Pain? Behavioral? Opinions, please?
   

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Pain? Behavioral? Opinions, please?

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        07-26-2011, 10:12 PM
      #1
    Green Broke
    Pain? Behavioral? Opinions, please?

    Today, I rode Phillip for the first time in a week. (Last ride 7/19/11) Exactly a week. So I didn't expect him to be a perfect angel. He ran up to me in the pasture, was pretty good with tacking up, and was FAST in our U/S class. He's always fast, no biggie. We got 4 out of five.

    Then, our over fences class. He was wiggly going into the ring.. Wiggly to the corner, asked for a canter. Half-halting into my transition, sitting back... BAM. Dead gallop. I was asking him to woah, vocally and with my hands.. Probably not with my seat. I'm really bad about sitting back. Well, he jumped the first jump (quarter line) and went to te outside line. I could not get him to turn!! He spinned and a dime, pretty much hitting his side on the fence. Trotted to the jump. Went out at a fast canter. Then a faster canter. Jumped the diagonal line. Went out into the corner, went to the single diagonal. Came out of that FULL GALLOP AGAIN!!! I could not get him slower!! I hate being in his mouth. So I was trying to be relaxed.. Although I was almost in tears. He would not stop. I was begging him. I was afraid he was going to hurt himself at those speeds!!! We had the judge's line. Galloped to first jump, then RAN, SPRINTED, whatever you want to call it to the last jump. He jumped it so high my feet went through the stirrups. Everyone said it looked like at least 3'3.. Our course was all 2'....

    I got off. Immediately. I was upset at him! I couldn't ride in that state, so I had a friend ride him. He galloped with her too!! She got rough with him, and he ended up cantering at the end.

    His head was SO HIGH IN THE AIR. When my friend rode him he was fighting the bit. To the extreme.

    Now.. I'm not sure if this was behavior, or pain.

    1 - I forgot his wither relief pad, and the saddle fits him funny.
    2 - He had not been schooled or ridden in a week.
    3 - He has not had his teeth done in 2 years. I was told that's not a long time. Psh, yeah. I begged and begged for the dentist to come out Monday. She is. (thank the lord)
    4 - I checked his teeth, what if he has an ulcer or something? He had cuts on his upper gums. They were slits, and a little inflamed. I was told it was from grass.. But I bet they still hurt!!

    I don't know. Tomorrow my mom wants to ride him, practicing slowing his trot. I'm making her ride him in a halter. He's always had a sensitive mouth. If she rides him in a bit, I have a feeling he will buck her off. She's a very gentle rider. I have faith she will do well with him.

    ALSO - he is not in a harsh bit. He's in a rubber mullen mouth! Softest bit I could possibly find! He worked horrible in a French Link. People have been telling me to put him in a double rein phellam... Why???? I don't get it. That will NOT fix the problem

    I just need thoughts. I'm worried. I know its not my riding, since Emily (friend) rode him. He acted the same for her.

    *he got 3rd with me and 2nd with Emily. I don't get it.
         
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        07-26-2011, 10:16 PM
      #2
    Trained
    I think it was a lovely mix of everything. If he had been worked up until show day, I bet his reaction to the pains would have been much better. I would just remember this for next time.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        07-26-2011, 10:33 PM
      #3
    Green Broke
    Forgive me, but I haven't followed Phillip enough to know how many shows he's been in. I'm THINKING he's still a bit green? Correct me if I'm wrong, I may be thinking of another forum member. If he is relatively new to showing, that could have a LOT to do with the running through the bit. Often nerves translates to faster, faster, faster. Especially if he's uncomfortable.

    I'm glad you are having his teeth looked at. If he has normal dental formation, 2 years isn't necessarily a long time between floatings. I have seen many go longer. But if he has any sort of abnormal teeth, over or under just a bit, or growing unevenly, he could have points.

    You might consider taking him to a few shows just for the practice. Work him in the warmup ring, work him around the show grounds, but don't even plan on entering a class unless you are working him there and just happen to have him working like an angel. If you are even a tiny bit nervous, which would of course be expected at a show, he can pick up on it and it will only multiply his stress. Sometimes it's better to take them without planning on competing.

    It's not uncommon (I'm not saying it's CORRECT, it's just not uncommon) for someone to ride in one bit at home, and then step up to a stronger one for competing. I have ridden quite a few in a pelham, and while they can be a wonderful tool for balancing one up, and adding a bit more control in the right hands, I don't recommend them just to give "more whoa" which is what it sounds like the people suggesting it were intending.

    Spend a LOT of time at home on speed transitions, collection and extension, until he will slow with just your weight shift and little to no hand, and then it will be easier for him to come back to you at a show, as it will be second nature to him.

    And just remember too, even the most seasoned horse can have a bad day once in a while. Maybe this was just one of his.
         
        07-26-2011, 10:34 PM
      #4
    Green Broke
    No worries, I will.
         
