Horse Crookedness - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 27 Old 02-26-2013, 03:14 PM
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First of all, That is very nice of you to take in this horse! Second, I'm curious to know if this horse happens to be off the race track? Or is it possible? If so then that may be part of your problem. I've ridden many horses off the track and seen many be trained and they tend to favor one side over the other because of habit and they just don't have the muscles to hold themselves properly going in specific direction (in worse cases some don't even know how to turn without being confused!)

A horse uses specific muscle groups when turning, and they need to build muscles to do it properly. Regardless though of being off the track it could just be that your horse has just been favoring one side over the other and just really has an obvious muscle imbalance. Some breeds of Horses are sensitive, especially thoroughbreds and they tend to do whatever it takes to make themselves comfortable. If I were you, I would get a second opinion and then once that vet could confirm nothing is wrong. Then I would take the horse out on the largest circle possible and watch every movement and ask these questions: "Does the horse canter comfortably at all on the left lead even going straight? At what angle does the horse start to show signs of being uncomfortable?" If the horse can't canter straight on the left lead (which the horse should since in the last picture you can see the horse actually cantering ON the left lead tracking right comfortably, weird? lol also another weird thing is that horses normally favor the left lead over the right any day, which could be a good thing since it may be easier to fix) then you just might have a bigger problem on your hands but if the horse shows signs at a certain angle then I would just work the horse at that starting point of being uncomfortable. The horse is also holding its head in a funny way, maybe the horse is having trouble seeing too? well I hope this makes sense and helps you out a little bit. Also if you feel like you don't have much experience with this type of thing it wouldn't hurt to have a trainer help you out and maybe even ask the vet to watch you lunge.
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post #22 of 27 Old 02-26-2013, 08:56 PM
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If he has all those issues as described by your chiro, I would be getting someone out to work on his soft tissue too. As people have said before he will still be stiff after the chiro has been, due to the muscles compensating for his pelvis and Poll not being right. If you use both as complimentary therapies, one to work on the skeletal system and one to work to work on the sort tissue you tend to get results a bit faster than using one or the other.

Stretching will help too, but be aware as myjumper said - horses that are off the track do tend to be more onesided than horses who haven't raced.
This is partially due to the way their muscles are used, but also the fact that they are raced before their growth plates are fully formed. The repetitive, concussive action and stress on thier muscles and joints can ever so slightly affect their skeleton and with that their individual boimechanics. You will be able to get them more balanced and straight, it will just tust take a bit of time. :)

Your boy is lovely looking, I wish you all the best with him!
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post #23 of 27 Old 02-28-2013, 05:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies everyone! The people i bought him off had no idea if he raced, later told me he was bred by people who breed thoroughbreds to event with. I looked the brand up and it's a racing stud brand. I couldn't find him for months and eventually did, he did race, his last was in 2005 (born 2001) at only 4 years he was evicted.

When i have ridden him, canter on the left lead is heavy on the forehand and he does try to hump up, but he does accept a contact, and isn't heavy on the hand, which is nice and was surprising. But the right hand is nice and rocking, very easy and he is not at all rushed or heavy.

Ace, Duke, Red, , Trojan, Unnamed. *Sold* Babe, Shadow.
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post #24 of 27 Old 02-28-2013, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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And the only reason i only have video/photos of him being lunged, is because i deal with my horses alone, no one is interested in my family so i havent been able to get anyone to do a video on him when im riding.

Ace, Duke, Red, , Trojan, Unnamed. *Sold* Babe, Shadow.
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post #25 of 27 Old 02-28-2013, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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So what i have seen, the best ideas is to get a secondary body worker, masseuse? To see him after chiro? Would bowen therapy be a possible look? i have not used either, so im not sure which would go better haha.

Riding him in nice straight lines, on both sides, and gentle circle, flexing both sides of his body, at trot, lengthening the muscles on the shortened side, and "freeing it up".

And continue with chiro, re assess functionality (eye sight/ physical pain/lamness tests etc.)

