I’ve heard that horses that aren’t used to being worked every day often develop girth gall. Is this true? And if so, what exactly is girth gall?
It’s common for horses to develop girth gall – sores from the girth rubbing behind their elbow because they haven’t been ridden very much. When colts are started at the ranch, seven out of ten of them on average will develop girth gall. The area behind the horse’s elbow is soft and tender like a baby’s bottom, so oftentimes when the horse gets girthed up and really worked, they get sore. It’s not a major problem, in most cases you can put Vetericyn and Corona on it and it’ll heal just fine. In more severe cases, the horse will have to be off work for a week or two to let the sore heal. In both cases, when the horse is back to full health, they very rarely develop girth gall again because the area has toughened up. It’s kind of like if you are an office worker and one day you’re asked to dig ditches. Your hands would be blistered within an hour from handling the shovel because they’re not used to manual labor – they’re soft and tender. But after a few weeks of digging ditches, your hands will be covered in calluses and not be bothered by handling the shovel at all because they’ve toughened up.
Now this horse really isn't jumping it well and I'd be concerned this horse doesn't have the scope it takes to clear this wide rock from the slow canter I think the human at the end of the lunge could create.
In fact, I don't see the purpose of teaching a horse how to jump in hand this way. Is it about some special kind of obedience? Can any CA afficionados explain?
That's what concerned me when I saw the photo--it didn't look like the horse could clear the rock as presented. Which, IMO, makes that particular exercise a poor choice to *do* and an even poorer choice to hold up as a good example.
As someone else mentioned, in hunter paces and just riding with people/horses who know each other well, I've jumped stirrup-to-stirrup with another rider. Not something dangerous like head-on over the same jump, but both horses going the same direction, at the same speed, over the same (wide enough) jump is NBD. I have also gotten myself and a horse into tight places where I basically had to dismount, lead him or her by the reins, and ask for a hop over ditch, log, or bit of fence since that was the safest way to get us both out. So, yes, a properly-intalled 'forward' button can be very useful, but that photo shows taking it to an extreme for the sole purpose of grandstanding and selling 'product'. No thanks.