ShamlessDQ

Beyond Girthy

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I can't try her western - we only have one western saddle available and it would definitely not fit her right now.

I'll definitely try the other idea.

She's unhappy about having her front feet done, better about the hind, but it's no more than I'd expect from a more dominant personality type being handled by somebody she doesn't know that well yet. She DOES make faces when she first sees the saddle, which I'm currently putting down to her condition, because once you're up, she's amazingly willing and responsive so far - obviously we haven't done much with her. She's not happy about her diet, either.

Hrm. I think I MIGHT be able to borrow a bandage to try that with. I'll have to look.

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I'm pretty sure the rescue owner is looking into that, but yeah, between being put on a diet and moving from out rough at pasture to partially stalled and in work could have given her ulcers if she didn't have them before :/.

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LOL. I personally think "spoiled" horses are more prone to gastric related conditions that those in regular work.

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Rule out a pain issue, like ulcers.

Then just sack her out. Get a cinch and just keep sacking her out with it, until she quits reacting.

I think LTJ is a flake-sorry! I have read a lot of her touchy stuff, and find it just more market gimmicks,

Horses also don't need to learn to pick up feet for different people. If that were so, I could not have farriers shoe my horses for the very first time ,once they are at a riding age and I decide to show them for some mountain riding.

I've trimmed those same horses since they were babies, and if they were not mannered for the farrier, something was wrong with my training

Never taught a horse to kneel, and they trust me just fine

Here is how you can palpate a horse for ulcers

Even if a horse has ulcers, cow kicking is not allowed.. If you can't stay out of danger zone, using a cinch to sack her out, use something like a lunge whip or barn broom in the same area. If fact, I have used that, on young horses that offer to kick , when you first handle their back feet (bought some un handled PMU colts, at age around 9 months ) Keep up the pressure until the horse quietly accepts that contact.

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LOL. I personally think "spoiled" horses are more prone to gastric related conditions that those in regular work.

Horses more prone to ulcers are those confined, hauled a lot, fed high grain diets

It then becomes what came first- far as that 'spoiled' Yes, a horse kept confined, thus under stress, not allowed to be a horse, will be more prone to ulcers, the perhaps acting up , both out of too much pent up energy or ulcer pain. The horse is then 'termed spoiled', when often he is just mis managed

Feeding schedules have a huge impact on ulcer incident, along with that confinement. Horses,, unlike us, secrete HCL constantly, not just at meal times. Horses that sit along time on 'empty ', have nothing in that stomach to buffer those acids

Horses get ulcers for the same reason we do., with stress being a major factor.Anything causing excess acid contact with stomach lining, is going to cause ulcers

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Right, which means that a major change in living circumstances could trigger them. I'm not saying she does have ulcers, I'm saying if she does it's probably the change in diet and situation that caused them.

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Right, which means that a major change in living circumstances could trigger them. I'm not saying she does have ulcers, I'm saying if she does it's probably the change in diet and situation that caused them.

Yes, we agree on that point, and then the solution is not just to treat for ulcers, should se have them, as many people do, but to remove the triggering causes.

SOme can't be controlled, such as stress caused by frequent hauling to competitions, but turn out and feeding schedule, plus what you feed,sure can be!

Moving stress, alone, is temporary, as that horse settles in.

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I can't try her western - we only have one western saddle available and it would definitely not fit her right now.

I'll definitely try the other idea.

She's unhappy about having her front feet done, better about the hind, but it's no more than I'd expect from a more dominant personality type being handled by somebody she doesn't know that well yet. She DOES make faces when she first sees the saddle, which I'm currently putting down to her condition, because once you're up, she's amazingly willing and responsive so far - obviously we haven't done much with her. She's not happy about her diet, either.

Hrm. I think I MIGHT be able to borrow a bandage to try that with. I'll have to look.

Nope, don't buy a horse not giving feet willingly, because they don't know the person, or are a dominant type

That kind of thought process, has people loose good farriers, who can't be bothered to work on ill mannered horses, esp just because horsey doesn't know them

Far as that cow kicking, sure rule out ulcers to remove any pain based problem, BUT, that does not excuse cow kicking. That needs to be dealt with firmly and immediately, without putting the horse on the proverbial analytical couch!

I have treated several horses with painful injuries, when I was 100% sure there was a pain issue, but that still never excused or did I make exceptions, for dangerous behavior

Going to allow a horse to strike, because an injection hurts????

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Right. She'll settle in to the new schedule with time. The feed changes are to get her weight down which is vital - we're not sure how she hasn't already foundered and obviously that's far worse than any stress caused by putting her on a diet. I'd rather treat ulcers than laminitis!

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So, finally made it back over there. Apparently, she's stopped doing it to one volunteer but is still trying it with a different one. So, this time...well...I intended to give her a smack, but she managed to side step in such a way that I jabbed her with the end of a crop.

She stopped immediately.

Then she tried to push me around again once I was up top - cold day and she wanted to follow another horse instead of listen to me, but she gave it up real quick when she realized I wasn't taking any of it.

