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"Cold Backed" Horse Humps Back in Canter

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  • IterAndEra
    replied
    Once she figured out that she could call the ASPCA all she wanted and nobody was going to come for her, she cantered around. [/QUOTE]

    Haha. Sounds about right. When she humps her back now I go into two point and press her forward and sit down again. She gets the idea and puts her back down again. The ear pinning has subsided (for now anyway) so I don't think it's pain.

    Leave a comment:


  • meupatdoes
    replied
    If you have checked soundness issues and the horse does it regardless of whether or not it is wearing a saddle, then the horse may just need to be told to Get Over It And Keep Going.

    I rode a Morgan mare in TX that hadn't cantered for like the whole two years the owner had it, because on the two times that the owner tried, she crow hopped, kicked out, and pinged around.

    I rode her a few times and told her, "You're going to canter. The end. Nobody cares about your thoughts on the matter."

    This was the first canter:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFKt0...hIZSw&index=52

    This was two weeks later:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxnPXLMikag

    Once she figured out that she could call the ASPCA all she wanted and nobody was going to come for her, she cantered around.

    Leave a comment:


  • baxtersmom
    replied
    Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
    My first step would be to shoot some x-rays of the back and neck. If those are clean, I'd probably inject and rehab the SI and see where that got me.
    SI was my thought as well. Trot was fine, canter was a WRECK with my horse when his was out. One injection and he's been a new horse.

    Leave a comment:


  • IterAndEra
    replied
    Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    You went galloping on the beach ?!?! I'm sooooo jealous!
    So much fun! I highly recommend it - and so does my horse's massage therapist! A good gallop to stretch and relax Miss' tense muscles.

    Also had the chiro/vet out to check her over. After a full investigation he adjusted her sacrum and it released her back. No SI issues, just a routine adjustment. She was very happy. Back to the beach Sunday!

    Leave a comment:


  • Isabeau Z Solace
    replied
    You went galloping on the beach ?!?! I'm sooooo jealous!

    Leave a comment:


  • Isabeau Z Solace
    replied
    Originally posted by IterAndEra View Post
    She is a horrible lunger - she falls in on the right and it ends up being rather unproductive with her trotting around doing her best not to use herself. Also, because she exhibits the same humping behavior on the lunge line I'd really like to get to the bottom of the issue

    Do your horses exhibit the same humped back canter stuff?
    The really bad one has times when her back is 'too up' and she sort of 'tip toes' around. And other times when she just bucks your ass off righteously! Actually, it took her almost 2 years to learn to longe well. She could walk and trot but took off at the canter like a nut job. She was just unbalanced, over powered, and it would scare her.

    I have a lot of ground work skills, so for horses that 'fall in' on a shoulder I work then on the rope halter for a good, long, time. Months, if that is what it takes for them to get their bodies strengthened/organized. If a rope halter is not your 'thing,' then you can look into 'in-hand' dressage work. Working the horse in a shoulder fore/shoulder in position on the ground.

    Really, with skilled practitioners, you will see that much the same things can be addressed with rope halter or with 'in-hand' dressage work. But some folks prefer one to the other.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chestnut Run
    replied
    Originally posted by IterAndEra View Post
    Sheila,

    I like your idea. So interesting. There is a train of thought going about my girl that it is all stressy TB mare tension that gets worse in the cold. Hope it's as easy a girth issue

    Were they cranky about being tacked up? She is not cranky at all about being girthed up but is grouchy about having the saddle pad rearranged before I girth up. Is your thought that it is the nerves under her girth area being triggered by the movement of the hair pulling and that is why you shave?

    Vet said to try a Tad Coffin girth but it's almost $400 which is way out of the budget. I school in a fleece one. Would you suspect girthy even though it seems seasonal?

    Thanks for your info.
    The one mare that had almost the same exact symptoms as your mare wasn't really cranky about being tacked in the winter, but when you girthed her up (I always have girthed in stages, so it's not like I was baling it into her) she would cock her head sideways and grind her teeth, ears up, never tried to nip or cowkick. And she didn't do it in the warmer weather. She had been an unraced young TB mare, but really pretty mellow in general, but with a bucky/lunge thing for transistions into the canter. She would hump up a bit when you first got on her, wether she was lunged or not, but didn't buck. She would set her back down and relax and work really well through her top line after just a few minutes, so we called her cold backed. She was throughly vetted at Leesburg vet hospital, chiro'd, massaged, etc. Nothing was found, so we just figured it was a training thing that she'd probably grow out of since she was otherwise so good about everything.

