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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi there!
I am completely at my wits end here. I am the only horse person in my family and the only person that can help my situation. I recently in the past 7 months had to move my horse to a new boarding stables because our prior ranch that we had him boarded at closed down.
I own a 11 year old Quarter Horse gelding. I have owned him for 8 years and just do basic arena riding, trails, pleasure riding, nothing extensive or stressful. He is like my therapy horse, if you will. Anyway, he is VERY quiet and relaxed in nature, has never given me any kind of trouble whatsoever. Has been a very healthy horse, only having a issue with colic over Christmas Eve, he has been fine ever since. He is pasture boarded and not kept in a stall (but does have a stall to freely go in and out of) he lives in that pasture with a donkey and can see other horses over the fence.
Anyway, the ranch owner is into training and showing, but when I ask for help she seems as though I am putting her out by just talking with her, so I really honestly don't have anyone to go to for help for this.
OK! Now to my issue. In the past two weeks my horse when I gently ask him to go from a trot to a canter like always, he has started pinning his ears back, and swinging his hips to the left side only. He doesn't buck, but then again I don't dare try to urge him on with my legs. Well, yesterday when I want to go ride him, it was the worst he had done. He actually stopped firmly and swung to the left again. And I didn't urge him to go on thinking his stomach might be sore. I am not the type to kick firmly, but even with light pressure he would stop suddenly with his ears back and swing his rear to the left as if almost saying "ouch!" so I didn't continue. I've been very paranoid after nearly losing him back in December to colic. He was tubed and fluxed, no surgery but made a full recovery.
So anyway, I thought maybe it was the saddle. I don't do much riding with my horse each time I see him, but it has never made a difference before. This nature is completely out of the blue for him. I took the saddle off after not even being on him for 10 minutes and then I hosed him down, let him dry and then took him in the round pen where he gladly cantered the entire time. After drying, I take him back out into the arena and get on him with his bridle and am on bareback now. He does the same thing every time I would barely nudge him to go faster with my legs. He would stop firmly on his front end, lay his ears back and refuse now to go forward. I began to firmly nudge him now in hopes of making him go, but he began backing up. So I turned him the other way in the arena and he walked fine bareback...until I nudged him then he did as prior and stopped, swung to the left and laid his ears back. I fear if I try to urge him on that he will literally start bucking.
I am at such a loss at what could be causing this. I am desperately looking into everything I can to try and figure this out, but it is so hard having no one that is there to help me. I love my horse with all of my heart, I just don't think it's behavior like the ranch owner is saying. Not my horse. But trust me, I am not ruling it out though, I am open minded and willing to accept and work through that if that is the true case. If anything, my horse is on the lazy side, but has never acted this way before.
Also, if this helps, when my horse colicked on Christmas Eve, it was on the right side. So I wonder if that has something to do with it? I am open to any help I can get. I thought maybe ulcers, so last night I ordered a supplement called U-Gard.
Anyway, if you can please help me out with some advise or ideas on what you might think is causing this so suddenly. I thought the other day when he didn't want to canter that maybe he just wasn't feeling up to it, so I didn't push him. I care too much about him to have kept on and on. I have a very bad heart anyway, so we've sort of gotten lazy together over the years, but never like this.
Thank you so much if you took the time to read and possible comment to help me. I would be so grateful for any advise. At the moment I am looking into having my vet come out, but anything in the meantime would be more than appreciated. I am completely at my wits end and don't know what to do.
God bless!
 

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I think he is trying to tell you there is discomfort somewhere moreso then it being behavioral. What it could be, I'm not sure since it is so out of the blue it seems nothing obvious caused it. I think some wonderful people here will be able to give you far better advice then I, so I will leave it to them. But I think a chiropractor could only help, have you ever had him adjusted before?
 

