• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Horse Anxious in Stall

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Horse Anxious in Stall

    Okay, here's my problem. Just brought my 4 year old mare home for the trainer for a little break (mostly for my wallet ). She has been in the training barn for 8 months and has done super. She was stalled during the day and they did note that she became anxious when they shut the window in the back of her stall. Prior to moving to our farm, she was at a boarding barn and was stalled nightly, ditto on becoming anxious if the stall window was closed up. Based on that I'd suspect mild claustrophobia.

    Soooo, this weekend I bring her home. While she was gone, we built a shed row barn and I intentionally made the back wall airy at the top due to her anxiety when not being able to see out. When I first walked her into the barn, she freaked and tried to rush out of the stall. I shut the door and the top grill and she threatened to climb over (at least 8 feet high to the top of the grill, but she was going up). She eventually got calmer but was still anxious. So I moved her to the largest stall (14x16) to give her a little more room. (Regular stall is 12x14.) She's still extremely anxious -- lots of circling and clearly agitated.

    I don't get it. The stall is very open -- big grill areas on the front and on the shared wall with the next stall. The back wall is solid up to 6 feet, but open at her eye level. This mare was perfectly content in a much smaller stall at competitions and very happy at the training barn, but she's a wreck at home.

    Any ideas on what her problem might be or how to help her settle?

    Here's a link to a picture of the barn http://www.flickr.com/photos/27308093@N05/2555340403/ you can see the back wall and how open in general the stalls are.
    Last edited by Debbie; Dec. 9, 2008, 07:46 PM. Reason: to add photo link
    If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb


  • #2
    Since it's a shedrow...can she see out the front of the stall to the outside?
    My mare had the opposite problem...she got antsy if she could see outside but seeing the inside barn aisle and neighbors were fine. She'd worry constantly if there was a window in the back of her stall that something would sneak up on her so she'd spend all her time staring out the window and jumping at every little movement or sound. She was backwards...most horses seem to feel more at ease the more/farther they can see. She felt more jumpy if she had a back stall window.
    Except for my backwards mare...most horses I know that get fidgety in a stall do better/calm down if they have a 4' high open area they can see out of easily. Some find it more relaxing to be able to see the world go by, keeps them from being bored. Others feel safer if they aren't closed in from behind, like they think it hides possible predators and blocks off the flight/escape route.
    Can you open up a lower/larger window area in the back of one of the stalls? I'd bet she calms down more, although making a newer/bigger window is a pita. Maybe also try a stall mirror? Some stall pacers seem to like having those.
    Nice size stalls for a shedrow BTW! Any barn photos?
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks Mistyblue, you may be on to something. She can see out both the front and rear of her stall. Both the boarding barn and the training barn are center aisle barns, but she would get anxious if she couldn't see out the back of her stall there. She never settled at our new farm. We moved last December and she was here until April out 24/7. She was fairly wired the whole time. She also thought the run in that we built was haunted and it was solid to 14 feet on three sides. There's no pleasing her! What's the quote? She's an enigma wrapped up in a riddle? Oy vey...

      At the training barn they marvel at what a calm and brave 4 year old she is. We can't move to accommodate baby girl's neurosis about our farm! It's due to rain tonight, so she's going to have to spend the night in since the other two feel strongly that rain drops shouldn't touch their delicate hides and I won't make them suffer for her issue.
      If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Well she did fine overnight. Her stall was fairly trashed from being walked but her eye is calm and she's starting to settle. She's in again all day as we have T-Storms coming in and when they are out they stand right under our huge lightening rod oaks and tempt the fates.

        I love riding this mare -- she was exceptionally well started and tons of fun -- but the other 23 hours a day she's a PITA at my house. Makes me crazy; I'd love to keep her, but this has to get worked out.

        My other two mares could care less about whatever it is that keeps her in a tizzy, but 2 other horses I've had at the farm have reacted equally as odd. I think it's the tranisition from a larger facility with more horses and activity to a quieter place that unnerves them. We have horses on two sides of our property so they see others, but it's the only thing I can figure.
        If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey Debbie - I don't have any great advice for you other than to just give her time, and have you tried any gastrogard, and/or any calming supplements?

