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  1. #1
    alteration81 Guest

    Default Help. About to throw in the towel...

    Ok, loooong history on this horse. I guess what I'll do is start with what I'm currently facing, then give you history to see if that ties in at all..
    I LOVE my horse, first of all, but I have had some confidence issues in myself and him. Seriously, it's not that I'm neccessarily overmounted- I KNOW I'm a chicken, and I have a lot of things to work on. Multiple people have told me I need to just work it through and not sell him. Part of me thinks their right, I'd be taking the easy way out in selling him (IF I could do that in today's market).
    Anyways, I moved halfway across the country a little over a year ago, didn't ride him much at all for close to a year. We did a few trail rides this spring and summer of 08. Then finally got a part-time working student position with a lovely trainer who seemed very effective and LOVED my horse. She says he's very honest to the work, and once I stop fiddling with his face and ride straight, he's correct. Starts swinging through his back and being very soft and consistant. I had to move, unfortunately, back home, to continue my search for a job. Before I left he started feeling uneven in the back, and she said she thought his sacrum was out. I didn't get him worked on before I left, thinking ok, no point in doing that when he's on a trailer for a LONG time..
    Now we're back on the east coast, and I thought he looked great on the lunge. I lunged him a few times, just letting him settle in. It was a stressful trip. Today I finally went to get on him, knowing that I have to continue to work this horse and get him in shape, and not lose that fitness (I'll add the history on that later). Sooo I tack him up, which I haven't gotten on him or had the saddle in him for about 3 weeks. I go to lunge him. Trot seems fine, tracking up evenly both sides, maybe my imagination but possibly hip is higher on one side? I ask him to canter..which was no problem last week..and.... temper tantrum. HUGE extended trot to the point he's almost falling over, picked up the canter and bucks, not a single canter stride, humped back, ears pinned. Tried both directions with same result. Um, ok. I remove saddle. finally canters, after some effort, but hollow back head up in the air. Saddle back on, adjusted it 28 different ways before coming to the conclusion that I haven't a clue what's going on. Hopped on to see if i could feel it. Felt like I was riding downhill he was unloading hind end so much. definitely NOT happy, slightly uneven.
    Ok, so now here comes the part that I'm sure I'm going to get flamed about. I have a friend who can tune into horses, and usually is pretty correct. She said I was making him sore, he feels like he has to push me out of the saddle, that makes his hind end sore, then he drags himself on his front end and that makes his front sore. ok WTF. I agree that yes, I am probably making him sore in some aspect. But we were making progress. I have to really exagerate turning my body to the right so I ride straight. very stiff to the right. My trainer had me stare at his butt to the right, and wouldn't you know, he went round at the canter.
    So, this latest piece has me extremely frustrated, as I haven't the slightest clue what's going on, nor the money to pay for 5 different people to look at him and tell me what's going on. Could the sacrum be causing this kind of behavior?
    History in the next post. I know this is long, but it has been one thing after another. I appreciate in advance someone who is willing to read this!!!!



