Horse backing onto cone.., - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-25-2012, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Horse backing onto cone..,

I had turned my mare out in the indoor for a few minutes last night and after trotting around and rolling, she intentionally walked over a cone and then backed up and moved around several times trying to get her back feet on the cone. She seems somewhat reluctant to trot out on the lunge to the left, counter clockwise. Also, she stands with her back hooves under her quite a bit. On the other hand, in the indoor last night she was running around, bucking, flat out galloping.

I'm wondering though if she might have some kind of pain going on in her back legs. She's only 2.5 and growing, came from a Standardbred racing farm, but never raced. There is a vet coming out to the barn tomorrow for someone else and though I can't be there myself at the time, I'm wondering if it might be beneficial to have her look at her if my BO is willing to hold her for me.

I'm a brand new horse owner (1.5 weeks in) and I'm wondering if this is legitimate or if I'm just being overly analytical.

Oh, should also mention, she tends to toss her head while trotting and going into the transition, and only having had her a week, I don't know if this is just a learned behaviour or possibly a sign of pain.

Last edited by kenda; 10-25-2012 at 04:15 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-25-2012, 04:35 PM
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Welcome! Did you get a vet check (PPE) before you purchased her? Not sure about the cone behaviour but the rest certainly hints at some form of pain. I'd hold off any lungeing or strenuous work for the moment, and try and ascertain what is going on.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-25-2012, 04:50 PM
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Standardbreds tend to be sickle-hocked so that could very well be why she stands under herself in the back, because that is how she is built.
As for trotting to the left, some horses just have an easier time in a certain direction. It is no different than left-handed and right-handed people. Same reason why some horses don't like to turn a certain direction.
The head tossing is either a sign of pain or unconfidence. If you ask her to move out and she's not comfortable about that, she will throw her head up.
My young filly did that all the time when I first started asking her to trot on the line but now she moves out fine.

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post #4 of 11 Old 10-25-2012, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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I think the standing under herself bit may be partially conformational but also partly hoof angles. Farrier is coming out next week, so I will ask her about that. She doesn't seem like she's trying to take weight off her hinds and she doesn't shift back and forth on her fronts. And like I said, she was running around fine off the lunge in both directions when I let her just kick around. But I will keep an eye on things and keep things light for her for the next little while and see if anything develops. Thanks for your advice!
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-25-2012, 05:07 PM
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I'm still learning here aswell so please take what I say with a grain of salt.

Is it possible that she just doesn't have the muscles built up enough to lunge in controlled circles just yet? Being only 2.5 and all? Maybe she just struggles to cope with the controlled circles because they are small and she can't swap and change direction when she gets unbalanced. Is that even possible? (As I said, I'm learning too )

My boy, being an ex racehorse, when I first got him he could ONLY pick up the left canter lead, he could only comfortably do anything to do with circles, going in the left direction, and that is because he only ever raced on anti-clockwise ciruits so his muscle was built up that way. He is much much better now and goes well both ways, but it took a lot of muscle retraining and building.

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post #6 of 11 Old 10-25-2012, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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I think you have a good point HollyBubbles. I only lunge her for a max of about 20 minutes, probably less and I do try to give her as much space as the arena allows. But I think previous she had only been round penned not lunged on a line, so she had the wall to "lean" on for support. And she was off for time to grow. And we've only been together for a bit. I'm using the lunging to work on voice commands rather than fitness.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-25-2012, 06:47 PM
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This is a pretty debatable topic but 20 minutes is a long time to be lungeing an adult horse, let alone a baby - I don't lunge an adult horse for more than 10, 15 if it's all in walk. I'd not be lungeing at all at this stage myself but if you must keep it super short with big 20m circles and all nice and slow.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-25-2012, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Good to know EvilHorseofDoom. I did not know that 20 minutes would be on the upper range. I've never actually timed it and it's probably far less, but I will ensure that I keep it low and work on other things instead.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-25-2012, 06:57 PM
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Delighted to see you have an open mind about it! Regarding the backing into a cone I had a thought - could it be that he was trained to back to a cone before you got him? Just a wild guess...

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post #10 of 11 Old 10-25-2012, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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I can't really see a reason for a Standardbred racing barn to train something like that but you never know I guess. Maybe she is just revealing her sense of humour for me...
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