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Ulcers & Leg Yielding....Is there a connection? A bit long, sorry.

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  • Ulcers & Leg Yielding....Is there a connection? A bit long, sorry.

    My OTTB has started evading leg aids. He is acting very naughty when I put my leg on him and ask for a leg yield or even trying to get him to bend around my leg. He starts throwing his head around and if you keep your leg on him, he stops going forward and then hops around. After a while, he will give up the fight and then move off fine, only to start again at another point in the ride. He also kicked out once...not to get me off, but to tell me he didn't appreciate my daring to put my leg on him for a leg yield in trot .

    I've had his teeth done and I've had the saddle checked. I also had a trainer come over and get on him and he did the same thing with her.

    The other thing that he has started doing is getting antsy in the cross ties when I groom his right side under his belly, the inside of his right hind leg (this is just with my hand doing tick checks) and the back portion of his barrel.

    The question light went on in my blond brain today and the thought of it possibly being ulcers materialized. Does anyone know if ulcers can cause this type of evation from pressure on a horse.
    Life is what happens when you're making other plans. RiverDance

  • #2
    Contracting the abdominal muscles can splash stomach acid into the unprotected upper lining and could certainly further irritate areas already impacted by ulcers. Try a couple week's worth of GastroGuard and see if you notice improvement.

    It's also possible, of course, that you're doing something with your aids that is causing confusion and resistance. Does a more accomplished rider get the same results?
    Patience pays.


    • #3
      Sure. But I would also suspect strained abdominal muscles, ribs out of place or a sore topline.

      The first person I would call w/those symptoms is my very good chiropractor. My vet, who is also a chiro, would second that.
      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


      • Original Poster

        [QUOTE=. It's also possible, of course, that you're doing something with your aids that is causing confusion and resistance. Does a more accomplished rider get the same results?[/QUOTE]

        As I said above, I had a professional trainer come out and ride him and he did the same thing with her. My trainer felt that it was him being resistant to leg aids due to having the winter from HE_ _ off. I didn't think of the ulcer thing until after the trainer left. She is coming back tomorrow to ride him again. I also have a vet coming out on April 14th and will discuss this with her too. Thanks for the input.
        Life is what happens when you're making other plans. RiverDance


        • #5
          You might want to have the vet check for back and hip pain as well. Also, leg yielding is very demanding on the stifles. Something to consider.


          • Original Poster

            Now I'm wondering if I should not work him until I have the vet look at him. If he's just being naughty, he needs to be worked through it. But if it's a physical issue, it will only make it worse. Oh boy! I hate these executive decisions.
            Life is what happens when you're making other plans. RiverDance


            • #7
              Yikes, my mare is doing the same thing. She is very evasive to all leg aids though, and as soon as I put the leg on she will stop dead and start cow kicking-- always on the right side. She is also very sensitive while grooming, especially around her right girth.

              She has a vet appointment on the 12th at a clinic. She was scoped and treated for ulcers in October with no improvement, so in our case it does not seem to be related (although she has gotten much fatter since the ulcers are gone). Chiropractor has looked at her as well, and she has had acupuncture treatments. Newly reflocked saddle makes no difference, and she has had several months off during the winter to get herself together. I just had a repro vet out to check her and she has nothing unusual going on there either.

              I am hoping you will have more luck with an answer than I have had! Keep us updated if you find something.


              • #8
                What you describe sure could be related to ulcers....and all the other things folks have offered. For the price of 2 or 3 tubes of Ulcergard you could run an experiment and maybe have your answer. Give your guy a full tube for 2 days then ride him and see if the resistance is still present, reduced or worse.


                • #9
                  CRD have you been rideing Freddy?

                  This happened last week with me. Since my brain was in a jar for safety I didnt thinka bout ulcers then. Hes never done it before. He does it with spurs but I didnt have any on.

                  FWIW a few taps with a crop (not hard) and Freddy moved smartly out--nice ride after that.

                  Good luck.
                  “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                    Sure. But I would also suspect strained abdominal muscles, ribs out of place or a sore topline.

                    The first person I would call w/those symptoms is my very good chiropractor. My vet, who is also a chiro, would second that.
                    Ditto. A horse I had that exhibited those symptoms had ribs out of place. Chiro and massage did wonders.
                    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                    • #11
                      I can probably give you a definite answer in a couple of weeks! My horse is getting scoped on Wednesday, and I am 97% sure he has ulcers.

                      He is actually pretty good at home, but has getting worse and worse at shows and will kick out and throw pretty big temper tantrums in the dressage ring. For awhile, I was thinking it was just naughty event horse syndrome ("I get to go run and jump after I leave the box, so I don't really have to behave!") but a few things are starting to be noticed as a pattern and the biggest one is that his resistances at shows are almost exactly opposite the ones he has at home (which are mild and in direct relation to his weak side). I am very interested to see what things look like in that belly of his.

                      For the record, my horse is seen pretty consistently by a massage therapist and on occasion by a chiro. He actually has very few complaints (or none) in his back, so, other than being a cheeky "teenager" and a little lack of strength, I don't think his resistance comes from his back, etc.


                      • Original Poster

                        All your answers are really food for thought. I did have my trainer back out today and low and behold....the beast was on his best behavior. I rode him towards the end of the lesson and no resistance at all. Sooooo, I guess it could just be attitude but he's never had attitude before. I will keep you all posted. I'm going to continue to have the trainer ride him for the next week and the vet is still coming out on the 14th. I'll give you all an update then. Thanks again. You've all been great.
                        Life is what happens when you're making other plans. RiverDance