Ace, Duke, Red, , Trojan, Unnamed. *Sold* Babe, Shadow.
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post #26 of 27 Old 02-28-2013, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
As I watch his ears and his posture he's looking for the door ie. he'd much rather be elsewhere. The knotted halter will keep his head toward you as he moves his hips farther out. When you go to catch this horse, circle way around behind him, trying not to look at him. Focus on something to the side and behind. Line your self up directly behind him well out of kicking range and with as little energy as possible make him move and go stand where he was eating. Carry the halter and lead where he can easily see it, in your left elbow or shoulder. Continue to move him until he watches you with both eyes. Stand still. If he looks to his left, turn your head and look in the opposite direction. This will bring him back. If he starts to walk away you must immediately walk in the opposite direction. If you hesitate he'll think it's his idea. When he stops walking circle around again. He'll get so he'll keep his eyes glued to you and it will get harder to get behind him. When this point arrives, remain in front of him, slump your shoulders down and extend your right hand, fingers turned down (horse greeting) If he doesn't approach, back up a few steps and walk away. Just relax with your back to him. He may chose this time to approach you. If so, don't touch him. If he wants to check you out, let him. Then leave the pasture. If he follows, great, but ignore him. No talking no touching. You've just established a stronger relationship with him. Walking away has taken all pressure of him. Give him a bit of a break then repeat the exercise. If he touches your hand, back up a few steps, turn and walk away a few steps, same as before. Don't rush this as it's time well spent. He's also learning to trust you. Never ever run after him as it turns it into great sport for him. In a herd, horses rarely run at another but will approach another with ears pinned which tell the other to move or suffer my wrath. As long as that horse moves only a few strides, the dominant will leave it alone.
I just thought i would respond to this separately.
I have tried this method, and alot of others, (including walking into his shoulder/wondering around the paddock just so he's used to me, handling other horses and not bothering him) And heaps more. Quite frankly, he didn't give a cr*p didn't watch me, walked to the farthest place in the paddock, as soon as i entered the paddocks he'd be trotting away or trotting into the furthest place he could get to, if i even approached a horse close to him (and im not talking, being a meter away like 20 meters or more) he would disappear, i could not even get within reach of him for the first.. i dunno 2 months i owned him, he would just gallop around. One day he just walked into the cattle holding yards and hid in there, so i locked it on him. Fed and watered him in the pen, picked it out, ignored him completely but he couldn't run away in the space he was in. It may seem cruel, but my god did it work.

A week after of seeing him in the pen every day twice a day, he started approaching me, snuffling me and watching me. I made my first attempt to touch him and he flinched, not just a little quiver, he fell away underneath my hand, and his head flew up, he snorted and laid his ears back, but stood back up and half relaxed, he kept watching me ears where going everywhere. ut after approach and retreat, he became happier about it, and eventually he reacted positively enough that i could halter him (he's 17hh and im no where near that standing on my tippy toes if he's heads up there lol) it took me ages of time just rubbing him and having ropes and things around. ut after i got the halter on, he seemed to settle right down, i stated taking him out of the pen for walks and he was so jumpy would jump in the air and leap on top of me randomly, even if i was holding a lunge whip or stick anything ,he just went mad. But everyone has put it down to being severely abused. Previous owners had him in a tiny paddock for 18 months, and only lunged him every now and again, they said something like 6 times in the hole time.. Didn't handle him.

The more i write the more i remember! Alot of this now, explains things he is doing now, no work for 18 months is gunna send you unfit, people nto touching you for 18 months is going to make you scared, only being touched and bad things happening is gunna make you scared.. poor Dukie

His biggest come around was when he got really friendly with my other thoroughbred Red, he would follow Red, almost blindly, and would tolerate me catching him if Red was around. He meets me at the paddock gate 80% of the timem, the other 20% he is still very standoffish and wary, but has improved a ton from what he was 6 months or so ago..

Ace, Duke, Red, , Trojan, Unnamed. *Sold* Babe, Shadow.
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post #27 of 27 Old 02-28-2013, 02:44 PM
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OK, here is my take on the matter!
Firstly lungeing with a halter as you are is doing no good. It is slipping into his eyes and although he is going around in circles he does not know how to lune correctly.

I would not lunge a horse like this without it being tacked up, side reins (loose to start) and a proper lunge cavesson with the line coming from the centre of the nose.

I would also, when he is going more steadily, have the outside side rein slightly tighter to stop him turning his head in.
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