        07-26-2011, 10:40 PM
      #5
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by apachiedragon    
    Forgive me, but I haven't followed Phillip enough to know how many shows he's been in. I'm THINKING he's still a bit green? Correct me if I'm wrong, I may be thinking of another forum member. If he is relatively new to showing, that could have a LOT to do with the running through the bit. Often nerves translates to faster, faster, faster. Especially if he's uncomfortable.

    I'm glad you are having his teeth looked at. If he has normal dental formation, 2 years isn't necessarily a long time between floatings. I have seen many go longer. But if he has any sort of abnormal teeth, over or under just a bit, or growing unevenly, he could have points.

    You might consider taking him to a few shows just for the practice. Work him in the warmup ring, work him around the show grounds, but don't even plan on entering a class unless you are working him there and just happen to have him working like an angel. If you are even a tiny bit nervous, which would of course be expected at a show, he can pick up on it and it will only multiply his stress. Sometimes it's better to take them without planning on competing.

    It's not uncommon (I'm not saying it's CORRECT, it's just not uncommon) for someone to ride in one bit at home, and then step up to a stronger one for competing. I have ridden quite a few in a pelham, and while they can be a wonderful tool for balancing one up, and adding a bit more control in the right hands, I don't recommend them just to give "more whoa" which is what it sounds like the people suggesting it were intending.

    Spend a LOT of time at home on speed transitions, collection and extension, until he will slow with just your weight shift and little to no hand, and then it will be easier for him to come back to you at a show.

    And just remember too, even the most seasoned horse can have a bad day once in a while. Maybe this was just one of his.
    This was his 5th show. It's expected for him to have a bad day, but wow. He had never acted like that before. It was also an at home show (where we board). He went to Rosemount and did b-e-a-u-t-i-f-l-y. We won 6 out of 20, with fancy horses and top trainers. Then reserve out of the same. He really acts up at home.

    I don't want to bit him up until I get someone looking at his teeth. He was not pulling at the bit when I asked for him to slow, he raised his head up trying to get away from the pressure.. But he didn't stop.

    I want my trainer on him. She blows me off whenever I ask.

    Meant to add - about 2 hours after we showed, I schooled him in the field where people park. Everyone schools there during classes. I asked for a slow, slow canter. Galloped. Again. He tried to run into a car. I have no clue what his issue was.
         
        07-26-2011, 11:18 PM
      #6
    Showing
    I'm glad you're having his teeth done; lots of horses get crabby when their teeth start to hurt. Do you have a hackamore or rope halter you could ride him in to see if he's acting the same without the bit?
         
        07-26-2011, 11:29 PM
      #7
    Green Broke
    I use to ride him in a regular old nylon. I have rope reins I can attach no problem. If he still acts up.. I might have to move barns so he can actually LEARN something..
         
        07-27-2011, 08:59 AM
      #8
    Foal
    Hi - here is what I am getting from your post:

    You have a green horse, who you did not work or ride for a week and then decided to throw into the show ring and see what happened. Phillip got excited and began charging around as fast as he could get away with. He got out of control and you panicked. In the course of Phillip getting out of control, you lost your position, stirrups and pretty much all control over your horse. Which more than likely, prompted the horse to get even more excited and behave even worse.

    Couple of things:

    1) Did you lunge Phillip before you rode him? Lunging takes the edge off of horses and allows them to get into a more relaxed, working mindset before you get on. It sounds to me like Phillip might really benefit from 15 to 20 minutes of walking and trotting in the round pen before you get on - especially if he hasn't been worked in some time.

    2) You're very concerned about your bit - but you admit your saddle doesn't fit right? There really isn't much of an excuse for having a badly fitting saddle with all the options there are out there. You can buy used saddles relatively inexpensively - so, seriously, sell your saddle and use the proceeds to buy Phillip a saddle that fits him right so you don't have to worry about forgetting a pad and causing your horse back pain. - I'm not trying to be mean - but riding in a badly fitting saddle is setting both you and your horse up for failure. If his saddle was already uncomfortable, you losing control of your seat, stirrups etc undoubtedly exacerbated the problem - increasing the level of discomfort Phillip was experiencing and prompting him, in turn, to behave even worse. Bad combination.

    3) The bits...
    Bitting will only do so much for you. 2 years is not a long time to go between teeth floating. A rubber bit is gentle - sometimes too gentle. Your horse did not respond when you pulled on the reins. Rubber bits, though nice a kind to the mouth, are also easy for a horse to ignore when they're hyper, worked up and otherwise confused. You said yourself, you were pulling back on the bit, but probably not telling him to stop with your seat. This means that he was getting "stop" in his mouth - but not from his back. He's green - he probably got quite confused. Also, if you lost your stirrups - then your leg position is not what it needs to be - which means your legs may have been swinging, brushing and inadvertently squeezing his sides - a "go" cue.

