charliegirl

Another Possible Girthy Issue

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Hi all! My 4yr old mare was broken at 2 and the old owner trainer put her straight into reining training. I bought her just before she turned 3. I gave her 6months off and rode her on and off for the next 6 months. I bought her back into work about 3 weeks ago.

She would trot round well but then would swing her head to the left like the girth was annoying her. I went back to lunging her. 2 weeks later I found what looked to be a little bur that was stuck where the girth sat. Rode her a week later and she was great again.

Now this evening she started swinging her head to the right. Only got to trot her for 10min and she was getting too annoyed. I found a slightly swollen bug bite up from the girth under the saddle pad.

Could that be making her sensitive? It was clearly annoying her and she isnt a nasty mare at all so I dont want to push her. The saddle fits and Ive changed the saddle pad and the girth. Should I perhaps just continue to lunge her to get her back into shape for awhile? She is a tad over weight.

All this head swinging is driving me nuts!!!!

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Well, a horse will naturally swing their head back, when a fly or something is bothering them anywhere on the body, so the problem could be other than the girth

Could even be the saddle pad.

Your post reminded me of a funny story, where I had a mystery as to why my mare, after warming up for awhile would get very ansty, like something was bothering her

She would start out fine, and then partway through a class, like your mare, would be trying to use her head to get after an itch, or would do that skin quivering thing horses do, to try and get rid of a fly they can't reach

I had a product, which apparently came in the same colored can, for two very different purposes, without me knowing it. One was a show sheen ,and the other was a hoof polish remover. I don't use hoof polish, so thought I had bought show sheen. One day, someone walking past my stall, at a show, spied that can, and asked me if it really worked.

Puzzled, I asked what she meant-shine????

'no', was the answer,' how well does it remove hoof polish? "

Looking at the small print, I saw that I had been spraying my poor horse with hoof polish remover, which obviously became irritating when she started to sweat a bit!

Oh, if only horses could talk! Hope you find the cause!

Edited by Smilie

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Oh no to the hoof polish!! Thats something I would do hahaha!!!

I hope I can figure out what it is, its getting hard to leg her up when we run into these annoying little problems.

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What is your girth made out of, and also your saddle pad?

My husband's horse goes nuts if any neoprene is used, and I also had a horse that could not stand wool next to her skin, any more than I can!

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Ive tried a couple of girths, from mohair to the prochoice neoprene one thats on her now. I had a thicker prochoice 20x saddle pad on her and changed it to a thiner one that made of a better material than the 20x.

Thinking it could be a bug bite thats annoying her at this stage

She swings her head to my calf.

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I meant head of course.

I've encountered more than one horse that will express irritation with their rider or simply not feeling like working that day by biting at the rider's foot. It seems more common in green horses.

Fly spray might help?

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I meant head of course.

I've encountered more than one horse that will express irritation with their rider or simply not feeling like working that day by biting at the rider's foot. It seems more common in green horses.

Fly spray might help?

I'v had a few horses that tried the bite my foot deal, they only ever did it once maybe twice. When they would come around to bite at my foot they'd get a well placed kick in the mouth.

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Im thinking after riding her today that she is just being a pain in the so and so. She was swinging her head around again this time to both side. I counterarched her when she did it haha! Made it work for her. Pushed her out and then bought her in and worked on her spins.

She may have had that bur stuck in her the first time but these other times Im thinking she just doesnt want to work.

I sure hope I right as I gave her mind a big workout today and made her puff. No signs of soreness after the rise anywhere so yes hmmmmm to her haha!

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Agree it can be just a way of her telling you to 'bug off',. Does she do it in a random manner, or mostly when you apply a leg to her?

I have had green horses, not wanting to move off a leg, swing head back and want to grab the toe of my boot. A little retaliation to the nose, fixes that!

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She is very broke so just being plain naughty. She will do it after being trotted around in a few circles. When Im just walking her and she isnt having to think. As soon as I get her thinking and moving she stops :)

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Then you just answered your own question.

When she tries this behavior, put her right back to work. She only gets to relax if she's not doing it.

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It also could be that in her former training, she was made to flex her neck to the side often. That seems to be quite common, especially with NH trainers. I think it's totally unnecessary. My horse used to do it too when I first got him. He seemed to think it was expected of him whenever he was stopped. I just pushed him forward when he did it. It didn't take long for him to get over it.

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She was with a reining trainer from when she was broken in till she turned 2yrs 9months 😊 I gave her 6months off when I got her so that she could go be a horse.

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