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Onset of resistance

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    With everything you have going on, I don't think it'd be a terrible idea just to pause for a bit. Since she lives out, she will still get some movement. You could do this for a few weeks, a month the summer, or whatever you desire. Come back, and hit the reset button. Spend time really installing everything at the walk. Walk-halt-walk, lateral work, collected walk, medium, extended, etc. Be firm (and yes, horses can go through all sorts of phases during their training!) but ease back into things. No pressure. Maybe even try some long lining. You'd be amazed what happens when we take the pressure off of ourselves 😉

    I had to give my horse 2 weeks off, then 2 weeks of walk, and ease him back into work awhile back, and it seemed to help us just take a breath. I was surprised how much our walk work helped our other work when I began to incorporate more. I'm not saying a pause would work for all horses, but something to consider. If I couldn't go that route, then I'd pay for training rides.
    I have a horse that has gotten a bit bucky and hoppy at the canter since he's learned flying changes. Especially to his "harder direction" and it all comes from my hips. When my hips are loose, and I open the front door (don't over collect him and have a flexible but consistent contact) it goes better. I really have to pay attention because when I ask for the harder change, I know my hips subconsciously stiffen in anticipation of acrobatics on his part. So it's such a conscious effort!


      I’m so sorry about your dad. No wonder you are stressed. I would suggest paying your trainer to ride for a while and just giving yourself a break. You sure don’t need any other sources of stress right now.


        Original Poster

        Well we're seven days into my mare's 'forward is the only way - yep uhu, that would be your big trot thanks!' program, and its going quite well. Yes she's still looking around for things to be fresh at, but now understands that leg is leg, and that it means go forward. Two rides from my coach, then me getting on after, and one ride, which will become a regular mid week thing, with a dressage judge/rider, I barn with, who wants to keep her seat in, while her retired mare and her new filly develop.

        Me on first for the latter rides. We all won't always be riding her this way, i.e. super forward, its a means to an end, but I certainly have a more attentive girl in my hands! So we're going to play it by ear, over the next few weeks, ; tbh she's still not quite 'getting the memo' that things have changed and I've 'taken the young horse proton pill', but she will get there, and I do feel supported so thanks for your kind and insightful comments, I really do appreciate it.

        i'm glad I took action quickly, and sorted out a plan. since as you know I'd had nine months nearly of her being text book quiet, which gave me a chance to bond and get to know her. That is, before the wintry 'now I am sixes!' set in. Certainly my 'rebirth' as a different kind of rider. x


          Horses are ridiculously forgiving and I do not believe that horses suddenly develop a behaviour like stopping and balking unless there is a pain trigger.

          So many people say 'my horse did this and nothing happened', well nothing happened that you saw but the horses do not lie, something would have happened even if we couldn't see it. I have been riding horses for over 30 years and have found that horses can tolerate all sorts of pain without being naughty. They will hobble along lame, go around in a saddle that causes white hairs on their withers, etc. What horses don't seem to be able to cope with is gut pain. My first thought would be ulcers or acid splashes. We don't produce acid at the rate that horses do and we are not prey animals so we can't imagine how scary it would be to get sudden gut pain.

          Of course there are veterinary diagnosis for ulcers with scoping, but I would be tempted to put her on an acid buffer pre-ride and see if it helps. Another option would be to try 5 days of Panacur. I am not sure what country you are in but in Australia we have Panacur which is a very mild drench containing Fenbendazole. I am sure most countries have this just with a different labelling. Fenbendazole is from the same family as Omeprazole and it relieves ulcers. Because Panacur is a very mild drench we tend to use it 5 days in a row and this is a great test as again, if she improved while on 5 days of Panacur, I'd be pretty sure she has ulcers. But, if you are lucky enough to live in Australia, I would order a bucket of B complete - from Banana Feeds Australia. It is all natural made of green bananas and it is proven to heal ulcers in rats and mice. Racehorse trainers have said for years to feed bananas to horses to fix gut issues but for some reason, we stopped listening to the old horseman.

          I wouldn't write her off, I would just listen. She is trying to tell you something in the only way she knows how. Good on your for listening and going looking for anwers.


            Original Poster

            Hey Balmonty! I'm in Australia, in SA. So can get the B complete. Saw an ad for it yesterday actually. Will definitely give it a try. My coach rode her last night and the mare was bombey, toey and tense for the first half an hour. Ruth eventually got her attention, but it took a lot of skilled, professional riding. Ok it was coming twilight [not too cold though] and the feed cart was going around, but the mare was tricky.

            Its now not so much stopping and baulking as wanting to go go go, and look look look everywhere. She's got this freshness and flightiness not shown before. Her diet, as I said, very orientated around cool low GI feeds. Just 24/7 turnout on pasture, plenty of meadow hay, Prydes EasiSport [400gs on days when ridden] - (a no grain pellet, suitable for Cushings horses) and little Ranvet Grand Prix oil. This has not altered. We're not in spring flush yet, although my daffodils are out! She's gets the pellet feed before work so she's not exercising on an empty stomach.

            I must say three horses where I agist are now on ulcer treatment - and another two on the property over the road. That's five owned by friends in the last few weeks. Not sure if its more awarenss or more diagnosing or a bit of both. They're becoming so prevalent in our corner of the Mt Lofty ranges.

            So I'm glad you brought it up. Ulcers weren't top of mind for me as she's six, but they can come at any age. cheers. ddx

            ps: Sorry to hear of Victoria's current troubles. :-(


              Originally posted by doctordarling View Post
              My coach rode her last night and the mare was bombey, toey and tense for the first half an hour. Ruth eventually got her attention, but it took a lot of skilled, professional riding. Ok it was coming twilight [not too cold though] and the feed cart was going around, but the mare was tricky.

              Its now not so much stopping and baulking as wanting to go go go, and look look look everywhere. She's got this freshness and flightiness not shown before(...)-(
              This, indeed, screams ulcers.

              ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

              Originally posted by LauraKY
              I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.