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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2011
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    East Longmeadow, MA
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    Default Oh, my poor boy. Sorry, long. UPDATE last post

    I know that in the grand scheme of things this isn't earth shattering. But I feel SO bad for my poor horse. I had no idea things were this bad in his poor little head.

    Yesterday I was in his stall with him taking his sheet off, when the (really wonderful) barn worker appeared outside his stall with the hose to fill up his water bucket. That's all she did - put the hose through the bars and filled his bucket. He FREAKED. Jumped around, trembled. I out loud wondered what on earth could have freaked him out and she told me he does this every. single. day when she fills his water bucket.

    Now he has been there for almost 4 years and to the very best of my knowlwedge no one at this barn has ever treated him unkindly. It's a wonderful place. I love the BO, she's great. He IS a nervous nelly - has to be sedated for the farrier, has to be sedated heavily to be clipped. I only gave up and went this route after years of trying to work with him on these issues, WITH professional help.

    I have tried him on mare magic with no results. He's very calm with me for the most part, but still a little spooky under saddle when we encounter something unusual - for example, yesterday out on the trail we met two other horses under saddle that he had never seen before. Freaked him OUT. He was nervous and weaty and jumpy for the rest of the ride.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Last edited by oliverreed; Apr. 11, 2013 at 08:02 AM. Reason: update
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,402

    Default

    Some of them are just that way - but vision issues can play into it too. I've ridden horses spooky on one side and the best thing I could figure was that their vision was compromised on that side, after being spooked with numerous times by one and putting together the common element that there was something coming up behind him, plus sharp left hand turns just weren't happening with this horse, he'd run out/stay straight. Very nice boy otherwise.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
    Posts
    6,621

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oliverreed View Post
    Yesterday I was in his stall with him taking his sheet off, when the (really wonderful) barn worker appeared outside his stall with the hose to fill up his water bucket. That's all she did - put the hose through the bars and filled his bucket. He FREAKED. Jumped around, trembled. I out loud wondered what on earth could have freaked him out and she told me he does this every. single. day when she fills his water bucket.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Easy solution for the water - ask to have his water bucket hand filled, set up a auto-water system etc

    Have you checked recently for vision, hearing, ulcer issues?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2011
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    East Longmeadow, MA
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    Default

    No, Alto, but I sure will now!
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2007
    Location
    down south
    Posts
    5,060

    Default

    Yep, I'd check his vision. That can make them even more spooky to things. Also maybe treat for ulcers.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2006
    Location
    Overland, MO
    Posts
    1,354

    Default

    Check his vision. I had a horse who would have complete and total come-aparts over the oddest, simplest things, yet would walk past other spookier (IMO) objects with no hesitation. That was the first thing the vet checked, multiple time in fact. (Ultimately, the vet decided, and I concurred, that the horse just had a few screws loose.)



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    1,287

    Default

    Poor guy! Did he spook with the hose coming through the bars (before the water being on)? Or even prior (appearance of person?) then maybe vision issues. Did he only spook once the water turned on? Then maybe it's the sound the water makes. I'd try to observe the situation a couple more times before asking the barn help to change their routine. Even better, can you fill his water or simulate filling his water while you are there to observe what he does, when he does it, and what might be the trigger?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    8,668

    Default

    OR,
    before incurring hundreds of dollars in vet bills, "knock twice" by bumping the hose quietly on the stall wall out of sight and offering a treat, so that the horse associates the "hey there" knock with a treat.

    When he starts coming to the front of the stall for his treat upon hearing the knock, put the hose in the stall (slide it in like a normal person, not all aflail) as you offer the treat.
    Have him come to the front for a treat again before withdrawing the hose when finished.

