door neighbor is a complete FREAK. This other horse will slam herself up against the stall wall on my horse's side, or she will literally rear in her stall when it's feeding time and I think this is stressing my horse out. They won't move her to another stall, I've already asked. Needless to say, I am beyond angry about the lack of turnout and will be moving her to another barn where she will be turned out for at least 6 hours and won't have a bipolar neighbor. I'm wondering if she has an ulcer now because of her behavior. Her coat looks great. She is eating her grain and hay and drinking normally. She is just very spooky and girthy. She will be moved at the end of this month. Should I put her on some ulcer medication just to get her through this month do you think? having to pay this month's board for our current barn and a security deposit for the rent on the new barn and adding the supplements again has left me with no extra money so I don't want to have the vet out to scope her because I just don't have any extra money. I can't spend anything for even my family until next Friday when I get paid.
I think your horse is just full of energy. She is so full of herself that she is acting out in any way she can. I wouldn't put her on ulcer medication and the bipolar horse next door is that way because of 22 hours in a 12 foot box. Your horse will probably return to normal after she is on turn out at the new place. This could take a while though. Be prepared that some of her new behaviors may not go away without retraining. Is there any way to exercise her more or to turn her out in the arena or something? You are in for a long month... Good luck at your new place.
That's really what I was hoping. I hate that she is so nervous and anxious but I'm trying to get her settled and out of there as soon as possible. She just wants to be outside! I really can't get her out much because this is a huge barn and there are lessons going on round the clock!
Is there a way they could put her in the arena at night after the lessons are done? Even if you did that a few nights a week it could really help. Put her in there with hay and water. If you were able to clean up after her in the morning they just might give it a try for the time you are there.
It absolutely could be ulcers. The sudden girthyness and touchiness around her stomach is a big sign. If you can't afford to do a few tubes of ulcergard, talk to your vet about trying ranitidine. It worked on my horse in a matter of a few days, and was much cheaper. The change in environment and supplements and stresses of the new neighbor could certainly give your mare an ulcer. Yes, she could also have some extra pent up energy contributing to it, but I would at least try treating for ulcers. Not every horse with ulcers gets a dull coat, mine never did. Since she is so used to being out I would try to get her out every chance you get.
FWIW around here horses are in their stalls 22 hours a day and most are just fine. Pasture and turnout is pretty much nonexistent in this area.