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question for the " horse psychologists "

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  • question for the " horse psychologists "

    how do you interpret "exuberance" after a work out /ride ?
    it is my habit ,after riding,to take all tack off and let the horse roam around the riding ring which is open and next to a small strip of pasture and a pond,they usually like to do a roll in the sand of the ring and then saunter off for a drink or munch on some grass while i bring tack to the barn and let the other 2 out to join the one i just been riding.

    lately,my OTTB will do his rolling and then proceed to run ,buck,corkscrew and kick and run some more around the ring ,into pasture and back for more,full of energy and zest and i will admit,this leaves me breathless and slightly worried some days as there's so much power and strength at play and i'm thinking " i hope he will never ever do that with me on his back" ......while at the same time admiring what we all so love in a horse,the strength,spirit and power.
    my husband on the other hand ,who is not a rider but loves horses and often watches this display from the deck ,says he sees pure joy and joie de vivre whereas i sometimes wonder if the horse needs to get rid of pent up energy ,if the ride made him tense and he has to let go ....
    so what's behind those exhibits of exuberance in your opinion ?

  • #2
    He's all loosey goosey, warmed up, had a nice roll, now it's playtime!


    • #3
      One of my girls does this after rides, but she's a chestnut TB mare, so I've always assumed she metaphorically saying to me "Suck it, puny human! This is how I feel after you are finished irritating me with your petty demands. Yee haw!"

      "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." —Bradley Trevor Greive


      • #4
        i think it is difficult to tell without knowing the horse's temperament and what his normal routine is.

        i have noticed in some horses, including my own in the past, that a change of behavior like that is sometimes indicative of them being unhappy with some part of the management or ride: for example, one of my geldings started proncing/bucking when i turned him loose after a ride.. when the chiro came out she noticed he was 'out' along his ribs and back, adjusted, and suggested we look at his saddle.. it needed a little adjustment; it still fit him well but some of the wool had migrated into a ball... exactly over the spot the chiro had seen the most reaction.. we fixed it and he stopped being rude post turnout.

        however, it's not always the case.. i know some horses like a good romp after a roll, and it's just them being horses, and playing around.

        my current gelding is in the habit of waiting patiently to be unhaltered, then strolls over for a big drink of water. he then comes back to the gate and stares at me until i grain (i ride in the evenings and always grain after a ride).

        i think it is important to always be familiarizing yourself with your horse's habits - all of them, from when they like to drink, to what they do after a good roll, etc. there are so few ways they can tell us they are happy or unhappy, but sudden changes in routine is one of them.
        AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


        • Original Poster

          he is a laid back character ,very polite and well behaved.eager to please.he was a bit "off" for a while,i recently did a saddle re-check ,had a chiro and vet out ,horse has improved noticeably since then .so he fairly new exhibit of happy excitement COULD be that he is feeling better ? as you said,they can't tell us .....


          • #6
            He is just having some feel good fun that's all


            • #7
              Originally posted by buzul View Post
              new exhibit of happy excitement COULD be that he is feeling better ? as you said,they can't tell us .....
              I think he just did.
              "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
              - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

              Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.


              • Original Poster



                • #9
                  I think he is just having fun! If he has been checked out physically, he is just showing his joy.


                  • #10
                    My barn has small runouts but larger arenas that you can do attended turnout. So we end up spending a fair bit of time watching our horses at liberty, either alone or with a few buddies.

                    A big run and buck turnout has always signalled a horse that is feeling good physically and has extra energy. I feel like some of them (my horse particularly) need to gallop and buck fairly regularly to get everything realigned. She's always happy and carries herself proudly afterwards.

                    Some TB can get a screw loose and run until they are exhausted, and some horses get anxious and run the fence line if they are alone. But if they are just bombing around bucking that's a really good sign, i'd say.

                    My horse doesn't get a chance to get up to warp speed under saddle (I'm not 15 anymore) so it's good she has a chance to really stretch her legs at liberty.


                    • Original Poster

                      yes,that makes sense - i am also no spring chicken anymore and likely ride less "enthusiastically" than i used to - so maybe the horse is indeed realigning himself ( my chiro has detected some issues ) as well as getting rid of left over energy and showing he feels good .


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by buzul View Post
                        yes,that makes sense - i am also no spring chicken anymore and likely ride less "enthusiastically" than i used to - so maybe the horse is indeed realigning himself ( my chiro has detected some issues ) as well as getting rid of left over energy and showing he feels good .
                        Just enjoy the show and get some video on your phone!