  2. #2
    alteration81 Guest

    Default

    Ok, so I've only had this horse about 3 years.
    First year, trail rode almost exclusively. He has had training up to 1st level.
    2nd year we had BAD back problems, which actually had similar simptoms to what he exhibited today. It was attributed to saddle fit. He is very short backed, makes it hard to fit. I finally made it to Trumbull Mountain, they fitted a saddle to him, but he was out of shape at the time. I know I need it checked, but it was fine before I moved him- it can't suddenly, overnight, NOT fit him can it?
    So then, with him being out of shape from that, I suspect we had a little bit of a stifle issue. One vet thought I was smoking something, another agreed that he was weak back there, thought he had EPM, but very slim chance.
    Put him on a joint supplement, got bodyworker, saw improvement. Started to get in shape, felt GREAT after the new saddle (it took some time to get it).
    Then we moved. (Poor horse, the craziness of my life affects his- but that's an alltogether different subject. I definitely was not intending on this when I bought him.) Due to not finding an arena, no trailer, and REALLY awful winter, no riding. Started riding again, good. Took him on a trailride/camping trip. AWFUL snot, threw huge tempertantrum, bucking spinning. Was FINE the day before riding in an arena. Took him straight up and down a steep hill until he settled. Second day, his left stifle and lower back were extremely painful. After rest he was fine.
    Finally had access to an excellent lameness vet, he said no stifle problem, but the hocks were very weak positive. Also mentioned EPM, which is possible. At the time he was on Recovery EQ, which I thought didn't make any difference. Currently, he's not on it, which may be part of what's going on today???
    I know he's out of shape, so am I, but I would like to get to the point where I can ride him everyday and not worry about him either a) being unsound or B)being a complete jack*ss. It is all quite possible he was throwing a temper tantrum today b/c he didn't want to work. I will not deny that at times he has my number.
    I don't know what kind of input I'm looking for, but just pretty frustrated.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 7, 2008
    Posts
    19

    Default ask your vet

    A couple things come to mind. First, call your vet. Second, Kissing spine? Third, Lyme Disease. Good luck. It's so hard to know what's wrong when they can't tell us. A friend had a horse that would take off when she got on,and I mean take off , it was pain related. A horse I ride would be lame in one leg one day and lame in another leg the next day and race over cavelletis, was Lyme. Sometimes bad behavior is just that,and sometimes it's pain related. I always check for pain issues first.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2001
    Posts
    8,542

    Default

    I would not listen to the 'friend' but would consult your previous trainer or find a new trainer. Ask her for advice how to proceed and then proceed in an orderly fashion to rule things out.

    It could be any number of things from saddle fit, chiro issues, soreness, attitude, 'has your number', freshness from not being ridden, anything. Perhaps the previous trainer was right when she saw a physical issue. No one here can know.

    But if it were me, based on that history, if I had to guess I'd probably get a chiropractic assessment at this point before calling in a vet again. That's just a guess and not worth much to you.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2008
    Posts
    247

    Default

    I was once advised - many many years ago - always to start with the most obvious thing first when assessing a 'problem' with a horse.

    There is an old saying that 90% of horse health problems start with the locomotor system; 90% of that 90% are in the lower limb and 90% of that 90% are in the front limb.

    Not always, but very often, these sort of muscular-skeletal problems start in the feet. Often enough for it to be sensible to discount that possibility before spending a lot of money on other therapies - these may be needed as well but if there's an imbalance in the hoof - that is throwing the hock, stifle and SI joint out, you need to get the imbalance sorted or it'll keep on getting worse.

    Why not post some photographs or a link to a video? That way people would be better able to advise you.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
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    24,408

    Default

    I would not assume your horse had a 'temper tantrum' or 'the saddle was on incorrectly' or anything like that. The horse hasn't been getting worked and most likely, is just fresh. It's cold out and alll he's done is be moved around and not work. One man's 'temper tantrum' is another man's 'boy ain't he frisky'.

    Stop guessing about your horse. Get a work up by a very good sport horse vet, a 'leg man' that the top sport riders go to in your area.

    Stop listening to well meaning friends and riders who give you opinions like your horses back is 'out'.

    Most likely your horse has some developing hock issues. One vet earlier said he was 'weakly positive' on some sort of hock test - I don't know what - flexion, xrays or what.

    Stop guessing. Take the horse to a good vet.

    Hock issues are not the end of the world. Some mild arthritic changes on the fronts of some hocks do stabiliize, and with careful conditioning and very gradual training, may go along performing well for some years. It's counter intuitive, but mild hock problems often respond the best to consistent work. Those long trail rides on deep footing, those spur of the moment gallops and once a month 'oh I feel like jumping today for an hour' may be impossible for a horse with hock issues, as may be twisting and tearing around leaping in a rough turnout or pasture, but some sensible ring work is not. Level, consistent ground without holes, ruts and soft spots, sensible riding - you'd be very surprised what can be done if one is clever.

