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help! unexplained bucking 8 year old
Hi! I'm looking for advice and ideas of what is possibly wrong with our eight year old POA gelding. I'll try to give as much info as I can and explain what we've already ruled out. I'm posting under Horse Health instead of Training because this is a new problem and I do not feel it is training related. If you do, I still welcome your opinion.
We have owned this pony since early spring of his three year old year. He has always been calm and super easy going, lazy in fact. He is not one to act up, buck, rear, spook, or even shy. The only thing he had ever done was kick a little at spurs when they where first used on him. I was his main rider and show handler for three years. Each spring he had one-two months of professional training. His six year old year, I continued riding him, but a eight year old girl started riding him more regularly and showing him some. The following year (last summer), She was riding him and I was riding a young horse. We were both loping & she stopped and told me that he tried to kick at the fence. I said maybe he miss-stepped try again. They loped again & he stopped backed up and bucked three times. then, proceed to do the same each time she asked to lope. I got on and he gave me one buck asking for the trot. The vet, looked at him finding only a slightly sore shoulder. We gave him some time off then went to light lounging. This spring she rode him in a lesson which went fine until midway through loping. He stopped and bucked like last year. This went on a few more times. The trainer had her swat him with the reins each time and they did manage to ride a little more. He then had him vet checked again and treated by a chiro and acupuncturist. The next time, I took him to ride in a lesson. Things were going fine also, a bit sluggish as usual. Until we were loping (hadn't reversed yet/in the left lead, first time this happened was right lead) & I felt him slowing down. A few strides later he was completly stopped and bucking higher than the previous times. He reluctantly went into the walk. Half a round later, I asked him to trot and he repeated the same behavior. I put him on the lounge line and he lope, but not willingly. Other info: He has had negative tests for EPM and Lymes. There have been some times that I noticed him tripping. We've been using the same tack we've always used. He has a weak immune system. He's lowest on in the pecking order. He has a displaced lower jaw & likes to chew on things. This has happened both indoors and outdoors. He never takes off when he does it just stops while loping and bucks from a standstill multiple times.
Some of this may not be related & if any other info would help, let me know. Thank you for your time & Thank you in advance for your help!
in short: while loping he stops and bucks multiple times from a standstill. then, does it again each time you ask for the lope or jog.
Weak immune system?
Maybe that wasn't the best way to say that. That's what our vet and an acupuncturist (based on the things they check which I don't understand) have said since he was young. He is very sensitive to bug bites (rubs his hair off on things, very itchy during fly season). Fly sheet and fly neck and spray help some. Also, he has to be on a daily wormer or they take over for lack of better terms and we had to give him an intensive wormer treatment to get him to put weight back. That was they explanation the vet gave for the flies and the worms. Neither's been a problem yet this year. I added that thinking he might have more suceptible to something.... ????
When the 4 yo. mare I ride started bucking when there was no reason (usually when we tried to canter), my instructor decided she had pulled a back muscle, something that isn't common, but not unordinary. We used a back pad, stretched before/after riding and didn't canter for a few weeks. When we tried again, she did fine. I don't know if this helps, but that's what happened to us. =] Hope everything turns out ok!
Try to get a chiropractor out, they have a trained eye and can see if he has any lameness or knots in his muscle. It could be a number of isses from if you used a new bit, saddle to an injury that may not be serious now but if unattended could lead to serious problems later.
Good luck! Let me know the outcome!
I would fine another chiro, preferably one that is or was a licensed vet. I would have him/her check his saddle fit and placement. Horses will RARELY be able to still wear the same saddle that fit them as a three year old. He has changed shape and muscle since then, and often times horses will from winter to summer.
If the saddle checks out good and you're placing it BEHIND his shoulder blades, then I would recommend a ThinLine pad and a real sheepskin girth cover and see if that helps. My mare is very picky about her girth and has really improved with a ThinLine pad.
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