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  1. #21
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    Obviously the OP and all subsequent posters should be scoped for ulcers, trusted for Lyme's, PSSM, EPM, ovarian cysts, and kissing spine.

    I jest. Kinda.

    I think that the root of most resistances for the majority of riders is poor riding. However 'learn to ride better' is a bitter pill to swallow when 'have the vt/chiro/massage therapist out' iis much easier to hear.

    Now no one at all is saying anywhere in this thread that the vet or farrier shouldn't be consulted.


    12 members found this post helpful.

  2. #22
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    My problem was with her use of the word 'ridiculous' in the same sentence with vet/farrier, etc.

    People do not read thoroughly and might take the leap that if the horse is bad, and they "know" they are riding right, that it is ridiculous to think the vet/farrier/etc will fix the problem.
    Ride like you mean it.



  3. #23
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    "Quote"-enjoytheride: have found that unless the OP provides photo copied proof of their vet report nobody will give them any training advice. When they do it is suggested that they get a different vet!

    I always specifiy my advice with "assuming horse is sound...." since so often the OP never gets any training advice at all.

    In fact, I have noticed that some posters tend to have the exact same medical problem suggestion on every thread. --"quote"
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Aww! Gee! And here I thought I was the only one who noticed.

    And I will agree with the poster who said that learning to ride, and getting professional help was a good idea.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #24
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    Mar. 12, 2006
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    The example of the horse pulling it's hoof from the farrier is exactly what this thread is about.

    I hold my own horse for the horse shoer. So if she pulls it away I notice if it is in relation to the height he has lifted her leg or if it is from the twist. Since I handle her daily I know if she has reacted to the above movements before. It really doesn't take a vet to tell me she is an antsy girl that would do well with a tasty distraction. And you know what? We will work on her standing quietly before she gets a snack. If it is from discomfort, maybe a pinch of bute and a treat will be better than a training session.

    You've got to be able to read your horse at least a little bit.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  5. #25
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    May. 9, 2007
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    Its too bad we can't pluck Dr. Klimke down from heaven to sit on the poster's horses who won't 'go on the bit', 'halt square', 'pick up rt lead 'or what have you. If he can't get the horse to do above, then we know its something physical and not crappy riding/training


    4 members found this post helpful.

  6. #26
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    Jul. 3, 2012
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    Gestalt, this is a horse who is having knee and shoulder problems on that side. Normally stands quietly and cooperates for the farrier. So when he wanted that foot back, we assumed pain of some sort and proceed slowly and carefully. Vet said "No pain" so chewing treat next time. I have a " behave yourself " bat handy. But I want to be sure before any swatting takes place. I also hold the horse in the cross ties...I distract nosey noses. :-)

    I do read my horses...a little.
    Ride like you mean it.



  7. #27
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    The question might be interesting to consider if we look at times where horses were mostly started by professionals (or really good young riders). There was/are far less 'posturing' by horses. It is not allowed in the first place, or quickly stopped (w/o drama or excess). IF there is actual pain it is more easily recognized then imho.

    And imho it is training the handler/rider more than the horse.
    I.D.E.A. yoda


    7 members found this post helpful.

  8. #28
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    Jul. 14, 2007
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    OMgoodness it is hard enought o be responsible for what i write, without having to be responsible for what others read! I should not write something for fear that others will not read it for content?

    bwhahahahaha/

    oh, yes i SHOULD be scoped for ulcers, and probably hormonal issues too! ( but mostly just sleeplessness, since i worked 50 hours on the overnight this week, while maintaining my day job, and am often reading to bb to stay awake before going to the next shift, like now, lol)

    I find the idea of calling the vet and giving a carrot for pulling the leg away particularly interesting in the context of this thread.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
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    Jul. 18, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by amm2cd View Post
    I think that the root of most resistances for the majority of riders is poor riding. However 'learn to ride better' is a bitter pill to swallow when 'have the vt/chiro/massage therapist out' iis much easier to hear.
    Equine vets everywhere agree that this is a huge factor. When working up that kind of problem I always ask them to show me what the horse is doing under saddle. At least 50% of my objective is to determine the skill level of the rider. Even when this appears to be the root of a problem, however, it can be difficult to discuss with the rider!


    6 members found this post helpful.

  10. #30
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    SOMETIMES, it is training, but on the other hand, we as owners/trainers are often too hasty in dismissing the underlying physical cause that may have exacerbated the negative behavior in the first place.

    This was an interesting study recently published:

    Partners with Bad Temper: Reject or Cure? A Study of Chronic Pain and Aggression in Horses

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:...l.pone.0012434

    "Abstract

    Background

    Experiencing acute pain can affect the social behaviour of both humans and animals and can increase the risk that they exhibit aggressive or violent behaviour. However, studies have focused mainly on the impact of acute rather than chronic painful experiences. As recent results suggest that chronic pain or chronic discomfort could increase aggressiveness in humans and other mammals, we tested here the hypothesis that, in horses, aggression towards humans (a common source of accidents for professionals) could be linked to regularly reported vertebral problems of riding horses.

