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Horse Attitude Change, Help needed!

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1 Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:30 pm

Hidden River

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So last winter we purchased a pony for my youngest daughter. She is a 9 year old Quarter horse (very petite so might have Welsh in her too?), anyways she was a 4-H horse for a girl from age 7-9 years old (the kid), and she worked hard with this little horse and this horse won her many ribbons in halter class and trail classes and western classes. She wanted to start on English jumping but the horse didnt like it so she quit, and put the pony up for sale so she could find a good hunter/jumper pony to continue on with.
Ok so we get the horse home, the girls ride her she is a charm. Such a patient and sweet little horse. Knows her stuff, works on leg pressure alone and listens to my 7 year old. Fast forward to this spring, my 7 year old was riding her, we were working near by, and the saddle slipped to the side, the horse bucked my daughter off and took off bucking into the field. Hubby goes out and gathers up horse, fixes saddle and 7 year old gets back on and rides a bit longer, all is well. A week later we go to ride and this horse is extremely skittish, but we work through it lunging her and 7 year old gets on and rides. Horse gets spooked and rears up, but I am holding line still so everyone safe, ride a bit longer then out she goes. Then we get busy and no riding for 1 month, hubby worked with her to get her unskittish before the lessons were to start this past weekend and everything went well. I figured maybe I would take her for a ride to see that everyone is ok before putting 7 year old on her again, well now she wants to buck. We worked with her for almost an hour and still wants to buck. Hubby is in no shape to get on her with a hurt back, and I am not brave enough to "ride her out". So my question is what has gotten into our pony and can we get this attitude out of her? She even bucks with no on her, first buck was just walking around with the saddle on, then with me on the saddle, then with me off the saddle. These are more hops then a full buck but still not safe.
Any advise or insite would be helpful...


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2 Re: Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:39 pm

appway

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I will put my 2 cents in
Sounds like she might have some back problems could be a pinched nerve.
Also is there any thing in the saddle Blanket that could be poking her or in the saddle?
Is the flank cinch to tight and maybe pinching her or even the cinch?
Piet has alot of horse experience and I am sure he has ridden some of the worse along with the best so hope he answers.
I have only ridden western and showed alot of halter so that is about all I can come up with.

3 Re: Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:43 pm

Hidden River

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Thanks appway.
We checked her saddle pad and saddle. We did loosen the back cinch thinking maybe that was an issue, then took it right off, no change.
Maybe worth while to get a horse chiropractor out, I think there is one in Medicine Hat we could call.
Any other ideas?


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Raising Heritage Chickens, Guinea Fowl, Waterfowl, Katahdin Sheep, Angus and Jersey Cattle. Mother of 2 wonderful girls and wife to a very understanding Husband.
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4 Re: Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:55 pm

fuzzylittlefriend

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I would agree. Check her back and saddle. My young warmblood tried a similar thing with me last spring. My dressage saddle does not fit him that well so I have a 2 inch sheepskin with gel pad under my saddle. One night I was tired of luging it around and decided to get on with out it. Well he had a different idea. Walked 2 steps did a mini buck. Turned him around and he did a mini rear then another mini buck. Well with 2 little kids at home I am not in a position to ride it out either so I got off and he got a good spanking. It was to much the horror of some of the barn people. Then I lunhed him some more and put him away. Now I always ride with the gel pad and have not had a problem since. I am waiting till he has stopped growing and is going better to invest in a better saddle.

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5 Re: Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:44 pm

smokyriver

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Definitely check your saddle. Take it and place it on a fence look from the front to see how it sits, then get your daughter to sit on it and check again. Your tree could be stretching and pinching her. This can happen and leave no marks on the horse. Also take and try to flex the tree, you should not be able to move it much. You could also try placing a second thin pad under the saddle and lunge her for a while before anyone gets on. Check the underside of your saddle very carefully through the lining for nails that are starting to work loose also.

What feed is she on? I would be sure not to give her grain, sweet feed, or alfalfa as I have found all these can make a horse "hot" which gives a total different attitude. Also, see if she will flex her neck nicely both ways while you are standing on the ground. You can check her back for soreness by running your thumb down one side of her spine and your ginger down the other. Use a decent amount of pressure if she flinches you know she is sore or out of alignment. Something you could also try is take her front foot and stretch it forward, pull gentle out but keep a normal angle. Do this on both sides.

Hope these ideas will help



Last edited by smokyriver on Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:48 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling hope I fixed all mistakes! Lol)

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6 Re: Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:16 am

Schipperkesue

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Ok, this is going to sound really weird but it worked for me. I had the same problem. There horse was also going hunchy when I approached with the saddle and fussed to have the saddle on. Once I mounted she was clearly uncomfortable the ride eventually ended in bucking.

