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Heartbroken- Terrified to Ride My Horse

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  • #81
    Wonderful update K&C! So happy to hear and thinking all the good thoughts that a better fitting saddle will resurrect this guy's sweet and dependable nature. Please continue to keep us updated as I think it will be helpful for those that might one day find themselves in a similar situation. Reading this type of thread when you actually know the horse has cast a whole new light on this type of internet discussion... the suggestions to quickly throw in the towel are heartbreaking.
    EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

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    • #82
      Originally posted by KandC View Post
      Saddle fitter found tightness through the shoulder (he's pretty atrophied through there) and the panels were not a good fit in firmness/shape, so we are on the hunt for a new saddle, and the first saddle rep will be out tomorrow!

      My life has taken a bit of an unfortunate turn on the financial level so I am holding off on EPM/Lyme testing/full lameness exam for a month or two, until I can get that stabilized out (before the lectures, parents are there as a safety net for any catastrophic vet bill that is unavoidable as well as to help out with a new saddle, but won't humor my small animal vet shotgun workup approach until saddle fit has been addressed).

      On the bright side, he is now A+ at his vocal lunge commands, and has been an angel for W/T under saddle. The canter is his ouchiest gait right now, so we are waiting on a better fitting saddle before returning to cantering and jumping. For what it's worth he seems more comfortable if he is moving laterally or straight, and less comfortable on circles 20 m or smaller.

      I am in the same boat as TWH Girl, where if I give up now that will only damage my confidence further. I like the quirkier, diamond in the rough horses, and I like a small challenge. I just want to be safe about my challenges and get *my* anxiety under control. I'm also hoping once I'm out of my current job situation, my anxiety will lessen more. I tend to forgive horses very quickly, and while I'm still nervous to ride him, it's not a blind terror, it's a healthy back of my mind fear of what he can do.

      Won't be riding him with Ace; I'd rather try to find the root of the problem, and go from there. A lot of my anxiety will dissipate if I feel like he is comfortable under saddle.
      I would take the $$ you have for a new saddle and put it into the bloodwork
      If he has lyme or other physiological reasons to be in pain, no saddle will fix that.
      Just my $.02
      Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

      http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

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      • #83
        If Lyme is a possibility please don't put off testing for it. Many horses wind up with chronic Lyme because they didn't get treatment early enough or long enough to kill the spirochete.

        Providence sometimes takes care of idiots. Agnes Morley Cleaveland in No Life for a Lady.

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        • Original Poster

          #84
          Lyme and EPM titers will get pulled but the first thing you learn in vet school is if you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras. His saddle doesn’t fit, he’s a sensitive, worrying soul, so saddle fit is the most obvious to be addressed first.

          And I’m still reeling from a few financial impacts, so everything needs to be done stepwise. Lyme and EPM aren’t off my radar- they’re on my to do list.
          Last edited by KandC; Dec. 7, 2017, 10:42 AM. Reason: Posting from my phone always leads to typos
          About my horses and my riding:http://krseq.blogspot.com

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          • #85
            Originally posted by Angela Freda View Post

            I would take the $$ you have for a new saddle and put it into the bloodwork
            If he has lyme or other physiological reasons to be in pain, no saddle will fix that.
            Just my $.02
            I agree. Diagnosis is or should be a higher priority, IMO also.
            Edited to add, if you are a Vet (even though apparently small animal?) why on earth don't you just do the blood draws necessary and send to the appropriate labs yourself)?!?!?!?!

            Lyme is more likely than EPM, IMO, or KS (kissing spine). When you can afford testing for KS, that is a good idea to check it.
            Jeanie
            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.

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            • #86
              Lyme testing wasn't catastrophic financially - treatment ran a bit more. But early diagnosis is critical to best outcomes.

              Comment


              • #87
                Originally posted by KandC View Post
                Lyme and EPM titers will get pulled but the first thing you learn in vet school is if you hear good eats, think horses, not zebras. His saddle doesn’t fit, he’s a sensitive, worrying soul, so saddle fit is the most obvious to be addressed first.

