Question: Howdy, I am a roan Quarter Horse, 10 years old. My owner (she is my forth owner so far) mostly rides me for barrel racing, I have done that for many years, and am quite good. In the past few months I am starting to hate it. We run the barrel pattern, speed out the gate, and slam to a halt, I no longer am happy when we enter the arena and often put up a fuss. Surely there is more to life than this?
Signed, Whata Life
I am afraid your problem is fairly common among barrel race horses. Some owners become so focused on competition they forget to show their horses the fun side of life. Your owner needs to do other things with you, go for a trail ride, or just take you for a a walk. The main thing is your owner needs to diversify their riding and take you out of the arena more, because you are clearly becoming bored and sour, and this is unfair, and admittedly, not a good life.
Question: I am a beautiful gray Arabian Mare, some times things are great, I am a happy horse and I throw my tail over my back like there is not a care in the world, but other times I just get cranky, moody, and cannot be bothered to do anything. What the heck is going on with me, why I am so moody?
Signed, Bint Moody
Dear Bint Moody
You are a mare and this is moody behavior is very common in mares of all breeds. Your hormones go up and down, particularly in the summer, but some mares are moody all year long. Your owner can invest in feed supplements for mares to help regulate your moods. Some people find that adding a small amount of calf colostrum on a weekly basis will help add bacteria to your stomach and this might help too, because your hormones affect digestion, and poor digestion will make any horse cranky. A vet should be called out to give you an overall check up (including your teeth). I sure hope that helps, but if not your owner might consider getting you spayed if they don't want to use you for breeding later. Mares who are moody, tend to have moody foals too.
There are quite a few herbal supplements to help issues of moody behavior in horses, your owner can find many supplements at either Horse.com or StateLineTack.com.
Question: Hello, I am a big chestnut Warmblood, I compete as a hunter. I am stabled most of the time and have my own turn out pen. I have found a fun habit I want to tell you about, I bite the fence with my teeth arch my neck, and suck in air. It makes a cool sound. The people at the barn are mad at me for doing this, should I continue with my habit or is it bad?
Your habit is a problem known as cribbing, or windsucking, and it can be bad. Cribbing can cause digestion problems, even colic, and can wear down your teeth. Plus what if you get a splinter in your mouth? You need more mental stimulation in your life, perhaps a bigger pasture with other horses, a rubber horse ball, or inner tube. Even a kids plastic pool filled with water. Until you stop your new habit you need to wear a cribbing strap to prevent you from doing that. Your owner needs to bring more diversity into your life, this is a symptom of boredom for many horses. Toys for horses can be found at many tack stores and online.