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When to throw in the towel?

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  • #61
    Cut out the grain. Forage 24/7.

    Online course via Edinburgh (Scotland) University.

    Equine Nutrition. It's free. And illuminating.

    Think again about ulceration of the hind gut.

    Diagnosing Horse ulcers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr05hMmLCY4

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    • #62
      Another "diet" issue to keep in mind is Soy. Many mares show the same symptoms when they're sensitive to soy.
      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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      • #63
        I have no suggestions other than what I have been hearing a lot as I have been exploring maybe getting another horse: "It is just as expensive to keep a nice horse that you enjoy as it is to keep one that you don't."
        Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
        The Blog

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        • #64
          Rarely is a horse grumpy without a good reason. I good horse reason. I have found that kicking out at the leg is a good sign of ulcers. See what the pop rocks do.

          Secondly I had two mares that I put on Moody mare with really good results. They would have just awful early heats, short stride and be unable to flex behind. They would actually go down badly like a colic. I did NOT correct any of their behavior but caught on quickly that it was hormone related.

          I always lunge before I ride so that does help I think.

          I have had clients horses that would fuss and pin their ears being tacked up or groomed. They would actually buck under saddle. Regumate was used and produced a lovely, soft ride. Soy can be a serious problem as it does influence hormones. One had EPM and treatment returned her to her happy self.

          I would not tolerate her butt turned toward me but know that horses, especially mares will get ugly if punished when they are in pain. They can't talk.

          Let us know how things go.
          “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
          ? Albert Einstein

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          • #65
            Don't waste your riding time fighting. Find something that is good more often than its bad. You'll be glad you did!!

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            • #66
              I completely agree that at some point you have to quit throwing good money after bad. It's no fun to have your EXPENSIVE HOBBY turn into something you hate.

              That being said, I would ask your vet about the possibility of a granulosa cell tumor. There is a horse in my barn that had one and it definitely made her challenging.

              And IF you want to give it one more try, I would try Regu-mate. Valley Vet has it for $259, which is for a 3 month supply. I recently put a mare on it and it made a HUGE difference with her. She was NOT as bad as what you describe but she did like to argue about things a lot, especially at the beginning of a ride. Now she is the most agreeable horse - the change was truly dramatic. (She was NEVER one to pin her ears on the ground or anything like that. But, she would kick out at your leg sometimes and would buck a lot on the longe line.)

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              • Original Poster

                #67
                Thank you everybody, for your support and advice.

                I put her on 5 days of Ulcer Guard instead of pop rocks. I'm seeing a HUGE difference in her attitude already. Less sensitivity, no more kicking at my leg, happy to work in the ring. Still a total grump in her stall, but I think that that is related to being nasty about her feed.

                She's not 100% back to her normal self, at all, but there has been enough of a change that I've taken note as well as DH (who doesn't know front from back).

                We've been changing it up in the ring too, free jumping a little bit, free lunging, playing around bareback, playing with tarps (and other scary things), etc. She willingly grabs the bit out of my hand and meets me (abit with a grumpy expression) at the front of her stall. When we have more space and warmer weather, we'll start back to real work.

                I'm still going to look into the repo stuff, as the appointment is made. She's still really sensitive about being touched right in front of the point of her hip (where the hair splits in two directions). Ears flat to her head, hairy eyeball, etc. She won't actually bite, but makes it clear that she doesn't want you anywhere near there.

                Thank you all, so much for the suggestions! I really appreciate each of the replies!

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                • #68
                  Good to hear that there is a little improvement. I'd keep on with the ulcer treatment.

                  FWIW, when my gelding's ulcers are bothering him, he's also sensitive in the exact same spot on the right side and will kick out while being groomed when you touch him there.
                  Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                  Witherun Farm
                  http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

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                  • #69
                    SO glad to hear it's going a bit better!
                    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

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                    • #70
                      Yes. Let us know what the doc says.
                      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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                      • #71
                        I have had friends who had pissy mares. This mare is showing the same attitudes. They tried the hormone treatments and it seemed to help. Both finally ended up spaying the mares. They became wondeful horses after that. It is much easier to do now days.I had a couple of mares I wish I had done the same with. You have done more than most people would do. The throwing her butt at you would stop post haste in my barn. That is bad manners.