If we're lucky it's all just Appytude...

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Not the first time I've had a horse try to push me around. She does not seem to like people reaching under her belly, as she reacted a bit when I put her rug on too, but she has to deal with it.

Under saddle, she was being a tiny bit buddy sour and wanting to follow another horse rather than do what I asked and she tried to do a spin and scoot to put herself where she wanted to be, but she's still enough of a pregnant whale it didn't work that well :P.

(However, she is now using a shorter girth and the saddle is starting to look a bit wide and will probably have to be switched out soon, so we're making good progress).

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I have had quite a few horses with girthing issues and I am a firm believer that some horses just cannot tolerate a cinch being tightened quickly. There is a large nerve that runs along their side and if it gets pinched can do as little as make them uncomfortable to making them unable to step forward. We had a wonderful Appaloosa gelding that never "soured" because of his problem. No matter how many times he ran backwards and fell down, you go to girth him up again and he would stand nicely and wait for you to finish with no complaint of any kind. He was unique tho, in that respect, because every other horse I've had that was unable to tolerate the quick drawing up of the girth, would very soon begin refusing to stand still to be saddled, move as you tried to step in the saddle, walk high headed and like he was ready to bust out bucking (for the first few minutes) and clearly show that he was unhappy with the very thought that you were going to hurt him again.

This same horse would take probably a month of being girthed lightly then walked and girthed again, before he began to settle down and not expect that he was going to get hurt. But once I consistently did that (lightly tighten, walk, tighten) He would go right back to being easy to saddle.

We also had a mare that did as you describe your horse doing. She would kick forward, snake her head around to bite, threaten you with pinned ears and swings of her head. She also stopped her bad attitude when she was tightened lightly and slowly.

I saw a photo on the internet somewhere showing the placement of the nerve that is affected. That article said to use a shorter girth so that you do not get on that area and cause the pinching of the nerve.

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She got better. Then she got worse again. Quick inspection: The saddle that fit her the previous week no longer fit her. Time to change it again. So I'm putting that down to her telling us "Hey, this saddle ain't quite comfy right now" rather than attitude. It's not like she can talk.

A shorter girth is definitely something we can consider once she's not needing her saddle changing every 3-4 weeks.

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She got better. Then she got worse again. Quick inspection: The saddle that fit her the previous week no longer fit her. Time to change it again. So I'm putting that down to her telling us "Hey, this saddle ain't quite comfy right now" rather than attitude. It's not like she can talk.

A shorter girth is definitely something we can consider once she's not needing her saddle changing every 3-4 weeks.

I find it hard to believe that a saddle that fit her one week, does not fit a week later!

Well made saddles just aren't like that!

Anyone that rides a bunch of horses, starting colts every year, as I did, and professional trainers, sure don't have a saddle custom fitted to each horse! Instead, they have well made saddle that fit the general type of horses they ride

My main saddle, that I have used for thirty years, on many horses, both as a general working /training saddle and to ride in the mountains, is Vic Bennett Balance ride.

I have one horse that has conformation very different from most of the horses we raised, and I bought her a separate saddle for that reason

Yes, you don't want a horse working in pain, but I find non professionals, riding a few horses, agonizing over saddle fit, way out of proportion, with a lot of that behavior they see, due to lack of wet saddle blankets

If I ever had to change saddle even once a year, that would be ridiculous, never mind every few weeks!

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Is she in foal?

I missed that. If so, ride her once she has foaled

While I did ride in foal mares, that were in shape, taking them even on fall hunting trips, I then turned them out over winter, ready to foal in the spring

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So, finally made it back over there. Apparently, she's stopped doing it to one volunteer but is still trying it with a different one. So, this time...well...I intended to give her a smack, but she managed to side step in such a way that I jabbed her with the end of a crop.

She stopped immediately.

Then she tried to push me around again once I was up top - cold day and she wanted to follow another horse instead of listen to me, but she gave it up real quick when she realized I wasn't taking any of it.

If we're lucky it's all just Appytude...

Having raised and trained Appaloosas< i don't buy into Appytude, but I sure buy into any horse learning to be disrespectful, due to poor boundaries.

Horses are only as good as we expect them to be!

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with all due respect for your years in breeding and training, some horses do have real physiological issues with pain that can influence performance aka attitude. I don't think i'd be thrilled at the prospect of having to run every day in ill-fitting shoes, and the higher the sensitivity of the individual breed the more I do think the trainer/rider has to take saddle fit into account. I know plenty of trainers state side that are only interested in what suits their behinds and say the horse has to accept it.

I have watched horses change body shapes during the course of a year primarily due to seasons and level of activity. and contrary to popular belief, you can't "pad up" a saddle to fit a horse. that's like me putting more socks on to compensate for ill fitting or pinching shoes--it'll just make them pinch more.

I agree that from what DQ writes that this horse has a bit of an attitude, but i'm not going to discount a horse clearly communicating to me that something isn't right.

