Our filly went into heat for the first time at about 9 months of age. She's in heat right now at 12 months old and she is getting belligerent and aggressive towards the barn staff in a way that is not typical of her. They handle her daily and have not had any problems with her in the past.
We'll be consulting with our vet, but I wanted to see if anyone here has experienced something similar and what solutions you were able to come up with.
It is normal for a filly to come into heat as a yearling or even younger. Sometimes they still seem like such babies, but we forget that a yearling can easily get pregnant.
Perhaps the personality change is just a stage? I've personally always found that yearlings are the most difficult to deal with, in that they seem like human teenagers; testing the limits. They are almost constantly asking can I do this? What about this? And it seems to get better when they get closer to being 2 years old, as long as they are handled appropriately. Is the personality change only occuring while in heat? Or is it happening even when not in heat? It could be hormonally related, but it could also be a stage.
Thanks for the replies. The problems seem to be related to when she is in heat- she's normally sweet and she's gotten aggressive. The BO and staff are used to dealing with baby TB's but she is becoming a bit of a problem.
We're definitely going to look into it from the vet prospective as well as getting her some additional ground work training in order to establish some more boundaries.
The filly belongs to my Dad so I just handle things like researching problems, transportation, etc. She is currently in Rehoboth, DE in order to be be Delaware Certified, so she's 2 hrs away from me. I haven't met the vet and I really don't know about the pool of vet talent in that area. Is it normal to use your regular vet for things like potential hormone problems, or would people normally recommend a reproductive specialist? I have mainly had geldings for my own horses so this sort of thing hasn't come up.