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Really good bad news--jingles please.

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    Really good bad news--jingles please.

    My young horse has been such a pain in the butt for the last couple years. In all my life I have never ridden a TB who behaved as if he had no desire to please. He has little work ethic and resists anytime the difficulty is increased. His jumping is inconsistent at best and wretched at it's worst.

    On the flip side he is a fabulous physical specimen, athletic as you could ever want, with lovely movement, and beautiful form over fences. He's been brought along very slowly and correctly--nothing he's been asked to do should be the least bit hard for him.

    Talk about a guy that'll drive you to drink.

    I set myself an end date as far as how long I would be willing to put up with him. As it's approaching I decided that even though in the 2.5 years I've owned him he's never had an unsound day that I would take him in for a basic soundness evaluation and an initial chiro evaluation and if those showed nothing have him scoped for ulcers. I wanted to rule out the possibility of the behavior being pain induced because something was niggling at me that things didn't add up right.

    The last thing I expected happened. He flexed a 3+ (on a 1-5 scale) on his LF fetlock. He has surgery in 10 days to remove a bone chip. It's in a good place for a bone chip and vet is very optimistic for a full recovery. He believes that even though the horse seemed sound that he would have found landing over a jump painful and probably work in general unpleasant. We are very hopeful that this is the key to his recalcitrant behavior! I can't tell you what a relief it is to have a diagnosis that makes perfect sense as the cause of our problems--even it the fix means surgery.

    While the surgery isn't cheap eponacowgirl reminded me that is was still cheaper than a lobotomy!

    So jingles please for surgery and recovery--and maybe a special prayer that this will retire most of his bad boy attitude. Some good outcome stories would be appreciated too!

    Now to find something to ride for the next three months...

    I'm really glad for you!! Jingles for great surgery and a good recovery!!


      Glad you found it & have a positive outlook now.

      I had a similar horse to you, although he had days where he seemed to be with the program, and other days where he definitely wasn't. Unfortunately the none of the vet, chiro, and massage practitioners could find anything wrong, and I eventually gave up on him. Too frustrating.

      You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


        Subk- and a thank you for listening to your gut and not just saying he's an ottb with a bad attitude
        Last edited by Jleegriffith; Sep. 15, 2011, 11:25 AM.


          Jingles on a full recovery.

          You may want to consider putting him on Conquer gel post surgery.

          It isn't overly expensive and it made a significant difference in recovery for one of my horses. We had done surgery on one the year before and didn't use it....then did surgery on another and did. The one we used it one had a LOT less inflamation post surgery. I believe there are some studies done in race horses (with OCD surgery) that were very promising.

          I think with my guy, we did it for 3-4 months post surgery.

          Good luck!
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


            lots of jingles for both you and Tate...know the feeling of "I'm giving him til...". to ride..
            ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan


              Many jingles for a speedy, uneventful recovery. It's a good thing when something tangible an be identified for a NQR horse! and it sounds like you have a very brave stoic for a horse.

              Another small suggestion: if you can, please consider some body work as he may have skewed himself trying to protect his fetlock.

              Hope to hear great things about your progress together.
              They don't call me frugal for nothing.
              Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                Kudos to you for looking externally for the problem. I find that in the vast majority of cases, it's usually physical in nature.

                Case in point - my friend's daughter has a lovely Trakehner gelding, young, with a history of dumping her, hard, when she gets too forward on him, especially after jumps. I got on him the other day and got a little too forward on him, and BAM - he slammed on the brakes from a trot and jammed his back into the air and tossed me harder than I've been tossed in a long time, giving me a spectacular bruise on my hip. I checked his saddle fit on suggestion of my other friend, and what do you know - the saddle is pressing on his withers. Changed the saddle, and he's been lovely ever since. This whole time we thought he was being a stinker.
                "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."


                  Good luck!!! I have done quite a few ankle and knee chips and all horses have returned to either racing or eventing!

                  Fingers crossed it fixes the guy!!!!
                  owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.


                    Good luck! Glad to hear you followed your gut, guts are smart!
                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                    We Are Flying Solo


                      If this is the horse I'm thinking of, he's not an OTTB. Subk got him when he was practically a baby--maybe 2? I think his breeder purposefully bred from lines that both race and do sport.

                      Lots of jingles from Mississippi that the surgery and recovery are completely uneventful and that he responds with a whole new attitude toward his work.


                        Had the exact same thing minus the attitude, as mine was found on the pre-purchase when the horse was 2 and unstarted. Vet recommended taking the bone chip out (RF fetlock).

                        Never had a lame step after surgery and although we did very little jumping, we did compete thru 1st level dressage and did four 25 mile endurance rides with no issues whatsoever.

                        Jingles for your boy!!


                          So glad you found it...and hopefully, it fixes the issues you had working with him! Jingles for a successful surgery, a swift and uneventful recovery, and you back on him in a few months!

                          Keep us updated!


                            Jingles that he recovers to become the wonderful horse that you always thought that he could be.


                              Jingling for a complete recovery including the 'tude!

                              Don't you wish they could talk?
                              If only your boy could have said:
                              "It's my ankle!"

                              In my case saddle fit for Mt. Withers was causing some "interesting" canter departs.
                              Adding a liftback pad has given us both a new life.
                              If only my guy could have said "Ouch! My back!" every time the saddle jammed onto him...
                              *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                              Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                              Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                              Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                                Originally posted by eventer_mi View Post
                                Kudos to you for looking externally for the problem. I find that in the vast majority of cases, it's usually physical in nature.
                                Yep! Good luck and jingles for good recovery.

                                (I will add your story to my collection of "Help, My Horse is Driving Me Crazy - We Found The Chip" book! Got four so far and counting! )
                                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                                Read me: EN ( and HJU (


                                  Originally posted by subk View Post
                                  My young horse has been such a pain in the butt for the last couple years. In all my life I have never ridden a TB who behaved as if he had no desire to please. He has little work ethic and resists anytime the difficulty is increased. His jumping is inconsistent at best and wretched at it's worst.

                                  On the flip side he is a fabulous physical specimen, athletic as you could ever want, with lovely movement, and beautiful form over fences. He's been brought along very slowly and correctly--nothing he's been asked to do should be the least bit hard for him.
                                  I hope it works out too but...

                                  I had a horse just like the one you've described. He was handsome, athletic, had one of the best pedigrees I've ever seen, could jump a line of 5' fences.

                                  But, like your horse, it was impossible to develop any consistency with him. He had no work ethic and didn't retain any memory of what he'd done the day before.

                                  There was no physical problem. It really came down to his brain. He was mentally unsuitable for anything in which he might be called upon to think.

                                  After three years -- and no progress, although he did a couple of Trainings (which involved riding him hard at every fence and giving him no choice but to jump or crash) -- I found him a very safe h/j home where he'd never have to use his brain.

                                  I know a story like mine is a downer but I wish I'd had someone sit me down and tell me the horse was never going to be suitable, although it would have been hard to know that, unless you'd been there yourself with a horse. This horse had everything going for him and so many times, it almost seemed like things were turning around.

                                  Sometimes, it just doesn't work, and there's no real reason for it.


                                    Jingles! It's good news in a bad way, but hey, at least you'll be able to eliminate that as a problem now and hopefully you'll have a whole new horse
                                    Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


                                      Prayers and jingles for a good outcome. Best of luck.
                                      Quality Hunter Ponies


                                        Sending jingles!
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