    I spent years riding with an old gal who could keep just about any horse comfortable - and the key was a careful, tailor made consistent work routine. She was just very smart about it. The horses got 'done up' (bandaged), they got bute every day (not all vets now agree that's good for all horses, but that's what people did back then), and she was just careful with them. The horses went out every day (no matter how cold it was, LOL) and got frequent light work, lots of walking and cantering to warm up. And they got worked very frequently - it kept them in good shape and that helps to spare the joints.

    If the horse even has hock problems at all.

    Just find out, and stop worrying that every time the horse bucks or plays up it must be due to some soundness issue. Find out what your horse has, how it DOES affect him, and develop a healthy, consistent program for him.

    It sounds like you need a good trainer at your side to give you confidence that you're on the right track. Get help, and enjoy your riding.



  7. #7
    alteration81 Guest

    Default

    Thank you for all your advice. I think I have a plan- I am thinking I could try to work him for the next few days, see if he gets better. If not, give him a pain killer for 2-3 days (Banamine works for him, bute upsets his stomach), see if he gets better. If not, call a bodyworker.
    Does that make sense?
    I realize he could be just fresh, or silly, but knowing his history it really had me worried. Not to mention the idea of spending $ I don't have very much of right at the moment.. I also realize that I am probably needlessly worrying as I'm being a bit of a chicken.
    As soon as I have a full-time job it will be easier.
    I have had so many vets look at this horse, and they've not ever really helped. And not run of the mill, podunk country vets either.
    Oh, and I also FINALLY got a good hoof trimmer. I did have issues having his feet balanced, but found excellent farriers recently. Made a lot of progress with his feet. He's been barefoot his entire life.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2006
    Posts
    1,396

    Default

    Having a horse pins its ears on the lungeline is NOT normal behavior, cold weather or not. Sounds as if the horse is in pain somewhere. Have you tried putting him on Bute for five days, morning and night dose, then cut back to once a day for another five days. See if that makes a difference.

    When you were lunging him, were you using sidereins? Was there anything different about the equipment today, from the last time you lunged him.

    Until you get to the bottom of this, I would not ride this horse, nor allow anyone else to do so either.



  9. #9
    alteration81 Guest

    Default

    No sidereins, nothing different other than I put the saddle on.
    Also, I should clarify that this is a VERY smart little pony. Part appaloosa. Whenever I bring up an issue with a few friends, they automatically assume it's his appy'tude. Maybe I'm a hypochondriac, I don't know.
    Angel, thank you. I will play it by ear and see how he is on lunge line, if he's ok I'll get on him, if not I won't. I noticed the issue on the lunge line first.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2005
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    uk
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    15,296

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alteration81 View Post
    Ok, loooong history on this horse. I guess what I'll do is start with what I'm currently facing, then give you history to see if that ties in at all..
    I LOVE my horse, first of all, but I have had some confidence issues in myself and him. Seriously, it's not that I'm neccessarily overmounted- I KNOW I'm a chicken, and I have a lot of things to work on. Multiple people have told me I need to just work it through and not sell him. Part of me thinks their right, I'd be taking the easy way out in selling him (IF I could do that in today's market).
    Anyways, I moved halfway across the country a little over a year ago, didn't ride him much at all for close to a year. We did a few trail rides this spring and summer of 08. Then finally got a part-time working student position with a lovely trainer who seemed very effective and LOVED my horse. She says he's very honest to the work, and once I stop fiddling with his face and ride straight, he's correct.
    http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=176661

    read this link for the above comment you made ok might help you a lot as you say your fiddling with his face which means hes advading you becuase of your hands and the way you use them ie heavy in the hands or hands set can make ahorse nap spook rear and buck and also hollow up

