shiloh04

About Done With My Mare

Recommended Posts

ok, so i really wanted to take lucy to a little schooling show and do second 3 (simple changes in that test are easier for her). a week ago we could have done it just fine.

and then yesterday i rode her and she was a total a**hat. all yanked up in her neck, chomping nervously on the bit, stiff as a board, and got forbid we ask for a medium canter because i was going to get run off with. she warmed up just fine, and then as soon as i asked for a collected trot, then back to walk, she just lost her brain. i got a bit of good work out of her and then quit.

i got on her today and she was even worse. i couldn't get a decent SI from her to save my life until about 30 minutes of trying. She would take a couple kinda sideways steps and then just go straight. if i insisted, she would fishtail all over the place, or throw her head up in the air and dance around. it was like riding a rocket. her HI was lovely. canter was OK, but still just tense. there was no medium trot, at all, just rushing short little steps. she would not halt and stand still, and if i insisted she would just dance around and chomp. asked her to back and she just flew backwards, almost at a trot, with her head in the air. now keep in mind, the head in the air is about 3 inches from my face because she's somehow managed to arch her neck backwards. when i warmed her up she was her normal self, so nothing to indicate this was coming.

so needless to say, i am not taking her to that show (entries had to be postmarked today). and i am just pissed. yesterday i was annoyed, today i am pissed. she hasn't done this in YEARS.

and after i untacked her, she proceeds to follow me around the pasture and whinny. so she's obviously not mad at me (which she has been in the past, and she runs any time i come up to her). she also was totally willing to be caught to ride both days, and she doesn't act sore at all. just explosive. yesterday is was kinda overcast and windy, but today it's hot and sunny. she was sweaty when i tacked her up.

the only thing that has changed at all is that i ran out of her smartvite about a week ago, and i just got the new stuff last night. that's it. she's gotten her epsom salts every single day, and last night she got an extra half dose. she's been getting her joint supplement every day too. i did run out of MSM about a week ago, but i really doubt that's her issue. i would think if it were going to have any effect it would be the opposite one.

i am so about ready to give up on horses today. and i'm seriously about ready to retire lucy. she's been doing so well. the one ride i had before she got a bit back sore from changing out her sheepskin pad, she was darned near perfect. perfect lateral work, perfect counter-canter serpentines, perfect simple changes. then we did a couple easy hacking rides, she got a bit of time off, and now this.

i am hoping that it's just being out of smartvite for a week, and that in a couple days i will have my horse back. because the one i rode today is NOT fun to ride. i had forgotten how miserable she is when she's like this. actually, i had forgotten she could even BE like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely not her back. When she's sore, she's sluggish. This is more like tension. Question is where and why.

Going to try her back on the MSM and see if that helps. But I am majorly bummed about the showing. I was so looking forward to trying 2-3 with her. If she's not a turd she rocks the trot work and the medium canter, as well as the TOH.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could very well be the MSM. She could be sore and when one is sore in a joint they stiffen their body because they hurt. Just like you would if you hurt your knee or ankle.

Have you had a chiro check her lately. If she is sore enough to need MSM for her joints she is sore enough to have a chiro out. Do you rub her down with liniment and wrap her legs after she works?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is very frustrating Shiloh. I agree, something is bothering her physically. I hope you find out what it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[Huggy] I hope Lucy starts to behave again. It does sound like a pain issue. I'll type more tomorrow when I have the time /am more awake. Just wanted to send some hugs and say you are not alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Soreness and joint pain don't always indicate a chiro, especially in a 19-yo horse with a (distant) history of muscle issues and a PITA personality. And an attitude from her doesn't always mean she's sore.

And actually, I doubt she is truly SORE. She's not stiff because she was amazingly wiggly and forward and fluid in his naughtiness. I'm betting she's just got some tension somewhere that maybe the MSM helps.

Who knows. I do think maybe she's starting to have some vision issues, but I'm thinking that might be a different issue than this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to think there is something physically wrong. The sttitude may be a possibility. Lucy is getting older even if she is not acting it. I think that is what happened to Cheese on Monday. She is around 19/20 but acts like 5 year old. I am thinking Cheese felt the trail ride the next day and coupled with being in season (which she normally misbehaves a bit during) in a lesson situation was way to much for her. The only clue I had was that Cheese was blowing through the inside leg and not bending. She was very foward and fluid but just did not want to work. Very distracted.

I know you haven't mentioned doing any crazy strenous work with Lucy but who knows what she did in the pasture. As my one friend put it so nicely"Older horses suck."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, the older horses do need a bit of maintenance.

Right now I am leaning toward the MSM, because supposedly MSM helps with the muscle enzymes that cause tying up. So maybe she's tense because there are too many bad enzymes stuck in her muscles or something. Who knows. I ordered some to try out my theory, and I'll just give her the next couple days off.

