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OTTB canter challenges, input appreciated!

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  • #21
    Yesterday I watched my OTTB be ridden and I will say that the canter transition has been very tough. He has been in full time training for about 18 months with 3 months off due to back issues. His back issues came about when I moved him from his trainers barn to my local barn. I found a trainer at the local barn and her saddle worked for him and no more back issues but before that I had the dressage trainer work with him as well as an amatuer rider-neither had a saddle that fit him.

    It seems that you are progressing, canter transition seems to be the last thing that has come together for my guy. He is still growing and I do give him an anti-inflamatory which has helped. Sounds like you are getting there, two steps forward three steps back....babies...


    • #22
      OP, with the additional information, I am thinking she has something going besides the probable ulcers you have started treating.

      When a horse transitions to canter, they rock back. If they have sore hocks, stifles, something higher up with the spine pelvis or hips (like old fractures)? It hurts and they react. Especially with a one sided injury, over time they can compensate and try to protect the area to the point they mess something else up-like that stiff neck. And they don't always limp, especially if it is higher up. Got a friend that chased a fractured pelvis for 2 years and thousands of $$$$ before a diagnosis-that one never limped but was erratic behavior wise and had a bad time with that canter depart.

      I would love to know if she was actually bred and produced a foal (or they attemted to do so) in that year they claim she was a broodmare or if she was out because she got hurt? JC would have records of any registered offspring so that can be checked...but why would they breed if she was too slow?

      Easy test you can do-put her on one of the new tummy friendly NSAIDS/pain killing meds (like Previcox) for a week according to vets suggested dosage and interval (some of that stuff is better every other day, some 2 days in a row and then every other day). If she shows even minor improvement? You will will know it's pain-won't tell you from what or where but it's a cheap way to see what direction you might want to go. That might involve keeping her on an NSAID to get rid of the inflammation, various procedures or both.

      I had one years ago that was, basically, mean as a snake finally diagnosed with a sweeney-degenerative condition in the shoulder caused by concussive injury (falling on it or running into a post or something). Never limped, but no wonder she was so difficult to work with...that thing must have really hurt.

      Did your vet check include rads of the hocks and stifles or just the feet and lower leg?

      At least IMO we can rule out family history, nothing in her family tree says she might be nuts.
      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


      • #23
        Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
        As a responsible horse owner, wouldn't one first rule out health issues?
        As a responsible trainer, I try to spend my clients' money on the training solution that is very likely to dramtically improve the horse in between 1-5 interactions. Nothing is stopping anyone from additionally trying $900 in ulcer medication but I have successfully addressed this issue in two horses presenting the same issues in the past six months and the owners bought one $40 lesson a week and some $25 prorides at first, and within five sessions had a horse they could ride.

        People hire vets to solve medical issues, and trainers to solve things like overreactivity or not allowing the rider to use any aids without an explosion.
        Last edited by meupatdoes; Feb. 3, 2013, 08:10 PM.
        The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
        Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
        The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


        • #24
          Just wondering, but have you had your vet check out the left side of her neck? I had an OTTB with similiar issues. Turned out he had fractured the vertebra in his neck down near the shoulder. (I think C7 & C8 but I could be totally wrong). They were healed, but he had developed large bone spurs on them, that caused lots of inflammation and pain. He had a hard time turning his neck, I originally just thought he was stiff. And while he would walk and trot well under saddle, cantering was basically a no go for us. Just food for thought.

          I would also check out lymes and ulcers. Both of those could very likely be the culprit.
          Celtic Charisma (R.I.P) ~ http://flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses/2387275281
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          • #25
            Here is your mare's racing history.


            She actually wasn't all that slow, although she didn't break her maiden, and Elko Fair isn't exactly Santa Anita. I could see someone trying to breed her for something to run locally. She last raced in September 09, so has been off the track a little over three years. I pulled a produce record and she has no recorded foals. Usually the produce report will indicate if the mare has been bred and was barren, but her owners may not have bothered to report if she was bred and slipped or didn't catch.
            Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


            • Original Poster

              Thank you everyone, for the input and information; Sing Mia Song, thank you for passing along that link (very prestigious racing over here, yes? ) I e-mailed her last owner asking what had happened to the potential breeding, and turns out the gal who bought her for a brood mare is this owner's grandmother, and she took the breeding off the table so that she could sell her to her granddaughter as a prospective barrel racer.

              I started her on the ulcer treatment Wednesday, still don't have great arena footing yet but hopefully can start legging her back up next week. Hopefully be able to tell at that point if I'm even on the right path. If not, will start to rule out other possibilities; as budget allows will rule out one thing at a time and hopefully have this figured out by Spring. Poor girl.

              The vet took rads from hocks and knees down when we did the PPE, and just palpated the neck as we noticed the stiffness when she was trotting out and circling back. Knowing she was a project horse, he agreed it couldn't hurt to get the chiro out to see what she could do; I haven't noticed stiffness since the initial treatments and the chiro on repeat visits hasn't found any soreness, but you never know. Will also look at her hind end, too, and look into the cyst possibilities.

              Thank you everyone!!