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.