Lucy has only ever been naughty during her heats if there is a stallion around. As it is, I can't even tell when she is in heat anymore. She's just very discreet about it. The other girls don't seem to be in heat, and the Arab mare is usually pretty vocal.

I am going to check her eyes and her teeth tonight though.

She does seem to be a bit tense right around her withers, because she makes funny faces when I scratch her there. I'll try to do some massage work on her later too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You just described Cheese. My problem is that there are two sexy studs where I board. Stallion/gelding turnout is right near the ring. Which doesn't help matter. I can't wait for thee covered arena to be done since that is away from the studs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miss mare was better today. She's still very stiff at the base of her neck. She is fine with HI and HP, and her trot and canter are fine, but the SI is pretty icky both directions. So I'll give her a while longer to get the MSM into her system, and for now we will just work on suppling her in the walk and trot. I can always use the "hills" in the front yard to do a bit of strength and fitness work too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I am about to get my mare back...and I was done with her funky butt. Yes, there has been some drama. I will be able to say more later this week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we get so used to them being so great all the time that when they do regress and have moments like you described, we are SO let down. But if you say "i had forgotten she could even BE like this."; that to me means cut her a little slack. We all have our off days, weeks even. And we dont always have answers as to why. Some days I wake up and I feel great. Others I wake up and Im queen witch with a B and I dont know why. Mares are the same. It is nice to try to find the WHY and pinpoint an exact reason but sometimes you cant. I went from having an amazing mare to having just plain AWFUL rides for 3 weeks. Nothing changed. And then boom, instantly in one ride she was back.

Have some patience with her. Like you said she IS 19 but she is obviously capable of working where you have her as shes doing the work. Maybe she tweaked a muscle and it just feels weird. I can do that just getting out of bed. Unfortunately they cant talk to us. But I wouldnt write her off just yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh I would never totally write her off, she has a home with me forever. I think my whole point in posting is that she IS 19-ish. She handles the work OK, but when I have bad rides I wonder if I am asking more of her than I should.

I htink she is having some muscle-type issues at the base of her neck. She was somewhat better today, but all I did with her after a warm-up was some walk work with lots of changes of direction to get the neck bending and more supple, and then some trot work, working a bit on the sticky SI and then mediums, then stretch. Lots of changes in frame so help her work out of whatever this is.

I guess I will keep trying with her, and slow down a bit on how much I ask her to progress and how fast. I think she needs some more fitness, so I'm going to do more "hillwork" with her.

At least she looks great! Nice muscle tone, shiney coat, good weight.

She gets tomorrow off though because it's supposed to rain all day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you say muscles at the base of the neck, do you mean where they tie into the chest?

Laylas neck issues stem from the muscles that are at the base of the neck near the chest and they attach up near the C2/3/4. They will bother her if I dont do enough long and low work and work too long on the UP carriage. It is also aggravated by the upright angle in her RF which is her "clubby" foot.

I do a lot of massage on these muscles as well as carrot stretches to the very front point of the shoulder near the chest all the way to the flank. Usually I get a good POP in there that frees her up. I have to do a lot of stretching, like nose on the ground stretching, esp u/s when we work on the up carriage.

I think the MSM will probably help. Maybe she can do the work but just needs a little more "lower level" riding mixed in with the higher stuff? Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As suddenly as this came on, I think she probably did something.

It's the muscles in the top of her neck it seems. Right by her withers.

I do a lot of stretching, but maybe I don't do that stretching often enough during the ride.

If she's not back to normal this weekend, I'll up the MSM back to her normal double-dose. If money were no issue I would just take her to the chiro just to make myself feel like I was doing everything I could, but times are tough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shiloh, How are things going now for Lucy? Any improvement since your last post? Does Lucy get bored easily, and would that be why she tenses up? Could a hack before and after your schooling sessions help? Have you tried massaging her neck?

What does your trainer say about the workload for Lucy?

Hope things are improving. How is your baby doing? (foal/yearling?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She's gotten a lot better. She had some issues with her chest muscles as well, but she seems to have stretched out of it.

No trainer, so no outside input on workload. I'm going to start trying a different strategy with her though. More transitions, more mediums, more stretching in the walk as warmup.

She does get bored, but this issue was physical.

Filly is doing just fine. Her leg is all healed over, though it still looks huge and the hair hasn't grown back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The imune system usually changes in horse around 18. Its also a prime time for arthritus to start

showing itself. The loss of supplements could be the reason she is not moving as you would like. Most studies beleive it takes 7 to 14 days for supplements to make a diference if they are going to.

You also mentioned that you changed your saddle pad and that her withers seemed pinched. Is it possible she has changed and the new pad is enough to cuase problems in saddle fit?

As frusterating as it is she sounds like a nice mare. Hope it works out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now