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Discussion Starter #1
I hoped the title would help get some views :) I purchased a draft x in august and have been working with her since. Shes great, most of the time. When shes bad, shes REALLY bad. Take today for instance, she took off in a full speed gallop, then stoped and BUCKED like there was no tomorrow. I stayed on for awhile, but finally ended up flying over her neck and landing head first on the ground...:-|...I thought her bucking/bolting was under control until today, shes done this plenty of times but i havent actually been in pain until now. Its way out of hand, theres no pattern, its just random. Sometimes its while we're at a steady walk, or a trot, or when i ask her to canter. Also, she sometimes shakes her head, im wondering if it could be her bit (a regular eggbut snaffle) maybe she has a weird mouth and a single jointed bit is unomfortable? There arent any pressure points with her saddle, i dont think thats the problem, because she bucks me off when i ride bareback. Ive never had problems with previous horses, so I dont think its me. Im not scared of her, im just discouraged and frusterated. I always get right back on, to show her its not an easy way out of work, I did today too. Now I have a 1700 lb. beast who hates me and Im totally out of ideas...help? maybe I can try a different bit?
 

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That is how a horse I worked with acted. It turns out he has a weird shaped mouth so any type of bit put him in pain. So I switched him to a Bitless Bridle and now he is awesome! Maybe your horse has a similar problem?
 

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Please, dear god, tell me you are wearing a helmet.

Was this horse supposedly broke when you bought her or did you buy her to train her? How much training experience do you have? I'm assuming you aren't a pro (please correct me if I am wrong). Please get a professional to help you.

Please post more info about her and your background.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@ horsea -Do you know if theres any way I can figure out if thats the issue before buying a new bridle?
 

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If the horse has been trained before, do you know what kind of bit she was usually ridden with?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
snoggle, I have been riding and taking lessons for 4 years, i have minimal experience with training. Bubbles was "broke to ride" (and drive) when I bought her. Shes 7 years old and was trained using clinton anderson methods. THANKFULLY i was wearing a helmet!! I just called and she was wearing a regular snaffle before i got her.
 

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The safety neurotic nurse and future mother in me has to know, are you wearing a helmet? I just don't want you posting a story about a serious head injury from this horse! I won't "yell" at you or anything. I just want you to start wearing one if you aren't. :)
 

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Okay, I wrote my post before you added that. Sorry. Glad you're wearing a helmet. I'll be able to sleep tonight. :)
 

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Has a vet checked out her mouth? Or given her a complete physical? I'd get the vet to give her a look over to make sure there isn't something medical causing her to have pain when you do certain things.
 

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I just had a Bitless Bridle laying around and I just tried it on him. You could buy one used and if it doesn't work you could always sell it again. But when I had our horse dentist out to look at him he told us that his palate was under developed. The bit would rub on a soft part in his mouth.
 

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If it looks like a training problem and sounds like a training problem then you've got yourself a training problem. There are probably Vets, saddle fitters and barefoot trimmers on this forum posing as 15 year old girls to drum up business. If your horse is lame call a farrier, if it is sick call a vet and if it is running away and bucking you off call a trainer before you end up in an emergency room.
 

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If it looks like a training problem and sounds like a training problem then you've got yourself a training problem. There are probably Vets, saddle fitters and barefoot trimmers on this forum posing as 15 year old girls to drum up business. If your horse is lame call a farrier, if it is sick call a vet and if it is running away and bucking you off call a trainer before you end up in an emergency room.
I do agree that it is most likely a training problem (that's why I said to get a professional trainer in my first post). However, it isn't a bad idea just to rule out health problems. Don't you think it is at all possible for bad horse behavior to be due to a health problem causing them pain?

BTW - I'm not a vet or a 15 year old girl for that matter. LOL. I'm a 34 year old nurse practitioner who would like to see the OP not end up with a spinal cord injury. :)
 

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My mini rant was not directed specifically at you. Every time someone posts a problem there is at least one person that says get the back checked, get the eyes checked, get a new saddle,change bits. 90% of the time the problem is caused by the rider being in over thier head and not realizing it and getting help. Feel along the back for indications of soreness and look in her mouth if you like but in the end you are going to have to do some training on her.
 

