Long and in need of advice… Pictures at bottom.
I’ve hesitated posting again until I know what’s going on. I need to get the vet out, but, with daylight savings times beginning Sunday, I want additional data before I call.
You see, things have gotten worse since I last wrote. A little worse. Then a lot worse. And by a lot worse, I mean I cried for days and thinking about how bad the other night was, I’m almost crying now.
Over the last week, Subi was OK. Not great, but OK. If I walked him in as much light as possible (under the house flood lights), he was pretty good. Not great, but fine. Over the weekend I tried to bring him in during the daylight. Things were fine. A rear or 2, but I ignored it and we were fine. Fine. Everything was fine.
The Monday happened.
He was on edge from the moment I put his halter and chain on. I’ve been using the chain because I don’t feel like I have enough control if I need it without. I have used the chain, but mostly it’s just there. We had weather overnight, but that was about it. Cold front was coming it. But that’s happened before. He was a jerk. But whatever. I got him out of the field and I wasn’t there. I had zero control.
I tried my backing and halting. Things escalated. If I touched his head, things escalated. Suddenly all that was happening was rearing and bolting. He wouldn’t stop rearing. Or bolting. He was trotting circles around me. He tripped over the septic tank viewer things and reared again. And again. And again. Somehow we kept moving and rearing and moving. I gave up trying to get his focus. The more I tried to correct or redirect, the more the behavior escalated. It was like he was in a blind panic. I don’t know how I kept a hold of him. It was like I wasn’t there.
Somehow I got him in his stall. Somehow I got the halter and lead off of him. Somehow I got the door closed. I stayed freaking calm until all that happened. No idea how and then started bawling my eyes out.
He didn’t get his liner on that night.
Next morning? Fine. Daylight. A little looky, but fine.
The following night? It was like I wasn’t there again but I kept his feet moving and didn’t give him a chance to react to anything. We just moved. So, no explosions.
Morning, fine. But, he’s staring at stuff more.
Last night? We moved them before we had dinner buckets ready to get them in while we had daylight. He spooked slightly when my dog made a noise in the field, but it was just a start and shudder (no rear or jump) and he was fine walking to his stall. But, we had daylight. Not a lot, but some.
This morning? I took pictures of his eye. He also craned his entire neck around to look at Batt. The opposite way that you would think would be normal.
One of his eyes was looking cloudy, but I didn’t see it before… One was looking fine.
I’ll be getting the vet out, but… help. Am I seeing something? I know they’re not the greatest pictures…
wow yeah, the eyes definitely do look different from one another. Glad you’re getting the vet out!
I would def get the vet out sooner rather than later if you can. Can you haul him to the vet or will that cause a huge meltdown??
I hope you figure something out. That is so exhausting never knowing how he is going to be. Hope daylight change helps a bit at least just for your own nerves let alone his!
Keep the horses at home, it will be fun they said. LOL 🙂
I’ll just bring the vet out because I still need tires… If you were local I’d just have to trailer him and while he might melt down, I could tranq. I think I’m just going to call today. Chances are she won’t be here till next week anyway.
I am sure next week will be fine. And yes I wish i was there would totally trailer him for you!
I mean unlike Batt this horse gets on trailers though it’ll stress him out…
i’m sorry 😦 hopefully the vet can give you some answers! i don’t know anything about eyes, tho when charlie had his minor eye injury around christmas i was directed to compare the size of his pupils and see if they reacted to light.
Yep. Plus the hand test in front of the eye is the other thing to do. I have a list of stuff to try tonight in the dark.
They definitely look different! My experience with eyes is limited, but I do know uveitis can cause a lot of pain and reactions from horses when there is a flare up. I hope you get answers and a path forward quickly!
Definitely a possibility. He’s also super sensitive so it could just be he doesn’t know how to handle vision loss know that routine has changed.
Could you give him a break from all this and stop bringing him in at night? before you had this new barn, what did you do with him? I know the behavior needs addressed but it seems to keep getting worse and maybe bringing him inside isn’t worth it until the vet can come out and check that eye out?
My trainer suggested it too except I’d have to leave everyone out and he’s actually really happy/relaxed once he’s inside. Now that I suspect vision, it’s explaining a lot of quirky behaviors over the last couple of years. I think if I can get through today shining extra light, I’ll be ok. Daylight savings will actually help me.
There is so much mud right now (frozen currently), I hate leaving them out. He won’t stay out himself and it’s currently hard to separate them due to some issues with my shed/small paddock so feeding is a challenge. I can fix but not till the weekend and well, problem solved with extra daylight. But you’re not the only person to suggest this!
Oh wow yeah the eyes definitely look different! I think your logic is sound. Hopefully the tests you’ll do will help you narrow things down, but hopefully the vet will be able to give you some answers!
My pony growing up developed an eye problem (looking back, my best guess is glaucoma though I don’t think we ever got a diagnosis…) and I remember it causing me a whole lot of stress (and some erratic behavior on her part). Hope you can get some answers for both of your nerves/safety soon
It explains a lot if it’s eyes. And changes my approach to things. Last night he had his head on the ground trying to track light. Before I suspected he was trying to pull and/or get at grass. Nope, tracking light. Did it when I shined light over frozen dirt.
Fingers crossed the vet sees something that could be contributing to his behaviour AND is easy to fix. I’m sorry for all the stress this must be causing you and I hope there is some resolution soon.
It’s good to get the vet out. I’m not sure about the eyes. Irish used to freak out going from light to dark areas and I dad the vet out. Turned out to be behavioural and I fixed it with clicker training. although he’s pretty much over it I still don’t walk beside him going into a confined space.
If it’s not his eyes I would really recommend treating for ulcers.
The vet is coming on the 18th. I tried the flashlight test and looking in the dark but in the dark, I see a shadow on the other eye too. A friend of mine was able to point out the problem point in his one eye that she’s particularly concerned about. I should post her edited picture.
Last night, I walked in the dark with my cell phone flashlight pointed to the ground. He immediately dropped his head everywhere there was light on the ground to keep his head about an inch from the ground. It was crazy. He followed the light with his head. Once he was in his stall, he looked relaxed and comfortable/safe. Big sigh once he’s in his stall.
I am treating for ulcers too and he’s eating again. Cleaning his feed better than in months. Excited for meals.
Ah okay that sounds good. I don’t whether to hope for vision problems or not! But I hope you find an answer.
Not sure an eye problem is the answer you want, but hopefully you do get an answer!
Your write up definitely had me thinking eyes and your pictures look really different from each other. Have you tried testing his reaction response. You can put your hand far away from his eye and then slowly get it closer and see where he flinches. There are also these: https://equusmagazine.com/management/easy-equine-vision-tests-8437
Awww man! Cyber hug! The pictures definitely look different, so fingers are crossed that the vet can find something to explain the behavior.