    http://www.meredithmanor.com/feature...t_evasions.asp





    Starts swinging through his back and being very soft and consistant. I had to move, unfortunately, back home, to continue my search for a job. Before I left he started feeling uneven in the back, and she said she thought his sacrum was out. I didn't get him worked on before I left, thinking ok, no point in doing that when he's on a trailer for a LONG time..
    Now we're back on the east coast, and I thought he looked great on the lunge. I lunged him a few times, just letting him settle in. It was a stressful trip. Today I finally went to get on him, knowing that I have to continue to work this horse and get him in shape, and not lose that fitness (I'll add the history on that later). Sooo I tack him up, which I haven't gotten on him or had the saddle in him for about 3 weeks. I go to lunge him. Trot seems fine, tracking up evenly both sides, maybe my imagination but possibly hip is higher on one side? I ask him to canter..which was no problem last week..and.... temper tantrum. HUGE extended trot to the point he's almost falling over, picked up the canter and bucks, not a single canter stride, humped back, ears pinned. Tried both directions with same result. Um, ok. I remove saddle. finally canters, after some effort, but hollow back head up in the air. Saddle back on, adjusted it 28 different ways before coming to the conclusion that I haven't a clue what's going on. Hopped on to see if i could feel it. Felt like I was riding downhill he was unloading hind end so much. definitely NOT happy, slightly uneven.

    when the riding isnt consistent with the horse then horses do get out of shape so therefore there saddles that one uses might not fit him no more so the horse might be uncomfortable
    think of a youngster goes in and out and up and down so the saddle has to be altered accordly to fit the horse as he grows
    it could be a simple thing of just haveing your saddle reflocked as it might be laying on his back more , ie after 3 years its way over due for flocking should be done at least once a year
    and by mastecraftsmen of a saddle fitter, also in 3 years as you was younger when you got him you chnage ie your body changes and again a saddle fitter would and should fit the saddle to the horse and then to you so you both ride in comfort




    Ok, so now here comes the part that I'm sure I'm going to get flamed about. I have a friend who can tune into horses, and usually is pretty correct. She said I was making him sore, he feels like he has to push me out of the saddle, that makes his hind end sore, then he drags himself on his front end and that makes his front sore. ok WTF.



    shes means your position-- check your stirrup lenght is correct as this effects not only your position on the horse but also in your hands when riding the horse if you havent got the right lenght then sub conciously you would support and balance your own body weight though tthe reins see above link--




    I agree that yes, I am probably making him sore in some aspect. But we were making progress. I have to really exagerate turning my body to the right so I ride straight. very stiff to the right. My trainer had me stare at his butt to the right, and wouldn't you know, he went round at the canter.

    again rider error not horse error again lenght on stirrups is efecting your position so your uneven so there fore the horse is uneven ie stiff and becuase you doing what you
    as in you know full well youdoing as you said so, then give as in you to the side your strongest on stop riding him how you write give on the right side of you then the horse will stop advading you and the horse in turn wont be stiff on one side
    position hands and legs lenght

    So, this latest piece has me extremely frustrated, as I haven't the slightest clue what's going on, nor the money to pay for 5 different people to look at him and tell me what's going on. Could the sacrum be causing this kind of behavior?
    History in the next post. I know this is long, but it has been one thing after another. I appreciate in advance someone who is willing to read this!!!!
    rider errrors

    look here and find my link of how to correctly alter your stirrups to the correct lenght
    http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...+in+the+saddle