    Additionally, assuming the barn help is not spraying water all over the aisle between stalls and there is some sort of on/off mechanism on this hose, opening up the water flow SLOWLY, and/or putting the hose BELOW THE SURFACE FIRST makes the whole experience a lot more zen.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2007
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    down south
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    Default

    See I would have first said someone at the barn may have been a jerk at some point and hosed him in the face. But then you said all the other spook issues, it makes more sense that this maybe a vision or hearing issue.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2011
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    East Longmeadow, MA
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    Default

    He will stand somewhat quietly for bathing but NOT if you get the hose anywhere near his face. I'd really hate to think this fearfulness was a product of anything that happened to him before I got him, I think it is highly unlikely as the folks I bought him from are highly respected in the Paso Fino world. The junior trainer did tell me, when I picked him up, that the horse "needs more self confidence." Knowing now what I didn't then, this was probably a red flag. But it doesn't matter now, he's not going anywhere.
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2003
    Location
    Cocoa, Fla
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    Default

    I agree with getting his vision checked, and while vet is out have his magnesium levels checked. If his levels are below the middle of normal get a magnesium supplement - like Quiessence. It's really amaszing how much a difference that can make.
    Sandy in Fla.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2012
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    Moved South from North Pole
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    729

    Default

    Are you positive that no one is hitting him to get him to move? When horses get head shy, the reason is usually that someone is popping them in the head.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2009
    Location
    Heart of Dixie
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    239

    Default

    If he does that everyday, why on earth didn't she at least wait until you were out of the stall? At least you didn't get hurt.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    Jun. 7, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hpilot View Post
    If he does that everyday, why on earth didn't she at least wait until you were out of the stall? At least you didn't get hurt.
    If the barn staff has not figured out how to water this horse without it climbing the walls after having this same problem 365 times for the past four years, I highly doubt they are going to put two and two together that mayhap we might want to warn the human stuck in the box with him that he is about to blow his sh*t.

    Do they even scan their eyes into the stall to see if the horse is still in there when they water or just peer down at the 3 square inches necessary to aim the hose? If the horse was laying on the floor dead would they notice or just top off the bucket and trundle forth?


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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
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    Default

    Um seems to me the barn help should speak to each horse before doing anything in the stall. I did that when watering horses with very open stalls. Makes one wonder if they just enter the stalls for blanketing, mucking or anything. If so the horse may be on edge wondering what is going to suddenly appear next.

    For the record horses have kicked out, spooked and scooted about in their stalls when I have forgotten to announce my presence. Especially those with a strong flee or fight response.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim


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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2000
    Location
    Greenville, MI,
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    Default

    Hmmm Seems odd that has been going on for 4 years,
    You have never filled his water bucket while he is in his stall?
    I have taken care of many horses, and while some if they have there back turned or head down while eating might startle a bit, I usually speak to them and put the hose below the water level or direct to the wall of the bucket so it is not so loud. IT seems odd to me that has always gone on. I can't help thinking someone has sprayed this horse in the face to move him. Just my opinion. Even the spookiest horse gets over his water bucket being filled, unless there is something traumatic related to it.
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2007
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    down south
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    Default

    Also check his vitamin b levels.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
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    NYC=center of the universe
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    Default

    Something is definitely weird here. Not sure if it's the horse or the barn help. Maybe both.

    For comparison, my mare is nervous with certain things - hoses, things that move too fast, etc. I've watched the barn guys fill her water buckets... The guy comes to the front of her stall, puts his hand out to greet and pet her, and fills her buckets. The interaction is really sweet and reassuring, so there's no reason for her to be nervous about it. (These guys also take the barn cat upstairs for company during lunch! Love them!)

    If you haven't seen the interaction much, I would find an opportunity to watch how they're filling the buckets. If they just shove the hose in quickly without any warning, if he can't see them coming, I can see how that might startle a nervous horse. Annnd... If that's the case and they're not changing their habits to make life a little less scary after four years, why not?!
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2010
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    Satan's Steam Sauna
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    Default

    As a person who startles easily, I am so sympathetic to spooky horses. Hope the eyes are okay and the barn help can do some things to make things less stressful.
    Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 19, 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    My spooky horse had a chipped bone in his hock. Probably got it in some accident before he came to me. I had him for 8 1/2 years before finding the chipped bone. He was spookier on days his hock was sore, as if his subconscious knew he needed the extra split second head start to escape the wolves.

    Other than the odd NQR day, and a lack of jumping confidence there was no sign of a problem until the day he went dead lame between one step and the next in the warm up ring at a show. He was sound by the time the show vet saw him. My vet "broke him" a week or so later with a flexion test on that hock.



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