Very bizarre. Can anyone help?

skips and soda

Skippy Bum & Skoda Fabia
Sep 15, 2007
3,241
5
38
29
South West, Nr. Bath
Sorry, wasn't sure if this went in veterinary/health and care section or training of the horse so went for here as the safe option, sorry mods, feel free to move it wherever you see fit.

Slightly confused though, for the past year or so Soda has been doing a really weird thing, where when I stretch his legs out after doing up the girth to make sure there are no wrinkles of skin under the girth he has stretched really really far as I'm pulling out his fornt leg, then done like a cat stretch type thing and laid down (you know the type of stretch, rock back really far on front legs so and bum goes in the air). Obviously this is a bit of a problem if he's tacked up as am always terrified he's going to catch himself on something and hurt himself etc. I can get him to get up but have to be quick. I've always sor of dismissed it, okay, it's not the most normal thing in thw world, but just assumed it was a reaction to a leg stretch to go into a big stretch and then possibly he just lost his balance or whatever. He stretches a lot anyway, usually first thing he does before he goes anywhere after the rider has mounted (stretches out his back legs before he walks on).

Anyway, yesterday morning I was picking out his feet in the stable (into a bucket), all fine until I got round to his last leg, a front foot, picked out, all fine, didn't take long, just about to put it down when he started doing his funny cat/dog strecth thing while I was still holding his leg in the air! He went down really really far, massive stretch, like he was about to lie down, then promptly lost his balance (I had put his leg down by this point) and fell over, putting his knee straight into the skip buvket (thanks Soda!) breaking it and sending mud everywhere, before getting up and looking most hurt and upset about it. (He was fine, no harm done).

But I'm really confused. Surely it's not normal behaviour for a horse to stretch and then try and lie down whilst you're holding a leg in the air?! He doesn't seem bothered, just like he can't be bothered to stand up any more, huge stretch and then he just slowly starts sinking down to lie down, it's really bizarre. Apart from looking most disgurntled when you don't let him, he seems fine and unbothered by anything, and given that it's in a few different things I can't think that it's just a reaction to somehting as before he's always been okay to have his feet picked out and gave me no warning signs before he began to sink down.

Really werid. Anyone experienced this? Know what it might be? Am a bit worried really. He's quite a lazy horse naturally, spends a lot of his time lying down and is generally very chilled out. Is it just that he's a bit simple? It doesn't really bother me, but when 16hh and half a ton of horse starts sinking down into a stretch and lie down manoeuvre whilst you're holding his leg and standing right next to him it's quite alarming if you're not expecting it, I thought he'd collapsed the first time he did it. :eek:

Before anyone asks he's had back checked extremely regularly and just recently been done, never any problems (the occasional tweak needed but nothing more than the average horse gets from playing in the field apparently) and had his back done recently, teeth were done quite recently and all fine, saddle was checked last week and was fine, hooves are all fine etc. etc. He has a full MOT probably more regularly than most people say is strictly necessary basically and never found any problems.

This is why I'm puzzled, and slightly worried.

Any suggestions appreciated. :)
 

skips and soda

Skippy Bum & Skoda Fabia
Sep 15, 2007
3,241
5
38
29
South West, Nr. Bath
Very interested in this, as Lance does something quite similar when I pick out his feet or stretch his legs ...

Really? That's interesting, I've never come across another horse who does it. Nice to know Soda isn't the only one!

At first I wondered if it was just cos he was a youngster, but when I think about it that doesn't really make any sense cos he has been taught to pick his feet up properly by me and my YO, and it didn't start immediately, he's not done it ever since I had him, just in the last year, possibly a little bit less.
 

devonlass

New Member
May 20, 2006
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devon
My lad did exactly this the other day when I put his hoof boots on for the first time,frightened the life out of me:eek:

He didn't seem bothered,almost like he was thinking about having a lie down in the most awkward fashion:rolleyes:

I have no idea if it was something to do with the hoof boots,or just some random thing he decided to do to worry me:confused:

