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UPDATE!: I want my horse back! HELP!

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  • UPDATE!: I want my horse back! HELP!

    I'll try to keep this as simple as possible:
    My horse is a 14 year old, been there, done that, got the t-shirt type. Steady Eddy, the resident go-to-guy for anything that might become a little hairy (ponying, beginner rides, babysitting..etc)
    Over the last 3 weeks, he has taken to bucking - big bucks. He has not managed to get anyone off, but quite frankly, its scares me. He's my perfect pal, I expect it from my 4 year old, but not from him!
    Yesterday he showed with a "beginner" - not exactly a novice, but certainly not someone who deserves to be dealing with bucks. He did not buck on the flat classes, pinning 1st in all 3, but bucked in EVERY SINGLE jumping class. Big Bucks, Bucks she was proud she was able to sit to.

    He's always been a little tense over-fences, nothing awful though. I've always suspected poor saddle-fitting, but my trainer and vet say its fine.

    Before the show, he was lunged without tack and he was super slow, steady, and not a buck in sight, not even over cavaletti work. But at the show, he bucked over crossrails.

    I called the best soundness vet in the area to come out next week - he's also a chiropractor.

    I guess in the meantime I'm looking for, "your boy will resurface eventually"

    UPDATE 4-18-11:
    Vet/Chiro came out. Gave him a once over, said his hooves look good and he doesn't seem to be sore there. He was very tight and out of alignment at his poll which was causing his whither area to spasm a tiny bit. Once he released his poll, The tiny spasms on his back stopped all together. He was sore no-where else. Not even his back or hind end. I was expecting his back to be sore, becaue he has a 2 small white marks where the saddle lies, but the vet said it is quite possible that the saddle pad rubs, since he has sensitive skin.

    The vet was concerned that something might be wrong with his teeth that was causing him to tense at the poll. Of course, being that my horse can smell a vet, he didn't want to let him anywhere near his mouth. So my next step is to get the dentist out and see if we can rule out teeth as a cause for his poll being so out of whack.

    We spoke about the possibility of ulcers/lyme, but did not want to go into those diagnostics until his teeth were checked over and done. He doesn't live a stressed life and aside from being more grumpy under saddle, doesn't really display any lyme symptoms.


    Now my question is:
    Can a problem poll have been the cause of the bucking? I'm going to ride on Wednesday and see for myself, but not holding my breath that the bucking stopped!

    I've purchased a thinline saddle pad, but the vet/chiro said he did not see a need for my saddle to be reflocked just yet. It seemed to fit him ok, and he was not at all back sore from it.

    UGH, this horse is lucky I love him so much!
    Last edited by TesignedInGold; Apr. 18, 2011, 06:36 PM.

  • #2
    Never the type to jump on the "he's in pain" wagon but I've got to say...it sounds like he's in pain; that or there's something up with his diet or something similar.

    Horses in their teens that have been steady-eddies their whole lives don't suddenly develop behavioral issues that culminate in bucking fits; the key word being "suddenly".

    Let us know what the vets find; I'd be curious to know.
    \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River

    Comment


    • #3
      To me, that sounds like pain. He is trying to tell you something is wrong. I think you have taken the appropriate measures at this point. If the vet cannot find anything wrong I would think about having a professional saddle fitter come out and take a look.

      Good luck, the good ones are hard to find. He will come back to his old self, you just have to figure out what is bugging him first! Maybe just giving him a few weeks off will help too?

      Comment


      • #4
        I was going to say chiro, but you've got that covered. Good luck!
        Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
        Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
        VW sucks.

        Comment


        • #5
          Check your saddle fit too. I quit riding my horse for a few years due to unpredictable bucking. Just brought him back to work after 2 1/2 years of being the companion to my primary riding horse. New saddle, a cheap Thorogood Broadback, and no bucking! But my guess is that you will find something bothering his back or hocks. He'll be back once you fix things. It's his only way to communicate that something is bothering him. Good for you for listening!

          Comment


          • #6
            I would first have a thorough vet check. At this age he is likely going thru some arthritic changes and may need some sort of maintenance for that. Also, I have had many "Steady eddies" that went thru a period in the spring where they kind of "lost it". But first get him checked BY A VET not a chiro. ANother thought, it sounds liek a lot of different riders may be riding this horse, and novices. If so he may be showing displeasure at some of the things they are doing. Might need some "tuneup" rides by a pro to get him back on track.
            www.shawneeacres.net

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thank you for all the advice.

              The chiro I have called out, is a vet as well - so killing two birds with one stone. He will check him over thoroughly as a vet, then adjust him if need be.

              He is on MSM, and gets the 7-series adequan done yearly.

              He had the majority of the winter off, as he normally does. (We show from March-November, and I give him off December, January, February.) At first I thought it might just be spring fever, but given that he's had every winter off for 6 years, his "spring fever" has never been this bad!

              Shawnee - He only really has myself, and 1 "novice" rider on him, for the last year or so. Over the years he has taught many riders to ride, has put up with the beginners bouncing and making mistakes. He has never reacted, particularly with a beginner. He will often voice his displeasure to myself or my trainer, but usually its just a few hops, nothing like he's doing now.

              I guess I'm just upset that something is bothering him, and its taken bucking fits for me to realize it. He certainly has his quirks, but this is the horse that lets you hook him up to a sled and go sledding through snow, ride bareback on the trails, team-pen, and show in the 3 foot hunters, all in the same weekend!

              Comment


              • #8
                Has his feed been changed? Might be as simple as that!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  No feed change, no decline in turnout, same pasture buddies for the last few years.

