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Unusual behavior.... laying down

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  • Unusual behavior.... laying down

    My horse has an unusual behavior. He lays down alot. Its not just going out and he is sunning himself in the pasture.

    Yesterday I rode, and took it very easy. Walked for 20-30 mins in the arena( soreness issues) and after I rode, I groomed and let him back out into the pasture. I just barely taken the halter off, and he took 2 steps, sniffed the ground and plopped down. Right infront of me, like he was so exhausted he couldn't take it.

    I kinda looked at him a bit, got him up and was listening to his gut sounds and checking him over and he seemed fine, so I shoo-ed him away a bit and he trotted right over to another area 30 ft away, sniffed and again plopped down. I watched him this time from the barn. He did a few rolls and then layed out flat, like he had been shot. He grunted and groaned a little, and then I went back out to look at him. By now I am seriously like WTF. He got up when I came over and I walked him out into the pasture with the other horses and he proceeded to start grazing.

    I asked the BO to keep an eye on him, and he told me that my horse actually does this almost every time after I ride, and that at first he was concerned too... but now he isn't. He called to let me know several hours later he was out there acting like a horse should.

    I guess its normal for him, having him drop at my feet like that made my stomach get all knotted up! All sorts of worse case senerios go thru my head!
    Formally Marinewife91

  • #2
    My horse used to sleep A LOT before we got her on a program that works for her. When we were at our old hunter barn, they would feet her 9 qts. of sweet feed per day ( - they wanted her fat fat fat), turn her out all night with a young horse to keep her moving and "tired", and when she was ridden by anyone it was for 45 minutes-1 hour without pause, and with a lot of jumping. Poor girl was too fat to feel good with all that exercise, and at the end of the day she would be flat-out exhausted; you couldn't get her to stand up for the world.

    We have since cut her grain, she's lost weight and is now good and lean and happy to be worked for as long as what's within reason and she doesn't lay down nearly as much. Maybe your guy has a little too much weight on him to be comfortable working? It could also be a pain/soreness-related issue - if he really is hurting somewhere maybe even gentle short rides hurt/tire him out enough to make him want to rest.

    I wouldn't be calling the emergency line on this one, but perhaps next time the vet is out for something (vaccinations, look at another horse, etc) maybe you can schedule a short time to discuss the issue. It could be a clue to underlying issues. Of course, it could always just be how your horse is. For animals of habit, they're very good at defying the norm.
    http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/profile/Ashley26

    "You keep one leg on one side, the other leg on the other side, and your mind in the middle." -- Henry Taylor, "Riding Lesson"

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    • #3
      I have a very lazy bunch here too. Broodmares and foals and they are laying down a lot. Snoozing in the sun, yet they do NOTHING.

      I would actually take as a compliment that your horse feels safe and comfortable laying down. If, of course, everything else is normal.
      www.EquusMagnificus.ca
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      • #4
        It could be totally benign, or it could be narcolepsy or major sleep deprivation. In other words, you've got one of three problems: either he's too comfortable and happy with his life so he feels free to tank out anytime he likes, or something is making him nervous and vigilant and is keeping him from sleeping, or he's got a physiological problem that's causing this. It's probably not narcolepsy since he appears to only do it after the ride--most of the horses that seem to have narcolepsy go down at random and/or go down when their vagus nerve is pinched by something like girth tightening.

        Talk to your vet about it and do a little thinking about the horse's place in the pecking order. If he either feels like he's top dog and needs to look out for everybody, or if he's very intimidated by a herd member and thinks that he needs to stay on guard all the time until that other horse is busy (at which point your horse gets in a cat nap), that could explain things. If the vet says it's nothing and there's nothing going on with the herd dynamics, you probably just have a Very Happy Horse.
        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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        • #5
          I know this seems like the answer to any question that gets asked on here, but it could be ulcers. The acid splashes around when they run around so it could be that the ride irritated his stomach and made him want to lie down. Or it could be nothing, but I would look into it just in case.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home

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          • #6
            You say he has soreness issues? What sort of soreness issues?

            He may be laying down because he's uncomfortable standing. If that's the case, I'd say you really need to do something to manage his pain.

            It may be interesting to treat him with bute or previcoxx for a few days and see if his laying down issues change at all. If he spends more time on his feet, then you know that he's laying down because he's in pain.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Simkie: he was trimmed Sat and is still tender footed( barefoot).

              He is a very unusual horse in the pecking order.... I think he is very confident guy. According to the BO , when he lets the horses in at night, Ecks comes in first, and everyone else fights behind him waiting for him to come in, because he saunters in ..... like la de da. I guess it really puts the other horses into a tizzy since no one will dare pass him. He is VERY mellow. But he doesn't do alot of chasing , ear pinning, or kicking( like the lead and only mare who brings new meaning to the word B*****). He just is.

              personally I think he has my number and likes to see me have heart attacks on a pretty regular basis! LMAO!
              Formally Marinewife91

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ecks Marx The Spot View Post
                Simkie: he was trimmed Sat and is still tender footed( barefoot).
                Is this normal for your horse? Is this normal for other barefooted horses? Does the laying down coincide with his trims?

