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Posting in here as well...Anxious horse...trainer? vet?

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  • #41
    Strategy has a NSC of 30. That's sweet feed level. Try something like TC Senior.


    • Original Poster

      Well update, about 2 days after I started this thread I switched her to Tribute Kalm Ultra, per a recommendation on here, so she has been on it for roughly 10 days. So far so good, she gets 4# daily, upped the hay, she is on turnout for most of the day except now she eats more of her hay in her stall than having to "compete" for it in the herd. She really doesn't have to compete, she is near the top in the pecking order so when she does get fed hay outside she gets her fair share. I have ridden her only twice since the feed switch, and BM has ridden her twice as well (holidays put a bit of a damper on the riding amount). She has been really great, sure she is still forward, but she is so much softer on the bit. Here's to hoping it continues to go well!


      • #43
        Glad to hear things seem to be going better! I'm sure the more you ride, the better she will get. :-)


        • #44
          She's cute! I love TBs!

          You've gotten some good advice so far... But I'll add my 2 cents.

          Open your hip angle a little, lift your ribcage up and open your shoulders. With leg support that should help to lift her up a bit and get her using her backend more... (cliché alert) "we ride horses from back to front" or "leg to hand." Bend at the elbow and get a feel of her mouth.

          In my experience, grinding teeth is usually one of two things... anxiety or back pain. Check her back and check saddle fit. Something that has already been brought up, check for ulcers.

          As for a bit, most racers go in a roller D... You could try that or I like to use a loose ring sweet iron snaffle. I believe it gets them to soften their jaw a little and the loose ring gives them less to lean on.

          Last comment, I see you have already changed your grain, but if it seems it hasn't done much try Purina Adult, it has one of the best labels I have read.

          Keep in mind, TBs love routine, love having a job, and have a work ethic second to none!

          Best of luck!


          • #45
            I would find a training program or go to a trainer and do some ground work with her. Make her relize she is safe and get her comfortable with you. One of my horse is jumpy. He is so sweet but he was really hard to control in the saddle when another horse took off without us, and he was just always on edge, if a horse ran by is stall his head would be up and looking out his back window to see what was wrong, meanwhile my other horse didnt even glance back. After starting ground work with him he is much more confident and our relationship is so much better. When he gets nervous all I need to do is say his name and whisle (in the beginning of groundwork in the roundpen when I whisled he was suppose to come to me) and he looks for me, even if I'm not in the barn with and calms down. He isn't perfect but he's alot better and confident. It seems like she needs to be completly re-taught and have her confident boosted.


            • #46
              oh..... amd also, her anxiety is probably from a lack of confidence (not letting you into her stall, grinding her teeth, etc.) Like I said ground work will probably help some of that by boosting her confidence but whats not you may need to find a trainer.


              • #47
                I feed the tribute feeds and even some of my racers are on ultra... great for the tense mares... I couldn't view thevideos but sounds like you need a routine with her and contrary to common belief most ottbs are well broke and enjoy the security of a leg around them
                Race training and retraining Thoroughbreds.


                • #48
                  Originally posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
                  I see a very well behaved, green, confused, unbalanced horse with a rider trying so hard to be 'light', the rider is just doing.... nothing. The mare isn't rushing. She's just unbalanced and not being asked to step into contact. She's actually not moving very fast, it just seems quick because her stride is short and choppy (again, green, unbalanced). She 'jumps' into the canter because you have absolutely no leg on her and no consistent, following contact, so when you do bump her or drop the reins, she says "oh, faster!'. Same reason she's gaping her mouth, your hands aren't following with a consistent contact. Sit up, put your leg on, keep a soft, consistent feel of the reins and ride. She looks (at least in this video) like she's very honest and pretty calm, just confused about what's being asked of her. I'm not seeing nervous/high strung behavior at ALL, just typical green/out of shape horse.
                  This. Plus I see a lot of stiffness in your body that will transmit to her, and prevent her from being relaxed. She'd really benefit from 30-60 days with a good trainer. And you would benefit from riding more, lots of 2 point, jumping a series of small bounces (4 or so at about 2 feet) with no reins staying in 2 point (hands out to side) to teach you to soften and follow the horse's movement. Also do some stretching and core strengthening.
                  What kind of bit are you using, and when were her teeth last done? If it's a regular snaffle, maybe try a French link or Happy Mouth Mullen mouth. Some horses don't like the nutcracker action of a regular snaffle.


