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Thoughts on tranqulizing a horse to introduce them to a new turnout situation....

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  • Thoughts on tranqulizing a horse to introduce them to a new turnout situation....

    Hopefully my trio will be moving soon. I am concerned however about my husband's mare.

    To put it lightly she is a poorly trained idiot. When she panics, she panics and doesn't give a hoot and or a holler about any humans that may or maynot be in her genral area or attached to the rope that is trailing from her halter....

    The last time she was introduced to a new pasture we were trying to walk the fence line with the herd (we were leading the horses) and she spooked, ran over my husband and fractured his knee cap. Ohhh how fun it was to tell the ortho what happened. "Yes doctor, My horse knee capped me." I'll let you imagine the look on his face... then he brought in a trainer that worked for him to hear the story too.

    SO... I haven't had a chance to chat with my vet yet since the thought just occured to me last night in the wee hours, so I thought I'd run it by Cothers before I waste my vets time.

    Would there be any reason to not use a tranq to introduce the horse to a new pasture again? I'm not so interested in vet bills if she gets the others running around, or ER bills if she kneecapps Mr. C again. And if she pulls that crap with me... well I may be tempted to call the glue factory. Sadly, if it is in fact a training issue (which it probably is) we are not in the position to remedy that right now. (It's complicated... there are reasons) So... better living through chemistry anyone? If this is a good idea, I'll ask my vet what he recomends as he knows this horse and her scatterbrained ways.
    If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.

  • #2
    I have a horse who is normally pretty civilized, but has the capacity to lose it on occasion. I was recently working through a situation that tended to set us both off, and resorted to trying SmartCalm Ultra. I found it very helpful in taking the edge off that kept us from falling apart. There's the possibility that knowing he had something on board kept me calmer, but I think the stuff really put him in a place where a stimulus that would normally put him over the top became just a "wha ...? Oh. Oh, well, okay ... " instead.

    Certainly less than a tranq, but I found it effective. Might be worth a try.
    "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

    Spay and neuter. Please.

    Comment


    • #3
      Will she be getting turned out w/ new horses? If so, I definately would NOT give her any tranq. If the other horses start picking on her, you will want her to be able to get away quickly or defend herself.
      Happy Hour-TB
      Cowboy Casanova - Brandenburg

      Comment


      • #4
        Are there no paddocks with close or adjoining fencelines? Takes the human out of the situation. Put her in field next to herd, stand outside fence with lunge whip just in case you need to separate them from afar. After a few days, put her in with the herd and keep your fingers crossed. I certainly wouldn't want her reaction time to be impaired while other horses were potentially kicking/biting her.

        Comment


        • #5
          And the trainer was not successful getting through to the mare?

          Whenever I hear stories like this one, it sounds to me like you are dealing with a much deeper rooted issue and in most cases concerning mares it is either diet, hormonal or both.

          I would first take a good look at her diet and remove anything but good grass hay for at least 2 weeks. I would also consider adding a magnesium supplement and perhaps use mare magic, just to see if anything changes. Often it does. She might also be suffering from ulcers in addition.

          For example, not only can excess sugars create an overreactive horse (any horse who is sensitive), mares can also very negatively react to flax or soy in their diets because it affects their hormones thanks to the phytoestrogens they contain.

          Comment


          • #6
            Is there anyway to remove the other horses? The way I would introduce her is to put her in the turnout first alone, then add horses one at a time. If not, then just put her in and walk away... Horses have an amazing ability to train each other. I definitely would not walk her around in there by hand.

            Tranquilizers are not a got choice in this instance, in my opinion.

            Comment


            • #7
              If she is a "poorly trained idiot", as you state, she probably has no manners on the lead line/rope (or anywhere else) and tranqs are not going to fix that problem. They will mask it and when it wears off-she will still be an idiot. And you will STILL need to go catch her to bring her in-and good luck with that. She just knows she is bigger and does not have to comply with your wishes...you will need to get that fixed, drugs will not get that done.

              I know you are time strapped but...I had good luck with excercising the horse before turning them out. Gets rid of that pent up energy, lunge it first or get somebody else to do it. Or, as suggested above, single turn out in a smaller area...and some leading lessons.

              Diet, hormones and all that can complicate things but this kind of behavior, that of a rude and untrained horse with no manners, will not go away unless corrected by a competent training program.

              Sorry, but no quick fix that will make this one safe to work around or turn out without breaking something.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                hm.. I may be a bit biased... she is fine with hubby who has a very different style of horsemanship than I do. In the same tone, My horse doesn't like my hubby's style of horsemanship either... so I think it's more a style thing. She is fine- wellmannered behaves politley on lead and off- in any non stressful situation, but new places seem to short circut her... she has been a pasture puff her whole life of 23 years and just really hasn't been anywhere or done much. She has always been like this.. I have tweaked her diet and it hasn't made a change.. she just is as she is. We aremoving and she is moving with us, so no, there won't be any new horses, just new surroundings. I'm not concerned with horses.. I'd just like something onboard to maybe give her a second to decide if over reacting is really nessisary.
                If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.

