Now I have a problem that I have never had anybody that could really relate to or explain things to me. Every once in a while Jake goes through a phase that will last for about 2-5 weeks. Having to do with getting cinchy and shutting down. It started a long time ago when Jake would randomly get nervous after being saddled and soon as I would untie to walk him out he would bolt, freeze, bolt, freeze until I could get him lunging he wouldn't calm down. It was dangerous as he didn't care who or what he ran into when he bolted. Like a spring fully taught and then explode. After that's over he would be 100% fine and fall asleep back at the tying post.
Now after a while I convinced him that it was not okay to run me over, or bolt. That he had to mind where he was stepping. But that also had an adverse reaction....now he goes down. He starts to lean back, bending at the knees and dropping his head down, he looks like the first few horses in this video who are being tapped. (Please no debate on the tap, I just want to give a visual. I can't ever get it on video.)
He never bucks/kicks out. I do not encourage him to go backwards at all when he starts acting like this, nor to try to get him forward, because he tends to launch forward into the tie rail, me, the trailer....anything around. Then 50% of the time he will go all the way down, often panicking about crouching down like that, tries to back up and falls over. He is very startled about falling over (this is the horse that if he trips and falls he waits calmly for me to get out of the way and tell him to get up) and often thrashes, and in his panic will fail to get up, fall over again I often end up keeping him down till he is done panicking. Then I ask him to get up (trained to lay down) and he calmly gets up easily.
He has never had any sore spots on his back, cinch area or anything. His saddles fit well and are adequately padded. Jake goes a good 4-5 months before it resurfaces again. Nothing a vet could find wrong. I'm guessing he just gets claustrophobic and looses his mind. He is negative for HYPP. It happens for both english/western I saddle slowly, he will act like this if the cinch is very very loose, like if is tied up without touching him he acts like this. So I don't think its pain. Could he be holding his breath and puffing out? Which he does puff out when I cinch up.
He did it today for the first time in over a year. I thought he was over with it. I can see it coming, make sure there is nothing and no one around him and try and wait it out. He has cases that are mild (he acts odd when I ask him to stretch out his legs, and gets a little rushy) to the full blown falling over. He never pulls back on the rail and I am always able to untie him when this happens. If I can I take him away from all dangers and let him run it out until he has it out of his system. I used to saddle him in a round pen and leave him alone when he used to be very bad and leave him for a good 45 minutes so he worked out of it himself.
Anyone had a horse that did/does this? What did you do for it? Does it go away? I'm tired of my saddles getting scratched/chipped at from him laying on them. He has never hurt himself doing this, I am always able to continue my day like nothing happened.