Concerned because my horse keeps bumping herself and me into the wall/rail
   

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Concerned because my horse keeps bumping herself and me into the wall/rail

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  • Why does my horse bump me when walking
  • My pony keeps taking me into the fence

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    09-08-2012, 05:33 PM
  #1
Foal
Exclamation Concerned because my horse keeps bumping herself and me into the wall/rail

I have a young mare. She is absolutely absolutely AMAZING and she is so hardworking, but since she is still young its understandable that she doesn't have a lot of experience.

A while ago, at my first stable, I remember that she was too close to the fence and the result was a ripped hole in my riding tights. I didn't think anything of it, and it might have been absolutely nothing...

My next stable after that, one day my barn owner said, "Whenever you have the vet come you might want to have them check her eyesight because when I threw the hay on one side, she didn't react" or something like that

I've been riding at my new stable in the indoor ring mainly. There is an outdoor ring, but I prefer the comfort of the indoor ring. Pretty much every ride, my toes run into the side of the wall. Sometimes my whole knee or leg runs into it. Our comfortable direction is tracking left. Last ride, I tracked right and my girl was trying so hard to cut into the center. SO HARD. I literally had to use ALL my arm strength. She was getting all hollow and high-headed (we've been working on getting her really on the bit, which she does fine in the other direction). Then after we finally stopped tracking right, we were tracking left again, and THEN my girl's head ran into the side of the wall and her eyelid started bleeding because she hit it so hard it cut. It wasn't bad at all, but I felt terrible. A few months ago, I was riding in the dressage ring and tracking right, she tripped over the dressage fencing.

I'm assuming this is probably just an experience thing. My trainer and someone else that rides my horse sometimes both said that they don't notice anything, and since they are much more experienced I feel as though they can control the situation a lot better than I can. But I don't know if this is normal or not. I always speak to the people at the tack shop about what's happening with my riding and one of the people said that I might want to have the vet look in the spring when I have spring shots. I don't know if this is an issue that I need to have the vet look at. I am going to ask more people at my barn and that's why I'm asking all of you, I really don't know what to do.. I'm really confused and getting a little concerned. I'm even a little nervous about riding because I am afraid we will run into the walls again. :(

To clarify, this girl is an amazing horse, very sweet and hardworking, and the habit has gone on for a while but last time I noticed some peculiar behavior. Tracking left, perfect. Tracking right, did not want to stay towards the rail at all, tried to cut across the middle of the ring. Any advice? Thanks.
     
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    09-08-2012, 06:05 PM
  #2
Green Broke
So, you have or have not ever had the vet check her vision at any of the points at which it was suggested? I see you mention it being suggested and have read and re-read but don't see where you have.
Yes, you should have her looked at - and I would not wait for "spring shots" to do so....
ThursdayNext likes this.
     
    09-08-2012, 06:15 PM
  #3
Weanling
The fact that she walked head first into something just screams eye problems to me. I would have the vet out within the next week to take a look.
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    09-08-2012, 06:21 PM
  #4
Yearling
I would have her vision checked as well, however, the fact that more experienced riders aren't having the same problem tells me it is probably rider error. Are you a passenger or a rider? Why are you letting her get close enough to a fence to rip your clothes in the first place?

The fact that she tracks better in one direction doesn't say a whole lot because many horses are one sided. Be an active rider and guide her. Give her some direction.
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    09-08-2012, 06:49 PM
  #5
Foal
No, I haven't had her looked at for her eyesight yet. The last time she was looked at other than shots was for a minor stifle injury.

The thing is, other riders haven't had the same issue. It's kind of awkward because it isn't like she rides every single stride with my foot bumping the side. She kind of bumps into it and then back out.

I think that other riders that are more experienced do a better job of controlling her. I've been riding her for over a year and I have professional training so I do have experience with her. I definitely agree though that I could do a better job of directing her. But with or without my specific direction, I think it's still kind of weird that she bumped her head. I mean, she REALLY bumped it. The injury wasn't bad but she really banged it.

I can't distinguish whether she just is mindless about bumping the rail or if she actually has trouble with her eyes.
     
    09-08-2012, 06:50 PM
  #6
Foal
Oh and to add to that: I also wanted to say that we usually do track both directions and she has never been so determined to stay away from the tracking-right rail. I almost feel like she wanted to canter because we hadn't at all that ride and that she was just ignoring my cues, but I thought it was peculiar how determined she was to track left, to the point that she wasn't just hollowing up but trying to literally cut across the ring whenever she could. My shoulders are still sore.
     
    09-08-2012, 06:55 PM
  #7
Showing
One local trainer wears spurs and every time the horse gets too close to the wall or moves one end or the other in he bumps the horse with the spur. After 4 or 5 times the horse gets the message. Western spurs with a moveable rowell are good for this. The horse needs to learn to travel parallel to the wall and however far off you place it. If you are having trouble with going to the right, she, like many horses. Are more resistant going that way. Work on getting her neck soft and soft at the poll as part of your groundwork. If she won't relax during groundwork she definitely won't under saddle.
     
    09-08-2012, 06:59 PM
  #8
Foal
By the way, to clarify, my horse did not walk into the wall straight on, she was trotting directly next to the wall and she moved her head into it (there is a window into the indoor there, and she hit it against the side of the window where it protrudes a bit).

My biggest issue, like I said, is trying to figure out if 1) this is most likely a training issue or an eyesight issue and 2) if I need to have the vet out (and if so, how urgent this is, if the vet needs to come out right away or to wait).
     
    09-08-2012, 07:20 PM
  #9
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by englishaqh    
Last ride, I tracked right and my girl was trying so hard to cut into the center. SO HARD. I literally had to use ALL my arm strength. She was getting all hollow and high-headed (we've been working on getting her really on the bit, which she does fine in the other direction).

This tells me exactly the problem. Legs. No you don't need spurs - sure that'd be a quick fix, but you can teach her a much more useful skill. Teach her to leg yield. On the ground apply gentle pressure with your fist right about where your foot would land naturally, wait. If she backs up or walks forward just stay with her, she's trying to figure out how to relieve the pressure. The moment, the very split second she leans away from the pressure moving sideways away release all pressure then rub out the spot. Repeat this on both sides until gentle pressure has her sidepassing in both directions. When you ride her practice side passing around a ground pole, lay it out across the rail and sidepass her so that she goes around it, not over it - using only your legs and seat, no reins. Repeat this in both directions. Now if she is too close to the rail simply use your legs to move her off.

Your hands control the horse's neck and head - your legs and seat control Everything else!

You Should have a Vet out to check her! That being said who cares if she's half blind? Before he went lame I could ride a completely blind appaloosa around our rescue - he was fantastic because he had no choice but to trust you and do what you asked. He was an exceptional case I understand. But if being half blind isn't frightening her that just means you need to ride better to help protect her from her blind spots. You are her rider - you need to do the seeing for her, whether she can see or not.

So, use your whole body to ride, get a vet out, and if she is half blind it just means you need to work harder and do more to help her.
Good luck
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    09-08-2012, 07:24 PM
  #10
Foal
^Thank you. That was thorough advice. And yes, of course if she does have an eyesight issue (even if she became fully blind, pray to God that won't happen but God forbid if it does) then I would not give up with her, and I would do everything possible to continue life in a normal way. But hearing something from the vet, either YES she's fine or if she has a problem, it will give me the reassurance to understand how I'm supposed to go about the problem, ya know? Right now I feel so confused because I don't know. But I can tell that all of you have suggested the vet. How soon should I have them out? Should I keep riding normally until then?
     

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