My horse bites at his cinch mid-ride. HELP!
I'm having a problem with my 12 year old Quarter Horse. He will start violently bitting at his cinch mid-ride.
A little background info. He has had great training, although one of his quirks is he will go into a buck when you start to canter him. Ride it out and he's fine. I finally found a saddle which I thought he liked and all was better in his world.
Fast forward a few years.... I moved away for a few years for work out of the country. I've started working with him again and he remembers all of his commands. Lunges fine, does everything like a gentleman. But he HATES his cinch! I bought a neoprene Smart Cinch thinking that that would help, but it hasn't. He will be fine at a walk, but get him into a trot he will swing his head around and bite horribly at the cinch. And same thing goes he starts to buck when we start cantering. He get's his feet trimmed regularly and I haven't had shoes on him for a few years now....
Has anyone experienced this before??? Open to any and all suggestions. I want him comfortable, and I want to get a good ride out of him.
I've heard of cinch issues being associated with ulcer issues. Also saddle fit can change based on condition.. If he's lost muscling on his back it may not fit like it used to.
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Are you squeezing with your legs on the cinch area and don't know you're doing it? You could be preparing for a buck by gripping on and don't realize it - some horse will respond negatively to being squeezed/gripped. Just a thought:)
Have you tried different cinches? To me, it seems that the neoprene ones pull on the hair more.
We bought two saddle pads with the neoprene underside. The two horses we put them on bucked but didn't with regular pads. We had to put a felt pad under them and they were fine.
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I would be willing to bet in ulcers, but wouldn't rule out saddle fit or cinch material.
Why ulcers: stomach acid is liquid. Most ulcers sit at the upper part of the stomach. Horse starts moving, stomach liquids start sloshing around, coming in contact with the ulcers, which hurts. Most movement is at the canter. Or the horse already associates the stomach pain with going into canter.
I'd have him checked for ulcers and I'd also make sure he'd never be without something to nibble on, to keep the acids at bay.
I'm going to go with the obvious.. Is his cinch too tight? If his cinch is fine than I am also going to bet on ulcers.
Sheath cleaned lately?
Or cinch too long?
Or you have skin pinched, rings are hurting or could have peritonitis which can take a while to develop too.
Video would help of how you saddle him.
He could also have cracked ribs that are paining him more and more.
Your mechanics could be at fault too.
Thanks everyone for your quick responses. I will be calling a chiropractor and see if that helps. I have tried different cinches, and when I rode him yesterday it wasn't too tight. I thought that we would be good and for the first 15 minutes he didn't have a problem, then he started biting at it again! I have never seen a horse do this before... To me it seems like he bites right in the front of the cinch just above his elbow.
I'll also try different tack/saddles to see if that helps and will also change out the saddle pad. I ride western and will pay close attention to my riding.
Like I said, I am open to any suggestions, or if you've had a horse that has done this before would love to hear how this was resolved.
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