Injury or attitude?

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Injury or attitude?

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    02-06-2011, 02:41 PM
Green Broke
Injury or attitude?

I'm having a slight issue with Jynxy and I'm a tad bit confused. I could potentially get videos to help illustrate the problem.

Last week, we were having a good ride, she was going fantastic. We were working on her left lead which is always an enormous pain and lately she's gotten a little crazy at the canter - she anticipates me asking and really pushing her over with my leg and getting her to flex and immediately starts violently swinging her head to the outside to avoid my aids. I kept on her, got some bend, she picked up her left lead and promptly started crow hopping down the wall then slammed the brakes on. At this point, she turned into a DEMON. She would only walk, and any attempt to make her trot was met with progressively violent bucking in place. I laid into her a little, spun her nose to my knee and tried to get her to move out upon which she began trying to rear.

I hopped off, and threw her on the lunge - zero problems. No limping, no tightness, no bucking, she moved out at walk, trot and lope easily. I got back on her and the fight immediately began again - she was resisting walking, swishing her tail and kicking out. At one point, she kicked out and NAILED the arena wall. She managed to put my back out during these antics, so I asked Shay-la to jump on (we also stripped her tack and re-tacked her to check for any issues). We both immediately noticed she wasn't stepping out correctly with her right leg - not so much a limp as she just wasn't striding out fully on it. At this point, she doesn't even want to walk anymore. So we cooled her out, it appeared to be muscular so I massaged her shoulders and legs down with liniment and hoped for the best.

It's been a week now and the stablehands have reported she's constantly running and bucking around the arena with zero problems. I tacked her up, put her on the lunge and she went a little loco bucking and bolting. I got her calmed down, she was moving out nicely at trot and lope, with no sight of lameness. I jumped on, and she seemed fine - walked out fluidly, no resistance. We moved up into a trot with zero problems - no lameness, free and easy, moving out nicely and eagerly. After while, I asked for the canter - and immediately she launched into a crow hop fit down the wall, slammed on the brakes and REFUSES to trot without swishing her tail and bucking. She was walking out free and easy still, but any attempt to put leg on or encourage a faster gait was met with total resistance. I jumped off, and trotted her out in hand and it appears she's not moving correctly with her right leg again.

Sorry for the novel! Any suggestions? I'm leery to call the vet at this point, as this horse spends the better part of her day playing like she's 6 months old with NO issues. Is she somehow "faking" me out? Has she become SO annoyed with our canter work she's just shutting down? I just don't understand how she could be completely fine for half an hour and the SECOND I ask for a lope, she totally shuts down and begins acting out. Should I just give her a few weeks off? Should I keep working her on the lunge to keep her exercised and hopefully calmed down a bit so she's not going rodeo constantly and re-injuring herself?

Thanks for anyone who got through that!
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    02-06-2011, 02:55 PM
Sounds like a pain issue to me. Pesky soreness issues can haunt you forever. I would try a chiro first and then go from there.

Sometimes it doesn't show on a lounge line but add the weight of a rider (not saying your heavy LOL) and the problems start.

Check your saddle fit.

Have someone trot her in hand in a straight line and you stand behind a watch. Is her tail off to the side? Does one hip go up higher than the other? Then stand along side and watch where her feet are landing, is she coming up short on one leg?
    02-06-2011, 02:59 PM
Last year, I went out to catch a gelding for the vet to come check over for intermittent lameness. Out in the field, I kid you not, this horse was galloping the entire field. He kept at it for a good 5-10 minutes - nothing was stopping him. He appeared completely sound while taking a galloping tour of the field over and over again.
Vet checked him over, turns out he had a suspensory injury.
Sounds like Jynx is in pain, which is irritated by weight. Have you had a professional saddle fitter out? That would be my first stop. If a horse is fine without a rider and suddenly acts up with a rider on board - especially at the trot or canter (as the canter really pitches the saddle forwards on the withers), my immediate reaction is "saddle fit/muscular pain or bruising due to saddle fit."
If this isn't the case, if a professional saddle fitter comes out and says the saddle is fine, I would get a vet out to give her back, pelvis and shoulders a once over. Something might be out.
    02-06-2011, 03:10 PM
I'm probably not going to be much help, but I'll give my 2 cents:

Are you using a new spur or riding boot that she may not be used to? That could be some of the problem.

Could Jynx be having some muscle issues? This could be the reason she seems to stride short with her right leg, but it might explain why she's fine one minute, then a brat the next. I know I have a muscle in my foot that is usually fine, but every once in a while it will "pop" out of place and cause me a lot of pain until I can massage it "back in place". She may something similar going on in her leg?

My last guess is it might be a bilateral issue. The issue could be with her left leg, but she is compensating for it with her right. (She is short striding because she is trying to keep weight off her left leg.)

Well, that's my shot in the dark. Hope I've at least brought up some things that you may not have thought of.
    02-06-2011, 03:10 PM
I agree with everyone who posted thus far. Sounds like a pain issue. Plus, I would rather check for pain and find out its an attitude than try to correct an attitude and find out its pain.

Take the safe route. If it is an attitude, its always fixable later. If its pain, then it needs to be taken care of immediately.
    02-06-2011, 04:20 PM

Did she buck on the left lead when Shay-la rode? I know that you have some issues with your body being uneven, and it occurred to me that at the canter, your twist is counter to the postition that it should be for a left lead canter. Is Jynx happier with you at a right lead canter?
The other thing is if only the left lead is a problem then it must be the right hind leg, as you said, because that is the leg bearing the most weight during a left lead canter. But on the lunge, left lead canter is without issues? Odd . . .
    02-06-2011, 05:16 PM
Green Broke
Honestly it is very difficult to give advice without seeing the horse move. Sometimes you need to be there. I could suggest 20 things and none might be correct.

There is one thing you should look at.. you say getting her left lead is a pain. I know you have a lot to look at but I would look THERE first. She needs to shift her weight back onto her RIGHT hind to take her LEFT lead.

WHY is she so resistant to this if you work her in both directions and get her supple in her trot work? Find that answer and you might answer all the rest.
    02-06-2011, 05:22 PM
Green Broke
Thanks guys! I've been riding her Western, and I'm fairly certain her saddle fits fine - Western saddles are just in general less likely to cause the issues you might find with an English saddle.

I have scoliosis so I have been screwing up her canter for awhile now due to my inability to be straight, so it's a work in progress. We'd been making some decent progress on her getting her left lead so this kind of came out of nowhere.

She will not canter in either direction right now, regardless if me or Shay-la is on her (hence why I had Shay-la jump on to make sure). She's been using the same Western saddle for over a year now with no problems.

I think I will give her some time off and see how she does and potentially see about a vet - it's so difficult to pinpoint WHERE she may be hurting and it does sound like a rider issue, for all I know it could be a back issue and not a leg issue at all which would make sense. She's so typically docile, she could just be tolerating me to a certain point and then going ENOUGH, it HURTS.

All in all it's extremely out of place for her to be so belligerent and the tail swishing bothers me. I think I will see about a chiropractor and give her some time off and see how she does. Thanks a ton!
    02-06-2011, 05:32 PM
Green Broke
I was going to edit but it was past 10 minutes...

What I am trying to say (maybe not clear) is that she probably has had a problem for awhile... and it has now gotten aggravating enough for her to act out like this.

It could be a lameness issue or a number of other things.. even a cystic ovary...
    02-06-2011, 08:25 PM
While western saddles are easier to fit than english saddles, they can still not fit properly. If you only "think" they fit, I suggest you get a professional out to give you their opinion. Your OP makes me think that it's a pain problem, aggrivated by weight. It might be an attitude problem, but why not rule pain out first?

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