Posting this for a friend.
She has just bought a 13.3ish Appaloosa gelding. He is about 8 I think. I’ll try and post a pic when I get home this arvo, as he is a very unique pony. He is built like a draft horse in miniature. Imagine this, but only 13.3 hands, and his neck continues to where I have drawn the red line. Plus some more feather!
( see attached picture... Can't figure out how to get the pic here!)
He has quite a low set neck, which is VERY thick, a short back, square barrel, and huge butt. The problem is… He had never done anything but the occasional trail ride when she bought him. She has since taken him to pony club, a mounted games competition, and together with me on my new horse we have been doing quite long trail rides everyday, as they both had a LOT of weight to lose. Now he has adjusted well to the change in pace, but he has a habit of whenever you ask him to do something new he doesn’t understand, or hold him back behind the other horse (he has a lot of go, which is perfect for MG, which is what she ultimately wants him for) He has a fit. And I mean a fit. He stays on the spot but his legs and head and butt are moving in every direction possible, and he hops around and snorts. We joke and say that his brains melts and will start dribbling out his ears… lol. Once he figures out what you want him to do, he’s fine. The thing is, after one of his fits, or when he is very excited and cantering on the spot, he breathes VERY heavily and very rapidly, almost like he can’t get enough air in his lungs. He begins to sweat profusely. None of this happens when he is calm, and he is reasonable fit.
Does anyone have any experience with this? Could stress obstruct his airway and cause him to not get enough air? Or could it be something to do with his low-set and hugely muscled neck? (which is what I am inclined to think) He travels with his head quite high and pulled in to his neck, he is ridden in a running martingale otherwise his head is in your lap. I would love any thoughts you guys have, or stories about similar things, we just want to understand what this is.
Any help appreciated, thanks!