Flipping head and rearing...[rant] - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-26-2012, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Flipping head and rearing...[rant]

Ugh! So you guys know Selena came to me with rearing/bucking habits. I thought I had pretty much broken her of the habit. She had stopped rearing with me completely. She only bucked or did little crowhops when she was feeling really fresh or hadn't been ridden in awhile, and even then she didn't do enough to unseat the rider.

Well I wasn't able to ride much this week so I let a friend ride her. I mean, she'd be fine, right? I went into this knowing my friend wasn't the most confident rider but I told her to lunge Selena and do groundwork before riding even though I didn't think she would need it, and told her just to go out and do some obstacles (walking over the trail course) and long extended trotting (Things she is more than capable of doing without issue)

Well I got on Selena today after she has been ridden by this girl and she was an absolute NIGHTMARE.

Now I don't know if this was actually brought on by the riding she recieved but I wanted to offer that story just in case. She started by majorly flipping her head vertically, to the point of almost smacking me in the face, particularly when I asked her to do a rollback, back up, or spin. I barely even touched her mouth. Then she started rearing the more I argued with her over this. EVENTUALLY she got to the point where we did the manuevers without the flipping, but gosh dangit I was really mad at her.

I got up in her mouth and checked for issues, nothing there. She's not sensitive anywhere on her back or cinch area. I don't understand.

We are having the chiro out for Ruger soon so I'm going to go ahead and have him check Selena just in case I missed something. Normally, though, she will be obviously sore when it's time for the chiro.

I'm just a little suspicious of the sudden change of behavior from last week when I rode her and she was still being an angel. I have hopped on her bareback a little and a little while ago and she did offer some crowhopping and jigging but like I said earlier she isn't above that totally yet, it's the rearing that has totally appalled me....

If anyone has an idea let me know. If not, I'll see if the chiro says anything and then keep the training going....

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-26-2012, 12:49 AM
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I'm curious, did you check her legs and hips, neck, chest, etc? You said back, girth, mouth.. but was that the extent of it?

Have you ever had her x-rayed?

Also, what bit do you ride her in? Did she come with that bit? Do you know which bit she rode in before?

I'm just asking questions here, not picking a reason yet.

But I feel for you... people rode Sky before I left and he developed these horrid habits.. just pisses me off to no extent.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"

Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 05-26-2012 at 12:51 AM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-26-2012, 01:02 AM
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I can't help but think of my recent post (not sure how to link to it, but, click on me, and see my recent posts, perhaps?). Anyway, in short, my mare suddenly gave me a BAD, BAD, day. I had seen nothing like it, and, if someone else had ridden her, I would completely have assumed they 'caused' the problem. It would have been the most logical explanation. But, I had noone to blame (thank goodness), and, after MUCH to do, I have dismissed it as a mare day. She was 'winking' the next day, and, she (almost) completely reverted back to normal during my next ride. So, after reading your post, my first instinct, is, SHE IS A MARE. Hopefully your next ride is back to normal (or close to).

But, it is wise to do due diligence, and check everything thoroughly (saddle fit...did she get sore during her last ride, and now is telling you about it?), did YOU lunge her and take a look to see if she looked sound, from the ground? How were her ground manners, etc?

Writing those things, but thinking...mare.

Last edited by amateurhorsetrainer; 05-26-2012 at 01:05 AM.
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-26-2012, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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She has had a clean bill of health from the vet since day 1. I did check her legs, it's a part of my tacking up routine to check for soreness in the legs, hip, and shoulder area (Sorry, I kinda forgot to mention that)

I train her in a smooth snaffle. I've been riding her for a year and a half, training in a snaffle and showing in a billy allen 8'' shank bit, neither of which she has had problems with. Before I got her she was in a low port myler to show and a snaffle to train.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-26-2012, 01:04 AM
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And have you talked to the friend that rode her to ask how it went and if Selena was good or acted as she did today?

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-26-2012, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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I haven't seen her since she stopped riding her. I sent her a text after the ride but hasn't gotten back to me. We are both working tomorrow at a fundraiser so I plan to ask her then, but just figured I could post a thread for now.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-26-2012, 09:08 AM
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Your horse could have something going on in mouth, or body that has been missed. Cracked tooth, broken bars, abscesses deep within, mare problems. The friend, in case of mouth, could have bumped the offending tooth/area and activated the pain. Or horse could have done something overnight too.

Also, how high is your girth coming up, as that will compromise blood areas along sides and cause problems. Could be thorn, twig, piece of straw or wood along back too. Or could be something is sticking out of saddle, which you won't be able to tell unless you turn saddle upside down and then press with ALL your weight on your hands, as you slowly move them all over the underside of saddle. Do the same with pads/blankets too and cinch/girth.

And when horse flips head, or starts to come up, pop her between the ears. Can use egg/warm water in bottle, but a pop with flat of hand works wonders but must be done the very instant horse gets light. Don't wait until horse is 1/2 way up. And the head flipping, can also be teeth related as in pain, or because your hands aren't steady or low.

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post #8 of 11 Old 05-26-2012, 09:26 AM
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Hopefully she gets back to you about that..

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-28-2012, 12:23 PM
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With a horse like Selena, I would be a little more protective about who I would have riding her. While your friend may not have done anything wrong, the changes in riders, etc could be confusing while you are retraining her. My mare was very sensitive about riders when she was younger, and while I have several people I trust to ride her now, I am the only one who gets to ride her in a bit besides my trainer, everyone else had to use her sidepull (which I use most of the time anyway). She is just very sensitive.

I would check for injuries as well. A few summers ago a friend of mine (is my friend now) moved to town from another state and couldn't get her horse shipped in for a couple months, she was coming out to the barn just to hang out and get to know people, and I was letting her ride my gelding. He started acting up and I couldn't figure it out, she thought he just didn't like her (and my boy loves just about everybody!). A few days later I took him team sorting and got launched to high heaven breaking my tailbone, back and ankle. I had him xrayed and chiro out, he had injured his withers. My english saddle with lighter weight friend wasn't bothering him enough to buck, but enough for him to act up, but my western saddle went further forward and pressed right where he was sore, combined with me weighing more than friend, he just went "ouch!" not his fault, should have listened to him more closely.

At any rate, could be worth going over a few things to see if something is bothering your girl. It could be nothing, or it could be something.
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-29-2012, 12:02 AM
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Sounds like Squiggy after a month without my demanding butt. Her attitude just went to crap, and I'm STILL working on it.

"all I ever dreamt about was makin' it; they ain't giving it, I'm taking it"
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