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Sudden spook

11 replies

Iambouddica · 15/07/2019 18:52

My older horse (almost 20) is well known as being bomb proof. She is a popular nanny horse for lots of horses at our yard. She is the kind of horse that hacks out on a long rein without batting an eye at everything we meet. Busy semi-suburban hacking lots of dogs, bikes, bbqs, quad bikes, hedge trimmers, golf buggies etc etc. She has occasionally been known have a good look at things, but walks calmy past with a little encouragement.

Then yesterday I was riding between the school and her stable (so a route she is really familiar with) and she suddenly jumped 6 feet sideways and bolted. This is so out of the blue and just not like her I am trying to think of reasons? I know there are foxes living in the bushes there but she knows them and has past them lots of times before.

Should I think about getting her checked out for eyesight etc? Or just remember that she is a horse and therefore unpredicable?

OP posts:
Belenus · 15/07/2019 19:53

When you say she bolted, did she shoot forwards and canter a few strides or did she actually bolt? Bolting is a flat out, blind panicking gallop and that would really concern me.

I would monitor it. It probably is her eyesight deteriorating with age. She may be in pain or discomfort somewhere and that makes them more alert and spooky. Monitor and if in doubt go through vet checks, physio and saddle fitter to see if anything is bothering her.

Iambouddica · 15/07/2019 20:53

It was some where between those two. She dropped and went but did respond after a couple of flat out strides when I managed to pick up my reins. If only to steer away from the fence and I was able to bring her back to canter, then stop - she turned 180 degrees in the process.

I will be keeping a very close eye out for any other signs of a problem.

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Booboostwo · 16/07/2019 10:04

Pain. I'll eat my foot if she's not in pain or doesn't have some other physical problem that is causing this behaviour.

My bombproof HW cob started being hesitant and worried on hacks...he had a tiny hind lameness (took the vet ages to see it) because of a tendon injury.

My lovely settled dressage horse becomes spooky when his EPSM is not well managed.

My other lovely dressage horse could not work in an outline and kept rushing forward because the bridle was rubbing on a tiny, sliver of a sharp tooth.

I could go on...
Please call an experienced equine vet for her.

krustykittens · 16/07/2019 17:36

I have to agree with BooBoo it is probably a physical problem. No harm getting a vet out to give her a physical, considering her age. I hope it is nothing major.

CacenCrunch · 16/07/2019 17:39

I would say eyesight. Was it a bright sunny day? If your going from light to dark i.e. Under trees you may notice they struggle or are reluctant to go forwards when this happens. A horse I used to ride had similar

isitwhatitis · 16/07/2019 17:58

If she actually bolted then I'd get her checked by a vet. When it happened to me it was both exhilarating and terrifying, the horse went what seemed like miles at full gallop but was actually about 400 yards, the people at the stable heard him coming and rushed out to see what was happening,

EnlightenedOwl · 16/07/2019 18:03

Are you sure she hasn't been stung or bitten?

Iambouddica · 16/07/2019 18:10

I don’t think it was a sting. It was an extreme, really sudden reaction but she settled down very quickly afterwards. A bit tense for a minute or too but her normal self by the time we got back to her stable.

When I’ve had horses who have been stung before they have behaved quite differently.

OP posts:
Iambouddica · 16/07/2019 18:13

Thanks for your posts - its confirming what my gut is telling me. Will get her checked out.

OP posts:
isitwhatitis · 16/07/2019 19:01

It could be nothing but best to be sure. When I got back to the stable the horse that spooked with me on it was pawing at the ground - he had a frog in his foot; the one that should be there and a live one; incredibly still alive!

cherrytree63 · 08/08/2019 17:28

Years ago I had a similar experience with my bombproof mare, just walking down the drive returning from a hack.
Couldn't work out what caused it until it happened to two other riders, one fell off and spotted a piece of live wire, which fed the mains electric fence.

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