Bucking everytime I use leg pressure...
 
 

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Bucking everytime I use leg pressure...

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  • Horse bucking into a trot
  • Bucking in the trot

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    02-19-2014, 02:23 AM
  #1
Foal
Question Bucking everytime I use leg pressure...

My horse is bucking everytime I put my leg on, not small humpy bucks, big bucks every transition. Especially at the canter, and especially on the right lead. I don't have a problem staying on because he seems to let one out every 3rd stride, I try to keep him going forward but it is nearly impossible.

He is a nine year old OTTB. Pasture 24/7 and on free choice alfalfa hay. He also is a cribber, but won't crib outside thanks to our electric fence. Shiny coat, healthy weight - has put on about 150-200 since october thanks to senior feed, now he barely gets any senior feed.

His attitude was awesome when I got him, only kicked out once or twice and was not sensitive at all to my leg. When I got him he was full of worms though and a lazy guy. Had the vet out and treated for worms, then he gained lots of weight within a month. When the weather got cold (-20 - -30 celsius) he was super bad, so I assumed he was cold backed and would warm him up beforehand. He was still pretty terrible but I could manage it since it was only at the canter. He was jumping awesome, and cantering lines, grids etc... Than it warmed up and the bucking got a lot better. After that it got to the point now where even trotting is a huge battle.

I never try to let him win, I try to just keep him moving forward. Always try to leave it on a good note, but either way he gets worse and worse.

So last week I had my vet out (the most recommended in my area). He did palpatations on his back and si area, and then did flexion tests. NO LAMENESS AT ALL. So he believed he had gastric ulcers because he saw his sour attitude.

So he gave me 7 tubes of gastroguard and told me that I should see a difference in behaviour hopefully by day 5-7 of treatment, than we know it is ulcers and we can treat accordingly.
I gave him time off and tried to ride today, and it is actually warm out, he was soo terrible.
We ride indoors fyi, but the indoor arena isn't heated.


Saddle is a collegiate, he has high withers like any tb and the saddle is a wide tree. I was using it with a half pad and he was going good in it for the first two weeks , and then he was fussy again. I now have a wither relief pad to fill in the saddle a bit because he still has a ways to develop a topline. The vet says that the saddle fit is fine with the wither relief pad and there is no sign of pinching or uneven sweat marks. So I don't believe it is the saddle!

Just wondering if anyone else had something like this, and what they did to fix it thanks!
     
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    02-19-2014, 03:24 AM
  #2
Trained
Sounds like a pain problem to me. How does he go on the ground & with everything else? Is it only leg pressure when ridden? Does he do it if ridden bareback? Of course your vet may be very good, but I have found that just like a human GP doesn't necessarily specialise in orthotics or chiropractics, vets don't necessarily have a good understanding of all body issues, hoof care or saddle fit. So based just on your vet check, and noting that the saddle is too wide & the horse goes differently with different pads, I would not at all be ruling out saddle pain yet.

Free choice alfalfa! Boy, my guys would be elephants & jumping out of their skin on that! I would also be extremely concerned with nutrient imbalance/overdose on that sort of diet, lucerne being high/very high in protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium. Magnesium deficiency/calcium overload can contribute to gut problems, inc ulcers, as well as behavioural issues such as extra sensitivity/nervousness. Potassium overload can be also responsible for both physical & mental issues(If Merlot visits the thread she'll explain more there) So I would seriously reconsider the horse's diet, but if you continue with it, I would at least supplement a lot of magnesium & salt.
     
    02-19-2014, 03:44 AM
  #3
Foal
Keep going with the ulcer treatment, depending on the severity of the ulcers it will take a little while for the treatment to work properly.

My mare has terrible ulcers, but shows absolutely no signs of discomfort apart from in canter. It took me months to get on top of the ulcers initially, and it is something I am always aware of no matter what we do. Her diet, exercise, pretty much everything revolves around the ulcers.

What I have found is that it takes my mare a while to get over the discomfort/pain the ulcers cause her, so I have to go right back to basics. Lots of long rein work, no jumping, lots of softly softly gently gently, letting her realise that her tummy doesn't hurt her any more. If it were me, I wouldn't even bother cantering until your boy feels absolutely 100% in walk and trot, and when you do first canter again, do so allowing him to stretch and ride in 2 point, make it as comfortable and easy as possible.

