Refusing to move & bucking - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 33 Old 01-20-2013, 11:24 AM
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I'm with Dad. Right now you have a horse you can't use without causing discomfort. Far better to get him to the vet and find out so as to not cause more damage and pain.
If it's a pulled muscle then your Mom can be the genius and say "I told you so." But there is always the chance she could be wrong. It does happen sometimes.
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post #22 of 33 Old 01-21-2013, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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We just got back from the vet. He said that he thinks it has to do most likely with back pain, if Sailor is in pain at all. After doing the lameness exam(and not really finding anything--only a bit of flinching when being pressed on the back) our vet said that he thinks there is a 30% chance that Sailor is actually hurting and a 70% chance that it is a behavior issue. We will give Sailor the benefit of the doubt, so he is on painkillers and only hand walking for 12 days.

I am a bit dissapointed. Of course, I am extreamely grateful that Sailor didn't have a serious problem. But if this turns out to be a behavior issue, I don't know what's going to happen. He has already been through a month of professional training after we bought him(and we did not expect to need to put him through that). I know my parents cannot put him through any more, as it is quite expensive. I don't know...I'll guess I will find out how Sailor acts in two weeks!
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post #23 of 33 Old 01-21-2013, 07:15 PM
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I really don't believe a horse changes behavior that quickly without something causing it. I haven't seen you ride so I can't comment on that. Some horses don't deal with pain well at all. I have a mare who bucked my daughter off because of a minor fold in a blanket. She has never bucked at any other time since I started riding her. I had another old horse that you could do anything to and he never batted an eye. I know some of the things we kids did to him had to hurt but he stoically put up with it all. Be patient and see if after the 12 days he acts better. If not you then have to address his attitude.
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post #24 of 33 Old 01-21-2013, 07:23 PM
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Yeah, see how he works out with a bit of rest and light exercise to keep him limbered up (don’t ride him); Still, all the same, I kind smell petulant teenager here (the horse; not you).
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post #25 of 33 Old 01-21-2013, 07:40 PM
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To me that doesn't sound like a behavioral issue on a horse that is worked every day and is used to regular exercise. That to me says pain. I find it odd that the vet thinks that it's not a pain issue when your horse is clearly flinching when he is touched... that's pain.
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post #26 of 33 Old 01-22-2013, 02:14 AM
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Sometimes it takes an investment of time and, unfortunately dollars, to solve some of these problems. I have a mare who had behavior issues. A couple of trips to an equine vet, who is also an equine chiro, uncovered and corrected the problem. She was much better after treatment and rest.
Seldom do any of us get to sail through a life of horse ownership without encountering periods of concern and frustration. I feel for you. It isn't fun...but it is what it is.
I hope Sailor recovers with rest and you can get on with your plans. But I would certainly be surprised if he was giving you grief on purpose. Take this time to just love him up and see how it goes. : )
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post #27 of 33 Old 01-23-2013, 01:05 AM
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I agree with JoesMom's comment about pain. In my stable I have 2 that are at opposite ends of the extreme - one, a fox trotter gelding, will buck EVERY TIME that he's tacked up with a strand of mane caught under the saddle pad. It's the only time he ever acts up but he refuses to go forward if his locks are locked, LOL. Get it out of there and he's fine. My TWH mare, on the other hand, will be so stoic that you don't realize she's injured. Once she had chemical burns from a new fly spray all over her back. The only hint of trouble was that she didn't want to stand still being mounted. I finally figured it out when her hide blistered, several hours later. Thank God for hubby - when I was griping about her developing this irritating habit of not standing still, he said to step back and think about when it started...was there anything about her tack or whatever that was different. He convinced me that something must be wrong with her. At that moment I couldn't see signs of the chemical burns so I untacked her, washed her off and put her away for a while. Afterwards, I felt horrible when I saw how much she must have been hurting.
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post #28 of 33 Old 01-23-2013, 02:49 PM
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A hoof issue will respond to pressure in the wither's area because of how the nerves run. It's not necessarily a saddle issue. Stand in front of him about 4' back and look at his nostrils when he's relaxed. You are looking for a nostril that is pulled higher than the other. If he has that, that indicates the side the pain is on. Sometimes when a horse has hoof pain he will tolerate it while not being ridden but can't tolerate the extra weight of a rider. Push your hand into his neck just about the area a shot is given. Are the muscles relaxed or tight? If tight when they should be relaxed, that's another clue of hoof pain. He will be tight from the poll all the way to his rear ankles. If it's both hooves that might explain his moving high headed and stepping high to lighten his front end.
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post #29 of 33 Old 01-23-2013, 03:06 PM
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Did the vet do x-rays and a full exam or just watch him walk and feel for sore spots. Sometimes things don't show up on a lameness exam. To me this screams pain! Don't leave it at just one vet check if he is still acting the same when you bring him back to work. Have a chiro or massage therapist out. Vets are humans and they don't always catch everything on the first exam. Especially if no x-rays were done. It could be that there really is nothing seriously wrong and it is behavioral but it could also be that he is in pain.
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post #30 of 33 Old 01-23-2013, 04:47 PM
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Sort of the same thing happened to me with my 4YO mare. She started fine, but after a few minutes of working, she would stop and refuse to move. I'd kick her or tap her with the whip (she is usually really sensitive) but she'd just kick and turn to look at me. She never really pinned her ears, but always looked annoyed. The first two times she did this, I got off and walked her around and gave her a couple days off. I was convinced it was pain of some sort. The vet found nothing wrong with her. Neither did the chiropracter, farrier or saddle fitter. Eventually she stopped doing it with less difficult work, less circles and trying to get her hind end engaged. I did a Stephen Bradley clinic a few weeks ago. We were working on gymnastics and towards the end, my mare just stopped and balked like she used to. Stephen got a crop and hit her so hard. I've never seen him hit a horse before and I've NEVER seen a horse hit that hard before. She had a swollen line from the whip on her flank and she was shaking. I was shocked, but he only had to hit her once and then she was an angel the rest of the ride.

I don't know if a good whack is what your horse needs, and there are probably other ways to get around this problem. If you want to try just one whack, you won't be able to get a hard enough hit from on top of the horse. Someone on the ground needs to get after your horse. My mare was completely fine and she wasn't sore or scared of anyone else afterwards.

Moral of the story- Your horse is probably pushing your buttons like mine (since the vet didn't find anything). My mare got stubborn when the work was too hard. Think about it- you were doing exercises that required balance and muscle. If your horse doesn't have enough strength (especially becouse he is young), he might just say "no" when he gets tired. Then, it becomes a habit because they know they won't have to do the hard work if they stop.

This was what worked for me, but if you don't think your horse will handle the hit well, or you're not comfortable hitting your horse DON'T DO IT. Find a trainer to help you work through it. It might just be a phase like it was for my mare; just don't let it become a habit. Good Luck!
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