                The fact that the horse is still sore three days after a trimming is an eyebrow-raiser for me. I have kept horses barefoot and shod, and none of them have had three days soreness unless the farrier/trimmer did something wrong (nicked them with a nail, trimmed toes too short, etc.). I would be looking into the trim work done on your guy to see if the footsoreness is causing him enough discomfort to not want to walk around much, or to get off his feet. Maybe ride him in boots one day and see if he lays down afterwards.

                Ulcers was also a good suggestion, but the foot thing really stood out to me - I'd look into that first.
                http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/profile/Ashley26

                "You keep one leg on one side, the other leg on the other side, and your mind in the middle." -- Henry Taylor, "Riding Lesson"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 00Jumper View Post
                  Is this normal for your horse? Is this normal for other barefooted horses? Does the laying down coincide with his trims?

                  The fact that the horse is still sore three days after a trimming is an eyebrow-raiser for me. I have kept horses barefoot and shod, and none of them have had three days soreness unless the farrier/trimmer did something wrong (nicked them with a nail, trimmed toes too short, etc.). I would be looking into the trim work done on your guy to see if the footsoreness is causing him enough discomfort to not want to walk around much, or to get off his feet. Maybe ride him in boots one day and see if he lays down afterwards.

                  Ulcers was also a good suggestion, but the foot thing really stood out to me - I'd look into that first.
                  I think this is a smart observation.

                  And, I too, don't want to make ulcers the scapegoat for everything, buuuuut my first experience 3 years ago with actual bad ulcers in my mustang, I had given him bute for a pain killer and within a day he began lying down A LOT. I thought he was sleepy, it was spring and the horses would kick it up a lot, being an oldster I thought he was just pooped.... nope, few days later he started to back off his hard feed till one day he wouldn't touch it.... thats when I suspected ulcers and got him ugard.

                  In my horse's case, it was the bute that inflamed him up, and he went down hill fast, bounced right back with ugard though.

                  But, hindsight being 20/20, the excessive lying down was the first clue.

                  If it were me, I'd probably pop the $34 on a tube of ugard, do the 4 day treatment and see if the lying down stops. At worst, its a wasted $34.

                  I'd also try the boot idea too, or, keep a log at least to see if he lies down quicker or longer close to his trim date, etc.

                  Said mustang used to lie down for no apparent reason and stay down, as if pooped, years ago when he was a younger boy but very lame... I figured it was because he was lame. He was on daily bute back then, but had absolutely no other symptom of ulcers (healthy, shiny, ate everything, etc).... so I look back and wonder sometimes.... Oh, and yawning... excessive yawing was another clue from back then that he was having a difficult time with ulcers... poor dude, I didn't know for years he was suffering
                  Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

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                  • #10
                    Sounds a bit like my horse

                    It sounds normal to me.

                    After I ride I usually let my girl go for a role in the sand arena. Some days after rolling she roll over on her side and have a quick lay down flat out. She doens't actually close her eyes and sleep but just relaxes (while other horses and ponies ride around her ). I just sit next to her and wait till she's done. She's quite dominent, has her own turn out (24 hours) and lies down to sleep on her own at least a couple times a day.

                    Some other horses in our barn will lie with their feet tucked up under/beside them after rolling for a while before they decide to get up.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by 00Jumper View Post
                      Is this normal for your horse? Is this normal for other barefooted horses? Does the laying down coincide with his trims?

                      Ulcers was also a good suggestion, but the foot thing really stood out to me - I'd look into that first.
                      I just bought this horse at the end of Dec, and the BO has noticed the laying down behavoir since I have been boarding there. I could ask the previous owner if this was normal behavoir though... he was used as a pasture ordement before , and now is in "training" ridden 30-40 mins 5 times a week.

                      As far as the trim goes, this again being I have only had him 3 mos, this was his second trim with the farrier I used( new to the area so I know no horse people, used him on recs from the BO). He was not sore after the first trim that I recall . He is day 4 post trim and still tender footed( I was not there BTW, long story posted it already in off Course), but improving. I am not happy with this either, and will likely look for a different farrier, but I digress.....

                      Off topic but what causes Ulcers in horses? I would love to know more info on that. I work as a Small animal Vet tech and can order this from work if I need to at a signifigant savings so $$ is not a concern. I have been out of horses for about 14 years though, so this is new to me.