It probably wouldn't hurt to have your saddle professionally fitted, and a body worker to come out and give him a massage or some sort of treatment. When they are sore they will hold themselves in the most comfortable position, and generally other areas will get sore compensating for that.
loosie and twolucid like this.
     
    02-19-2014, 05:22 AM
  #4
Yearling
Get 'normal' hay, not alfalfa, first of all (I don't know what hay you have in your area, but I suggest something like timothy hay) as that contains way too much energy, and that is probably half of your problem.
Secondly, a vet does not necessarily know everything, and some don't even know what they are supposed to know! So I would

A.) Get out a chiropractor, as your horses ribs could be out. My horse Diddly was just done by a chiropractor and EVERYTHING was out. His hips, ribs (when I put my leg on, he threw up his head and put his ears back), back, neck, poll. Everything. So I recommend a good chiropractor. It'll do him no harm anyway, even if his ribs aren't the case.

B.) Continue with the ulcer treatment. It might well be ulcers, and he's just had a flare up, as I noticed you said he is an OTTB, and they are prone to ulcers, due to their diet at the racing yard.

C.) Get out a saddle fitter. Get them to tell you if the saddle fits, and get them trying lots of different saddles on your horse. If one fits better than your current saddle, maybe try and trade it in, if its in good condition. Save yourself a few bob ;)

Good luck finding out, and keep us updated!
loosie, Clava, NaeNae87 and 1 others like this.
     
    02-19-2014, 06:53 AM
  #5
Trained
^Agree but also beware any old 'professional saddlefitter' as it may mean very little. Go on recommendation from a chiro or such. But if you're going to book a chiro for him anyway, they will be able to tell you about saddle fit, so be sure to take your saddle(s) to the appointment!
     
    02-19-2014, 05:11 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Sounds like a pain problem to me. How does he go on the ground & with everything else? Is it only leg pressure when ridden? Does he do it if ridden bareback? Of course your vet may be very good, but I have found that just like a human GP doesn't necessarily specialise in orthotics or chiropractics, vets don't necessarily have a good understanding of all body issues, hoof care or saddle fit. So based just on your vet check, and noting that the saddle is too wide & the horse goes differently with different pads, I would not at all be ruling out saddle pain yet.

Free choice alfalfa! Boy, my guys would be elephants & jumping out of their skin on that! I would also be extremely concerned with nutrient imbalance/overdose on that sort of diet, lucerne being high/very high in protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium. Magnesium deficiency/calcium overload can contribute to gut problems, inc ulcers, as well as behavioural issues such as extra sensitivity/nervousness. Potassium overload can be also responsible for both physical & mental issues(If Merlot visits the thread she'll explain more there) So I would seriously reconsider the horse's diet, but if you continue with it, I would at least supplement a lot of magnesium & salt.
It seems to be only when I stick leg on to either push him over, or to do transitions. I was looking into magnesium supplements as well! I heard that alfalfa helps belly problems - but then again I am no expert, just what I heard. He has a great appetite, so that is one good thing, he is not in pain enough to stop eating.

I am looking into a chiropractor as we speak, I know something isn't right, I just wish it was easier to diagnose, I know I didn't buy a mean horse! I haven't ridden bareback yet because I do not trust him enough unfortunately. Yesterday I got off and was pushing with my hand where my heel would lie and he was reacting by swishing his tail and pinning his ears - so he does it even when I am not on his back, he was obviously annoyed. He is good lunging but he will let out a buck at the canter transition. Only one, and then will canter nicely around on both leads.

The saddle isn't great fit but he was going great in it for a couple months and then this began, I might try bareback to see how he is. I will for sure look into the diet as well. Thanks!
loosie likes this.
     
    02-19-2014, 05:16 PM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by picup436    
Keep going with the ulcer treatment, depending on the severity of the ulcers it will take a little while for the treatment to work properly.

My mare has terrible ulcers, but shows absolutely no signs of discomfort apart from in canter. It took me months to get on top of the ulcers initially, and it is something I am always aware of no matter what we do. Her diet, exercise, pretty much everything revolves around the ulcers.

What I have found is that it takes my mare a while to get over the discomfort/pain the ulcers cause her, so I have to go right back to basics. Lots of long rein work, no jumping, lots of softly softly gently gently, letting her realise that her tummy doesn't hurt her any more. If it were me, I wouldn't even bother cantering until your boy feels absolutely 100% in walk and trot, and when you do first canter again, do so allowing him to stretch and ride in 2 point, make it as comfortable and easy as possible.

