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Equuinox
14-02-08, 07:42 AM
After bringin my girl back into work after yet another break, she has decided when I put my leg on to kick out. She feels fine at the walk but when she trots, to start with, she moves oddly and crab steps a little,she also does not enjoy to bend to start with. If I continue to ride through this she gives up and starts to work well. Could this all be in her head?
She has been in "horsey rehab" since I have had her, and the flu really didn't help. I've had vets, osteopath and massage therapist working with her and also have a new saddle fitted to her. I know it's a work in progress, and there are no quick fixes for a horse who came to me so damaged.
Anyone else had this problem and worked through it, or should she rest longer? It's making me unhappy to think I could be aggrevating a problem - but then why would she work through it?

Ta in advance
Nox

OakyPoke
14-02-08, 09:59 AM
she has decided when I put my leg on to kick out.

Hormones? Just a thought.

OakyPoke

OakyPoke
14-02-08, 10:00 AM
Oh and I should add my friends extremely hormonal filly (on drugs for hormones) would do the same. Start out all narky and then settle and work well.

Good luck! Hope you figure it out.


OakyPoke

Princess Paris
14-02-08, 10:19 AM
Hi Equuinox,

I haven't had a horse with that problem but maybe as she has had some time off she is a bit sensitive in the girth area and just behind the girth as she hasn't had a saddle on for a while. If no one can find anything wrong with her physically it could just be sensitivity and as you work her she desensitises. She may get better as you continue with her.

My mare gets rubbed by girths after a spell unless it is sheepskin covered. Once the skin has toughened up a bit she is OK. I was also having trouble with canter transitions. She would either buck or kick out when I put my outside leg on to give the aid. Until someone pointed out that my leg was too far back (was over compensating due to wanting to make the transition clear as she is young and green)and that he thought my leg maybe close to where her ovaries were and she wasn't happy about it, hence ther eaction. As soon as I refined my canter aids she stopped it instantly. Maybe your mare is reacting for some kind of reason like that? Not that you are putting your leg that far back in the trot! Just thoughts.

My old eventer was very sensitive to the touch and when I rode him in spurs which I had too due to the level he was competing and dressage rules, he would cow kick at my leg if I put the spur on in the canter transition even lightly. I had to be careful not to and he was fine if I didn't.

What I am trying to say maybe your mare is just very sensitive. Keep her moving forward when she is doing it and as soon as she stops doing it reward her by bringing her back to walk. She will soon figure out she doesn't acheive anything by doing it and will hopefully give up.

Good luck!

Reg
14-02-08, 10:52 AM
Get her checked over - it will make you feel better, and also if there is nothing physically wrong then you KNow its something else.

It could be anything..

My gelding decided kicking was the go when I put my leg on (and he was also fine in walk, but trot disintergrated). Nothing wrong with him except a bad attitude towards being asked to work..
The kicking then graduated to full blown bucking, then defiant stopping and refusing to move, followed by launching AND bucking!!
Was just a stage. Pretty dramatic kind of horse I have!!

Sometimes after a rehab, and a good spell, coming into work isnt high on their priority list....

I used the theory that he thought bucking etc was a good evasion for me to take the pressure off... so I did the opposite.. he bucked, I asked for more... I ended up working him in the paddock (we have large paddocks) so that if I asked for canter and he bucked (for example) then I could get up him and make him go, then keep him going..
He soon figured that if he was nicer I was nicer!! They are pretty clever some days!!

Best of luck

Reg

md
14-02-08, 11:16 AM
Sounds like a form of defiance to me, they normally get over it when they learn that it gets them no where.

I have only had one mare that did this, though it was when i touched her up with the whip she would kick out at it, I repeated the excercise until she learned that the tickle with the whip went away when she went fwd, not when she kicked out at it.

Ofcourse making sure that there are no physical problems is always a number one priority.

But on most occasions its a learning curve, Tom Roberts is a good one to fall back on for that sort of behaviour, reward with the profit you, profit you not senario.

cheers

Cybergirl
14-02-08, 11:26 AM
My gelding did this, it's certainly not just a mare thing. He still does it if I overuse the spur. He tells me if I play nice, he'll play nice, and he almost always does.

Equuinox
15-02-08, 02:42 AM
Thanks everyone, a great lot of suggestions. It makes me most glad to hear that a lot of people have had this problem and worked through it. As she's still getting a lot of treatment from everyone under the sun I know there are no problems that should hurt her to move forward. So I am guessing it's a rude thing!
Wouldn't surprise me, she's a sneaky sort of girl.

Ta
Nox

Savvy
15-02-08, 02:46 AM
Is this the horse that you have had a lot of trouble keeping sound?

If the horse has been sore for a while, even though it may now be fixed, he/she could have learnt the behaviour as a defensive action ie it hurt before so it might hurt now so just in case I"m going to brace/react/bite etc.

It can take quite some time for the horse to realise it isn't going to be sore anymore.

Or possibly the horse is still sore, it only takes 2 seconds for the horse to re-injure itself. Fragile creatures.