                And I’m still reeling from a few financial impacts, so everything needs to be done stepwise. Lyme and EPM aren’t off my radar- they’re on my to do list.
                Re bold, I don't follow... Can you explain what you mean?
                If he's sensitive, worrying soul, feeling crappy from Lyme or EPM might also contribute to that....
                A saddle for a lame horse who's unwell is a waste of $$, that you suggest is limited, if you ask me.
                Last edited by Angela Freda; Dec. 7, 2017, 08:47 AM.
                Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

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                • #88
                  Start with the simplest/most likely and go from there. That would be saddle fit.
                  No matter where you go, there you are

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #89
                    He has back and wither pain. The equine vet and equine vet who does chiropractor work both checked him and said back and wither pain, I say back and wither pain, and two saddle fitters came out and said his saddle fit poorly. I also notice him immediately relax when a well fitting saddle is out on him.

                    Lyme is still getting pulled because I do agree. Just getting the ball rolling on saddle fit since it’s an obvious problem, whether or not it’s the whole story.

                    He is also a *historically* sensitive and worrying horse, so I see how a new environment, new owner, and new saddle fit would throw him over the edge.
                    About my horses and my riding:http://krseq.blogspot.com

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      You could treat for Lyme and forego the test. You should see a result within 10 days and sometimes far sooner. That way you can skip the expense of the test. And I would do this sooner rather than later. Ten days of treatment on an antibiotic is not that invasive and relatively inexpensive.

                      The atrophy found by the saddle fitter is consistent with Lyme. But it is also consistent with other diagnoses.

                      Also, he could be suffering from Kissing Spine and the new saddle could be affecting that more so than previous saddles did. KS is sometimes successfully treated by injection. Palpating the spine is one quick way to diagnose KS.

                      I agree with other suggestions that his being herd-bound is contributing.

                      He sounds like such a lovely horse and I hope you can find the solutions soon. It does sound like you are going about this in all the right ways!


                      oops, just read your most recent post about saddle fit and back pain. So the above may not apply.
                      Last edited by DrHB; Dec. 7, 2017, 09:23 AM. Reason: read the most recent post before this one.

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                      • #91
                        Originally posted by KandC View Post
                        Lyme and EPM titers will get pulled but the first thing you learn in vet school is if you hear good eats, think horses, not zebras. His saddle doesn’t fit, he’s a sensitive, worrying soul, so saddle fit is the most obvious to be addressed first.
                        If you hear hoof beats, right? I'm always thinking about food too.

                        Training solves behavior problems. If he's a sensitive, worrying soul, you need to desensitize him to get rid of all that anxiety and reduce his sensitivity. You can do all this on the ground where you already feel comfortable with him.
                        "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederatcy against him."

                        Comment


                        • #92
                          Originally posted by KandC View Post
                          Haven't scoped him yet (I've started saving). He got a 2 week course of Gastroguard when he moved to the new farm. He's not girthy or sensitive (although if it's hindgut ulcers, who knows). Ulcers are still on my radar.

                          Already had the vet out (technically twice, the chiro is also a vet) who only found signs of poor saddle fit/back pain.
                          I haven't read the whole thread, so this may already have been mentioned. My vet was able to do a fecal test by Succeed to rule out ulcers on my guy. No scope needed and a lot less expensive and invasive.
                          "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett

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                          • #93
                            Originally posted by Curb Appeal View Post

                            I haven't read the whole thread, so this may already have been mentioned. My vet was able to do a fecal test by Succeed to rule out ulcers on my guy. No scope needed and a lot less expensive and invasive.
                            Correct me if I am wrong (I am not a vet), but I do not believe that the Succeed test rules out stomach ulcers. It tests for fecal blood and may be an indication for hind gut ulcers, although if I recall correctly, it errs on the side of false positives.

