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peapoo_bunny

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About 2wks ago, my 23yr old gelding (Hotshot) started acting different.. we have had him about 20 yrs, and he has always been the calmest, laziest horse ever. handicapped and disabled kids used to ride him all over the place...He always had a nice slow-paced walk..hardly anything spooked him..

Now, all the sudden he is acting completely different..
he is spooking at the slightest things when i ride him.. things that he's been around his whole life spook him now...plastic bags,dogs, cars, etc. he has rode the same trails for over 20yrs, now all the sudden he's scared? nothing bad has happened to him while we were riding..

we thought it might be his eyes or something, so we got the vet to come out.. his eyes are fine, but he does have mild asthma and COPD. other than that hes healthy...

i have never had a horse as old as him, so i dont know.. could it be his age or something?
 

seniorcats

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What kind of eye exam did the vet do? If he just looked to see if they are clear, that may not tell the whole story. Did he use a gage to measure pressure for glaucoma? Did he dialate the eyes? It does sound like a vision problem to me.

We take some of animals to a local veterinary optamologist (Dr. Parshall in Richfield, OH).A specialist will have the equipment to tell how good or how bad your horse's vision is. A regular will not have all the needed equipment.

You may want to look here for a vet opthamologist in your area. http://www.acvo.com/


Edited to add: I think a basic check up for us was $54. You can inquire about fees before going. The meds he prescribed we could either get at his clinic or at any pharmacy.
 

clarzoo

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Sorry to hear you are having problems with your gelding.

The first thing I thought of was eye problems, too- do make sure that the vet did a thorough screening. But also consider hearing problems, check his teeth and see if he has back pain. Sometimes if horses are in pain, they tend to be overreactive about other things that normally don't bother them.

Good luck with your old guy! He sounds like a great horse.
 

peapoo_bunny

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he did a few tests on his eyes this time, and a bunch on them last time.. the only one i can remember (without getting the receipts out) is he put some drops in his eyes to see if there was any damage to the cornea..there wasnt...he flushed out his eyes because he said they looked like they might have been stopped up.. then he put him on some eye ointment and some steroid for his cough ( something like prednisone maybe?).also, im pretty sure he dialated his eyes

i think his hearing is ok...he can hear the slightest rustle of a peppermint wrapper..and he can hear me rattle a small container of feed at the barn from all the way across the property.. but you never know, ill also get him to check that next time (which should be in october)

his teeth were checked...they will need done in the next month or two..

Ididnt think to check him for back pain..next time he comes i will get him to check..

i rode him again yesterday.. he was not as bad as before.. he was walking more like he normally does, but i could tell he was still nervous,looking from side to side etc... he was also scared of the neighborhood dogs..which is nothing like him... One of his favorite things when we ride out the rode is dogs that come up to him.. i would tell him to go and he used to love chasing them back to their yard..he'd pinn his ears back and try to bite them (a couple dogs did get bit by him)...most of the dogs are scared now and wont come up to him anymore, but lately he is still afraid when they bark.. he used to prance right by them tail in the air ,showing off with a "bring it on- i can take you" kind of attitude...but now he wont go near them (except our dog mutt who goes with me when i ride).


This is Hotshot this week..I had better ones, butI only loaded one on the computer and the memory card got washed in the washer:shock:




 

seniorcats

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Could you have some kind of new 'varmint' around that's bothering him? Snakes? Coyotes? Maybe some other animal has given him a good spook.
 

Jenson

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If he's not in pain and has no problem with his eyes or hearing then I would guess he's just had a bad fright.

I used to help look after three mares (aged 4, 10 and 25), and they were lovely, calm and I don't remember any of them even shying. Then one day I went to the farm and they'd had bits of manes hacked off, one had half her tail burnt off and rope marks on her face. I can only imagine what someone must have been doing to them! They were all scared out of their wits of pretty much everything, and didn't want to move from the bottom of the field. They were understandably spooky and nervous. After about 2 weeks they calmed down though and went back to their usual selves, except the mare with the rope marks who was always a bit head shy after that.

Obviously you would've noticed if anything like that had happened to Hotshot, but maybe something else has frightened him? If it has, hopefully he'll calm down soon and go back to normal!


 

hopntailrabbitry

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He looks good for a 23 year old.

But however that is kinda very strange how is he acting like that when he never even done that before in his whole entire life. Maybe you should get everything checked on him next time again. Something has to be wrong...

Good Luck! :)
 

peapoo_bunny

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i havent noticed any new animals around lately..we have bears, coyotes, and snakes.. but i dont thinkwe've had any around here lately
 

horselvrkc

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Hmm... thats odd!

How many days has he been like this? Are you using a different saddle or something? Is the feed different? Thats all I can think of, because I thought of his eyes too.

btw hotshot is BEAUTIFUL! He looks like hes in such great shape!

-Kat
 

peapoo_bunny

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thank you..

no im not using anything different..same saddle, feed, and everything.. he is in good shape for his age, but i noticed today that his back isa little boney..i think that might be it... we are trying to get a little more weight on him right now.. he looks like he might have lost a little weight.. we just wormed them again this week, so that should help him out.

also i am going to try finding one of those foam pads or something to go inbetween his saddle and saddle blanket to take some pressure off his back.. i also havent been riding him as hard lately, not so many hills and running.

he's been acting funny for about a week maybe two im not sure(?) he wasnt feeling good at the end of july/ early august.. we just thought it was the hot weather, so we put in a bunch of fans for him (which he loves)...maybe the asthma and COPD is bothering him? he is still on both medicines the doctor gave us.

he acts perfectly normal on the ground... doesnt spook or anything, its only when you ride him. maybe he just needs some time to settle down..i dont know


the firstpicture below is from a couple months ago..i think he has lost some weight.



this picture is hotshot winter of last year.. he definately has not put on all that winter weight yet..


 

Flopsy

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Something may have scared the crap out of him during a turn out. That is gonna be my best bet. Maybe start doing groundwork bombproofing skills to get his trust back.
 

Evey

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honestly, I've seen this with many older horses...I really think it's simply old age. just be careful around him and give him lots of love!
 
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