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It does sound like a pain issue, and yes I would call a chiropractor and a vet, because if something is majorly out of whack, it means there is another problem causing it which require veterinarian diagnosis & treatment. All a chiro can do it put the spine back into alignment, a vet treats what caused it, barring the horse falling or some other trauma which you did not mention in your post.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good thoughts!

It does sound like a pain issue, and yes I would call a chiropractor and a vet, because if something is majorly out of whack, it means there is another problem causing it which require veterinarian diagnosis & treatment. All a chiro can do it put the spine back into alignment, a vet treats what caused it, barring the horse falling or some other trauma which you did not mention in your post.
No, luckily he hasn't fallen or been injured in any way or had any trauma, he leads a very quiet life, really. :) I am glad to know about a chiro as oppose to a vet. I will have to look into a chiro for him. I know a good vet who will come out as well. Thank you so much for your time in writing me! :) Much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks!

I think he is trying to tell you there is discomfort somewhere moreso then it being behavioral. What it could be, I'm not sure since it is so out of the blue it seems nothing obvious caused it. I think some wonderful people here will be able to give you far better advice then I, so I will leave it to them. But I think a chiropractor could only help, have you ever had him adjusted before?
Thank you so much for taking the time to write about my post. I appreciate it. And no, I've never honestly had him adjusted before because we've never had a real reason to. He doesn't do anything excessive when it comes to riding. Some walking, trotting and light canter around the arena and that's about it for him. There are times I go to see him where I just let him graze and relax with him, so that being said I don't ride him every time, which makes me think it wouldn't be the saddle. I have a good built pad too and the saddle is lightweight and fits him good too. :)

Anyway, thanks so much again for replying. ^-^
 

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No, luckily he hasn't fallen or been injured in any way or had any trauma, he leads a very quiet life, really. :) I am glad to know about a chiro as oppose to a vet. I will have to look into a chiro for him. I know a good vet who will come out as well. Thank you so much for your time in writing me! :) Much appreciated.
Therapy horse get hurt too :wink: I help run a barn therapeutic riding barn and I'm ALWAYS tending to injuries. One currently has a swollen leg, we have no idea why. Which brings me to my next point, you can't be there 24/7 to watch him. Maybe he pulled a muscle playing in the paddock, maybe someone kicked him, he could have slipped or fell etc. You can do some investigation yourself, palpate around and see if you can get a reaction. Also, his tack my not fit well. Horses change shape with age, work, etc. Either way I'd call the vet and take it from there.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Therapy horse get hurt too :wink: I help run a barn therapeutic riding barn and I'm ALWAYS tending to injuries. One currently has a swollen leg, we have no idea why. Which brings me to my next point, you can't be there 24/7 to watch him. Maybe he pulled a muscle playing in the paddock, maybe someone kicked him, he could have slipped or fell etc. You can do some investigation yourself, palpate around and see if you can get a reaction. Also, his tack my not fit well. Horses change shape with age, work, etc. Either way I'd call the vet and take it from there.
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Thank you, very true! :) He is actually in a paddock by himself with a mini donkey. But he very well may have pulled something. I am going to see if in a few days when I get to go back out there if it is still acting the same, if he is then I will surely get the vet out right away. I'm just currently trying to think of everything. :)
Thanks for your reply! :)
 

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Here's some food for thought...

My mare was adjusted in May 2013. She was good to go. Did well for months, when she began cross-firing and her canter just felt goofy. Lots of head tossing and tail swishing too. But no bucking, rearing, pinning ears or anything. Still nice floaty forward movement. I took her to the.chiropractor 2 Weeks ago anyways. She was out in her withers, and her hips were twisted.

my girl LOVES the chiropractor. For $75 bucks, its so worth it.

my girl only is ridden once a week, maybe twice. Walk-trot (canter only at shows) and has had no injuries since fall of 2012. Sometimes they just get twisted or out of whack. Rolling could push something out of alignment. Or standing a certain way for too long. Or age may be starting to play a factor.

i absolutely love my equine chiropractor. He really has worked wonders.

and I know how good I feel after an adjustment!!!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks!