It probably wouldn't hurt to have your saddle professionally fitted, and a body worker to come out and give him a massage or some sort of treatment. When they are sore they will hold themselves in the most comfortable position, and generally other areas will get sore compensating for that.
I am not even trying to canter anymore, haven't done so in two weeks because I was trying to make it more enjoyable for him. He is not bucking at the trot. I have only been riding once or twice a week during the treatment to see how he is going. Now every transition from walk to trot is a battle. So yesterday was the last time I tried until I talk to the vet again.

I am looking into a chiro for sure! I am going to have a saddle fitter out as well. It is just frustrating because he has been going so well in it for a couple months and now all of a sudden he is completely different, that was one of the reasons I woudn't think it is the saddle, but I am not ruling it out!
     
    02-19-2014, 05:21 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by CandyCanes    
Get 'normal' hay, not alfalfa, first of all (I don't know what hay you have in your area, but I suggest something like timothy hay) as that contains way too much energy, and that is probably half of your problem.
Secondly, a vet does not necessarily know everything, and some don't even know what they are supposed to know! So I would

A.) Get out a chiropractor, as your horses ribs could be out. My horse Diddly was just done by a chiropractor and EVERYTHING was out. His hips, ribs (when I put my leg on, he threw up his head and put his ears back), back, neck, poll. Everything. So I recommend a good chiropractor. It'll do him no harm anyway, even if his ribs aren't the case.

B.) Continue with the ulcer treatment. It might well be ulcers, and he's just had a flare up, as I noticed you said he is an OTTB, and they are prone to ulcers, due to their diet at the racing yard.

C.) Get out a saddle fitter. Get them to tell you if the saddle fits, and get them trying lots of different saddles on your horse. If one fits better than your current saddle, maybe try and trade it in, if its in good condition. Save yourself a few bob ;)

Good luck finding out, and keep us updated!
Thanks! I will let you guys know what ends up happening, I'm sure we will figure him out.
     
    02-19-2014, 05:29 PM
  #9
Yearling
I think it is pain related. My mare has a lameness issue- only at the canter. I've had 2 vets look at her (one from the university) and neither of them know what is wrong. Her symptoms- she crow hops/bucks and/or cross canters. She consistently gets worse if you try to ride her through it.

Her flexions are fine and she does not appear lame at the trot. Her X rays were normal of both hocks and stifles. We injected the stifles- it didn't help. The university vet "thought" it was her pelvis so we injected her SI joint. It didn't help. So it could be kissing spine, or an old injury to her pelvis... Or some soft tissue problem...

She is also sensitive to the leg. I can barely put leg on her. She would rather work off of voice command or reins than have you touch her sides.

The next step in diagnostics would be a nuclear scan, but I'm not sure I want to spend a thousand or more, as I might still end up with a lame horse.

You may want to give him a few months off completely and than start working him on the ground to get him back and shape. Does he buck at the canter in the round pen? Or on a lunge line. If he does- than I think you have a pain issue.

You can also try putting a backpack of books (or a feed bag) on his back and lunging him. If it is pain- he will definitely react to that.
     
    02-20-2014, 11:02 PM
  #10
Foal
I have a mare with ulcers. It is true that alfalfa helps the ulcer issues. My mare can't have it due to EMS. Of course you do have the higher energy issue with alfalfa too. Don't know if that's contributing or not. Ulcers are very painful and can take a long time to heal. Its not uncommon for it to take months for ulcers to heal. Plus they often associate the leg with pain too so it may be a bit even after feeling better that he realizes it won't hurt. I supplemented my mare with Smartgut Ultra along with the gastroguard which has received great reviews. I bought the smartpaks so you give a strip in the morning and in the evening. I would also encourage you to give the smaller dose of gastroguard for an added 2 weeks as they recommend to prevent recurrence. Once you have an ulcer, they are easily susceptible...and as mentioned OTTB are especially predisposed to it. The smartpaks are guaranteed too so if you don't like it you can get a refund. They have been great to work with. I think the biggest issue is the ulcer but it can't hurt to have the chiro out or check the other issues too if you want.
     

Tags
bucking, kicking, leg, pressure, ulcer

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