Anyone had a horse so sensative you couldn't groom with a rubber mit?
I have a youngster who is so sensitive from his wither to his tail (on his topline) that he nearly drops his hind end to the floor if you use a rubber nippled (sorry can't think of how else to describe it) wash mit (with the bristles on the other side) or if you use a rubber scrubber to shed out spring hair.
This sensitivity carries over to riding, where he is very sensitive to your seat (almost too much)
Any ideas of what it could be...?? He is 90% TB, so maybe he's just sensitive because of that?
(I did have him tested for lyme, which came up negative)
It sounds like your horse has super sensitive panniculus nerves. That's the subcutaneous nerve group that covers the horse like a blanket from his neck to his tailbone. He uses those nerves to sense the presence of flies and they are so sensitive he can quiver only the muscles directly under that individual fly to shake it off.
There may be some sort of vertebrae compression affecting the sensitivity of that response. A veterinary pinnaculus reflex test might shed some light on that. Or a session with a good professional equine chiropractor may also be in order.
Yup, I have one that's also super sensitive to those rubber n_______ed tools, lol, in fact he will put his ears back and tell ya to "get that thing away from me."
And he's also super sensitive under saddle. I can't use any synthetic bristled body brushes on him either , he has his own 'speshul' real hair bristle FACE brush that's super soft and gentle so we do all body brushing with that.
Try a rub rag, like the ones they sell on Bit of Britain, or maybe a cactus cloth.
I have a thin-skinned TB myself and he doesn't object to to those two things. He hates that thing with the bristles on one side and the brush on the other, like this. I think the little nub things on the curry side are too hard.
But, he does like this one. The bristles are more like fingers that are gummy and soft. He does not object to it on his body or his face, so it might be worth a try for your horse.
My horse hates the rubber pimple mitts, and also hates the large black rubber curry combs. As a joke, I started using a small, pink, heart-shaped, glitter curry comb--the kind the little girls at the barn think is great--and found out that he adores it! So, in the summer, that's what we use. Looks kind of ridiculous using that on a big, beefy Percheron, but hey, whatever works!
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein
I don't usually groom him with those, but just was giving him a bath yesterday and tried.
I have had a chiropractor look at him but he wasn't overly concerned with his vertebrae .
I have considered magnesium as he has over sensitive nerves.
Thanks for the info on the Pinnaculus reflex test....I'll check into that. He is a lovely horse.....I just wish he were a hair less sensitive!! He is totally sound, and a lovely mover. I don't think it's a neurological problem.
If anyone else has any suggestions, please pass them on......
Last edited by florida foxhunter; Jul. 14, 2013 at 04:46 PM.
Thanks for the grooming ideas, but that wasn't really what I was trying to find out in this post. I was wondering if anyone had a horse this sensitive and if they ever found a reason.............
My horse had Lyme and was extremely deficient in Vit. E.....when his E level was brought up and his Lyme treated he was much better about grooming.
Also he was very sensitive under saddle....would sink at times from saddle....that totally stopped when vit E level went back up!
Last edited by Parrotnutz; Jul. 14, 2013 at 10:15 PM.
Reason: Add more info
I have a OTTB mare that was the exact same way. I started using a massage therapist who also does a lot of stretching and rehabilitation. She comes out twice weekly. Also treated her two months gastro gard. Major difference in the mare I can now use a curry comb and a brush harder than a soft brush.
Far from an expert but I see a lot of people on here mention grooming and riding sensitivity as a result of ulcers. The sensitivity is usually lower and in reaction to adding the leg, girthing, brushing the stomach, etc. However, there's never any harm in at least giving it a thought.
I have a rescue pony that if you rub too softly she objects. It tickles. So it's just a matter of rubbing fairly strongly. Is your guy off the track? We used to rub pretty firmly to loosen and warm muscles.
Sometimes it's the rubber pulling the hair.
"I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted". - Anonymous
You might want to research magnesium deficiency. I use MagRestore with good results.
^^ This was my gelding and he was also treated for ulcers. He always hated his soft horsehair brush (yeah go figure). The E/Se Mag helped some, but treating him for ulcers took care of the rest. Now I can groom him all over and with his horsehair brush and he loves it. Falls asleep in the crossties.
Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason "Once you go off track, you never go back!"
Yes, my current OTTB and a previous one have both been super sensitive to grooming. What helped with both of them was accupressure/massage. Once they released the tension, they objected a lot less. With the mare, who was very twitchy, I also went with the flow and used a sheepskin mitt.