I went out to a barn yesterday to check out a horse. The barn does all the IHSA stuff and with the students all going home for summer break, the horses are going to need exercise. That's where I come in. There's one horse in particular who needs special attention. The BO claims no one on the team can ride him and that he is a very one person horse. Okay, fine.
I go out and meet him and he's about 150lbs under weight. One of their pastures got flooded and he's in with about 7 other horses. They said they're moving a bunch of horses and he's going to be moved to a smaller pen with a round bale. In the meantime they're giving him high fat/high protein grain (not sure what exactly). Feet and everything else are getting done this weekend (didn't look terrrible) and teeth were done over spring break sometime.
Horse is a 10 year old TB. Has been off the track for awhile and apparently did quite well. The BO is a Grand Prix rider and says she was going to use him for her own horse but had 2 in training so he ended up going to the team.
He's had a bit of time off the past few months, but the girl who has been riding him got on then me. He was very cranky, throwing his head into the air, gaping mouth (even with little to no contact) and pinned ears. At a canter departure this got magnified 100%. He also does this thing where he throws his neck out and twists his head to the side. I figured it was to evade the bit, but he did it even when I asked him to trot on the buckle.
He was being ridden in a plain O ring snaffle. Apparently a french link made this worse. He has a martingale and they said they have ridden him in draw reins and are going to be putting him in a flash soon.
To fix the head, they had me wiggle my inside finger and push him up into the bridle. Not what I'm used to doing but these people are riding GP dressage tests and I have a hard time doing the beginner novice test...
I'm not paying for him, I'm just keeping him in work until he sells, and I don't want to step on any toes. If he was my horse, I'd get him checked for ulcers and have a chiro look at him. Ride him with no martingale or flash,etc and just try and get him to relax.
They say it's "Just him" when I ask though. They mentioned it's partially because of his off the track status and just because he's a sensitive horse and has always been that way. My gut is that something hurts and he's trying to tell me. He's also quite girthy.
Anyway. What do you think?