Horses with gastric ulcers are often hardly recognizable. They are apathetic, seem apathetic to depressed, their gaze is dull and turned inwards and some horses even have glassy eyes. They participate little in their environment, are hardly interested in their stable colleagues and sometimes do not even react to their caregivers.
You often see your horse standing with his head in the corner. However, each horse expresses its discomfort differently and individually and so it can be that one stomach patient behaves aggressively towards his conspecifics and increasingly goes into confrontation, while the other isolates himself from the herd and avoids contact with his pasture mates or pit mates. If you notice that your otherwise active horse is becoming more and more passive and you are no longer greeted with a cheerful neighing or the horse's head is lowered in attention-grabbing situations, this is a clear sign that something is wrong with the horse and that he is possibly suffering from pain.
Are stomach patients always apathetic?
As with the other symptoms, one can say that everything can, but nothing has to. Which symptoms a stomach patient expresses and how he deals with his pain varies greatly from patient to patient. For example, some suffer more pain, suffer quietly with severe stomach ulcers and eat apparently only a little worse, while the other one clearly shows that he is not well even with a slight irritation of the stomach mucosa, for example, by frequently flehming, colic again and again or extremely tense and unridden.
Therefore it is important to always keep an eye on the expression behaviour of your horse and to seek advice from outsiders in case of uncertainty, because often creeping changes of behaviour do not attract attention at all or only late.