My horse runs continuously when let out. Should I be concerned?

Girl and HorseQuestion: I have a 18 month old Percheron/Thoroughbred cross and she is in a paddock (rather large) most of the time. When I let her out she runs and runs and runs just appears to be playing and never trying to run over any humans. When she is done and I say “come” she will always walk to me. Should I be concerned of this behavior?

From April Reeves: Your filly sounds quite normal to me. All horses display exuberance and love to self-exercise especially when freed from confining pens and paddocks. If she does not get out every day, then running for quite a long time can be normal.

Being that she is a cross between a ‘hot’ blood and a ‘cold’ blood, you could end up with any temperament. The Percheron crosses I have known all displayed some level of feistiness when young, then mellowed out around 4 to 6.

Sometimes running for extended periods of time, until they are extremely hot and winded, is not as abnormal as it is unusual. I have such a horse myself (half thoroughbred). About every 3 to 4 days, this gelding simply must race like mad around the large arena, bucking and kicking and going until he can’t breathe any more. He has always done this, and I look forward to the time when he doesn’t want to do it anymore. I have also found that the fitter he is (he does interval training) the more he likes to “blow out”.

My only suggestion to you is that you are always careful of the footing she is running in. Never let her run in areas where there are soft spots or holes. Also watch for rocks and hard uneven surfaces.

She seems to display some really nice behavior besides that, so I would say you are lucky to have this filly to work with one day. I personally would prefer one with manners and energy. You can do so much more with them.

I am not sure what you are feeding her, but an energetic horse is a sign that she is processing and digesting the fibre in her hay properly. Fibre = Energy. Do be careful she does not gain too much weight too quickly. These crosses do fine on low sugar and low starch diets, moderate protein (10%) and lots of movement. Keep her hay first or second cut only, lots of seed heads, and supplement with a flake of timothy per day (timothy is high in fibre, lower in starches and sugars, and good levels of potassium, vitamins A, E and D).

Just keep letting her out to run on a good surface, and let her free up those tight muscles!

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