Or it's a saddle fit issue. I've had many a professional saddler tell me a saddle fits only to find out that when I used a flexicurve to measure the width of my saddle and horse, that the saddle was far too narrow for my horse, even more so when the horse actually moved.

Or it could be a rider problem (never seen you ride so don't take offence)and you might be too soon with using the whip or your horse might need to get out in a big area and be allowed to go somewhere (are you riding in an arena a lot?). How much training has your horse had? Is he/she still green?

Sapphire
15-02-08, 02:59 AM
My standardbred gelding used to kick out and do this funny hop when asked to trot, simply cause he didnt like moving forward. He's the type of horse who just isnt motivated to move, and has the attitude of "make me!".

So these days I give him some motivation to move so he wants to move, rather than trying to force him to.

He's quite a character really, you just gotta know what makes him tick.

Equuinox
15-02-08, 03:29 AM
Savvy,
Thanks for all the questions - I like a list to work through! It makes me think outside the square :)

Yes this is the sad sack that I've been having nearly a year long saga with. We already know she has a bit of an "in my head" problem with pain - and we are slowly working through the longer term issues, I can now walk her down the drive like a "normal" horse which never happened before!
This is what I have been thinking it has been all along, but I doubt myself a lot when it comes to this horse as she is a tough character. When I first got her she had no definition betweer wither and tail - just one big arc, and she stood with her hinds and fronts about 1 foot apart ( she's 15.2ish), and had a shoe off and teacups for feet( they were all about 11cm round and about 5cm high). She was still sound and happy to move about. She is the queen of dealing with pain. So you can understand my doubt as now she is reacting!
The saddle fitter also is my massage therapist and I trust her greatly, she has been working on this horse since I got her. That's why I used her as she knows this horse inside out almost as well as I do.
As for me - I don't use whips or spurs atm ( hands too small for whips, and she really doesn't need spurs!) We try to get out at least once a week for a trail and road ride everyday after a short arena work - so i'd doubt the shitty with arena work. You never know though, she'd never really been in a arena before me, just dragged out of the paddock every now and then and taken on a trail ride. She is VERY green, we mainly only walk/trot atm, when I got her she didn't understand "turn" or "bend" or "this is a circle not a square".
We are getting there - slowly.... very very slowly.

Nox

Savvy
15-02-08, 04:20 AM
>Savvy,
>Thanks for all the questions - I like a list to work
>through! It makes me think outside the square :)
>
>Yes this is the sad sack that I've been having nearly a year
>long saga with. We already know she has a bit of an "in my
>head" problem with pain - and we are slowly working through
>the longer term issues, I can now walk her down the drive
>like a "normal" horse which never happened before!
>This is what I have been thinking it has been all along, but
>I doubt myself a lot when it comes to this horse as she is a
>tough character. When I first got her she had no definition
>betweer wither and tail - just one big arc, and she stood
>with her hinds and fronts about 1 foot apart ( she's
>15.2ish), and had a shoe off and teacups for feet( they were
>all about 11cm round and about 5cm high). She was still
>sound and happy to move about. She is the queen of dealing
>with pain. So you can understand my doubt as now she is
>reacting!
>The saddle fitter also is my massage therapist and I trust
>her greatly, she has been working on this horse since I got
>her. That's why I used her as she knows this horse inside
>out almost as well as I do.
>As for me - I don't use whips or spurs atm ( hands too small
>for whips, and she really doesn't need spurs!) We try to
>get out at least once a week for a trail and road ride
>everyday after a short arena work - so i'd doubt the shitty
>with arena work. You never know though, she'd never really
>been in a arena before me, just dragged out of the paddock
>every now and then and taken on a trail ride. She is VERY
>green, we mainly only walk/trot atm, when I got her she
>didn't understand "turn" or "bend" or "this is a circle not
>a square".
>We are getting there - slowly.... very very slowly.
>
>Nox

LOL. Your mare sounds like my gelding. He is quite green so we are working on getting go and whoa equalized along with walk, trot and canter on a straight line and walk/trot with him actually bending around the circle and not doing squares instead. :)

He is a *short* horse so is more prone to short bursts of energy instead of running for miles before stopping. I have to give him lots of incentive to actually move/try but when he does he gives 110%. :)

May I ask what sort of treatment/rehab you have been doing with your horse? Did the therapist give you a rehab plan ie 20 minutes daily walks online etc.

Has your horse had rotated shoulders recently?

In your horses case, it might be a case of learned behaviour and now she doesn't see the point in trying. What was she like prior to the injuries? Did you have trouble getting her going or stopping?