          If it helps any, I have agree with you that some horses just cope better in larger active barns. I have three horses at home. Both of my TB geldings have been living at home with me since I bought them last year - one came off the track, so he was use to routine and obviously the track is super busy. The other I bought as my main competition horse, he was living at his previous owners place, but she had 10 horses there and they were all out 24x7.

          So going from busy barns to my quiet place was hard on both of them. They both were anxious and alert for a long time. The one thing I try to do, which some times is not good, is give them a routine. I think when they know what to expect they find it calming.

          They are definitely more relaxed now - but it took my OTTB several months. Both horses still have moments of anxiety and I have no idea what sets them off.

          I haul to my trainers often to use her indoor and take lessons, and they are much calmer at her place - but she has 20+ horses and lots of activity. And when I am at her place I can go hack in the fields or around the track, and they are happy and calm...but I try to hack them in my neighbors fields here at home, and they get tense and worry.

          It's a PITA and frustrating...but much like you, I love riding both of these horses...I feel horse rich when I think about how fabulous they are for me. So selling isn't an option for me, so I try to do what I can to help them cope. And as I said, they have adjusted...it just took a long tim.


          Good Luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            If you have your own barn, can you just leave the stall door open 24/7 and let her come and go as she wants?

            She may be super anxious because she's just come to the barn and is missing her old routine, and that's just made her baseline anxiety worse.

            If you can't turn her out all the time, can you put a radio set to either classical music or low-level talk in the barn aisle at night? The radio and music can be soothing and can also screen out sounds that might be making her jumpy.

            Good luck.
            "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

            Comment


            • #7
              She may miss the hustle and bustle of the bigger barn, most of mine have always done better in the bigger, busier barns. I guess it's genetic, they like numbers and routine.

              Can she see other horses all the time? Alot of them like to see their neighbor and seem to get comfort from that.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

              Comment


              • #8
                I say give it time...lots of time.

                I have a high maintenance gelding--very herd bound and absolutely cannot be left in the barn or turned out alone. I'm typically the type to say, "Just get over it!" when a horse is this way, but he's 19 and never changing. I've had him for 13 years.

                He also does best in a busy, "lots of things going on" type of barn. The more horses around, the happier he is. Needless to say, when he moved to our new farm in the summer of 2007 (with only our pony and a miniature donkey), it took him a long time (a good 6 months) to settle in and completely relax.

                But, if things change (for example, a pony we were leasing out came back for 6 months, and then we got a pony colt in July), it's back to the drawing board. Hardest thing is turnout because I often have to shuffle everyone around to accomodate a new guy and that really throws Rocky for a loop--he's pacing, screaming, and generally drives me crazy.

                It took me a long time to realize this, mainly because he always seemed like low man on the totem pole at previous barns, but he definitely feels that he is the herd guardian. At this point time, he is the alpha over the 2 ponies and the donkey and he definitely views it as his little herd. He'll tolerate being out with just one other friend (right now he and the baby go out together), but he is very vigilant.

                Once I started to understand how he was wired (why I love having the boys at home!), it helped me not be so frustrated. He still gives me gray hair at times, but I come to realize that patience is a virtue when dealing with his idiosyncrasies.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Definitely could be the quieter home farm transition too as well as the missing back window. When we brought my spooky mare home she came from a boarding barn that was large and busy and a stall with no windows in it execpt for into the aisle.
                  She went from relatively calm to jumpy for the first 4-6 weeks until she got used to the peace and quiet and lack of activity. I'd bet over time she calms down a bit more. And hopefully she doesn't use up a few thousand dollars worth of bedding before then.
                  You jump in the saddle,
                  Hold onto the bridle!
                  Jump in the line!
                  ...Belefonte

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks for the ideas! She can see her barn mates and I left a radio playing this morning for them. I wish I could let her come and go, but the barn is not in a fenced area (my one HUGE regret about our little farm).

