Refusal or Pain? in Canter
 
 

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Refusal or Pain? in Canter

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  • Horse refuses to canter to left
  • Orse refuse to canter

 
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    05-24-2009, 02:32 PM
  #1
Foal
Unhappy Refusal or Pain? in Canter

I just can't figure out whats wrong. Sheba is refusing to canter and bucks everytime when asked no matter what direction, even asking her to go into a trot collected or not she will throw atleast one buck. This just started 3 weeks. There are now a number of things going through mind as to what is wrong and they are:

On April 25th we attended a saddle fitting clinic where a world certified saddle fitter suggested I buy a thinline saddle pad and girth from her to keep my saddle in place and from riding up Sheba's shoulders. After strong urging from my trainer, who is the one who felt my saddle didn't fit properly, I of course brought the thinline pad with shims and the thinline girth. I have been using the pad and girth ever since the clinic and now Sheba refuses to canter and will buck when asked. Even in the trot she will throw atleast one buck before going into it. When lunging she is just fine as will do all her gaits and her ground manners are perfect as well. Usually when riding I can feel the swing of her back when she is working and really moving out, but now all I feel is her back all tight and ready to buck whenever I tap her with the whip or ask her with my legs. And about the time of the saddle clinic my trainer had tighten her bridle so the bit wasn't so loose in her mouth, I don't know if this can make a difference as well. She was performing just fine with the bit where is was though.

Yesterday I rode with a regular saddle pad and my old girth. I also put the saddle back where I had it before the clinic. But she still bucked and refused to canter and even asking for a trot was hard. So I got off and put my western saddle, which fits her like a glove according to the saddle fitter, and although she finally moved into her trot without a buck she still would not canter. The saddle fitter did say my saddle needs to be reflocked which she is suppose to do the 30th can this really make a difference?

My friend suggested hormonal issues because Sheba's heat cycles have been very pronouncd this year. Last year you could hardly tell when she was in heat. Her first major heat cycle actually started the day of the clinic.

The saddle fitter is coming back up next saturday the 30th to check on everyone who participated in the clinic so hopefully we will find something out. I'm so afraid we screwed up her back with the thinline saddle pad, but I thought thinline was a great product.

Sorry to write a novel. I just want to get to the bottom of this. Please, if you have any suggestions or have experienced something similar I would appreciate the advice. Thanks for reading this.
     
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    05-24-2009, 03:24 PM
  #2
Trained
Have you had a Chrio out to assess her back? She is clearly in pain, a horse doesn't buck just to buck - she is trying to tell you something.
     
    05-24-2009, 03:34 PM
  #3
Foal
We are going to go out wednesday to see her and discuss with our trainer (I board Sheba at her place) what we can do and see if the chiro or our vet can come out. In truth I believe she is in pain because if any horse wanted you off their back you would be off no matter how good of a rider you are. The saddle fitter had made a comment about it seemed like she had a sore back but then she dismissed it when she noticed she was in heat. She also asked if Sheba had ever been bred, which she has not, but I didn't understand what the importance of that question was.
     
    05-24-2009, 03:35 PM
  #4
Trained
Yeah - odd question to ask.

Your saddle fitter never asessed her back at all? Never touched, put pressure, rubbed her back at all to see if she was in pain?

Did this saddle fitter look at the saddle on her back without a pad? With a pad? While you were in it and riding?
     
    05-24-2009, 04:00 PM
  #5
Foal
She actually did all those things. She looked at both saddles without pads and she did this thing where you rub the horse's stomach muscles and they raise their back muscle. Only, Sheba kicked out when she first attempted to raise her back but she felt it was because Sheba was in heat. After Sheba kicked out and swished her tail she did raise her back. The only thing the saddle fitter didn't do was trace her back but she did with every other horse at the clinic, the clinic cordinator was concerned about time and we didn't get our tracing. She never asked us to ride though, nobody at the clinic rode.
     
    05-24-2009, 04:45 PM
  #6
Trained
I'm stumped.

I would definitely have a chrio check out her back though just to be on the sure side.

I am anxious to find out exactly what is going on.
     
    05-24-2009, 11:22 PM
  #7
Foal
Me too. I'm hopeing it can be fixed. Anyone else have any thoughts?
     
    05-24-2009, 11:57 PM
  #8
Started
It sounds to me like a saddle fit issue, and honestly if the saddle fitter never checked for back pain along the spine (lifting the belly is fine, but that's not going to assess how the back is feeling...), I'd get a second opinion. What exactly are this saddle fitters qualifications? What vets/chiros/farriers, etc. does he/she work with and what is their training and experience?

I'd be willing to bet that the pad changed the saddle fit for the worse, exacerbated an already existing chiro issue (as evident by the kicking out from touching stomach imo) and took a discomfort from original saddle fit to a level of pain which caused the bucking. Once the pain was there and the back issues were made worse, reverting to a correctly fitting saddle isn't going to help as it will not fix a painful back.

Just like vets and doctors, and any other professional, second opinions can be a very good thing. A common mistake with a poor fitting saddle is to pad up to change how the saddle fits, without ever actually addressing the issue of the shape of the saddle in the first place. A saddle needs to fit properly without pads and if it doesn't, padding will only provide minimal relief, if any at all. I'd also make sure that any saddle fitter isn't associated with one specific brand or company - saddle, pads, or accessories - and is willing to use more than one vet, chiro, or farrier but also has a network of professionals that they work with regularly (a network as in more than one - wile kickbacks are nice for the receiver, they are crappy for those getting shortchanged on the other end).

I say all this b/c I do saddle fitting and offer clinics and what not, and network with vets (4), and chiros (2) and massage therapists (3) and farriers (2) and am not brand associated nor am I sponsored by any company. Sucks for me financially, but it also keeps me more neutral imo and experience.

My advice is go back to basics - check to see if she needs a chiro (and if you're not sure how to check, talk to a vet or a chiro based on recommendations from other horse owners). Reevaluate saddle fit, and get a second opionion. And review your horse's heat cycles to ensure that there's nothing hormonal causing additional issues (you can write down the days she is in heat and the days between heat and keep a behavior log). If it's hormonal, the issue will be limited to days she is in heat or coming into heat. If the issue is all the time, then it's not mare-related.

Good luck!
     
    05-26-2009, 11:42 AM
  #9
Yearling
Sounds like you have either a back or a saddle problem . One thing to remember if a saddle dosen't fit it dosen't fit - no ammount of pads , shims reflocking or anything else can change that . A horse will change shape as it gets older so a saddle that fits one year may not fit the next also a horse will change between summer and winter.
Try lunging your horse - if the horse moves freely on one rein but is reluctant on the other then the back is probably out. Also try some stretching exersizes again if the horse is good on one side but not the other there is probably a back problem.
     
    05-28-2009, 01:49 AM
  #10
Foal
Well, my trainer rode Sheba tonight in her saddle and Sheba tried to kickout but my trainer got on her case and Sheba actually moved out well. It seems more to be a hormonal thing now since Sheba did go into all her gaits without a fuss after being alittle more forceful with her. She did however stumble and throw out her right shoulder a few times. My trainer believes she is fine and tonight Sheba really did look alot better, we are still having the chiropractor come out though just to be on the safe side. And the saddle fitter is coming out Saturday to reflock my saddle. I'll let you all know how it all goes this weekend.
     

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