Sorry can't enlighten you as to why,but is scary at the time so I do sympathise,let me know if you figure it out!!
 

appaloosamare

New Member
Jul 20, 2008
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hey im led to believe this is **maybe*** a type of narcolypsey - sorry wrong spelling - my mare also has it...will give some more details in a minute....but she's different she never does it when you have her attention its always when she s half asleep....

so unless your gelding was dozing whilst picking out?

here s a pic of her doing it yesterday whilst standing in field....

she usually goes forward - i have to make her box fool proof so she doesn't bang her knees - she had a lot of scarring on her knees from it when i i bought her - still there but smaller...

waiting for photobucket to upload pic and i'll post it....
 

appaloosamare

New Member
Jul 20, 2008
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hey here it is....

she fell over after this - so its not like it was an away stretch....

once she has gone forward whilst brushing her but i try to keep her attention whilst working with her to avoid her falling on me or others!!

DSC03191.jpg
 

skips and soda

Skippy Bum & Skoda Fabia
Sep 15, 2007
3,241
5
38
29
South West, Nr. Bath
hey here it is....

she fell over after this - so its not like it was an away stretch....

once she has gone forward whilst brushing her but i try to keep her attention whilst working with her to avoid her falling on me or others!!

DSC03191.jpg

Yes! Eactly like that, but why on earth do it when I'm holding his leg in the air, and it's not like he's just done it once, it happens quite a lot.

Really weird. Pleased to know he's not the only one though!
 

appaloosamare

New Member
Jul 20, 2008
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if he's half asleep when you're doing it then it doesn't matter that leg in the air - the body can't help itself...she often wobbles like that for a while as if shes stunned then topples over and as soon as a limb hits the deck wakes up properly and scrambles to her feet!!!
 

skips and soda

Skippy Bum & Skoda Fabia
Sep 15, 2007
3,241
5
38
29
South West, Nr. Bath
hey im led to believe this is **maybe*** a type of narcolypsey - sorry wrong spelling - my mare also has it...will give some more details in a minute....but she's different she never does it when you have her attention its always when she s half asleep....

so unless your gelding was dozing whilst picking out?

here s a pic of her doing it yesterday whilst standing in field....

she usually goes forward - i have to make her box fool proof so she doesn't bang her knees - she had a lot of scarring on her knees from it when i i bought her - still there but smaller...

waiting for photobucket to upload pic and i'll post it....

Ah, interesting. He is a REALLY dozy horse, every morning he's fkat out asleep in his box, and often lies down in the middle of the day as well. He'll either go forward or back, just depends really, often back but the other day he went forward.

He wasn't dozy when I was doing his feet. Didn't seem to be anyway, had just had a mini bath and stuff and seemed fairly awake.
 

Soot

Paranoid!
Aug 7, 2007
6,136
0
0
East Sussex
Lance doesn't it like that ... hmmmm. He doesn't go as low - he just seems to take the opportunity to really stretch through, and then looks like he's going to go down on his knees, like when young horses are playing, like this:
JS%20and%20Gerard%202.jpg_640.jpg
 

skips and soda

Skippy Bum & Skoda Fabia
Sep 15, 2007
3,241
5
38
29
South West, Nr. Bath
if he's half asleep when you're doing it then it doesn't matter that leg in the air - the body can't help itself...she often wobbles like that for a while as if shes stunned then topples over and as soon as a limb hits the deck wakes up properly and scrambles to her feet!!!

He dozes a lot in the stable, even when I'm tacking up he's usually dozing, but did seem fully awake when I was pcking out his feet the other day which is puzzling.

Your mare does exactly what Soda does though. Should I ask a vet to check him out or just leave it? :confused:
 

appaloosamare

New Member
Jul 20, 2008
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Lance doesn't it like that ... hmmmm. He doesn't go as low - he just seems to take the opportunity to really stretch through, and then looks like he's going to go down on his knees, like when young horses are playing, like this:

thats really interesting too..... because on some other forums im on there was a huge debate about this type of behaviour....

so you know how your horse does this when playing.....other people on this forum saying that when the horse does it when you working with feet or tacking up is basically treating you like a horse and is NOT playing but is being defiant about what youre doing..... in the same sort of behaviour as soots horses...although he's not being defiant thats is way of interacting and dominating the horse he's playing with...

so usually its either a dominance or sleeping issue....