                      Thank you !
                      Formally Marinewife91

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                        I know this seems like the answer to any question that gets asked on here, but it could be ulcers. The acid splashes around when they run around so it could be that the ride irritated his stomach and made him want to lie down. Or it could be nothing, but I would look into it just in case.
                        Exactly what I was going to say, and my horse did the EXACT thing and it turned out to be ulcers. In fact, if you look back in my posts about 6 months ago, I posted nearly the same question except I thought he was super tired or drunk because he had this miserable look on his face. But he had good gut sounds and his manure was fine.

                        Off topic but what causes Ulcers in horses? I would love to know more info on that. I work as a Small animal Vet tech and can order this from work if I need to at a signifigant savings so $$ is not a concern. I have been out of horses for about 14 years though, so this is new to me.
                        Want more info on ulcers? Use the search function on here and you will get TONS AND TONS of information!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          OK, rolling after a ride, fine, a quick roll, doing this regularly and for more than a few seconds...not normal.

                          Donkey, I am also worried about your horse. My NSH was on to lay about, but as he was hand raised, he always did this and was one that I said would sit on the couch and watch TV if he could. so for some reason, no alarm bells rang....He was Top Ten at US nationals twice, after the second Nationals, He was 5, when we got home, a couple weeks later he colicked. Off to University we go, where we make it through and thats when they said...ULCERS...oh my god, i felt terrible, I mean every stinking sign was there..but as I said..we just thought it was him, any other horse I immediately would have been on alert, but this was my baby. Needless to say, he colicked again shortly after the first time, had surgery, ans sadly, did not make it. Remember, horses will lay down, occassionally, (Sun Naps, Night in the stal etcl) but this is not a typical behavior, and can mean several things, from ulcers, to bad trim, to navicular.....i would definitely pay close attention and check amount of water intake, how often urinating, etc. It may be "Normal" because we want it to be...but in reality, there is a great chance of a problem, big or small. Good Luck, and I hope all is well@!

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                          • #14
                            My mustang likes to lay down - a lot!!
                            It's not unusual for him to lay down after I am done riding him (although he doesn't plop right then and there...). If I ride him first and then ride my other guy, he will often lay down almost the whole time I am riding the other horse... He is a mellow dude!
                            "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

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                            • #15
                              updates?

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Ecks Marx The Spot View Post
                                I just bought this horse at the end of Dec, and the BO has noticed the laying down behavoir since I have been boarding there. I could ask the previous owner if this was normal behavoir though... he was used as a pasture ordement before , and now is in "training" ridden 30-40 mins 5 times a week.
                                In only three months, he's gone from a pasture ornament to a horse in full training being ridden 30-40 minutes 5x/week. He's barefoot. He's laying down a lot after being ridden. Have you tried booting him for riding? Could he be sore?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Ecks Marx The Spot View Post
                                  I just bought this horse at the end of Dec, and the BO has noticed the laying down behavoir since I have been boarding there. I could ask the previous owner if this was normal behavoir though... he was used as a pasture ordement before , and now is in "training" ridden 30-40 mins 5 times a week.


                                  the horse is sore feet and tired ans you doing to much with him
                                  he was a pasture puff

                                  As far as the trim goes, this again being I have only had him 3 mos, this was his second trim with the farrier I used( new to the area so I know no horse people, used him on recs from the BO). He was not sore after the first trim that I recall . He is day 4 post trim and still tender footed( I was not there BTW, long story posted it already in off Course), but improving. I am not happy with this either, and will likely look for a different farrier, but I digress.....

                                  your working this boy to hard and his feet are probably suffering as he more than likely needs shoes as hes foot sore keep it up and he wil end up standing on the ground and not getting

                                  Off topic but what causes Ulcers in horses? I would love to know more info on that. I work as a Small animal Vet tech and can order this from work if I need to at a signifigant savings so $$ is not a concern. I have been out of horses for about 14 years though, so this is new to me.

                                  Thank you !
                                  its nothing to do with ulcers its to do with to much work and wearing him out to a point of no return he was a pasture puff gone from doing nothing as in probably fat and lazy
                                  towork 30 to 4omins and i bet its more 5 times a week
                                  you need to reduce and slowly bring him back into work not expect him to work
                                  as he is doing, hes tired becuase all the mussles hes using now are hurtiing him as hes not used to it and then its putting extra stress and strains on his legs as hes not used to it the to top that hes trimmed to short hes in agony thats why hes laying down

                                  get a qualfied farrier out now to address his hooves then give him a week off
                                  then bring back into work slowly doing 5 to 10mins then slowl build him up to an hour over a period of 3mths give the horse the chance to start to get fit

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My horse just recently started laying down alot, and in strange places at strange times. Had the vet and chiro out, his back and hocks were sore. Could be normal for your horse, but anything out of the norm for your particular horse could be a red flag.

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