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                • #9
                  Catersun -

                  Are you looking to help her ease in to a situation, and only expecting any "help" to last a few hours?

                  And if so, are you thinking of giving her the "help" before trailering and if so, how long will the horse be on the trailer?

                  I'm not really an advocate for drugging a horse... but if you are looking for something that would last maybe one or two hours and act like a glass of wine.... I'm wondering if Ace might be appropriate.

                  See what your vet thinks.... and maybe you could do something like plan the transfer in as quietly and calmly a manner as possible, cut or omit feed the night before/day of, just give hay and allow her full turnout so she can walk off any excess energy - and then (with your vet's permission and after consultation) administer ace so that it's taken effect before you try and load the horse.

                  If the horse is a bit.... frisky... about unloading - maybe the type to unload then whirl around or do something stupid - perhaps unloading in a smaller enclosed area where the horse is a bit more confined. (rather than turning her loose or walking her along the fenceline in a large field and having to deal with her being silly)

                  Not knowing the layout, your preferences and whatnot I don't feel comfortable saying much more - just try to get her as quiet and easy in her mind prior to loading (with or without chemical help as you see fit), then doing what you can to ease her into the new situation in increments.

                  Good luck.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh- if there are no new horses involved it doesn't seem like a terrible idea. Talk to your vet about giving her something while she is still on the trailer after arrival at the new place. Wait 15 or so to unload her, and hopefully it will help her chill during her first few hours.

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                    • #11
                      Drug her. You will have no room for error and you will have enough human problems to worry about. Drug her 30 minutes before you plan on leaving and it will last until you get to the new place and the other horses have settled in. Just use hands off as much as possible. This is an evacuation--not a training opportunity.

                      Load her last and unload her first. Do it INSIDE the new pasture if possible. Then if she acts up just let her go. If it were me I Might drug another horse too so they just chill out on arrival and then law down the best hay you have if the pasture is not lushly wonderful.

                      Once she is settled in then get a beer and drug yourself with it

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by equinelaw View Post
                        Drug her. You will have no room for error and you will have enough human problems to worry about. Drug her 30 minutes before you plan on leaving and it will last until you get to the new place and the other horses have settled in. Just use hands off as much as possible. This is an evacuation--not a training opportunity.

                        Load her last and unload her first. Do it INSIDE the new pasture if possible. Then if she acts up just let her go. If it were me I Might drug another horse too so they just chill out on arrival and then law down the best hay you have if the pasture is not lushly wonderful.

                        Once she is settled in then get a beer and drug yourself with it
                        I oh so agree w/this. If it's a choice between her and your kneecaps, please, get out the Ace. I love the phrase "this is an evacuation". That is exactly what it sounds like. Turn her loose and get out of the field!
                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                        ---
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          equinelaw is appraised on the situation that we will be leaving and moving in.. she is right, it is an evacuation. ACE is what I was thinking of. I plan on drugging myself slightly before as my TB will read my stress (which is already through the roof) and I am planning on drugging my TB as well. The only horse I don't feel will need to be drugged is my gone and done that old guy only because he is good to go no matter what- anytime. He is the leader of the herd too, so I hope his calm demeanor will help the two.
                          If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'd just squirt 1.5 cc of ACE under the tongue before they see any hustle and bustle of preparation and let that take a good hold. Then just load and get the Fruitbat outta there. Unload and get the fruitbat outta there.

                            Your gelding sounds like he will take care of the rest He gets cookies for his job done well

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by equinelaw View Post
                              I'd just squirt 1.5 cc of ACE under the tongue before they see any hustle and bustle of preparation and let that take a good hold. Then just load and get the Fruitbat outta there. Unload and get the fruitbat outta there.

                              Your gelding sounds like he will take care of the rest He gets cookies for his job done well
                              That gelding is an awesome little dude. He's gonna get himself a bag of carrots if he can keep dumb and dumber under control.
                              If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Cater, I'm with Equinelaw and EqT. Go for the meds, keep everyone safe.

                                Hope things are ok with you lady!
                                We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Catersun, I am going through this. My horse had to transition quickly from 8 months of layup to being turned out (long story on another thread) in a 1 acre paddock, and I could not have him ripping around and injuring himself. I've used Ace to do it. Started with a large dose (3cc's) and turned him out alone, then over the subsequent days decreased the dose. Once he was over the newness of it, I added ONE very calm buddy. We're now at 1.5 cc's of Ace and two calm buddies after 3 weeks of this routine. I will keep reducing the Ace as we go over the coming weeks. It's been a godsend, it just seems to make him care less about everything and he's not very motivated to move fast. I give the doses IM and do it 30 minutes before turnout, then make sure I bring him in before the ace is fully out of him --- usually 4-6 hours after I give it.

                                  Good luck with the move. Try ace on her beforehand so you know how she reacts to it. Some horses don't handle it as well, I'm told, and are hypersensitive to sounds on it. Mine just looks stoned!

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