    dont throw in the towel your is a common problem of which i will add links as to how common so dont be discouraged remember you have only had the horse 3 yrs when one rides it can give of a false illusion of a bad back or way of going you sorted the problem out originally by getting a new fitted saddle since then you have been on and off with riding letting others ride him or leaving him for yonks so the work hasnt been consistant your trianer the one that said he was honest was no doubt a fair rider and understood your horse and what made him tick and was helping you ie salddle etc
    since then whilse off and not getting enough work no doubt you have been feeding him well
    which can account for the sxclposive actions he has when you finally decide to get back on him as hes high on energy grass and grian and perhaps the type of horse he is makes for a hot horse
    so lets start by calmimg things ddown a bit take him off all grain and just feed him hay as in ab lib hay for two weeks and turn out as normal
    it takes up to 2 weeks for all grian to come out of his system yet it only takes days for it to enter the horses system
    then work the horse and give him a proper exercise programme then slowly re intro duce the feed
    litttle meals - if the horse needs more energy up the quoter if the horse is to much decrease the quoter trial and error by adding and taking away till you have a happy meduim you should only feed the horse by what you take out of a horse
    Last edited by goeslikestink; Nov. 23, 2008 at 01:49 PM.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2007
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default

    You say that he was schooled up to 1st level before you got him. Did the previous owner see soundness issues? I would think that inquiring there (if not already done) would be a great place to look! Good luck. I dealt with an evasive lameness issue with a horse for FIVE years. It can be reeeeaaaalllllyyyyy frustrating.



  12. #12
    alteration81 Guest

    Default

    Thanks, gls, I read one of the coth links, where you explained stirrups. My stirrups are the right lenght, but I am going to check to see if htey are stretched the same.
    Someone mentioned their pelvis being uneven, that makes me wonder if my sacrum or pelvis is out and making me crooked, in turn making him out of alignment...
    He isn't on any grain though. He is a chubby pony type. Just hay cubes.



  13. #13

    Default

    my guess would be kissing spine.
    Have you tried anything for stifles or hicks or SI?



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
    Posts
    8,702

    Default

    What jumps out at me is all the starting and stopping of riding. I have no idea what you are expecting from this horse, but fitness is very important. You mentioned going trail riding after he wasn't in a lot of work, and your "punishment" was taking him up and down a steep hill, and then you were surprised he was sore the next day??

    IMO it's incredibly important to work on fitness first, then dressage training. I see so many horse with soundness and attitude problems that are the result of horse not being limber and fit enough to do the work they are being asked to do, especially in my current barn with many dressage queens who do nothing but lunge their horses and ride in circles.

    Thing about it, would you go for a 10 minute walk a couple times a week, then try to run a marathon? Would you never stretch, then expect to be able to do the splits?

    I highly recommend the book "classical schooling with the horse in mind". I am so happy I bought it off the recommendation on here, really eye opening.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2008
    Posts
    136

    Default

    We have an amazing, non-new-agey vet/chiropractor that would probably look at your horse go and then adjust his pelvis and maybe his stifles. Anytime we have a horse switching leads, bucking or otherwise being resistant in the canter, it's very often traced back to the stifles or sacro-iliac joint in the pelvis. One adjustment, two or three at the most (depending on severity of the problem), and the horse is back to happily cantering 10m circles and doing flying changes (I event my 10 yo TB mare at prelim and she's schooling 4th level dressage, to give you some perspective about where I'm coming from. When things aren't going well, she canters like Pepe Le Pew from Bugs Bunny...ka-doink, ka-doink, ka-doink...). Very often, hock issues are caused by a sore back (and vice versa)--one area hurts and the horse shifts weight to the other to compensate, thus creating more strain. If the chiro isn't enough, acupuncture is a good addition. Often we'll do chiro as a long-term solution and an acupuncture if we have to compete within the next week or two. I always go this route before trying any kind of injections to joints, which are much more invasive.
    Long trailer rides and lack of work, both of which you've had to deal with lately, often are culprits.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2005
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    uk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perfect Pony View Post
    What jumps out at me is all the starting and stopping of riding. I have no idea what you are expecting from this horse, but fitness is very important. You mentioned going trail riding after he wasn't in a lot of work, and your "punishment" was taking him up and down a steep hill, and then you were surprised he was sore the next day??