                  The only other thing I can come up with, is pain.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You've got a vet/chiro coming, so you'll probably know soon enough. A chiro will also be able to tell if saddle fit is an issue (I'd suspect it is just because he's gotten unfit over the winter and now back to work, so his body will be different than the last time he used the saddle.)

                    Since it's mostly over fences, I'd also consider hocks and feet.

                    And since he's put back to work and going to shows, just for giggles, give him one full tube of ulcergard once a day for 7-10 days and see if that makes a difference.

                    good luck!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I didn't check to see where you're from but sometimes for us in the New England area, when our horses start acting grouchy or different, we do the lyme titer first.
                      Always wanted to know how the jet set live, now I own one

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Czar View Post
                        Never the type to jump on the "he's in pain" wagon but I've got to say...it sounds like he's in pain; that or there's something up with his diet or something similar.

                        Horses in their teens that have been steady-eddies their whole lives don't suddenly develop behavioral issues that culminate in bucking fits; the key word being "suddenly".

                        Let us know what the vets find; I'd be curious to know.
                        I'm neither one to jump on the "he's in pain" bandwagon but have to agree with the above... though I doubt it's (automatically) an arthritic or hocks problem unless the vet really suspects as such.

                        When my 13yo-at-the-time (been-there-done-that-got-the-tee-shirt) started being resistant and bucking, it was a pain issue. I would especially suspect as such if he were doing it with a beginner or novice!

                        I think wait for that second opinion and see. Something's up. Good luck and please update us, I think I can speak for others here too in that we love learning!
                        ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                        ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JetSetjr View Post
                          I didn't check to see where you're from but sometimes for us in the New England area, when our horses start acting grouchy or different, we do the lyme titer first.
                          Agreed for SE PA. My previous trainer spent lots of money on vet bills for two separate horses trying to figure out what was wrong, both turned out to be Lyme's. Now she's upped the tick prevention measures and gets Lyme tests as soon as she notices something's wrong.
                          "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                          Phoenix Animal Rescue

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            I am in NJ, so lymes is definitely a possibility and I will add it to my list to mention it to the vet/chiro. What are some of the other signs of lymes? I can't really notice any other differences - no change in appetite, no less or more grumpy then usual, coat looks great, he's shedding just fine.

                            His feet were done on Friday, all looked fine, no reason for concern. He's seen the same farrier for 6 years, and I trust him entirely. (I bought this horse with the assumption that he had "navicular." - Turns out, he just had a bad farrier job done, and my farrier has been shoeing him since the day I bought him, and he has not had a lame day.)

                            It is so worrisome when a horse, who hasn't bucked in the 6 years I've owned him, decides to take a liking to throwing his hind end around. Especially when I'm not expecting it from him, and therefore riding a little less defensively then I would on my almost-4-year old mare.

                            I expect pain somewhere, due mostly to the fact that when lunged without tack, He goes along just fine - slowly, relaxed, swaps leads without so much as an ear flick. The minute you add a rider, his demeanor changes and he gets much more tense - particularly during the jumping.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ulcers, try ulcergard (non prescription) or get the vet to write you a script for Gastrogard. Sounds like ulcers to me.
                              kenyagirl

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Just check the usual: saddle fit, have the vet do a once over, maybe a chiro adjustment, and have his teeth checked too. My mare is fairly hot (OK, just plain wild) but she usually has brakes. When she started bucking/running last spring, it was because she'd been forgotten when everyone had their teeth done. One float later, I had a significantly happier mare.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  We just treat for lymes. The titer test is not 100% accurate. We've had horses with no symptoms have a high titer and horses with all the symptoms have low/normal titer. A round or two of doxy always seemed to do the trick.
                                  "Using draw reins without spurs is like going to the bar with no underwear on. You're just waiting to get f***ed."

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I would check for Lymes. My mare has had it for a year and we are treating her for a third time as she has all of a sudden started with Hip/SI pain and bucking. It can make them grouchy too.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      How's the rider? Bouncy, tight knees, hands ?? Can they handle the jump or are they left behind? Could soreness or sourness be caused by rider error? Check the teeth too....

                                      Originally posted by TesignedInGold View Post
                                      I'll try to keep this as simple as possible:
                                      My horse is a 14 year old, been there, done that, got the t-shirt type. Steady Eddy, the resident go-to-guy for anything that might become a little hairy (ponying, beginner rides, babysitting..etc)
                                      Over the last 3 weeks, he has taken to bucking - big bucks. He has not managed to get anyone off, but quite frankly, its scares me. He's my perfect pal, I expect it from my 4 year old, but not from him!
                                      Yesterday he showed with a "beginner" - not exactly a novice, but certainly not someone who deserves to be dealing with bucks. He did not buck on the flat classes, pinning 1st in all 3, but bucked in EVERY SINGLE jumping class. Big Bucks, Bucks she was proud she was able to sit to.

                                      He's always been a little tense over-fences, nothing awful though. I've always suspected poor saddle-fitting, but my trainer and vet say its fine.

                                      Before the show, he was lunged without tack and he was super slow, steady, and not a buck in sight, not even over cavaletti work. But at the show, he bucked over crossrails.

                                      I called the best soundness vet in the area to come out next week - he's also a chiropractor.

                                      I guess in the meantime I'm looking for, "your boy will resurface eventually"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Have you lunged him over jumps or free jumped him? You say he's fine on the lunge at the w/t/c, but to help rule out jumping pain, try free jumping him just a bit.

                                        Agree on the lymes. They can really get grumpy and resistent. Very treatable with doxy.

                                        Good for you for listening to your man. Hope he feels better soon!
                                        Life is hard. After all, it kills you. - K. Hepburn

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