I talked to the farrier about my problems and he reached down and removed some minor cakey build up on her udder! You could visibly see her relax and her back straighten out. After that she was good as gold.

7 Re: Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:29 am

mirycreek

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oh that is too bad, not good to hear. I know this could be lots of things but It really sounds to me like she scared herself silly with the saddle slipping the first time and she is scared now of it happening again and that is why the bucking and rearing and frightened behaviour.
It was probably a really good idea to take off the back cinch as if she was rode English probably never had a cinch back there before and with the saddle slipping it would have been just about like a flanking strap.
I am guessing this is something she is going to have to be worked through with with lots of sacking out and pressure in the cinch area, middle and flank area.
The fellow I watched work horses last Fall, used a rope under their belly in those three areas, started at the front, then worked his way back and then longed them around, most wanted to buck at the middle and back position but he got after them when they did that.
Hope you can figure this out, very frustrating for sure...

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8 Re: Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:44 pm

Hidden River

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Well I talked to a trainer here and they figure she is just being spoiled. Because she was ridden almost every day then going to once a week and a month break in there she is just being silly. So we are just going to have to work with her daily for a while and see if that fixes things, will do lots of ground work with her again and then get her back in shape.
Thanks for all the comments, we will definately look into them all. I know the previous owner did take her to a chiropractor on occasion so that might be an issue too. I am going to lunge her lots with a saddle on, try different saddles and see if it makes a difference.
The saddle that slipped as just a little kids saddle, no back cinch, nothing really, but it did slide back once she started bucking, so might have been an issue as well that she is timid by something back in her mid flank area.


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Raising Heritage Chickens, Guinea Fowl, Waterfowl, Katahdin Sheep, Angus and Jersey Cattle. Mother of 2 wonderful girls and wife to a very understanding Husband.
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9 Re: Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:54 pm

uno

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Hope you get this ironed out. Who knows what goes on in the minds of horses?

Horsey Teen Daughter used to ride a horse that was a constant battle every step of every ride and this horse would randomly spook at things it had seen every day of its life, until child gave it a clout.

I think Horsey teen summed it up nicely as she watched a lady try to load her horse, a horse that is NOT new to loading and KNOWS how this works, yet was being a complete stink. Horsey Teen leaned over and muttered, "there are horses that have been traumatized, and there are horses that need to be traumatized." If your horse is not in pain, not poked by stickers in the saddle, not bothered by cinches and continues to be a problem...consider that horse simply has your number. (I say this as a person who is daily pushed around by horses who have my number!) Good luck!

10 Re: Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:29 am

Hillbilly

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Whenever I have a possible saddle related issue, I do the white sheet test. This is particularly useful when trying a new saddle on a horse. Lay down a clean white sheet on the horses back. Then put whatever pad and saddle you normally use on.

Work that horse hard until it sweats. Ride it if you can.
When youre done, take your sheet off and inspect it. You want even sweat marks. No bridging.
In your case, it may show something severe. Give it a try and at least you can eliminate the saddle as being the issue.

I've done the White sheet test more times than imagineable, sometimes with some very unexpected results.

11 Re: Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:30 am

heda gobbler

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That's a great tip Hillbilly!

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12 Re: Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:41 pm

uno

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Yes, I've never heard that one. We've done the 'swaet' test, where you look to see that the sweat mark on the back is even. But I can see where the white sheet test would be like a fingerprint. Especially on a dirty horse - great print! Good tip.

13 Re: Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:12 pm

Hidden River

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We are going to have to try that Hillbilly. We are going to start on Monday and work with her daily lunging with and without saddle for a couple days to see if we can work through this ourselves. Then if all goes well I will get on her again and see how that goes.
This saddle has definately seen miles and years so maybe it is an issue, so going to try my hubby's saddle on her as well and we will do that sheet test to see how they sit different on her.


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Raising Heritage Chickens, Guinea Fowl, Waterfowl, Katahdin Sheep, Angus and Jersey Cattle. Mother of 2 wonderful girls and wife to a very understanding Husband.
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http://www.hiddenriverranch.weebly.com

14 Re: Horse Attitude Change, Help needed! on Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:17 pm

fuzzylittlefriend

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I had another thought. It is the season for mare's to cycle as well. Sometimes they get extra sensitive during that time of the month which could have agravated the issue. I have pretty sensitive mares over the years and heaven help you when they are in crazy heat!

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