    IMO it's incredibly important to work on fitness first, then dressage training. I see so many horse with soundness and attitude problems that are the result of horse not being limber and fit enough to do the work they are being asked to do, especially in my current barn with many dressage queens who do nothing but lunge their horses and ride in circles.

    Thing about it, would you go for a 10 minute walk a couple times a week, then try to run a marathon? Would you never stretch, then expect to be able to do the splits?

    I highly recommend the book "classical schooling with the horse in mind". I am so happy I bought it off the recommendation on here, really eye opening.
    i agree with that to

    horses that are fit and then left for here and there riding suffer you cant expect a horse to do what you want him to do if you havent kept up that consistency
    which is what i have try to explain and as you have taken to vets and nothing been founded

    then its down to work and how you ride him 1st post says it all

    fiddling in the face-- its hands your hands can make a hrose do xyz if you hands set or heavy in the riens with a well schooled horse such as he was at 1st level this would be extemely hard on the horse as he would have such a soft mouth that he would advade and
    tremdously in any which way he could as he isnt getting the right contact plus you
    ride unevenly as you said

    rider error- look a carpenter dont blame his tools as its his hands that did the job
    so a horse rider shouldnt balme the horse for something they are doing worng
    often the problem is rider error and not a health issue becuase like your friend said
    it you who cuasing him to have the pain via your hands as your supporting your weight against him and balancing on the riens which is his mouth------ as in and on the bars of his mouth he has no option but to hollow buck and rear

    listen to your horse



  17. #17
    alteration81 Guest

    Default

    I know that most of the problem is me. I also know that he is unfit at the moment. I HATE that the past year has been like this. But if he's in pain from something-if that is what it is- how do I get him in shape?? I can't afford to pay someone else to ride him!! That is why I was working with a trainer. as soon as possible, I do plan on finding someone else to help me. But for now, it's just me.
    Right now, all I want to be able to do is get him fit. That is all the work that I was doing with the trainer before I moved. Simply getting him soft, round, and on the bit as consistantly as possible. lessons were very short. Some leg yielding, that was about as fancy as it got.
    When I took him on that particular trail ride, he had been in work for about a month (obviously not long enough- but we were intending on a two hour trail ride- tops). When he was attempting to buck me off and bolt, my first reaction was to turn uphill-- and ride thru it.

    So- as far as now goes, while I'm on my own- what is my next step? Try to see how tomorrow goes, painkillers?? Maybe I can find someone to give me a lunge lesson, if he's just being silly and not in pain?
    I can also find pics if that would help. No video.
    Perfect Pony- who's the author of the book you recommended?



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by alteration81 View Post
    I know that most of the problem is me. I also know that he is unfit at the moment. I HATE that the past year has been like this. But if he's in pain from something-if that is what it is- how do I get him in shape?? I can't afford to pay someone else to ride him!! That is why I was working with a trainer. as soon as possible, I do plan on finding someone else to help me. But for now, it's just me.
    Right now, all I want to be able to do is get him fit. That is all the work that I was doing with the trainer before I moved. Simply getting him soft, round, and on the bit as consistantly as possible. lessons were very short. Some leg yielding, that was about as fancy as it got.
    When I took him on that particular trail ride, he had been in work for about a month (obviously not long enough- but we were intending on a two hour trail ride- tops). When he was attempting to buck me off and bolt, my first reaction was to turn uphill-- and ride thru it.