    Pick up either a regular, boring d-ring snaffle (I don't like the loose ring b/c sometimes they will pinch your horse's mouth as the cheek pieces slide around) or a basic, traditional hackamore if you're determined to go without a bit. I'd stay away from the Pelham - they can be harsh and it doesn't sound like you need a harsh bit.

    I'm admittedly a bit dubious about the idea of riding a horse who is, from what you describe, running through the bit - in a halter and leadrope. Phillip needs to respect the pressure in his mouth - and you need to learn how to deliver it effectively and not send him conflicting signals.

    (4) You immediately got off of Phillip after this train wreck. Which taught Phillip that this behavior is the perfect way to rid himself of you. Not a good lesson for a green horse to learn. In Phillips brain, the score was Phillip (1) You (0) - which may have been why he tried it again when you got back on him a couple of hours later.

    Hope this helps - I don't mean to sound harsh, but this is the type of situation that sets both the horse and the rider up for failure - when it really isn't either one's fault.
         
        07-27-2011, 12:34 PM
      #9
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by simplysouthern    
    Hi - here is what I am getting from your post:

    You have a green horse, who you did not work or ride for a week and then decided to throw into the show ring and see what happened. Phillip got excited and began charging around as fast as he could get away with. He got out of control and you panicked. In the course of Phillip getting out of control, you lost your position, stirrups and pretty much all control over your horse. Which more than likely, prompted the horse to get even more excited and behave even worse.

    Couple of things:

    1) Did you lunge Phillip before you rode him? Lunging takes the edge off of horses and allows them to get into a more relaxed, working mindset before you get on. It sounds to me like Phillip might really benefit from 15 to 20 minutes of walking and trotting in the round pen before you get on - especially if he hasn't been worked in some time.

    2) You're very concerned about your bit - but you admit your saddle doesn't fit right? There really isn't much of an excuse for having a badly fitting saddle with all the options there are out there. You can buy used saddles relatively inexpensively - so, seriously, sell your saddle and use the proceeds to buy Phillip a saddle that fits him right so you don't have to worry about forgetting a pad and causing your horse back pain. - I'm not trying to be mean - but riding in a badly fitting saddle is setting both you and your horse up for failure. If his saddle was already uncomfortable, you losing control of your seat, stirrups etc undoubtedly exacerbated the problem - increasing the level of discomfort Phillip was experiencing and prompting him, in turn, to behave even worse. Bad combination.

    3) The bits...
    Bitting will only do so much for you. 2 years is not a long time to go between teeth floating. A rubber bit is gentle - sometimes too gentle. Your horse did not respond when you pulled on the reins. Rubber bits, though nice a kind to the mouth, are also easy for a horse to ignore when they're hyper, worked up and otherwise confused. You said yourself, you were pulling back on the bit, but probably not telling him to stop with your seat. This means that he was getting "stop" in his mouth - but not from his back. He's green - he probably got quite confused. Also, if you lost your stirrups - then your leg position is not what it needs to be - which means your legs may have been swinging, brushing and inadvertently squeezing his sides - a "go" cue.

    Pick up either a regular, boring d-ring snaffle (I don't like the loose ring b/c sometimes they will pinch your horse's mouth as the cheek pieces slide around) or a basic, traditional hackamore if you're determined to go without a bit. I'd stay away from the Pelham - they can be harsh and it doesn't sound like you need a harsh bit.

    I'm admittedly a bit dubious about the idea of riding a horse who is, from what you describe, running through the bit - in a halter and leadrope. Phillip needs to respect the pressure in his mouth - and you need to learn how to deliver it effectively and not send him conflicting signals.

    (4) You immediately got off of Phillip after this train wreck. Which taught Phillip that this behavior is the perfect way to rid himself of you. Not a good lesson for a green horse to learn. In Phillips brain, the score was Phillip (1) You (0) - which may have been why he tried it again when you got back on him a couple of hours later.

    Hope this helps - I don't mean to sound harsh, but this is the type of situation that sets both the horse and the rider up for failure - when it really isn't either one's fault.
    I completely understand what you're saying. I'm not buying a new saddle, because I'm selling the pony. He's been acting extremely green. I rode him again today, with his special pad. He was fast. I was riding him with my pinky on the buckle, asking for a slow canter with my seat. After we went around half the ring, he decided to go faster. It was hard steering, so I have to do more leg yields.. It's hard on him. I have to start turning him 10 feet before you should normally turn. I'll try to get a video tomorrow to see what we're both doing.
    So I think I'll bit him up a little. I have a D ring snaffle in my tack room somewhere. He might be bored with the 2' jumps. I'm going to try 2'6 tomorrow. See if he pays more attention to what he's doing.
         
        07-27-2011, 12:44 PM
      #10
    Showing
    I would be wary of jumping him higher than normal if he's being a jerk on the flat. How old is he again?
         

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