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Bedazzle View Post

                    Let me know if you can see this video, I'm not sure if my privacy settings are on or not.

                    If you can see it you can notice that sometimes she braces on my hands quite hard, sometimes she gapes her mouth open. This was a relatively good day for her.
                    I am late to the party so to speak, but the first 2 things I noticed are that your saddle is too far forward, impinging on her shoulder blade's ability to move freely, and you are leaning way too far forward. Sit up!
                    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


                    • #50
                      On the second direction video, what is wrong with a horse voluntering to go forward into a canter? It was not a wild maneuver, she just obviously thought you wanted her to do that. Leaning forward definitely can indicate that to a horse, especially one that has been on the track. She looks like a very honest horse that is just trying to do what she thinks you want.
                      RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


                      • Original Poster

                        I must say that at this point I'm very happy with her. I'm sort of shocked it was just a few things that needed changed to make her a happier riding horse. Love the new feed, although its too soon to tell she seems to be keeping her weight on half the amount of grain she was getting before. She seems to be more relaxed with hay in front of her nearly constantly. The next issue I am going to tackle is saddle fit and have her seen by a chiropractor. I actually just noticed today with a different saddle pad that the back of the saddle doesn't touch her back when she is saddle up without a rider. I'm not quite sure how I missed this before and I'm a bit horrified.

                        Rides have been good. I added poles yesterday and was amused when she thought she needed to do a tiny leap over each one. That eventually subsided as the ride went on. She has been sooooo much easier to ride, its pretty rare for her to want to race forward or grind her teeth, and when it does happen I just talk to her a bit and she seems to get right back to relaxing.

                        Anyway, good things Thanks for all the advice!


                        • #52
                          Haven't read all the posts but a lot of people are saying you can't ride with no leg. This is true, but you can ride with very light leg contact if you need to. It's not ideal but I know that feeling exactly and I'm used to hot, tight mares that I have to finesse. However it's very important that you ride with very clear contact with your seatbones. Don't try to do a half seat. I do dressage but often ride in a flatter jumping saddle than yours and even though I'm not sitting deep in it my seatbones (and to a lesser extent, upper thighs) are the primary means of communication with my hot mare. I add leg when necessary but I'm very conscious of the fact that very small amounts of pressure feel big to her. The nice thing about sensitive forward mares is that you can get responses with almost nothing but a thought.

                          Since you're in an enclosed ring, do some experimentation. Do trot/walks and see how quietly you can ask. Literally try to just think "trot" and don't consciously do anything with your body, then think "walk". See what happens. It might not work at all but there's a chance you might find that your body does all it needs to do in order to communicate to her what you want without you even being conscious of it, and by you not really being conscious of it you are relaxed and able to keep that steady soft contact without interruption. When you think trot, your chest and thighs should open and soften just slightly, you'll almost start posting a second before she picks up the trot, and your hands will soften to open the door for her to move forward. To walk, think it - as in go into yoga/yoda mode and just imagine yourself walking.. we. are. walking. now. - and you'll softly make your seat walk instead of trot and you'll quietly close your hands without even really being conscious of it.

                          If the experiment works, then you know that you're shouting even when you feel like you're trying to be quiet and stay out of her way. It's one thing to be careful and deliberate with your aids, but with a hot, insecure mare sometimes you really have to think more soft than deliberate. Allow rather than tell.

                          This is a really good exercise to both show you how little you need to do in order to get a response from her and to give her some confidence. Don't worry about how round she is, just light contact with the bit and good steady contact with your seatbones in the saddle as you post. Eventually you'll be able to help her balance herself using mainly your seatbones with light rein contact, and very light leg.

                          Edited to say, also read this book cover to cover. It'll help you ride with a correct, effective position and teach you how every move you make affects the horse.

                          Last edited by bauhaus; Jan. 5, 2013, 08:26 PM.