    We figured out she was girthy in a couple of ways. The first was that she destroyed her blanket one night and the only extra I had while hers was out to be repaired was the belly band one. She was immediately better to ride the very next day. We kept the belly band blanket on her and she got to the point where she would barely buck for a stride or two after the canter transition.

    The second point, was that we started her jumping. (She was 4). We always lunged our horses over fences for a few sessions before they had their first under saddle jumping session, and without fail, she would warm up w/t on the lunge, buck a few strides into the first few canters on the lunge, and bucking explosion after jumping even a little crossrail on the lunge. So we started thinking that maybe she wasn't cold backed, but girthy. I had been riding her in a regular leather girth with an elastic end with a fleece girth cover. We switched her to a synthetic girth with no cover. Our thinking was that the girth would "slide" a little back and forth and not feel so confining to her. Again, immediate improvement, but still not perfect. So along the same line of thinking, we did a surgical blade clip along her girthline. After that, she would RARELY even hump up her back for mounting, canter transitions, or jumping efforts. After about a year, she was showing local shows and cleaning up, with never a buck in sight.

    Anyway, hope things go well with figuring out what's going on with your girl. It's worth trying some things "out of the box" like we did to see if it helps.

    Sheila

    edited to add--the girth that we used for her was the generic synthetic girth from Bartville Harness in PA. It had a bit of a waffle weave texture to it, elastic on one end, straight not contoured, and only cost $35.
    Last edited by Chestnut Run; Jan. 20, 2013, 11:27 AM. Reason: about girth

    Leave a comment:


  • slp2
    replied
    IterandEra: My vet did a basic repro exam which wasn't very complicated or invasive. She did it in her stall and gave her a sedative. Then she did a manual exam of her ovaries followed by using an ultrasound (again, just hand held) so we could get a visual on what was going on. It seemed like the biggest risk factor was for the vet (she said some mares can still kick when sedated heavily). We also drew blood to test for the possibility of a tumor. I believe the regumate was more expensive than the entire exam (plus farm call).

    Leave a comment:


  • IterAndEra
    replied
    sip2 - How do I go about having her ovaries checked? Is it expensive/invasive? Will obviously do what is right for her but just want to be prepared! I do have another vet who is also a chiro coming out next week to evaluate her and will continue onto mare specific issues if he says she is well aligned and looking good. WBLover- my vet who has dealt with lots of "girthy" horses recommends the Tad Coffin girth - if you can afford it (it's $350) he says it is really good - pressure distribution and all that. I haven't bought it because I'm saving the money to test other things first It's out of my price range unless it's a must have/save all for her. Am looking into cheaper options to try and haven't really come across anything substantial yet...

    Leave a comment:


  • IterAndEra
    replied
    Originally posted by alicen View Post
    Is her behavior on the longe line the same with or without a saddle?
    It was without the saddle and I have to say I only longed her once so her behavior could have been anticipatory. We don't really have the space for consistent longing in the winter so I have to make special time to do it more. Our indoor is being redone right now and the ground outside is frozen. Will do more longe work when the arena is done. I was concerned about longing incase the issue was a joint thing - didn't want to exacerbate it with the small circles but I understand its importance - especially now that I'm leaning away from it being a joint problem [she hops and bucks and crow hops when she spooks and uses her joints perfectly ]
    Happy to hear everyone's advice and experience!

    Leave a comment:


  • slp2
    replied
    For those of you suggesting chiro--it didn't help at all with my mare (see my post above). She also has a girth with fleece lining with elastic on both sides. I also have changed her feed to a low carb/high fat type. We ran a blood panel on her and didn't find anything remarkable. Also have her on magnesium and natural E and Se. I also have a massage person work on her 1X per month. Saddle fitter has worked on her saddles every 6 months. Arghhh--I have bought every frikkin' tack, supplement and paid vets and other professionals and I am still getting cranky-pants canter sessions.

    REALLY hoping that the ovary issue was the problem and the regumate helps!

    Leave a comment:


  • WBLover
    replied
    IterandEra, that article just described my horse to a "T"!!! I'm wondering if a chiro is in order, and a cushier girth. He does give a slight grumpy face when I'm girthing, and likes to stand crooked with one side bulged out. Wow that really opened my eyes. Then the bucking into the canter--wow. So I'm going to get in with the chiro!!