                            Comment


                            • #94
                              Originally posted by Curb Appeal View Post

                              I haven't read the whole thread, so this may already have been mentioned. My vet was able to do a fecal test by Succeed to rule out ulcers on my guy. No scope needed and a lot less expensive and invasive.
                              Honestly is a scope needed anyway? Often a couple weeks treatment costs about the same and offers a diagnosis as well.

                              I was thinking about this yesterday. I injured my right big toe, in the joint where the toe meets the foot. It's an important joint. I wore high heels for 2 days straight two weekends in a row for funerals and somehow injured that toe.
                              Wearing those heels is no longer possible because the joint is damaged.
                              That doesn't mean I solve that by wearing different heels.
                              Yes lower heels don't hurt as much, but the joint is still injured, and a shoe doesn't change that.

                              Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                              http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                              Comment


                              • #95
                                Haunted barn? I had this happen to me once. I moved my fabulous American Saddlebred to a beautiful hunter barn and he was grea

                                Comment


                                • #96
                                  Haunted barn? I had this happen to me once. I moved my fabulous American Saddlebred to a beautiful hunter barn and he was great for a couple weeks then he changed. He was always nervous wouldn't eat and so so not himself. He started losing weight wouldn't stand for the farrier. I was so upset I moved him to a saddlebred trying barn eight hours from me. He was fine then started eating and was back to his normal awesome self. We won lots of blues for the next two years and then I retired him. It was oddd....

                                  Comment


                                  • #97
                                    Originally posted by Ladylexie View Post
                                    Haunted barn? I had this happen to me once. I moved my fabulous American Saddlebred to a beautiful hunter barn and he was great for a couple weeks then he changed. He was always nervous wouldn't eat and so so not himself. He started losing weight wouldn't stand for the farrier. I was so upset I moved him to a saddlebred trying barn eight hours from me. He was fine then started eating and was back to his normal awesome self. We won lots of blues for the next two years and then I retired him. It was oddd....
                                    Ladylexie I think you may have posted on the wrong thread?
                                    Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                                    http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                                    Comment


                                    • #98
                                      Originally posted by Angela Freda View Post

                                      Ladylexie I think you may have posted on the wrong thread?
                                      No this is the one I meant to.

                                      Comment


                                      • #99
                                        I really think the barn environment has more to do with this than anything. For whatever reason, some horses do better in certain barns. It could be anything from caretaker's attitude and mood to overall schedule or lack there of. Some horses have stronger preferences.

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by KandC View Post

                                          Obviously, I’d prefer to do vet work and saddle fitting (in person) than sell him. If I can get the horse back that I had in lessons and when I first bought him, I would love him. He’s fussy and sour with the pro as well which makes me think it’s not just me. It’s that it doesn’t feel playful; a little “up” tail swishing or bucking out of happiness would be different, and hopefully not startle me as much?

                                          For whatever it’s worth my anxiety is out of control in general and that’s not helping. Just frustrated and sad.
                                          We beat ourselves up over this. Stop. Listen to the word I just wrote there, and read it out loud: Stop.

                                          You're an animal just like he is, and you are programmed to be protective while threatened. There's no reason to come down on yourself when you are facing what sounds very much like threatening behavior! That's how you are SUPPOSED to react.

                                          I get that you don't want to be like that. I've been in precisely your shoes. But, really, there's little point in chastizing ourselves in private for being perfectly sensible protective animals.

                                          What to do about the horse? I'm with the others: If he's worth keeping, he's worth a month of pro-riding and get an evaluation from someone you trust. If the pro starts talking about how he's "still touchy" or "not reliable yet", you have your answer. And a month (or two) of a pro riding him will make him more saleable, if that's the route you wind up taking.

                                          You're supposed to be enjoying this.
                                          -- Member of the COTH Appendix QH clique and the dressage-saddle-thigh-block-hating clique.

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