• 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.



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

Narcoleptic horse...

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Narcoleptic horse...

    Yesterday I just happened to see my 13 year old TB collapse in his pasture (he's boarded, so if this is a common occurrence I wouldn't know) and then have a very brief seizure. I was completely beside myself (thought he was going to die right there in front of me), but when I reached down to touch him, he hopped up and started trotting around.

    I had had my finger ready to dial the vet's number, but then I was like, "huh?" I took him out and just hung out with him for an hour and watched him and he was completely normal. Then I called the vet and they came out that afternoon. My boy checked out completely fine, and the vet said that he probably has narcolepsy.

    He does start to fall asleep in the crossties every once in a while, but when I poke him he wakes up. I thought he was just relaxed. He has never fallen asleep when I've ridden him. He's a very forward, happy horse.

    Anyway, is this a neurological condition or is it from sleep deprivation? I never see him lie down, even though he's out in a pasture (he hates being stalled), and has a pasture buddy that he loves. Maybe he lies down at night?

    Is there anything I can do to help him?

  • #2
    A seizure isn't narcolepsy. Until you can be sure he won't have another seizure, I wouldn't let anyone ride him. I don't know your vet, and I am not trying to criticize. But based on what you said, I'd get a 2nd medical opinion.
    Veterinarians for Equine Welfare


    • #3
      Seconding MayS. I would get a second opinion for sure - if the horse truly is having seizures, he is a danger to ride and even work around. I would get another vet out and have a full neuro work-up done on him.

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


      • #4
        And thirding. I knew farrier who was very badly hurt when a horse dropped and had a seizure on him. Have the workup and see what's going on.
        Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom


        • #5
          Years ago I leased (with option to buy) one that would close his eyes & knees would buckle on crossties and while standing in stall. Never went down. Never under saddle- he was the exact opposite. I was not informed of this before lease but obviously did not make the purchase.


          • #6
            For the record I hate this story.
            I was a manager for a farm and came out to feed one day and found a very darling horse with a huge gash next to/in his eye. I called the vet and the owner, moved the horse out of that stall and started going over the stall to figure out what he had hurt himself on.
            The vet and owner arrived and the vet was puzzled because he said the injury was a trauma injury, like he had banged his head on something. As we were talking about it the horse had a seziure, went down, busted his lip open and scared the crap out of me and his owner.
            The vet figured that is how he hurt his eye. The horse had been out in a pasture with just a run in shed for years so he could have been doing this all along. They had brought the horse to a boarding barn for her daughter to take lessons on.
            We ended up putting the horse down that day. The vet felt he was to much of a danger to himself and others.

            Get a second opinion.


            • #7
              As others have said, you need to know for sure what you are dealing with, but to offer a little hope... there is a narcoleptic horse at my barn She is fine to handle, fine to ride, and just a lovely horse to have around. But when she is standing in her stall or even in the cross ties if you leave her too long, the lip gets droopy, the eyes get heavy, she starts to sway back and forth, and sometimes she wakes herself back up and sometimes she falls down and sleeps. I've never seen her go down in the cross ties, but I've been told that it's happened. I've seen her do it in the stall, it's kinda freaky if you don't know about her, but she does it almost every night. She's 16 now, and has been doing it as long as anyone knows, vets have checked her out and can't find a thing wrong, etc. She is also a horse that you never see lie down to nap like a normal horse does, she's either on her feet, or she fell asleep and fell down. It's just her quirk. Hope your boy is ok!
              Gallant Gesture "Liam" 1995 chestnut ottb gelding
              Mr. Painter "Remy" 2006 chestnut ottb gelding
              My Training Blog: www.dressagefundamentals.com


              • #8
                Does this sound like a possible HYPP attack to anyone else?.... the collapse and seizure like symptoms...

                Is this a quarter horse?


                • #9
                  Oh YEAH... call the vet FOR SURE... and I'd get a second opinion also.

                  If there a reputable vet hospital in the area (like a New Bolton, Tufts, Cornell, etc), I'd even consider bringing him over there for some diagnostics.

                  Narcolepsy is NOT something to mess with... and can easily mean serious injury to both equine and human handler/rider.

                  Knew one that had it... figured it out by the scrapes on it's knees. Very sad story... family had little $$$... horse was pulled out of a field... and I guess it didn't show signs of falling down during trial time. Came into barn... scraped knees... falling asleep on crossties... turnout was more rocky... and 2 vets confirmed that it was, indeed, narcolepsy.. and since it wasn't something that could be regulated... horse was euthanized, as they feared it would eventually break a bone... and wasn't considered trustworthy to ride.


                  • #10
                    I had a horse with Narcolepsy once. Her's was from sleep deprivation. Long story. Any time she stood still, in the cross ties, under saddle etc she would nod off & her knees would buckle. She never fell and she never had a seizure.

                    I would certainly dig further for more information. Seizures are not narcolepsy.


                    • #11
                      Years ago we had a QH (not Impressive bred) that had seizures. He would have them sometimes, not all the time, when you tightened the cinch. His eyes would flutter, he'd stiffen up, brace himself, then flip over backwards. It played hell on the saddle. We took to saddling him in the arena, but the seizures eventually followed him there. He finally flipped with the trainer and we put him down. The vet said he had epilepsy. I don't remember all the details now...it was a long time ago...but the vet made it pretty clear that a horse that has seizures is pretty dangerous and needs to be either a pasture pet or put down. Since you can't always anticipate when a seizure is going to occur, you are putting yourself at risk.