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I find it hard to believe that a saddle that fit her one week, does not fit a week later!

I believe the mare is morbidly obese and as she is ridden more and loses weight, her body is drastically changing shape.

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She was clinically obese and close to morbidly so. She is still overweight.

Also, Smillie, English saddles do have to be properly (not necessarily custom) fitted to each horse. They're closer contact with the horse than western saddles and a lot more unforgiving in fit. A well made western saddle will indeed fit a wide variety of horses. English is different. In this case, when we fitted the saddle it was fine, but when I checked after she started showing attitude again, it was coming into contact with her spine at the back.

I think we have a horse who is going to tell us unequivocably every time anything, anything is not right and/or not to her liking ;).

And no, she's not pregnant.

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with all due respect for your years in breeding and training, some horses do have real physiological issues with pain that can influence performance aka attitude. I don't think i'd be thrilled at the prospect of having to run every day in ill-fitting shoes, and the higher the sensitivity of the individual breed the more I do think the trainer/rider has to take saddle fit into account. I know plenty of trainers state side that are only interested in what suits their behinds and say the horse has to accept it.

I have watched horses change body shapes during the course of a year primarily due to seasons and level of activity. and contrary to popular belief, you can't "pad up" a saddle to fit a horse. that's like me putting more socks on to compensate for ill fitting or pinching shoes--it'll just make them pinch more.

I agree that from what DQ writes that this horse has a bit of an attitude, but i'm not going to discount a horse clearly communicating to me that something isn't right.

I agree if there truly is a pain issue, it should be ruled out, But I also think, all too often, it is also the first reason, or excuse given, when a horse shows attitude, and horses that are ridden very, very lightly, compared to how they were in the past

Bits seem to follow similar path

Now I.m not a 'grin and bare it, sort of person, and buy good fitting tack, but I also admit that no chiropractor is ether on my personal or my horses' speed dial list.

There are extremes on both end, and this is a general thought, and not related to the Op's horse

Still, my Stubbin fits all of my horses, except I do have to change the girth for some.

Are are preaching to the choir, far as not using pads to compensate for an ill fitting saddle!

Continue with saddle fit, and once that is addressed, look at attitude

I sure don't care about just my own arse, thank you very much!

Edited by Smilie

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Well, also, all of your horses are the same breed and probably not that far from each other in size. And you can only ride one of them at once (Presumably your husband has his own saddle). All of the horses in this barn have their own tack (and they range from a 9 hand pony up to a couple of 16 hand plus sport horses, rather than being a bunch of Appys). This mare will have her own once she stops drastically changing shape.

But every time a horse acts out, they are trying to tell us something. They're communicating. Sometimes it's something you have to tell the horse to just deal with, like the Paint we have who hates being ridden inside. Sorry, girl, it's raining/snowing/dark outside, you have to deal with it ;). Sometimes it's something you can fix for them, and if it is, you should. I once had a horse start tossing his head violently, and when I looked, I'd failed to notice that some of his forelock was caught under his bridle and wrapped around the base of his ear. Apparently it was really annoying him.

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Yes, often horses are trying to communicate something, when they act different then usual, and we certainly have to listen and eliminate any reason for that change, if present, I'm all for that.

However, horses will and do act up, just because they decide to test us, were not given clear and consistent boundaries, and why I am very particular as to who rides any of my horses

Horses become un- trained as well as trained

For instance, a horse might have a very genuine scare spook, and if the rider, after a couple of those, either comes off, or puts the horse away for the day, does not take some horses to use that spook to get out of work. THat type of horse soon learns to use spooking , without really being afraid or having a reason to do so.

Yes, all pain issues have to be dealt with and eliminated, but there remains the fact, that a horse can learn to react negatively to be saddled, if that person then gives up, and horse gets out of being ridden

Sometimes,w hen a horse acts out, all he is really telling you, is that he lacks wet saddle blankets and a good work ethic.It is up to you to make the distinction between a true problem , or attitude, and then deal with it accordingly

Far as my saddle history, I actually have four of my own

My balance ride

My Billy cook show saddle

my Stubbin

My Billy Cook trail saddle, for my main trail horse, who is built different then most of our horses

I have used that balance ride on horses from 14hh to 16.3hh

My horses are mainly Appaloosas, but there is a great variety in body type within that breed, with those that I showed in reining/working cowhorse, built different then those I showed in all around/pleasure

Some had running blood, and were even half TB

Some were foundation bred, while some were AQHA cross outs-so not really any more of a common build then the average stock horse, regardless of breed. I rode our AQHA mares , that we used in our broodmare band also, before they raised foals.

I certainly commend you from ruling out any pain issue, but once you do, then listen if attitude is perhaps talking to you!

Horses are only as good as we expect them to be!

I had a stud, bought by my step father, when I was a teenager,, who reared. No pain issue. He was just telling me that he would rather stay with our two draft mares, then go for a ride down the road!

Edited by Smilie

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