                    Funny you say that KellyS, because my thought about her "issues" on my farm are that she is the alpha, but I think she's too insecure to be comfortable as the alpha so it makes her hyper vigilant. My other two girls are waaaay too laid back to challenge her dominance. When she's in a larger herd, I think she gets knocked out of the top spot (literally judging by the nicks) and can relax.

                    I think I'll just enforce a routine and not cater to her and see if she settles. She's been for sale all summer, but I was kind of hopeful I could make it work with her. Fingers crossed she gets with the program!
                    If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What about her feed? Would it help to reduce the concentrates and up the hay?
                      My Equestrian Art Photography page

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks draftdriver; I'm a believer in all the hay they will eat (or twirl into their bedding in this case) and next to nothing on the concentrates. She gets .75 pounds of pellets each a.m. and p.m. -- basically something to get her excited about showing up and that's all. BTW, she's a BIG girl 17 hand 3/4 TB, 1/4 Shire cross. So far she's holding her weight despite the tizzies.
                        If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Debbie View Post
                          Okay, here's my problem. Just brought my 4 year old mare home for the trainer for a little break (mostly for my wallet ). She has been in the training barn for 8 months and has done super. She was stalled during the day and they did note that she became anxious when they shut the window in the back of her stall. Prior to moving to our farm, she was at a boarding barn and was stalled nightly, ditto on becoming anxious if the stall window was closed up. Based on that I'd suspect mild claustrophobia.

                          Soooo, this weekend I bring her home. While she was gone, we built a shed row barn and I intentionally made the back wall airy at the top due to her anxiety when not being able to see out. When I first walked her into the barn, she freaked and tried to rush out of the stall. I shut the door and the top grill and she threatened to climb over (at least 8 feet high to the top of the grill, but she was going up). She eventually got calmer but was still anxious. So I moved her to the largest stall (14x16) to give her a little more room. (Regular stall is 12x14.) She's still extremely anxious -- lots of circling and clearly agitated.

                          I don't get it. The stall is very open -- big grill areas on the front and on the shared wall with the next stall. The back wall is solid up to 6 feet, but open at her eye level. This mare was perfectly content in a much smaller stall at competitions and very happy at the training barn, but she's a wreck at home.

                          Any ideas on what her problem might be or how to help her settle?

                          Here's a link to a picture of the barn http://www.flickr.com/photos/27308093@N05/2555340403/ you can see the back wall and how open in general the stalls are.
                          My horse is happier in a 12X12. I had him in a large 12 X 16 stall with bars on three sides where he could see quite a bit and he never relaxed. I moved him to a small stall with less view and he is happier.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've moved one horse 2x and the other horse 1x - they definitely take a couple weeks to settle in, and it seems more the case when they are stalled. They have to figure out the new routine and what's "normal" in the new space. Mine have tended to be easily startled and very alert for a while. All those new smells, sights, sounds, and horses to get used to!

                            My older mare (18 yo) loathes being in a stall. She's been boarded at many places all her life where she is in for most of the day, half the day, etc. but she just hates it. She's grumpy, she gnashes her teeth at everyone who walks by, she throws tantrums, rattles her buckets, she bangs on the door and calls if she hears someone come in the barn who might be kind enough to let her out, and when you open the door she shoves her head in the halter as if to say "get that thing on me NOW and take me outside!!"

                            I've never seen her lay down and sleep in the stall (but often find her laying down in the pasture). She's really thrived since being changed over to 24/7 turnout a few years ago, though sometimes she needs to be in for vet care, etc. If that's the case I put her in the stall with windows, and usually put my other mare in the next stall (there's a window between the stalls, too!) so she doesn't feel like she's in prison.

                            My other mare, however, could stand in a stall all day - she really doesn't seem to care where she is.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              i didn't read all the posts so don't know if someone else mentioned it. but for real anxious horses sometime putting a plexyglass mirror in the stall helps a lot.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X