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Horse pouts when he goes to the trainers!!!!

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  • Horse pouts when he goes to the trainers!!!!

    I need some advice on what to do in this situation. I need and want to send my horse off to the trainers for a month or so of training. I just don't have the consistency in my life right now to really get him going. So I take him over to my trainers and bamm, he quits eating his feed. The day I dropped him off I was in a hurry so didn't get a chance to say goodbye. Trainer calls me the next day, he's not eating. I am out of town til the following day so go over there as soon as I get home, he perks up a little when he sees me and I feed him his dinner which him nibbles on. He wont take a treat from her, but if I take the same treat and give it to him he'll eat it. So what the h e double hock sticks do I do so he will stay over there get his training and eat his dinner!! Also this is the only person I would trust with my horses so I know it's not the trainer or place. Plus he has been there before for like clinics and stuff and stayed the night. Is he too attached to me, his pasture mates? Any ideas on how to get him over this would be wonderful.

  • #2
    He will get over it, he will eat. Just leave him alone.


    • Original Poster

      You don't think he will give himself an ulcer or colic??? It worried me so much I did bring him home after the fourth day, and we plan on trying it again. Even at home now he is only eating dinner, and half of his breakfast. Should I put him on ulcer medicine as a precaution while he's there?


      • #4
        I had a horse like this, but he got more aggressive about food (so at least he was eating). But he would buck and rear undersaddle (a lot) and be generally sour. He scoped clean for ulcers (despite past positive scopes) and we continued with ulcer prevention (ranitidine). I had had this horse for 7 years as his sole rider and in most recent years had been keeping him at home and did everything with him myself. He apparently was very attached to me and his routine, but I was out of the country for half a year. He survived and amazingly was a much better horse than I left. This was not because of the training (being ridden/free leased by a less experienced rider), but he wanted to give me his all when I got back. We earned a HOY award that year; it was amazing. Everyone commented on how different he was when I got back. Apparently he went from a mean, aggressive horse while I was gone to a play in your pocket type when I returned.

        I don't really have any advice other than to say, stick with it. Hopefully your horse will also come out for the better.

        Edit: given the info in your post above, I would check the horse for ulcers or start treatment asap before they get out of hand (if they are there). Given continued disruption of eating, that points to something being amiss. You could give the horse the time off that you need if does have ulcers or send him back to get over himself if he's fine. Make sure you get a good going over from a trusted vet. Good luck!


        • #5
          What are you feeding, especially hay-wise? When do you feed the hay in relationship to when you feed the grain? Is he getting warm water during the cold spells?


          • Original Poster

            I feed Alicia Hay. The hay is in the stalls when they come in for dinner, morning hay is waiting in the pasture when he goes out with the others. My trainer is pretty much the same way. His water is not warm though. I usually do all the barn chores in the morning so the water is sitting there when they come in.


            • #7
              My horse would be very unhappy at his trainer's (to be precise, my trainer's trainer). I think he sees him as "that ##$$!!! guy with the French accent who makes me work really hard." After his first experience with this guy, the second the trainer's trainer walked into the barn, my horse, who is normally very cooperative and friendly to a fault, would turn his butt to me and go into the corner of his stall and wouldn't come out without me scolding him. The trainer's trainer has gotten on him a couple of times and my horse won't give him much compared to what he gives my trainer (or me).

              Their relationship has gotten a bit better over the months, since the trainer's trainer has wised up and gives my boy pats and praise.


              • #8
                BTDT but my most recent experience is the little arab at the barn. His nickname is Drone. He shows up for work for the rest of us and wins awards with his momma. When she rides him he's fantastic, when the rest of us peons get on him he just goes through the motions. He doesn't eat the first couple of days after his momma leaves and he knows the school calendar by heart. There are a couple of kids that can get decent scores at the show with him but its not the same as with his mom and he knows it.
                Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                Originally Posted by alicen:
                What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


                • #9
                  Sounds like separation anxiety to me. Horses can get extremely bonded to the members of their own herd. They feel secure in their own herd because they know what their place is in the hierarchy. (Believe it or not, I've heard that Alpha horses can actually be more insecure than Omegas, because they are afraid of losing their position as herd boss. Omegas supposedly don't care as much since they are bottom of the totem pole anyway. But I'll bet that they get anxious too without their herd boss looking out for them.)

                  If there are horses at your trainer's place that he can see and interact with, then he will eventually get over it. (I would worry more if he was alone without equine companionship.) If you intend to show or travel to clinics, leaving the herd is something that your horse will have to get used to doing. Overtime he will learn that he goes away and comes back and everything is okay.

                  I have heard that a stall mirror can also help with separation anxiety--particularly to stop horses from engaging in stereotypies such as weaving, stall walking, etc.

                  Good luck!
                  "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                  • #10
                    I agree with the first poster. He'll get hungry and eat, he isn't stupid. He knows his body's limits. I wouldn't worry about one or two days.
                    "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" -Winston Churchill