I'm Cris, and I've been quite active with a horse rescue for the past ten years. Someone on the Chronicle breeding board suggested posting this question here, on the chance there may be a realistic solution other than death for this mare.
JudgeJudy, a 13-14 year old pinto mare, has now been with us a year, and sheís still psycho. She is physically strong and healthy. We, as an org., are thinking of putting her down. As an individual who works with Judy from time to time and has bonded with her, I cannot vote to euthanize her now. But Iím not hesitant to admit sheís dangerous. In her favor is the fact that anyone with an iota of horse sense can see the danger coming; itís not like something flips a switch and she goes from sweet to psychotic in the blink of an eye. I need more input from others who have more experience, or a clearer view.
History: Judy came to us a year ago, starved and with a (weaned) colt. When she was seized she was stalled with a stallion. Owner said she was psycho, but she was having one of her calm spells that day, so she was easily led and loaded and taken to the rescue. Two days later her true colors emerged, and this is pretty much the pattern of Judyís behavior. Most of the time she is usually psycho and dangerous. Then she goes into heat for 3 days a month and is a sweetheart. My gut impression of this mare is that she is basically a sweet horse who spends most of her life in major PMS-type mood swings and lack of control. She doesnít want to be bad, but canít help herself. She kicks, bites, charges, squeals. The least little thing can set her off, i.e. gently touching her with one finger in the wrong place. At 14 hh she can spin on a dime and kick the top rail of an 8 foot temp. fencing enclosure with a resounding clang, and that kick would kill a human on the receiving end. She seems to have some training, ground at least, and will respond to an appropriate authoritative tone. I donít think this is a training issue at all.
What weíve tried: Prolixin for 3 months; Regumate, Prozac, Hormonise, x-rays and ultrasound looking for internal mare problems, and bloodwork that showed normal levels of progesterone and estrogen. She hasnít been palpated, due to major concerns about vetís continued good health. Nothing has made any difference in her behavior. Weíve tracked her on the calendar for several months, and the only time she is normal is those 3 days per month that she is in heat. She has not had her feet trimmed in four months now, because to do so will require laying her down.
If any of you have insight that might be helpful, or suggestions of other avenues that might be tried, I would love to hear from you. Thanks.
Anonymous Posted From: 188.8.131.52
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 11:02 pm:
While not an inexpensive procedure, have you considered spaying her? If her behaviour seems directly related to her reproductive cycles and hormones, this may be something worth considering. Has this procedure been discussed with your veterinarian?
Anonymous Posted From: 184.108.40.206
Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - 02:30 pm:
Try having a marble inserted into her uterus to control her heat cycles
Anonymous Posted From: 220.127.116.11
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 07:53 am:
You don't want to STOP her heat periods, as that is what is making her calm. You basically want to produce a constant state of estrus. The above mentioned solutions would make her stop cycling. So maybe estrogen shots? But I would still pursue the training avenue with an EXPERIENCED trainer. Even hormonal females can be taught to control their behavior...
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