Tail ClampingBolting

This is where a horse may suddenly clamp their tail and bolt off.

It happens spontaneously out in the paddock for no apparent reason. They can be quietly grazing around one minute, then the next thing the head flies up and it is exactly like someone just shot them in the rump with a BB gun!





What Happens?

The horse motors off at high speed, looking behind them and therefore not seeing fences and other obstacles in front of them.
It is most common in the spring and this involuntary behaviour is very likely to result in serious injury to the horse.

I have met numerous people who have experienced this and several have, tragically, had to euthanase the horses because they bolted through wire or post and rail fences.





One of my horses, Starlight used to do the exact same thing.

Before I understood anything about mineral imbalances from the grass, we witnessed her, on many occasions, bolting around the paddock madly, looking behind her as she went.
One day we found her on the other side of the gate which was severely bent and she had smashed her sinuses under her left eye and all her front teeth. She has since recovered but her face is not as pretty on one side! (See above pic)
Note the caved in sinus area under her left eye above.


Now we understand how to prevent these episodes.
A closely related condition is where you cannot put a cover on for the same reason. You can put the cover on and do it up OK but then they stand there ‘frozen’ to the spot until they suddenly bolt off in the same manner.

Such was the case for the horse in the photo (left) but after a couple of months off the grass she is fine with her cover again.