    Methodology/Principal Findings

    Vertebral examination and standardized behavioural tests were made independently on the same horses. Here we showed that most horses severely affected by vertebral problems were prone to react aggressively towards humans (33/43 horses, chi-square test, df = 1, χ2 = 12.30, p<0.001), which was not the case for unaffected or slightly affected horses (9/16 horses, chi-square test, df = 1, χ2 = 0.25, p>0.05). The more affected they were, the fewer positive reactions they exhibited (rs = −0.31, p = 0.02).

    Conclusions/Significance

    This is to our knowledge the first experimental evidence of such a link between chronic discomfort/potential pain (inferred from the presence of vertebral problems) and aggression, suggesting that chronic painful experiences may act in ways similar to those of acute experiences. Chronic discomfort or pain may often be overlooked when facing “bad tempered” individuals, whether humans or animals. This experimental study confirms the importance of including chronic discomfort or pain as a major factor in interpersonal relations and models of aggression."
    "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #31
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    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Default Bearcat on case you missed this!

    Quote"-enjoytheride: have found that unless the OP provides photo copied proof of their vet report nobody will give them any training advice. When they do it is suggested that they get a different vet!

    I always specifiy my advice with "assuming horse is sound...." since so often the OP never gets any training advice at all.

    In fact, I have noticed that some posters tend to have the exact same medical problem suggestion on every thread. --"quote"
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    Gestalt, this is a horse who is having knee and shoulder problems on that side. Normally stands quietly and cooperates for the farrier. So when he wanted that foot back, we assumed pain of some sort and proceed slowly and carefully. Vet said "No pain" so chewing treat next time. I have a " behave yourself " bat handy. But I want to be sure before any swatting takes place. I also hold the horse in the cross ties...I distract nosey noses. :-)

    I do read my horses...a little.
    Oooch, I didn't mean you were wrong or silly! You did exactly what I would have done. The intent of my post was to show that reading your horse and knowing how they "usually" act is key to understanding how to handle the issue.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #33
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    I think, as training progresses, horses will, at some point, be resistant. It may be early on, when we ask a horse used to trail riding to use his hind end, it may be at second level when we ask for collection, it may be when we ask for more bend than what they want to give.
    When we humans go to our trainer, we can understand why we are being pushed to increase our reps, our weights, etc-it is to get stronger, more flexible, build endurance. Horses don't know that. "Ugh-this is hard. Why does she want me to do this-it's stupid. I could be eating grass! I'm gonna buck!'
    Yes, sometimes it is pain. But sometimes it is in response to asking for more than what they are used to giving. And it is why so many people/horses never get past training level.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  14. #34
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    Thank you for the clarification. My poor horse suffered longer than he should have because I blamed my crappy riding 100% for his poor performance, his reluctance to canter.

    I could have hit him, taken a crop to him but I didn't...I just tried harder to be a better rider. Finally, after months of this, he was 'off' and showing a bit of lame. THAT'S when I realized that 'lame' is the last symptom of pain...there are so many other symptoms that come before that.

    Now, when he is 'off' in anything, I have him checked. So a carrot for bad behavior...you've got to be kidding me. But vet, first, for abnormal behavior? You bet! When he 'talks' to me in his language, I understand.

    My question for those who have reactive or antsy horses, how will you know when the antsy turns to discomfort or pain? It's easy with a horse that is always quiet and well-behaved, harder I think with one who is moody or 'busy'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
    Oooch, I didn't mean you were wrong or silly! You did exactly what I would have done. The intent of my post was to show that reading your horse and knowing how they "usually" act is key to understanding how to handle the issue.
    Ride like you mean it.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #35
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    Mar. 24, 2012
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    Sometimes it really is just training, in fact, mostly it iis training
    Sometimes yes., sometimes no.

    Therein lies the rub.

    On a discussion board where no one has seen the horse it's just not possible to know so really there is no point in pretending to know the answers..


    5 members found this post helpful.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEARCAT View Post
    Experiencing acute pain can affect the social behaviour of both humans and animals and can increase the risk that they exhibit aggressive or violent behaviour. However, studies have focused mainly on the impact of acute rather than chronic painful experiences. As recent results suggest that chronic pain or chronic discomfort could increase aggressiveness in humans and other mammals, we tested here the hypothesis that, in horses, aggression towards humans (a common source of accidents for professionals) could be linked to regularly reported vertebral problems of riding horses.
    Okay, I agree, having seen numerous instances of this. I have seen it in younger horses with possible spine troubles, but mostly in old cranky arthritic horses. The question is what do you do about it if you can't make the horse 100% comfortable? Should all old cranky horses be euthanized? Or maybe we can decrease or eliminate their behaviors by (1) not giving them the opportunity to engage in bad behavior; (2) not rewarding it; and (3) punishing the bad behavior regardless of the cause.