Are you able to ride her more frequently, for short intervals and see if that makes a difference? For some horses it doesn't take much to upset or annoy them, does it? :)

Equuinox
15-02-08, 05:48 AM
"Rehab" for this girl has consisted of near weekly visits from the muscle therapist up untill EI, then well - then nothing. After EI weekly visits again, followed up by 2nd weekly visits from an osteopath. Yes both gave me plans of attack with work loads/types as well as stretches and places to walk her ( sideways across a slope). Teaching her to "stand" was also an excercise given to me to train her brain to be normal - this has had fantastic results!
As well as all this muscular work her feet needed attending to. Since we can't keep shoes on for more than a week at a time ( often a day) my farrier and I decided to try going barefoot with her, and found a trimmer. She has been going alone very well with this, and is now moving more freely than ever.
As far as I know no shoulder rotation ( I'm pretty sure I would have remembered that one - and freaked out accordingly)

The sad thing is I have no idea what "injuries" she sustained before She was given to me, as she came to me pretty much broken. Before EI she was near on 100% and learning in leaps and bounds. Afterwards - well. She did so much damage to herself by not coughing, holding it in and coughing upwards, that she roached her back and put her entire back end out.
She doesn't have problems going ( unless we are trying to go through water) or stopping ( especially if you are near the exit gate). She's only under saddle for 15 -20 a day(mainly walk), and other stretches for 20mins later that day, weather permitting! She doesn't get annoyed, as I originally said, she works out of being a cranky-bum quickly.

The young/green ones always make life interesting, I wish I had have met this girl BEFORE she was so amazingly stuffed up. She amazes me everyday with what she puts up with.. and makes me laugh when she will do anything to avoid walking on the drive!

Nox

Savvy
15-02-08, 06:37 AM
In case you haven't figured it by now, I found this stuff fascinating :) Both my horses (one's retired) have recently had bodywork.

Few more questions... :)

How does she walk and trot? Have you had someone walk and trot her, on the ground, to and from you? Also going up and down a slight incline. Is she coordinated or uncoordinated? Does she brush with any legs? Is she base wide or narrow? One hoof (backs or fronts) have more growth than another?

Have you done carrot stretches with her? Can she bend equally left and right and how far? Can she put her head down and between her front legs without moving? Does she click when she does it?

When you ride her does she move her ribs going around corners/ on a circle? Ie going right do her ribs go out to the left or does she go around the corner/circle like a board?

Can you feel her lift her back up and using her HQ's when you are riding?

There are just so many things to check to eliminate physical problems.

Good luck with her rehab. :) Would love to hear her she goes. :)

Equuinox
15-02-08, 06:48 AM
I am one of those people who gets gifts of "problem" horses!
I took this girl on becaus eshe interested me, I'm the same as you on that case too.

She walks like a mongy... one back leg comes in underneath her across almost into the path of the other. Realistically she walks like a drunk. When she trots she is normal! She doesn't brush unless she is being ridden, and it's no more than your usual green horse.
Shetravels across slopes like she's done it all her life in her sleep, and is very co-ordinated ( almost too much so) where she puts her feet and never stumbles. Her head on the other hand is a totally different story.
She stretches better one way than the other and happily puts her head down to the gound and will even travel on the lunge with it between her front legs.
Corners/Circles - lol. When we start it is like trying to turn a Mack-truck without wheels, but once she warms up she bends and flexes and wraps herslef around. Same goes for the using the hinds and back.

Hooves are a work in progress... they were SO damaged and all over the place. They're getting there.

Thanks for the help Savvy. It's like talking to myself out loud. You ask the questions I would normally ask other people about their horses - but neglect to ask myself. Funny how people do that.

:)
Nox

Savvy
16-02-08, 08:23 AM
>I am one of those people who gets gifts of "problem" horses!
>I took this girl on becaus eshe interested me, I'm the same
>as you on that case too.
>
>She walks like a mongy... one back leg comes in underneath
>her across almost into the path of the other. Realistically
>she walks like a drunk. When she trots she is normal! She
>doesn't brush unless she is being ridden, and it's no more
>than your usual green horse.
>Shetravels across slopes like she's done it all her life in
>her sleep, and is very co-ordinated ( almost too much so)
>where she puts her feet and never stumbles. Her head on the
>other hand is a totally different story.
>She stretches better one way than the other and happily puts
>her head down to the gound and will even travel on the lunge
>with it between her front legs.
>Corners/Circles - lol. When we start it is like trying to
>turn a Mack-truck without wheels, but once she warms up she
>bends and flexes and wraps herslef around. Same goes for
>the using the hinds and back.
>
>Hooves are a work in progress... they were SO damaged and
>all over the place. They're getting there.
>
>Thanks for the help Savvy. It's like talking to myself out
>loud. You ask the questions I would normally ask other
>people about their horses - but neglect to ask myself.
>Funny how people do that.
>
>:)
>Nox

LOL. I can be just as bad when it comes to asking myself questions :)

She almost brushes with the right hind leg? Does that hoof grow faster (or receive less wear depending on how you look at it)than the left hind?

Which side does she have trouble bending on (carrot stretches)? Right side? Less muscle on the right shoulder?

Does she have a clubby right hoof? What breed is she?

When you are out walking her online, is she stretching herself as well?
It's great that she stretching herself like that when you are riding :)