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My filly seems to be a typical two year old, but I have noticed that after her morning feeding, she lies down, usually on her hay. She seems to make kind of a whimpering noise when she breathes. The first time I came up on her like this it scared me. I thought she might be coming down with colic or something. After I got her up, however, she behaved fine and went and joined the other horses out in the pasture. I passed it off as just a nap the first time, but she did it again the next morning as well. So it has been just about every morning, like clock work - about a half an hour after she eats. Only with the morning feeding though. I grew up around horses and though it has been a few years since having any, I don't remember any others of this age act this way so much. Just a quirk maybe? Have you ever noticed this behavior in a two year old? Didn't get real worried about it, but my mother expressed some concern. Any comments are greatly appreciated. thanks,

- B. B.


I'm afraid that I'll have to side with your mom. I'm not a vet, and I think you may want to call one in on this. To me, your description sounds a lot like a mild colic.

Before the vet pays a visit, however, I'd suggest that you sit down and make a list of all the things that are different between the morning and evening feedings.

When you speak of a "feeding," I assume you are talking about grain. If the horse is given grain in the evening after grazing most of the day, she has plenty of roughage to help move the grain through the digestive system. If she hasn't had much grass or hay before the grain in the morning, that could explain why she seems to be in distress. (When I give grain to a horse in the morning, I always make sure it at least has a flake or two of hay and plenty of clean water ten or fifteen minutes before the grain.)

What about access to water? Is the morning feeding more hurried than the evening one? Is she more active before the evening feeding? These - and many more - factors could be causing digestive pain.

As she continues to grow, she may outgrow the problem. On the other hand, if it's a problem with her intestines, she might not outgrow anything without medical treatment.

Again, check with your vet.

Happy Riding!

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