When I brought Bonnie home it was late at night. We unloaded her from one trailer to another without a hitch– in a parking lot, under parking lot lights– and she was quiet and manageable. She didn’t whinny or move around at all. She just loaded right up and stood quietly in my trailer. On the drive home she continued to be quiet and didn’t whinny when we pulled into our driveway even though the other ponies whinnied at the trailer. It was about one in the morning, so very dark and she unloaded like a champ. She fell out of the trailer a bit because she missed the step down, but it wasn’t a big deal. I led her through the other 3 ponies, into her own pen which I had set up with a bale of hay and fresh water. I took off her halter and went in to bed.
The next day I went into her pen and gave her a little feed and left. She knew what the bucket meant and was happy to have the feed. I tied the bucket to the fence so she could eat. She banged the bucket around and seemed fine.
The next day when I went into her pen to give her some feed, she spooked and ran across the pen. She ran straight into the fence at the end of small area and bent a t-post! I was shocked as was she. She was unhurt but it had me thinking.
As time went on I observed her in many different situations. She could not stand to be brushed and would panic, ramming into the building if she was tied, running me over if I was holding her. She would not tolerate me touching anywhere on her body. When I ran my hand down her leg to pick it up for trimming she would bite me.
She would suddenly spook and try to run away. She would leap on me or whatever horse was near her when she spooked. Her behavior was so random and shocking that I thought maybe she wasn’t able to see very well, therefor she would be spooked when something ‘suddenly’ appeared out of no where or touched her.
I did a few tests of my own to see if she could see and she seemed to be able to. She noticed things when we were out walking but would spook after we passed the scary thing, or when the grass blew… Thankfully Sky was calm as a cucumber and was our rock solid walking partner.
I thought Bonnie might have some physical issues. So when my aunt Sara came to oil Sky we went ahead and oiled Bonnie. It was interesting as she was not happy about us touching her. She did LOVE the oils however so she tolerated it. My aunt made me a Redneck Raindrop with a blend of oils she tested and then mixed into a bottle. I applied them by dripping them on Bonnie’s spine every day for 5 days to help her manage her emotions. I also suspected some hormonal imbalances as she would act like a stallion when Sky was in heat, snorting and mounting her. The oils were meant to address that as well.
I did see some improvement in the next week or so, but she still didn’t seem quite happy. I started to google around for more information. I knew that most people and horses are magnesium deficient so I googled that. Here is something I came across:
Horses with magnesium deficiency may…resent or even act afraid of being touched leading the owner to ask themselves, ‘Is someone abusing this horse when I am not around?’ Their response to outside stimuli is over reactive and they tend to become fractious, worried, fearful or resistant to training.
- Unable to relax physically or mentally
- Body tension
- Random spooking
- Angry about being brushed
- Would be described as ‘thin skinned’ or over sensitive to sound or movement
The article goes into more detail with other signs a horse may be magnesium deficient. The above signs are the ones I was seeing in Bonnie.
I immediately purchased some Di-magnesium malate powder on Amazon. When it came I put some loose powder in her run in shelter along side of her white salt.
Bonnie went right into the shelter to see what I put in there and when she stuck her nose in the magnesium she began licking it. She licked and licked. I was surprised as magnesium can be quite bitter. It didn’t stop her! She licked at if for a few minutes. She finished that powder in a couple of days and I saw HUGE changes in her! She went from spooky and difficult to handle to quiet and calm. She began to love being brushed. Even showing me her itchy spots! I could pick up her feet without her pinning her ears or offering to bite. I could even pet her when she was loose in her dry lot! Before if she thought I might pet her she would scoot away from me. Now she’ll come over and want her tummy scratched when I’m scratching Sky’s.
I just ordered more Di-magnesium powder from Performance Equine Nutrition. I ordered the Mag-Restore in powder form. I buy my salt at the local feed store, the American Stockman’s salt:
Seeing first hand how magnesium helped my horse I would highly recommend putting some magnesium powder out for your horses! It’s amazing all the ways it can help!!