Here's some food for thought...

My mare was adjusted in May 2013. She was good to go. Did well for months, when she began cross-firing and her canter just felt goofy. Lots of head tossing and tail swishing too. But no bucking, rearing, pinning ears or anything. Still nice floaty forward movement. I took her to the.chiropractor 2 Weeks ago anyways. She was out in her withers, and her hips were twisted.

my girl LOVES the chiropractor. For $75 bucks, its so worth it.

my girl only is ridden once a week, maybe twice. Walk-trot (canter only at shows) and has had no injuries since fall of 2012. Sometimes they just get twisted or out of whack. Rolling could push something out of alignment. Or standing a certain way for too long. Or age may be starting to play a factor.

i absolutely love my equine chiropractor. He really has worked wonders.

and I know how good I feel after an adjustment!!!
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Thank you very much for taking the time to read my post. He would be totally worth me having a chiropractor out soon. I don't know of any myself, but I am going to ask the ranch owner where I have my horse when she is free to see if tshe knows of anyone. Hearing the way you describe all of that, it makes perfect sense to me. He very well could be getting stiff or out of whack being at a new ranch in a smaller paddock. He used to be on two acres all to himself, now it's a small paddock with a walk-in stall. So this is a big possibility. Thank you so much for your insight. I am so thankful to you and everyone else who has been giving me advice, I am truly so grateful because I am at such a loss. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Aww!

On a side note, I must say your a very polite!
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Aww, thank you! I am just really appreciative to anyone who would take the time to read my post, much less write to help. I am at such a loss here with having no one else to help me, nor people I can go to for advice. It's so nice to have been able to come here on a whim just hoping to get some help, and sure enough I am able to meet such nice and helpful people. :)
 

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Good, many new comers come here and cop a 'tude when people make suggestions. Usually because its not the shortcut answer they are looking for. It might take time, money or cutting back on their favorite discipline (or all 3!) and they don't want to hear it. I'm glad your willing to take the time to help your horse!
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It sounds like you and your horse are very "in tune," so listen to your gut, and listen to any little clues he may give you, as well. The vet and chiropractor are excellent suggestions. Another possibility might be to have a horse massage therapist out to see him. Maybe you can find a combination chiro/massage professional.
And... hope this doesn't sound too kooky... you might try an animal communicator. Sometimes a talented communicator can help to shed some light on a difficult issue or situation.
Best wishes!
 

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Have you palpated (poked/massaged) his back/withers/hind end to see if he's coming up sore anywhere?
That may not always work Sky. I'd like to think I'm pretty experienced in many aspects of equine categories...Yet when i was poking/prodding Rumor before her adjustment, she never reacted to me. My Chiro hit just the right spot with her and she tucked her butt like she got bit by something.

Unless your as experienced as Chiro/massage therapist, you may miss something. I certainly did.
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That may not always work Sky. I'd like to think I'm pretty experienced in many aspects of equine categories...Yet when i was poking/prodding Rumor before her adjustment, she never reacted to me. My Chiro hit just the right spot with her and she tucked her butt like she got bit by something.

Unless your as experienced as Chiro/massage therapist, you may miss something. I certainly did.
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No I definitely agree with you, just sometimes there is apparently soreness and it's good to have an idea of what is going on entirely. Kind of like a full body check. I check for heat, swelling, apparent soreness, changes in attitude, in gait, gum colour, etc. so that I have something to tell the vet/chiro.

I'd never go without either if my horse was off like this.
 

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OP, if you're willing to say what general area you live in, some people on here might be able to give you a chiro recommendations if it's hard to talk with your barn owner.

Like others posting here, I have a mare (19 years old) who seems to really benefit from the chiro every 6 months or so- she is particularly prone to throwing her right hip out of alignment. Her workload is very similar to what you described for your horse.

I also think the suggestion of exploring the buddy sour issue is a good one.

Good luck!
 
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