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New lesson experience: girthy horse

This is a discussion on New lesson experience: girthy horse within the New to Horses forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        09-12-2013, 09:52 AM
      #11
    Foal
    Thanks for the additional information everyone.

    Equinegirl, as far as I'm aware, she didn't try to bite or nip at all. I don't recall her head coming back toward me. That said, it's not something I was looking for either, and being new I may not have recognized it if it did happen. I'll keep that in mind today as I have another lesson. I watched a few videos and will be prepared to flap my elbow if her head comes my way. (yes?)

    Horsesdontlie, yes, much more similar to that than a biting/aggressive reaction. It was very quick. As I remember it, probably on 12-15 "clicks" of her hooves on the floor altogether. (So maybe 4-5 steps leftish, 3-4 to the right, and 3-4 back to the left). It wasn't as pronounced as what your horse did, but the overall impression was one of sagging and staggering under too much weight. That is what it "looked" like. I think though from the trainer's explanation that it was anxiety about the pressure of the girth. (Or I may have misunderstood or relayed her explanation incorrectly). Oh, also, I think her head was up -- kind of stretching upward. Overall it was short lived, and likely more dramatic to me than it would ha been to a more experienced person, though there was deffinately something going on.

    My thoughts are that today I will be concious of watching for her face coming toward me or other signs or displeasure/aggression. I will also make sure I'm going slowly with the girth. I wonder if maybe last week I went more quickly than I usually do as I'm becoming more proficient at tacking up and don't have to talk myself through each step. I'll also be sure to ask for help if I begin to feel uncertain at any point while brushing and tacking her up.

    I don't want anyone to think my instructor is not attentive. Part of what I like so much about her approach is that I am allowed to come early and get the horse ready myself, rather than having her all tacked up when I get there and then just hopping on for a lesson. I love that I get to spend time brushing her and smelling her and all that good stuff. My trainer has slowly given me more space to enjoy this time. She is always available, and makes trips down the aisle for other reasons (though I'm sure it's partly just to check on me). There is another girl who works with her as well, who is usually doing something with another horse at the other end of the aisle. She is always available to help he, and I think keeps a loose eye on me as well. It's just a fluke that I was alone in the aisle when it happened.

    Other than this, very easy pony for me to deal with as a beginner. I can get her when she's in her paddock -- she just stands there. She stands nicely for brushing and feet. She puts up with my poor riding. ; ) Takes the bit extremely easily. (I am supervised directly for this). I don't want to give the impression that I am with some aggressive, poorly trained horse. I did tell the trainer what happened. Other students ride her as well, so if it was a pain issue I'm sure they will have discovered it by now, and if it's something that has continued she will be aware and will be working to address it. I do think she's very thorough and very safety minded. : )
         
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        09-12-2013, 10:01 AM
      #12
    Foal
    Elbow flapping is great! It's a quick and direct message to the horse to, "Stop that!" and doesn't harm them - it's a reminder to keep out of our personal space. My sister's gelding is very pushy at feed times so I've had lots of practice at the elbow flap in his direction.
         
        09-12-2013, 12:43 PM
      #13
    Foal
    I don't know the truth behind this video, but hey, it does make sense and could be why the horse is Cinchy?

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        09-12-2013, 12:46 PM
      #14
    Showing
    Dipping the back was often referred to as being cold backed. It could relate to soreness or ulcers.
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        09-12-2013, 02:08 PM
      #15
    Yearling
    If the head is up and the horse is alert, I wouldn't worry as much about the collapsing part. The two horses I worked with that actually did end up going down got very heavy in the head. Typically when they bowed down they would hit their muzzle on the ground first. Sounds like a very sensitive horse or a horse that is cold-backed or in pain like others have suggested rather than what I went through with my own horse. Both horses become unresponsive and appeared to be 'passing out'.
         
        09-12-2013, 03:59 PM
      #16
    Foal
    Just keep trying!

    I call this A cinchy horse. I got my horse Sunny last December and was not able to work him till spring because it was to cold. He was extremely cinchy and would try to get away from the cinch by crouching down (Almost looking like he needed to pee haha) and almost lying down sometimes then blowing up! I used a ser single and driving lines to work with his turning it has a cinch but not a saddle so it makes it a little easier after about a week or so. The only thing that really helped this was regular riding. I saddles him around 5 days a week. You can also lounge your horse till he is exhausted then they don't have any energy to be bad. After a little of that you wont have to lounge him, It's not a pain thing it's a mental thing so if you take away the automatic fright feeling for a while they forget they are scared of it. You can also use a chain but most horses don't respond to it well in this situation. About a month after that I could saddle him no problem. Now 8 months latter I can through a saddle on him and go for a four hour ride with no problem's. The cinchyness was caused my being cinched up way to tight repeatedly when being broke or having to wear a picnchy.
         
        09-14-2013, 01:44 AM
      #17
    Banned
    Okay, I just asked a lot of questions in another thread, and now I have more :)....

    What is cold-backed? My trainer mentioned this and said once a horse got cold backed it was very hard to undo.

    The horse I am riding is hard to brush and tack. I don't understand why. He tries to bite and I have to watch for potential kicks.. He seems so unhappy about the whole thing. I have watch that he doesn't nab me with his head or bite me. Is this girthy? Can a horse be soured to tacking? He's fine for picking his hooves... And he's fine everywhere else... But geez...

    Sorry for interrupting the thread....

    :)
         
        09-14-2013, 02:13 PM
      #18
    Foal
    Being cinchy (Girthy) and being cold backed come hand in hand. Just keep working him and give him lot's of pets and maybe treats. He's sounds like a bad case but I have never known a horse to have terminal cold backedness haha. Just keep working at it and you will learn whats working and making it better!
         
        09-14-2013, 02:34 PM
      #19
    Yearling
    The dipping of the back sounds to me like this horse is in extreme pain.
         
        09-18-2013, 10:26 PM
      #20
    Foal
    Another hint for girthing, after your first snugging of the girth (when you first put it on) be sure to stretch the horses front legs out to remove any piched skin from under that girth. Many horses have skin wrinkles under their girthlines. It is where the elbow meets the body, and the skin needs to be a bit loose there to allow range of motion. Unfortunately, that is right where we want to strap on a tight band.

    Most horse's skin will stretch out from under the girth as you start walking them around, but some can be really bothered by that initial pinching sensation, even though the girth is relatively loose....it can still bother them.

    It sounds like otherwise you are girthing correctly. My current horse has never had a girth gall. We use a neoprene girth. It doesn't breathe, so they sweat up pretty quickly under it, and then it just glides over the skin as they move along without chafing. And of course, like you, I girth in increments to avoid suddenly hauling it up too tight.
         

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