Unbalanced horse? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 124 Old 11-01-2012, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Unbalanced horse?

So, i've had Scout for about 4 weeks now, and i've only ridden him a few times. He's starting to get mouthy and not listening, but i'm 90% sure he's just buddy sour. Anyway, he's extremely unbalanced! It's gotten to the point where I can barely walk him while in the saddle. He's 8, so I don't think he's too green, but his old owners didn't ride him often, so I don't really know exactly where he is as far as actual skill. Anyhow, I don't think it's my riding because he's the same way on the lead line, and when my mom rides him. Is there anything I can do to solve these problems? I need to get him as sure footted as possible because eventually I plan on training him to jump, but if I can't fix his balance issue then I won't risk either of our safeties. Please Help us! Also, the vet said his hips aren't perfectly alined. She said it wouldn't effect his gaits or anything, just that it would hurt his chances of placing well in shows. I don't plan on showing him though, so I just wondered if that could have anything to do with the problem?
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post #2 of 124 Old 11-01-2012, 06:46 PM
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lounging and round pen work teaches them to balance themselves. I would start there.
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post #3 of 124 Old 11-01-2012, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the Reply! We're working on the lounging thing. The whip terrifies him, and we don't have access to a round pen or help from others. (We board at a really cheap, convienent place, but they have no facilities, just a big field). Do you have any advice for this?
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post #4 of 124 Old 11-01-2012, 06:54 PM
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What do you mean by unbalanced? Is he tripping, wobbling around all over the place?
If his hips aren't straight, I'd look at having a physio/chiro do some work on him first, in conjunction with some correct lunging and in hand work to develop muscle.
If he is not even able to walk straight on a lead, I'd also be looking towards it being a behavioural issue more so than a balance issue unless he has something seriously wrong physically.
If he's wobbling around not walking on a straight line, it may well be that he's just not focussing on you leading him. I'd be doing some extensive ground work if that was the case, getting his focus and ensuring that he has utmost respect for you on the ground before transferring this to the saddle.

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post #5 of 124 Old 11-01-2012, 06:56 PM
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What do you mean "its gotten so bad I can barely walk him in the saddle"?

I have never met any horse that couldnt walk under saddle. I think itd be best if you have him checked over by professionals before seeking training advice. Maybe he needs a different farrier, chiropractic work, or maybe he has a neurological disorder that is causing this. You need to rule out any possible health related issues before progressing his training.

Is he weaker at some point in his body? Front, backend etc?

Getting mouthy and not listening could be a sign of pain. Your horse is trying to tell you something, you need to listen.

Id be calling my vet. Yesterday.
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post #6 of 124 Old 11-01-2012, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydda View Post
Thanks for the Reply! We're working on the lounging thing. The whip terrifies him, and we don't have access to a round pen or help from others. (We board at a really cheap, convienent place, but they have no facilities, just a big field). Do you have any advice for this?
If the whip terrifies him, you've got a great opportunity for some desensitization work.
Start by patting him all over with your hand, then gradually introduce a short whip, just rub him all over his body with the whip until he relaxes. Gradually building up to a Dressage whip, and then a lunge whip. Do it over a number of sessions and take it really easy. If a horse is particularly scared of something, I will always make it my mission to address that issue if safely possible. Fear of a whip is a major one, and is so easily overcome.

As for lack of space, is it possible to fence off a flat corner of a paddock? It will make things so much easier for you and the horse if you have a visual barrier when lunging. I only take my horses out into an arena to lunge when they have mastered walk, trot, canter and halt perfectly to my voice, in the round yard.
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post #7 of 124 Old 11-01-2012, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CLaPorte432 View Post
What do you mean "its gotten so bad I can barely walk him in the saddle"?

I have never met any horse that couldnt walk under saddle. I think itd be best if you have him checked over by professionals before seeking training advice. Maybe he needs a different farrier, chiropractic work, or maybe he has a neurological disorder that is causing this. You need to rule out any possible health related issues before progressing his training.

Is he weaker at some point in his body? Front, backend etc?

Getting mouthy and not listening could be a sign of pain. Your horse is trying to tell you something, you need to listen.

Id be calling my vet. Yesterday.
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When I say I can't ride him at the walk, I mean he trips and stumbles so much that I constantly feel like we're both going to be on the ground. Granted, the pasture is hilly in some places, but he does it everywhere. We got him 4 weeks ago, like I said, and he had complete look over by the vet. She did all kinds of tests, including flexing his legs before having me trot with him on the lead line. She said he was just unbalanced when he stumbled once and never told me what to do about it.
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post #8 of 124 Old 11-01-2012, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CLaPorte432 View Post
What do you mean "its gotten so bad I can barely walk him in the saddle"?


Getting mouthy and not listening could be a sign of pain. Your horse is trying to tell you something, you need to listen.

Id be calling my vet. Yesterday.
Posted via Mobile Device
When I say I can't ride him at the walk, I mean he trips and stumbles so much that I constantly feel like we're both going to be on the ground. Granted, the pasture is hilly in some places, but he does it everywhere. We got him 4 weeks ago, like I said, and he had complete look over by the vet. She did all kinds of tests, including flexing his legs before having me trot with him on the lead line. She said he was just unbalanced when he stumbled once and never told me what to do about it.
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post #9 of 124 Old 11-01-2012, 07:03 PM
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What are his feet looking like? If the toe is too long, that may well be a cause of his tripping.

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post #10 of 124 Old 11-01-2012, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
If the whip terrifies him, you've got a great opportunity for some desensitization work.
Start by patting him all over with your hand, then gradually introduce a short whip, just rub him all over his body with the whip until he relaxes. Gradually building up to a Dressage whip, and then a lunge whip. Do it over a number of sessions and take it really easy. If a horse is particularly scared of something, I will always make it my mission to address that issue if safely possible. Fear of a whip is a major one, and is so easily overcome.

As for lack of space, is it possible to fence off a flat corner of a paddock? It will make things so much easier for you and the horse if you have a visual barrier when lunging. I only take my horses out into an arena to lunge when they have mastered walk, trot, canter and halt perfectly to my voice, in the round yard.
Ok, i'll see what I can do, thank you so much for the advice!
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