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                        • #72
                          I have a saint of a gelding, 20. But there have been a couple of days lately when it was cold and windy and especially with all the rain we've had that the ground was slippery or mucky and he was pissy, too (he even bucked!!).
                          I would not make any big decisions about your mare until we get into saner weather conditions and she can be out more, grazing and hacking and not cold, dark etc. I think you are on the right track to just ease up on her work for a few weeks.
                          Personally, I would not worry about her seeming grumpiness in the stall (even turning the butt if she doesn't kick, it's probably just a habit). My old mare, 35, was never a lovey/snuggly horse, somewhat distant, hard to catch in a field but she gave 110 percent under saddle.

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                          • #73
                            I have a saint of a gelding, 20. But there have been a couple of days lately when it was cold and windy and especially with all the rain we've had that the ground was slippery or mucky and he was pissy, too (he even bucked!!).
                            I would not make any big decisions about your mare until we get into saner weather conditions and she can be out more, grazing and hacking and not cold, dark etc. I think you are on the right track to just ease up on her work for a few weeks.
                            Personally, I would not worry about her seeming grumpiness in the stall (even turning the butt if she doesn't kick, it's probably just a habit). My old mare, 35, was never a lovey/snuggly horse, somewhat distant, hard to catch in a field but she gave 110 percent under saddle.

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                            • #74
                              There are some very good suggestions on here (I like the ones regarding more turnout which you are doing now and more hay in a slow feed bag to simulate the more natural feeding cycle of summer). Generally the less we do with horses the happier they are which may be why she is happier in the summer when she had full turnout and the freedom to roam and stretch. With that said, do NOT feel bad about "giving up". I had to do that years ago with a horse that eventually I realized we just were not going to get along .... ever... no matter how hard we tried. Horses are like marriages and not every spouse is for every person. Think about it from Willow's perspective too -- she may not like being "married" to YOU and would welcome you giving up on your relationship so she has the freedom to find a partner she likes. Its not personal. Its just that there is a person and horse for everyone and maybe this is just not the right mix. Years ago, my girlfriend had this fabulous horse with all kinds of potential but the horse kept throwing her and trying to kill her. She kept trying hoping it would work be eventually realized for whatever reason that horse was not for her. She sold him to a friend who has a great relationship with the horse. They are both great riders and great horsewoman -- just for whatever reason, her horse needed someone else. Bottom line ... if the turnout doesn't change things around... feel okay about "giving up".
                              Brianna
                              briannadressage.blogspot.com

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                              • #75
                                I have a witchy mare. On the ground, we have a rule: she is allowed to have opinions, and express them appropriately, but she is NOT allowed to act on said opinions. For my part, I will not ask her to be a "pet" and put her through unnecessary touching, poking, prodding, etc. She likes her withers scratched, her tailbone scratched when itchy, and her forehead rubbed when she wants it. She hates having her flanks touched, or her chest, or her belly. I can rub all these places when needed, but she will lash her tail and snarl. That's just her, and I respect that. She would NOT be happy as someone's "pet" who wants to hug and kiss and fuss over their horse like a golden retriever. But we enjoy a very close relationship, and she'll do anything I ask of her. I can throw my arms around her neck and give her a hug, or kiss her nose; she'll pin her ears and curl her nostrils as if to say "I hate this," but she lets me do it...though I don't do it often, since I know she doesn't like it.

                                I put up with the attitude on the ground because she does respect my boundaries, and in her own gruff way she can be sweet sometimes (but only to me!). Under saddle, she's all business and is 100% cooperative in whatever I ask her to do. I can ride her bareback and bridleless, and she'll sidepass to a fenceline so I can get on in the field to ride her to the barn in a halter and leadrope, ponying her pasturemate. She'll round up cows or babysit the hubby for a trail ride (though he's terrified to tack her up). Oh, and she's taken me around two CCI**s, years at Intermediate, and a few Advanced level horse trials. She's a great mare, and I accept her for who she is, and she takes care of me.
                                “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                                ? Albert Einstein

                                ~AJ~

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                                • #76
                                  Try the 24/7 turnout, see if that helps!! If it's available, that is.
                                  Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

                                  Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!

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