View Full Version : Winter friskys or something else?
26th Dec 2001, 11:58 PM
Here's the story. My new leased horse is kept in his stall when it is under 30 (has been all week) and only gets out when I ride him. Twice now he's been really stampy when I brush him, only canters on the lunge, and has bucked when I ride faster then a walk. On christmas he bucked, I lunged him for 10 minutes, then walked him around for 20 minutes giving pony rides. I rode him after the pony rides and he didn't buck, just cantered around alot.
Today it was cold, so I got on him and he bucked, so I lunged him, got on again, and he bucked, so I just turned him out for a little bit then left. (I was freezing to death).
Should I take more time warming him up when it's cold to avoid the bucking (today I was too cold to take more time, I feel guilty now)? I don't want him to overheat though.
Is it just due to it being cold and him being locked up all week?
Or could it be the sign of something else?
27th Dec 2001, 11:49 AM
Probably both! Put yourself in hes place, he is bored to tears and just wants to let off steam. Some horses can accept being stabled for long periods, others, specially youngsters, just can't.
Make sure his feed is cut right down, forage ad lib and short feeds of carrots/apples.
Is it possible to let him out in the arena by himself for half an hour, if you could do that twice a day while he is confined, he might be more amenable. Otherwise I would just keep him walking (but paying attention to you) for as long as you can stand the cold before asking for a sensible trot.
If you let him canter because HE says so, and if you get off when he bucks, he is training you very well and you will have real trouble when things get back to normal.
Do you have an instructor who can help/advise you?
I don't envy you those temperatures!!!
27th Dec 2001, 02:48 PM
I will let him out today. I think that I will start lungeing him before I ride so he can blow off steam. I will not get off of him today if he bucks. My trainer says the same thing, lunge him to get him going first. This is the first time I've had him in the winter so I think it's just winter boredom. It'll be 29 today so maybe its a little better.
5th Jan 2002, 09:38 PM
Could you not turn your horse out for a short while well rugged up while you do stable chores? A small amount of freedom is better than none at all and he will let you know if he's miserable and cold. All my horses turn into fruit-loops in winter due to boredom. Turning them out for an hour while I do chores gets rid of the high spirits.
5th Jan 2002, 10:33 PM
I agree, I have 2 horses to care for. I turn them out at least two hours a day----- weather permitting,,,light rain, no problem(they wont melt) plus I have a 2 dry blankets if they are wet,
and actually its not so bad if they are blanketed.
My experience has been they go a bit crazy in winter,too. I have a dutch warmblood mare,and a halflinger pony belonging to the daughters. My horse is on less feed,time out daily, if only for an hour...and if the weathers so bad as its been (snow/ice) I walk her few times daily to stretch her legs. I believe they need time to "be a horse"alone, (usually in the pasture.) They need something that breaks up the day(all day in the stall). My horse has a ball hanging in her stall, as one on the floor (I know, she's spoiled) and I hang a "lick -it"in occasionally if she has to stay in. Removing her ball...giving her something to do.Different stimuli...
Photo's of my horse at http://elvero.xs4all.nl pages 3,4,5, mostly.The others are of the pony.
I moved her from Fort Wayne Indiana, to Holland (Netherlands). This is my 4th horse, I've owned.
5th Jan 2002, 11:01 PM
You should definatly let them out!!! They have to let off their steam especially if they are stabled. The lady i got my horse from didnt really know much about horses and she kept the horse at a small livery yard near to her house. They didnt have much grazing so the horses had to be kept in during the colder months. So my the horse would be in all night and then the lady would come to see her and groom her. then she would go out for a ride(she wasnt a very confident rider so all that she could do was walk and trot at the most!) Then they would come back and the horse would be shoved in a stable for the rest of the day! Eventually the horse got so bored that it started to buck and started to just canter off down the road. What made it worse was that she was only 6 so she still had loads of energy! Then she began to stabe walk :rolleyes:all the time in a desperate attempt to try and let off some of her energy! It was like a vicious circle and eventually the lady put her up for sale because she couldnt cope with her any more. Now i have got her and she lives out 24/7. Even now when i bring her in to groom her she still cant keep still and she is always walking about.
So im sure that if you just give your horse an hour or two to let off steam then it will probably stop being silly! :)
7th Jan 2002, 01:49 PM
I've been told that it can be harmful to put a horse out in a snowy field, IF it isn't used to being out in such conditions - apparently eating snowy or icy grass can upset a horse's digestive system. This doesn't apply to horses that live out all year round, but to horses that are stabled at night and out for only part of the day.
I'm new to this looking after horses business, so I don't know if this is true - has anyone else ever heard of this? I would rather put a horse out, even for an hour or so, to have a bit of freedom, but wouldn't want to risk its health....
What do others think?
PS Shadowfox - hope your horse has calmed down a bit!
7th Jan 2002, 05:19 PM
Im no expert by far here, but I put out my horse in the pasture after ice & snow (unless the weather is really, really bad ).I too, wondered about if she would be prone to colic - eating cold grass.
Our ice/snow (in small patches) is still on the ground but mostly gone. My horse has not gotten sick,or anything.Now last year she was lame a few days I think due to misstepping on frozen ground.
I put led supports on her too if real frozen,,,
Also,,, my horse has so much energy(Im begining to think she was bred like this) that she HAS got to get out even just for short periods.
Just today I had her shod- reset front with pads (to give more traction on ice & also to stop the ice ball's from forming in her front feet) and the hind shoes removed until March/April...
Im curious about what others say on your question.(
There are more people here putting out their horses as I do.)
I'll be reading on there...
7th Jan 2002, 06:33 PM
I have a highland, wlesh cob, show pony type and an arab x TB. None of these have ever had any problems with this regime. When it is snowy I tend to put a few piles of hay out anyway and they eat this rather than digging through all the snow to get to scraps of grass.
As for the snow balling problem I paint the inside the hoof with either vaseline or grease. This works quite well.
7th Jan 2002, 07:34 PM
The time I put out hay, my horse faught with another over 4 piles. So, I don't do that anymore.
I tried vaseline, but I think it was frozen, it would not smear well...(Im not in my own country,,cant get any good stuff here)
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