    Having been bitten savagely in the back by an old arthritic horse with navicular syndrome while walking by his door in the aisle of the barn, I vote strongly in favor of not accepting such behavior no matter what causes it. The owner of this horse allowed it to hang out over a stall guard and hand fed it treats, even though it frequently flattened its ears, bared its teeth and snaked its neck at people and other horses. Yes, the horse was in chronic pain, even though it was being treated by a vet, acupuncturist, massage therapy, supplements, chiropractic and was turned out 10 hours a day.

    In my view, the horse should have been prevented from putting his head out of the stall by putting a grate over his door, and he should not have been rewarded for his aggressive behavior. And he should have been punished for it.

    I can tell you that after this incident, for which the horse was given a CTJ meeting by yours truly, he never even so much as threatened me ever again. Some bad behavior, although caused by pain, should not be tolerated and CAN be corrected.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


    5 members found this post helpful.

  17. #37
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    It is mostly about training. Even pain management becomes a training issue, in the end.

    A lot of what else that goes on is simply training prevention.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  18. #38
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    Oct. 7, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    My question for those who have reactive or antsy horses, how will you know when the antsy turns to discomfort or pain? It's easy with a horse that is always quiet and well-behaved, harder I think with one who is moody or 'busy'.
    This is something I struggle with on my current horse. When everyone was telling me his reactiveness was training, it was actually pain. Now that we have the pain aspect fixed, we still have some recurring moodiness. Sometimes it is some leftover pain and sometimes it is lack of understanding or a little harder than he wants to work at a given moment. Deciphering the difference means getting to know your horse really well. In my horse's case, I try to change things up or come at an exercise from a different direction. If I am still getting resistance, I check for pain. 99% of the time, there is pain if tactful training does not work. No matter what, if there is no obvious sign of pain, I do make him make a good attempt to work through the moody behavior because I don't want either one of us to get in the habit of stopping work at the first sign of misbehavior.

    To address the OP, the sources of pain for my horse were things I was unaware of at the time and actually happen to be some commonly cited suggestions on this BB. I don't think making people aware of them hurts because I know of many horses that are asked to "soldier on" in their training, when taking a look at possible physical causes for some of these "training" issues before they become full-blown "physical" problems might help prevent a lot of future physical and training issues.

    As obvious or over-done as it might feel on this BB, it is not as obvious or well-known in some circles outside this BB. It may seem like the whole world is on here, but often people find it by doing a Google search on their horse's behavior and find COTH. It really doesn't hurt to restate what might seem obvious to long-time BB members.

    That being said, in the absence of pain, or even while investigating pain issues, I think we should also be investigating our training and riding, too. Because I, too, believe many horses' bad behaviors can be sorted out by changes in training methods/ exercises, or riding style. Yes, as hard as it is to admit, sometimes it is we who need change.

    So, in my experience: sometimes it is just training; sometimes it is just pain; and sometimes it is pain and training.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  19. #39
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    Very well said, Saly.

    And you are right: the better my riding gets, the better and easier it gets for him to be better. Even the slightest improvement on my part brings me huge positive reinforcement from him.
    Ride like you mean it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mishmash View Post
    I think, as training progresses, horses will, at some point, be resistant. It may be early on, when we ask a horse used to trail riding to use his hind end, it may be at second level when we ask for collection, it may be when we ask for more bend than what they want to give.
    When we humans go to our trainer, we can understand why we are being pushed to increase our reps, our weights, etc-it is to get stronger, more flexible, build endurance. Horses don't know that. "Ugh-this is hard. Why does she want me to do this-it's stupid. I could be eating grass! I'm gonna buck!'
    Yes, sometimes it is pain. But sometimes it is in response to asking for more than what they are used to giving. And it is why so many people/horses never get past training level.
    This is so true. My horse just turned 20 and we are going to be debuting at PSG in two weeks. The work is hard and he was not taught to have a good work ethic as a youngster. I think much of a horse's work ethic is learned in the early days of their training. He also had some truly awful, incorrect training with his previous owners. Because of his age I do worry about physical issues and there was a time where I was inclined to back off when I encountered resistance. What I have had to learn to do (what we all need to learn in order to progress) is recognize what are his normal reactions and what are signs of something wrong. For my guy - the first time I put more pressure on in something that is hard we often have a big old red headed tantrum. We back, we go sideways, we buck a little. I just keep riding until I get the correct reaction (note I did not say the perfect execution of the movement). For my horse, as long as I ride through the tantrum to the correct reaction this negativity lasts one ride. The next ride I get the correct response without the drama. Again, not necessarily the perfect execution, but an improved response. If the negative reaction becomes habitual despite consistently riding it correctly then I know its time to look to other causes. The most important thing we can do to evaluate whether its training or physical is to get to know our horse. The other thing is to have a good professional who is honest and knowledgeable about our skill as a rider.

    I have an extremely skilled coach who I lesson with weekly and I also often ride while she's training and teaching. She is honest and tough but she's very sensitive to the horse. I have someone keeping tabs on what I'm doing all the time so if I'm riding in a way that is off base I know right away. Being able to keep myself in check is also key to distinguishing between training problem or physical issue. FWIW in my horse's case it has been all training and it has been all training with the vast majority of the horses that people bring to my trainer.


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