    So- as far as now goes, while I'm on my own- what is my next step? Try to see how tomorrow goes, painkillers?? Maybe I can find someone to give me a lunge lesson, if he's just being silly and not in pain?
    I can also find pics if that would help. No video.
    Perfect Pony- who's the author of the book you recommended?
    you can do it yourself if you read the link the 1st one--
    then work to a programme of exercise i know and you know this is more you than the horse as you admit that so thats a good start you know you have problems as you know what they are but what didnt know is how they effect the horses way of going
    so start by accepting that you have to change your attitude in how you ride him as this horse is 1st level and your a novice so you have to learn to ride between hand and leg working from an independant seat

    do a small paln of work for him and build it up slowly to get him back into shape
    starting with 1/2 15mins on each rein building up to an hour
    start with simple things to get yuor balance by using the school to lenghtening and shorten his strides
    look here and follow all relevent links and look and learn then flllow links by me as you will come to one that explains how to do the half halt stride
    http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...+in+the+saddle


    if in doubt breath bring the horse back to walk and then count and starta gain dont just continue
    stop ok take a deep breath and try again once th horse does what you ask of him end it on a good note dont keep trying to do the same thing
    if you end on a good note-- A the horse can go to bed and sleep on and be te times better next time round
    but more importantly you have acheived a small aim as in a small goal tiny step girly then they make staircase ok dokey

    us the width of the school and use all walk sttrides with half halts master the walk then move up into trot then canter
    roma wasnt built in a day and you really have got to get to know your horse better thans all it is
    Last edited by goeslikestink; Nov. 23, 2008 at 01:53 PM.



  19. #19
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    May. 3, 2006
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    Oh dear, oh dear.

    Lots of things flashing through my mind reading this posting:

    First and foremost I think that giving pain killers and continuing to ride is a REALLY bad idea. If the horse has an injury or something causing pain then you need to get the root cause diagnosed first and foremost and give the horse a rest from weight bearing work and perhaps any exercise (dependent on what might be diagnosed) and let him recover before you do anything with him. He's a history of back pain and a suggestion of hock problems and it may well be that's the reason. If it's strongly suspected then you need to get that sorted BEFORE you start working him.

    I also think its a really bad idea just to keep riding him and see what happens. Do what you always do and you get what you always got.

    Then you've said he's unfit and it sounds strongly possible that would contribute to either soreness or bad behaviour. So once you've ruled out saddle fit, pain and rider error, then you need to bring him on to full fitness nice and steady and with a progressive and varied programme. You can't get a horse fit by going on a 2 hour trail ride. Rather he needs to be fit to go on a 2 hour trail ride.

    And there's plenty of ways to get a horse fit without riding him e.g. take him for a walk on long reins or if you can't do that, then on a lead rope.

    However I'm wondering from things you said in your postings if this might be evasion due to rider. GLS also picked up some significant things you said. A photo or short video of you riding would better enable advice here and perhaps point you in the right direction for where to go next.

    You might even want to get in touch with your old trainer who knows the horse, likes him, understands him and seems rides him well have a look at a video clip and see what she can suggest.



  20. #20
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    Firstly stop riding him. He's most likely in pain and masking it is not going to help. I would take him to a clinic and have a full work up done.
    And I wouldn't necessarily put too much into the exact "diagosis" or "words from the horse's mouth" your friend gave you. I don't blame you for trying to interpret this at all (I have to admit, at one point I was at such a loss with my boy I hired an animal communicator, too, but it didn't help in pinpointing the issue).

    I do sympathize though. I've been trough similar things with my horse for the past 6.5 years, and finally over the past two, making significant progress, but every day it's up to him to tell me how he's feeling that particular day and I adjust our routine accordingly. (That's why I'm usually leasing something else to advance my own riding...)


    His back was the main culprit (along with stifle issues and arthritis in this fetlocks). Regular chiropractic work made a HUGE difference (and regular meant every 3 weeks for a few months, then every other month, and still on that schedule). But it all starts with proper diagnosis. And you'll set yourself and the horse up for failure if you don't start there.


    The problem you have is that it's kinda hard to sell a horse a like that to anyone, so if you're commited to a "rest of his life" type realtionship, and you can not afford a proper diagnosis at this point you have the option of just taking it slow and not riding until you can -- or putting him out to pasture. If you're trying to sell him, you don't have a choice but to address his physical issues first.

    Good luck!
    "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht



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