Acting Very Strange?! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-01-2012, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
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Exclamation Acting Very Strange?!

My horse, Sailor(5 year old gelding), has been acting strange when I've tried to ride him recently.

Normaly, Sailor never wants to slow down. He is all 'Go Go Go!!' and is constantly speeding up in his gaits. I have even posted a thread on this problem and have been working with him on transitions and not taking off.

I rode him last night in the round pen. I was working on trasitions(going from trot to walk to trot to walk...) At first, he was his normal self: He kept trying to break into a canter while trotting and was looking for any excuse to speed up.

This lasted about 5 min. Sailor then started to slow down. When trotting, I told him to slow to a walk, and he suddenly stopped. This happened a few times before he didn't want to even walk anymore. Sailor would gladly stop at any chance. He got to the point where he wouldn't move on(even after being kicked several times and flicking my reins). This was the very opposite of how he usually acts. I've never had to really kick him before last night. Usually, one cluck would get Sailor to the next gait.

I told myself that he was just hungry(having not been fed his evening feed yet). So I put him in his stall and fed him.

I tried riding again this morning. The round pen was in use so I used the indoor arena. Sailor usually gets more energetic if he gets to go somewhere bigger than the round pen.

The same thing happened--he started out wanting to go. After about 5 min it all went downhill from there. Sailor started to put his head down to where his muzzle was touching the sand, as if he wanted me to let go of the reins. I don't hold his reins tight or anything--I always give him enough slack yet keep contact. He did this several times and refused to move. A few times, Sailor turned him head to look at me and wouldn't stop until I turned his head away. I feel like he was trying to tell me he didn't feel good.

I thought it was the tack that was bothering him. I took off his bridle(hackamore with snaffle bit) and rode him with the saddle and halter. He did the same thing(refusing to move, muzzle touching ground). Then, I took off his saddle. He seemed to have sweat evenly underneath it(it fits fine). I attempted to ride bareback with the halter. Same response. My dad had to lead him around so he'd move.

I led Sailor back to the stable, still tacked up. He seemed completely fine. He was alert and energetic(even tried to walk faster than me). He acted normal while being untacked and groomed. I picked up his feet with no problem and they looked fine.

AM-2 flakes coastal hay, 1 scoop(3lbs) Patriot grain
PM-2 flakes coastal hay, 1 scoop(3lbs) Patriot grain
(We are in the middle of transitioning from Patriot grain to a step down. This was because of his energy level being high. For the past few days Sailor has gotten 1/4 scoop of the new grain and 3/4 scoop of Patriot per feeding)

Sailor does not get turned out and stays in a stall with a runout. Because of this, he is usually glad to be ridden and get his energy out. I have not noticed any other weird behaviour.

If you read all of this, then kudos to you. I just want to know what is wrong with my horse and how to fix it. Please reply if you have any advice.

Thank you.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-01-2012, 03:54 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Usually when a horse balks it is from pain in the shoulder area and they tend to put there head down. I am guessing your saddle is hurting him.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-02-2012, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Texas
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How can I tell if the saddle is hurting him? It seems to fit fine...
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-02-2012, 09:47 AM
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One way to tell would be the horse would be acting strange and not want to go forward would be my first inclination . do his ears go back like he's in pain when you get a look at his signals . when he stop it won't go forward take the saddle off and see if he's fine
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-02-2012, 10:03 AM
Green Broke
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By "it seems fine" - you have evaluated the saddles fit or you just think it looks okay? You have only had this horse a very short time and it seems you've had issues from the day you brought him home - did you do a PPE, test ride, etc prior to the purchase? Do you have a trainer or instructor you are working with at all?
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-03-2012, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
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When I say it seems to fit fine I mean that it has a wide enough gullet(3 fingers) and he sweats evenly underneath the saddle. However, my parents and I aren't very experienced at saddle fitting. We are planning on going to Teskey's Tack shop and hauling Sailor there to get a correct saddle fitting.

Before buying, I did a vet exam and test ride on him. I am not working with a trainer(the only instructor at my barn is english).
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