I guess getting it looked at ....hmm well that's diffiuclt to advise on - in order to give an accurate analysis it may cost a lot of money and time and end up with a result that you can't alter anyway - unless it's a behavioural thing.....

so maybe not worth panicking about but when you have vaccinations done or the vet out for something else get a check over - unless he does it when you on him...then that would be dangerous and really needs checking out...

make sense??
 

Soot

Paranoid!
Aug 7, 2007
6,136
0
0
East Sussex
Interesting. Esp as Lance is a super sop, who you can push around easy as pie. Find it hard to see him as dominant! But he does the cat stratch thing first and then goes down on his knees *lol*.
That said, he hasn't done it for a while now. Lance is 3 and not ridden much so girthing up is still "new" to him!
 

skips and soda

Skippy Bum & Skoda Fabia
Sep 15, 2007
3,241
5
38
29
South West, Nr. Bath
thats really interesting too..... because on some other forums im on there was a huge debate about this type of behaviour....

so you know how your horse does this when playing.....other people on this forum saying that when the horse does it when you working with feet or tacking up is basically treating you like a horse and is NOT playing but is being defiant about what youre doing..... in the same sort of behaviour as soots horses...although he's not being defiant thats is way of interacting and dominating the horse he's playing with...

so usually its either a dominance or sleeping issue....

I guess getting it looked at ....hmm well that's diffiuclt to advise on - in order to give an accurate analysis it may cost a lot of money and time and end up with a result that you can't alter anyway - unless it's a behavioural thing.....

so maybe not worth panicking about but when you have vaccinations done or the vet out for something else get a check over - unless he does it when you on him...then that would be dangerous and really needs checking out...

make sense??


Yeah, I see what you mean. It might be dominance, he's naturally quite dominant in the field and used to be a bit with people, but he's not in any other aspects, he occasionally makes face but that's attention seeking rather than dominance and if ignored he's fine.

The vets are based at our yard and one keeps his son's pony at the yard so might ask him his opinion quickly next time I see him.

I worry that he might do it when I'm on him, but so far he hasn't seem like he will. Mind you, I don't pick up his legs when I'm on him so that might be why! Lol! Interesting debate though as to what causes it. Thank you for all your help. :)
 

devonlass

New Member
May 20, 2006
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devon
So is it exactly like narcolepsy in people?? How sure can you be that it is narcolepsy as opposed to something like epilepsy?? (absences and opposed to tonic clonic),sorry just interested now,could open up a whole new world of neuro disorders in horses!!

My lad looked exactly like the mare in the pic apart from he did not go down so far,and has only done it the one time,I did think at the time it was something to do witht he hoofboots,although lord knows what:confused:

We are like the horse brain dectectives here aren't we lol,although we're probably all wrong;):p
 

maypole101

New Member
Oct 24, 2008
51
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somerset
Sorry to tell you this, and I'm sure its not the same thing...... but I had a thoroughbred mare who used to do the same thing when I tacked her up. Never any other time. I had her backed checked and the chiropracter said she'd had a massive head trauma at some point in her life, she thinks she reared up and fell over backwards and hit her poll on a trough/fence etc. Anyway she said she had huge headaches and she did loads of massage etc. Unfortunately, didn't cure her and things went downhill from there. Sorry for negative answer, just be careful if he starts rearing with any pressure on his poll. Although I'm sure he doesn't have this problem.
xx
 

littlepony

New Member
Jan 19, 2009
691
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0
Both of mine stretch out with their bums in the air now and then, normally when they have just woken up. My mare also stretches her back legs out one at a time like a ballet dancer. Not all the time just now n then !
 
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