                      • #12
                        I should also add that this gelding was cutting-bred and we'd owned him since he was a yearling. The seizures started when he was about 8. He had a VERY successful career in the cutting pen up to that point. At first we thought it was behavioral, but the problem was, you could saddle him 15 times without incident, then on the 16th, BAM. I guess that was the vet's concern...the unpredictability. Someone was eventually going to get seriously injured or killed.


                        • #13
                          Are you SURE when the horse went down, it was seizing? I think that's what I'd check first, was the horse actually having a seizure or just flailing from falling over?

                          I knew a horse who had narcolepsy, and when he fell over, he'd get scared, and it would look rather spastic as he got back up. But it wasn't seizures.

                          Does the horse have a buddy out in the pasture with him? I've heard if the horse is alone, they may not feel safe enough to lay down, so they become sleep deprived.

                          Also, call up the BO/BM, and ask if they've seen this before. Also talk to the barn employees.
                          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


                          • #14
                            One of our Pony Clubbers had a narcoleptic horse that evented at training level IIRC, and did all the rallies and such. He was fine as long as he was moving; they did not cross-tie him, but always had a person hold him, as that was when he'd fall asleep and occasionally stumble to his knees. If he was held, the holder would jiggle the rope and talk to him to keep him from dozing off.

                            We had a Tennessee Walker mare that would doze off while walking along during endurance rides. On long hot afternoons, riding for completion only, she'd doze off, stumble hard and wake up both herself and her rider, who often as not, was also half-asleep. She was never diagnosed as narcoleptic, and it wasn't exhaustion, as she would get back up, and if terrain permitted, do a brisk running walk for a while (perhaps out of embarrassment!). The correction was to keep her awake and moving out, as she never nodded off while she was really working...but oh, those hot, dusty afternoons, sometimes the last horse on the course, a few miles yet to go...zzzzz.
                            "I couldn't fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder."


                            • #15
                              If there is any question that the horse had a seizure event, even if just for a few seconds, you need to have a vet look at the horse. A horse like that is 100% unsafe to ride.

                              I've seen a truly narcoleptic horse, too. She came in for colic, and she would occasionally go down to her knees even when just standing for a physical exam. She was covered with cuts and scars on her legs from her falls and she was a BIG girl (at least 1400 lbs). She was a hunter, and I for the life of me cannot understand why those people kept riding her since she clearly was clinical for the narcolepsy.


                              • #16
                                We have a horse at my barn, a 21 year old TB, who when being saddled falls asleep. It's only then. His owner watches him while she pulls up the cinch. His head will lower, his eyes will close, he'll start to sway a little then his front knees will give. Usually he will catch himself and not hit the ground, only seen him fall to his knees once. She will watch him and when his head starts to drop she'll shake the leadline and hollar his name and say "WAKE UP!" and he does. But soon starts to fall back asleep. He only does this when being cinched up. No seizures or anything, just dozes off...
                                I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                                Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.


                                • #17
                                  There is a difference betwen narcolepsy and another condition that appears to stem from lack of REM sleep in horses. Narcoleptic horses can fall asleep almost anywhere, the others genererally when standing around. Also, some horses do the collapsing thing when being sadled when the girth is tightened; seems there is a nerve there. Lots of threads on this.
                                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                                  • #18
                                    I once knew a horse who was a diagnosed narcelptic.

                                    He was an I-1 horse..never afftected him in his work...but he would fall down in the crossties, so you had to really keep an eye on him while tacking (wasn't my horse)

                                    He had lots of bumps and cuts on his legs from pasture episodes.

                                    He was mean as a snake on the ground....don't know if the disease made him that way or that was just his personality.

                                    A wonderful horse to ride, but would take a pound of your flesh on the ground and not think twice about it./had no issues with taking you on if you disciplined him.


                                    • #19
                                      25 years ago I worked for a top level event rider. She took in horses to train, and had working students. I was her groom--the first day I got to witness a narcoleptic horse. No lie,never seen anything like it

                                      AND this horse was Prelim champion either for his zone or he was national Prelim champ--regardless, he was a great horse when he wasn't falling asleep. Have never seen it before, nor since in 40 years around horses.

                                      I hacked that horse and ponied him and he never fell asleep under saddle, but he'd go down like a ton of bricks in the pasture. It was creepy
                                      Last edited by lilblackhorse; Jun. 10, 2010, 01:41 PM.
                                      Ellipses users clique ...


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
                                        There is a difference betwen narcolepsy and another condition that appears to stem from lack of REM sleep in horses. Narcoleptic horses can fall asleep almost anywhere, the others genererally when standing around...
                                        I had a boarder horse for a few years would not lay down in his stall (he was 17.2) and would only roll out in the field. Never lay down to sleep. I always believed that he was sleep deprived, not narcoleptic. Poor guy used to fall asleep in his stall and fall to his knees all the time. He'd fall asleep in cross ties a lot too -- I assumed whenever he felt supported he'd drift off. Every now and then he would just keel over. We finally built him a butt rest in the corner of his stall, after he figured out he could jam his butt into the corner and stabilize himself to catch a few good Zs. He was such a big horse we were afraid he'd bring down the stall wall. Poor guy. I miss him.
                                        "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                                        <>< I.I.