regarding DiDI and reaching down
Well. we have come to the end of a three pronged attack on the mystery of the persistent reaching down.
1/ We had the saddle refitted and the front end stuffed so that the saddle sits just that little bit more level. The rider is not being tilted
fore and down.
2/ We bought a 5 inch Myler snaffle bit at ginormous expense. She is easier with it than the previous 5'5 French Link.
3/ We called the horse physio and she found two sensitive areas - one up by on the shoulder blades where it seems there was some time ago a slight tear either as a result of her running about and turning too quickly
a horse bite. There was an incident last March and this could be scar tissue from it
3b There is a lump back up by her sacrum - perhaps the legacy from a fall earlier in her life. Massage it deeply and DiDi goes all mooney and she wiggles her butt. She loved the massage.
4/ There is an imbalance between the level of muscle on the left side and the right side. She needs building up a bit on the weaker side.
Overall the Physio gave her some massages and some heat treatments.
5/ The vet whilst given her the annual anti flu jab felt the scar tissue and said: "there is no problem now but, repeat, but - it might have been a painful area whilst the tear was healing."
So, if it was painful and she got used to reaching down to ease it, then maybe it became a habit.
But who now cares - for the last three days - she hasn't stretched down.
So - cross fingers - we have found it.
Now if she starts it again, then just maybe I'll believe she is being cussed. But if she wants to be cussed then there are loads of other ways of being cussed - why would she only be cussed in this respect?
If she was in pain, then she was telling me by reaching down - and for sure I had to listen and if necessary give her the benefit of the doubt.
Now, how much of this all applies to your horse, I don't know. But sorting out what might be wrong is a pain in the neck for the rider especially if there are several possible causes. The easy way out is to say "The horse is being cussed". But the longer the horse keeps reaching down the more likely it is going to become a habit and then that really is a problem - you'll have the equivalent of a nervous tick and for no curable reason.
After what I have learned with my own horse I'd say:
Check and re check.
Allow the horse specifically at regular intervals to reach down during the ride especially if you ride on collected reins.
Don't ruin the mouth by trying to stop the reaching and jerking the bit.
And try to make a record of exactly when she reaches.
No specialist is going to say : "I have found the cause" but one day if you persist in looking for the answers she might just stop reaching
Written with fingers crossed.
Last edited by xxBarry Godden; 12-03-2009 at 10:32 AM.