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Strange behavior under saddle

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    She had a PPE at time of purchase and was sound at purchase. The vet noted she has signs of possible OCD lesions in her stifles but was not lame.

    Were the stifles ever followed up on?


      My mare that had PSSM was a warmblood, not supposed to be very common but I guess I’m just that lucky 😉 the decreased turnout time and feed high in carbs are the perfect recipe for PSSM symptoms. If you don’t find any other explanation it may not hurt to try removing all starch from the diet, back on 24/7 turnout with warm blankets (my mare was extra cold sensitive but also couldn’t stand in a stall) natural vit e supplements, oil and just see if it makes any difference after a few weeks.


        You said she was kicking out in October? She very likely would still have been cycling at the time, and a cystic ovary (typically a developing follicle that failed to drop) would remain uncomfortable/painful until it's dealt with.


          Originally posted by bingbingbing View Post
          She had a PPE at time of purchase and was sound at purchase. The vet noted she has signs of possible OCD lesions in her stifles but was not lame.

          Were the stifles ever followed up on?
          This - I would have the stifles looked at. If she had OCD but was never in work, they might never had bothered her. Now after being in work for a while, the OCD could be causing issues.


            My horse has been having somewhat similar issues and I've recently worked through testing the list of what has been suggested on this thread (ulcers, SI, PSSM, saddle fit, training, chiro, mag/vit e supplements, kissing spine, Lyme, EPM, etc) so here is my 2 cents. I have had multiple people suggest maybe my horse's issues are just an attitude problem, but I knew in my gut it is pain related and I was right. If that's what yours is telling you, listen.

            I tried the whole "treat instead of scoping" for ulcers thing and would highly recommend scoping for ulcers from the start. I threw away money and months of time thinking my horse didn't have ulcers because he didnt respond to 8 days of treatment. Treatment is not a valid diagnostic test. Had him scoped and he has had ulcers all along. Another benefit of the scope is seeing where and how severe the ulcers are which can greatly impact your treatment strategy. If you must treat without a scope, my vet said really just commit to do a full month of full treatment or nothing.

            Other than that it sounds to me like a hidden injury of some sort is coming out with the mare entering heavier work. My horse as well was green and started to have issues a few months into training. For him I think he has an old back injury from his prior life that is causing problems. From what you've described I'd get a lameness exam and look into the OCDs first. Then maybe SI or kissing spine.


              It would be worth looking at saddle fit. Has the horse's back been palpated to see if there's any soreness? Even without obvious soreness, though, a saddle that is too narrow could be pinching the nerves behind the withers causing balkiness and sourness.

              Adding some magnesium might be worthwhile as well.
              "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                Originally posted by TooManyBays View Post
                Now for my personal thoughts;
                would repro issues show up when she is in anestrus, but not during the summer? I would expect her to show being uncomfortable at times during her cycle?
                I feel like this is ulcers or something similar. This mare came from a rough place before she got her and had many of the triggers for ulcers; large grain meals, lack of hay, etc. Maybe the lush grass she was eating covered up symptoms and as fall approached and the grass became less plentiful symptoms appeared again?
                I have a friend who purchased a QH mare from a sort of local barn. The mare was considered hot, but had plenty of reasons to be hot, given her history and care. My friend spent $$$ on ulcer meds and good care. Mare was always considered "marish" with my friend, who later had a professional trainer ride and show her because she was not comfortable riding this horse anymore (my friend is a lifelong rider, but not very brave). One fall, the mare increasingly displayed aggressive and opinionated behaviors, and my friend sent her to the state Vet School for a workup. One of her follicles was the size of a baseball and was removed. She texted me a picture of the removed follicles side by side from the vet school - holy cow!! The mare had compounded other problems and eventually was put down (mare had a home for life if she could stay comfortable, but she couldn't).

                It's pricey, but a full workup might give the owner insight to her mare's behavior. It does sound like something is going on physically. Thanks for reporting back about the trainer.
                Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                  My first questions are always these:
                  Does the horse move freely forward in all gaits during turnout?
                  Does the horse freely take both leads during turnout?
                  If the answers are no to both, I recommend a thorough vet exam (including nerve blocking) to find the problem.
                  If the answers are yes, I recommend trying a different saddle/pad system, a different work routine, and/or a different trainer.
                  Patience pays.