    Leave a comment:


  • rememberthenight
    replied
    I have a mare that can be similar. She would move like a camel if she was asked to do more than a medium trot. I found that supplementing E, Se and magnesium more than I was already doing I winter helped her muscle tightness. I thought she was getting enough of everything, but then I added e supplement and she was much better.

    Leave a comment:


  • alicen
    replied
    Is her behavior on the longe line the same with or without a saddle?

    Leave a comment:


  • TwoBrooksFarm
    replied
    My mare does something similar but only when I ask for a medium canter. It's usually a sign I need to have the chiropractor come and adjust her.

    Leave a comment:


  • slp2
    replied
    Wow, you have just described the last 8 weeks on my young mare!! Or close to it. She is always been tense in the back when it's cold. She's good in the warm months and never a problem in the trot. I also use quarter sheets, and a back on track saddle pad in the winter. In the winter, I almost always lunge her before getting on (with side reins--and she is good on the lunge). The one difference is that my mare is FINE on the lunge--W/T/C with no humpiness. And she is good under saddle at the walk and trot. But when I ask for the canter, sometimes (not every ride) she gets humpy, kicks out, hollows her back and acts like it is agonizing to canter. Sometimes I can get her to work through it--other rides, not so much.

    In mid-December a sporthorse vet evaluated her and thought it was ulcers (also did a chiro adjustment). So she has been on treatment for ulcers for a month now. No real change. My massage person (works on her monthly) says her back looks terrific, her topline is looking great and she hasn't found any significant back soreness.

    So, my vet suggested a repro exam. She DID find that her right ovary was enlarged and it was "cycling like it was April" (um, but it was early January!) The left ovary was normal. So, the vet also established that she cycles year round. So right now we are trying her on Regu-mate to see if that will help. I am crossing my fingers that this helps her out. Our last idea is a right dorsal colon ulcer. I guess those are not helped by omeprazole, so all the expensive ulcer meds I'm using might not be doing squat if that's what is going on with her.

    Good luck--I am interested to hear if other posters have some ideas for us!

    Leave a comment:


  • yellowbritches
    replied
    My gelding likes to canter before trot, so there's one idea. And I will canter and canter and canter (in a light seat) until he tells me he's ready to proceed with life. He isn't as back humpy, but you can tell being silly is in the back of his brain. Just cantering makes a big difference. I also keep him VERY bundled up, and will often use two quarter sheets. And, once we start working, I don't stop until we're done. I rather work for 30 intense minutes with him and put him away, then work for 20, stop, have think he's cold, spend 10 minutes dealing with drama, then another 15 of work that may or may not be productive.

    I had a crazy gelding a few years ago who would straight up launch me early in his canter work. I lunged him for about 5-10 minutes, usually until he let one or two big earth shattering bucks loose, then climb on. USUALLY, life could proceed as normal with that strategy. There was nothing productive about the lungeing. I did not use draw reins. I just hooked him to a lunge line, let him pick up a trot, however he cared, pick up a canter, buck, buck, fart, canter. Reverse. Repeat. He would have been classified as "cold backed" (he was a very strange, crazy horse). He could be hock sore, and the behavior got better with injections (didn't go away).

    I have always been taught that horses that are naughty or have issues with the canter are often sore in the SI region. That may be a good place to start.

    Leave a comment:


  • IterAndEra
    replied
    Duramax - Thanks! Yes, good idea. She will still do it in half seat but will settle faster and sometimes she will do it less if I half seat - I often half seat through the canter transition and it does seem to help. Did your horse have an underlying issue or just a preference thing? Her issue seems deeper than just the half seat but the position definitely helps!

    Leave a comment:


  • IterAndEra
    replied
    Was just reading through a website on girthy horses - http://www.animalchiropractic.co.nz/...rthy_horse.pdf and found a good description of her:

    "Commonly “humping up”, pigrooting or bucking at the start of a ride and especially during the transition from trot to canter on the most affected side, then settling as though nothing had ever been wrong."

    She settles into the canter after a bit but the transitions up are always met with same behavior - even multiple transitions during a ride.

    Leave a comment:


  • Duramax
    replied
    Does she do it if you're in half seat? I had one gelding that didn't like you to start off sitting in the canter. If you could do half seat to begin with and then progress to sitting he was much happier.

    Leave a comment:

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