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girthy horse

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  • girthy horse

    I have a horse that is very girthy. She is so girthy that you have to lunge her everytime before you ride. Also so sensitive that if you apply too much leg pressure she will react the same way as the girthy response. Leap forward off all fours. Any thoughts on where the issue is coming from. Friend of mine says base of neck. Looking on line and saw some stuff on possibly ribs?? Other that chiroprator what else can be done?

  • #2
    I know this is everyone's go to response, but when I purchased my horse he was very girthy and could not stand to have his belly touched. Was told he has always been that way. I didn't give it much thought until a few months later when it became evident he had ulcers. Treated him and now he is barely girthy at all and I can groom his belly HARD and it makes him happy.
    Something to think about...


    • #3
      When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou


      • #4
        That sounds like a rib out to me.

        If not a rib out, then possibly ulcers. But the extreme reaction you are describing is MUCH more indicative of a rib out, as is the fact that lunging/work seems to slightly improve her pain level. I've experienced both a rib out and ulcers in the same horse...the rib out was much more dramatic/scary/acute (lots of broken halters/crossties in the two weeks before we figured it out...sometimes just from brushing him).

        Get a reputable chiropractor out and they will be able to fix it in two seconds if that is the problem. If that's not it, then I would treat for ulcers.


        • #5
          I vote ulcers. Had a mare just like that. When the ulcers were gone, so were all of those isssues.


          • #6
            My TB came to me very girthy, and resented the leg (would make faces and snake back at your feet!).


            Treated the ulcers, girthy-ness and undersaddle issues went away.
            APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


            • #7
              Ulcers, ouchy rib, and saddle fit all sound like they could be the issue, and you may have more than one working together.
              "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."


              • Original Poster

                The response that she gives is exsplosive and she is dangerous when it happens. It is not all the time which is weird and extremely reactive to leg pressure in fact can barely have any leg pressure at all. After it happens she is very nervous.


                • #9
                  Try chiropractor first, then treat for ulcers. Then, if still no improvement, look into magnesium supplementation and the like. But horses first, then zebras.
                  It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


                  • #10
                    What does she do when you put hard pressure (with your hand/fingers) on just the girth area behind the elbow? (with no saddle or tack of any kind)

                    If she is uncomfortable to this, I would guess ulcers is most likely.
                    Originally posted by rustbreeches
                    [George Morris] doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis


                    • Original Poster

                      what is the best treatment for ulcers


                      • Original Poster

                        Another important point to make is that she never ever pins her ears. Not for saddling, riding, brushing, palpating etc


                        • #13
                          http://www.abler.com/products/omeprazole Is the cheapest way to treat ulcers. You put your horse's weight into their calculator and it will tell you how much the horse needs daily for treatment.
                          It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


                          • #14
                            Ulcers are a definite possibility. I'd also check for Lyme disease if it is prevalent in your area. My mare became extremely girthy from Lyme disease. After treating with doxy, it went away completely. I treated for ulcers first (and had the chiro out also) and saw no difference.
                            Last edited by mlb722; Aug. 29, 2012, 04:15 PM.


                            • #15
                              I'm telling ya, that's almost definitely a rib out, not ulcers.


                              • #16
                                That's why I said chiropractor first
                                It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


                                • #17
                                  My daughter's leased horse came to us with the warning that he was pretty girthy. I had our chiro check him out and he had a couple of ribs out of whack. The girthyness improved 100%. We'd have him adjusted every couple of months and we had no issues. Something for you to check into; I'd start with that and some bodywork if you can. A great book is called "Beating Muscle Injuries for Horses" by Jack Meagher. Easy to read and use and you can do a ton of stuff yourself to pinpoint sore areas and resolve them.

                                  She sounds like she is in quite a lot of pain. Kudos to you for listening to her!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Mosey_2003 View Post
                                    That's why I said chiropractor first
                                    Yep, I know. But a lot of people are so damn quick to say DEFINITELY ULCERS, when ulcer treatment takes a lot longer and is more expensive than chiro...all to potentially end up with...needing a chiro.


                                    • #19
                                      I have one that can be incredibly explosively girthy - the weird thing is it seems related to pain in his feet. He had a whole lot of diagnostics done, full nuclear scintigraphy, etc, to diagnose his lameness, but he's had a definite correlation between treatment/maintenance of his hoof issues and improvement with the girthing issue (which is somewhat like a panic attack - he's otherwise very tractable and not stupid at all, and a pleasure to ride). But often before he starts showing that he's off again, he will start having girthing issues. When he gets his hoof injections, the girthiness subsides dramatically and is very manageable.

                                      I haven't really gotten any good explanation for why this is, except that when he's sore he may stand differently and be tight under the belly. But we looked at ulcers, he had every inch of his back and ribs checked, and never did find anything to explain the girthiness otherwise.

                                      (if anyone is curious, his foot issues were diagnosed as pedal osteitis, he had his shoeing/padding changed and injections. He is not currently being ridden and I doubt will be heavily ridden ever again)
                                      "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                                      My CANTER blog.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Watermark Farm View Post
                                        A great book is called "Beating Muscle Injuries for Horses" by Jack Meagher. Easy to read and use and you can do a ton of stuff yourself to pinpoint sore areas and resolve them.
                                        This book is FABULOUS!! My copy is well worn, and has been incredibly useful!
                                        When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou