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This is a discussion on Mr.Attitude within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        10-07-2007, 11:17 AM

    Well I've owned Nate(my 4yrs TB Gelding) since April 2006. He's an OTTB but I've never had control issues with him. When he was 3yrs he was on-and-off sore constantly. He kept getting absesses which hinder my riding time. Now, as a 4yrs, he isnt too bad for sorness. We use OldMacs boots on his front feet when he's being worked.

    Now for the problem. He has always had problems getting his right lead, which to my understanding, is typically of OTTB's. After many lessons, and many tricks, we finally got him to pick of his right lead. For a while he's was picking it up with no problem.

    Then one day he went off bucking when asked to pick up his right lead. I have to admit, I was very, very shaken, I've been in a very bad accident with a bucking horse and flashes of that memory flooded my thoughts. Although this was the first time, so I never really let it get to me. Then I tried again in the same session, he was on his right lead, switched to his left, bolted, I began to turn him, he swtiched to his right, and began to buck.

    Long story short, I am now terrified to canter him. It scared me about how much I let this horse get to me. I use to be fearless when it came to riding horses in a sense, but now I can't get the thought of a neck breaking crash out of my head.

    My intstuctor has tried to talk me through it, but seeing as she is 4 1/2 months pregnant, riding him herself is out of the question. I've lunged him on the right lead, and he is fine. I've cantered him on the left lead, and he is generally ok, its just the right lead.

    Now to be honest he was normally sore on his right front when the absesses came and went. So the first thought was that he was anticipating the pain. But he was fine before, this behaviour just began to happen at random.

    Now I've been told, in general, horses have either a good or bad year as a 3yrs and 4 yrs. He was a gentleman as a 3yrs so could this 4yrs old year be his "bad one"?

    He is honestly my dream horse, I love him to death. I know he has the potential to do alot of things just I feel like im hindering him. I honestly don't know why he's bucking, is it just him being a jerk? He has a properly fitted saddle, and I watch his soundness like a hawk. I can't seem to figure out why he is behaving this way. I've had a friend offer to ride him, but she's in University and always very very busy. The option of a trainer has come into play for a decent price but as my parent have said to me, only as a last resort.

    I feel, personally, that I can tackle this issue by myself. But I feel like I need a bomb proof plan if you know what I mean? Any tips?Suggestions?Walkthroughs?Personal Experiences? That can help me?
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        10-07-2007, 01:32 PM
    Well, my horse was 4 last year, and he went through a horrible bucking phase. He would buck me off everytime I got on him and asked for the canter. This year he has gotten so much better and hasn't bucked once. Your boy is probably going through the terrible 4 stage. I hope it works out, I don't really have any suggestions since my horse stopped bucking by his own.
        10-07-2007, 01:41 PM
    How did you eventually get him to pick up his right lead before the bucking started?

    I would get an equine chiropractor out to see him. TB's are hot horses, generally speaking, so if he is in pain that could absolutely be the reason why he bolted and bucks. Some horses don't handle pain very well. Sometimes the person might not even realize the horse is in pain because horses are MASTERS at compensation. Nature designed them to be that way. If a predator saw a horse that was sore or had an injury, it's all over. But the horse compensates for the pain in other areas of his body so it appears that the horse is fine. I would also get an equine massage therapist out for him, too.
        10-07-2007, 01:55 PM
    The way we got him to pick up his right lead was to have him canter over a pole. He was fine with his right lead for a while. I don't think its pain. He canters on his right lead in the feild all the time when I watch him, and he's fine for cantering under saddle to his left. Im pretty much 100% sure its just him being "Mr. Im going to do what I want"
        10-07-2007, 02:05 PM
    Maybe your saddle is too far forward. I posted this on another topic.

    "Have someone else hold him. With a piece of chalk, mark the back of his scapula (shoulder). Lightly press on his shoulder until you feel it drop off, like the edge of a cliff. A lot of people are told to place the saddle directly behind THIS mark, but it's incorrect. Some horse's scapulas can move 6 inches further back from the resting position! So now, ask him to pick up his leg, bring it to your hip and stretch his leg out in front on him. With your other hand, lightly press around his shoulder until you feel it drop off again. Mark that with the chalk. This second mark is where his scapula moves at maximum extension. You want to place the first weight-bearing part of your saddle directly behind THIS mark. That way the saddle bars do not interfere with his shoulder movement. It gives him maximum freedom of his shoulder.

    Now, when you place your saddle in this new position, you will notice that your saddle looks very 'downhill.' This is where SHIMMING comes into play. You will need to shim the saddle up so that it is level. Do you ride western or english?

    For shimming material, get some felt that has some 'give' to it. That way when you shim the saddle, his shoulder will be able to press into a soft material, yet still be able to move. You will want to place the shims under the first screw, either on a western or english saddle. It's where the bars start."
        10-07-2007, 02:09 PM
    His saddle is custom fitted for him so I don't think its that. I ride english btw if that makes a difference lol. He did have problems with other saddles when I first got him but we had one custom designed for him becasue we got sick and tried of finding a saddle that would fit one area and not the other.
        10-07-2007, 08:11 PM
    Excellent. A custom fitted saddle is always a very good idea! As good as that is, it still doesn't solve the possibility of the BARS blocking his shoulder movement. Even the best fitting saddle can still cause issues if it's too far forward. Having a proper fitting saddle is only part of the puzzle. Having it placed in the correct spot is another piece.

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