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It's most likely a training issue, but before I'd invest $$$$ in a trainer, I figure it's not a bad idea to find out if the horse is being so difficult because it's in pain. It DOES happen....
 

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I guess there are a lot of us afraid that someone will over and over again assume that a problem is a training issue while the horse actually has an underlying health problem causing them discomfort. I do agree that the majority of problems are training issues, you just hate to think about an animal being miserable while their owner or trainer is trying to make them do something that hurts.

Of course, I have an example (you knew I would, didn't you? ;-) ). My horse was pretty thin when we first got her. I didn't think she was up to a long ride, but husband insisted on taking her on a night trail ride with the boys. He put what turned out to be a too thin saddle pad on her back and she ended up with two open sores right over her spine. Part way through the ride she refused to go any further. She didn't buck or kick or anything. She just stopped and wouldn't move. He didn't realize that she had the sores until he got her home that night. Fortunately, he only tried to make her go for a little while and eventually he got off of her and walked her home. Granted this is the exception and training issues are far more common, but I'm glad my husband figured out that something was wrong and he didn't try to force the issue. And no, we didn't need a vet to figure it out or treat it, but some things aren't so obvious and I don't know how experienced the OP is and whether or not they would recognize a subtle health problem.

So, I'm sure it gets annoying to see all these other "solutions" when most of the time people just need to hire a trainer. But I think most of us have the horse's best interest in mind and can't assume that the OP's have as much experience as you do at distinguishing health problems or saddle problems from a training problem.
 

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My mini rant was not directed specifically at you. Every time someone posts a problem there is at least one person that says get the back checked, get the eyes checked, get a new saddle,change bits. 90% of the time the problem is caused by the rider being in over thier head and not realizing it and getting help. Feel along the back for indications of soreness and look in her mouth if you like but in the end you are going to have to do some training on her.

While that is true, and she will need to do some training, I'm a HUGE advocate of chiropractors... any horse can be out in weird places for any reason. Like I've said before, simply bumping their hip into the stall opening can put the hips or ribs out, making a horse eventually run off bucking for no reason because they can't take it anymore. Oftentimes just feeling along the back isn't good enough... they can be majorly out in the jaw (which is a quick fix, and will unlock the jaw immediately), and that combined with a bit that pinches will definitely **** them off.

I understand the need for a great trainer, but I also understand the need for a great chiropractor. It can do miraculous things, I've seen it. Also, a poorly fitting saddle (and lets be honest, the average horse person doesn't know how to fit a saddle) will mess up a horses back. There is no harm in suggesting these things, and likewise, we have no idea what is really going on with the horse because there are no pictures or video. It could be a million things. I like to suggest chiro issues because many people don't consider it.

I'm not a chiropractor or a vet or a massage therapist. I've actually lost what would have been a few good training jobs when, after evaluating the horse and its issues, I suggested a chiro and the horse made a vast improvement after being seen. I guess I don't get why it bothers you?



Anyways, draft horses are known for being laid back, but when they aren't it can be really bad... they're huge! If you are concerned about your bit, try switching to a french link snaffle, they are much easier on the mouth because they don't break directly on the roof of the mouth. It'll lay flatter to the tongue and relieve some pressure.

Good luck!
 

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While that is true, and she will need to do some training, I'm a HUGE advocate of chiropractors... any horse can be out in weird places for any reason. Like I've said before, simply bumping their hip into the stall opening can put the hips or ribs out, making a horse eventually run off bucking for no reason because they can't take it anymore. Oftentimes just feeling along the back isn't good enough... they can be majorly out in the jaw (which is a quick fix, and will unlock the jaw immediately), and that combined with a bit that pinches will definitely **** them off.

I understand the need for a great trainer, but I also understand the need for a great chiropractor. It can do miraculous things, I've seen it. Also, a poorly fitting saddle (and lets be honest, the average horse person doesn't know how to fit a saddle) will mess up a horses back. There is no harm in suggesting these things, and likewise, we have no idea what is really going on with the horse because there are no pictures or video. It could be a million things. I like to suggest chiro issues because many people don't consider it.

I'm not a chiropractor or a vet or a massage therapist. I've actually lost what would have been a few good training jobs when, after evaluating the horse and its issues, I suggested a chiro and the horse made a vast improvement after being seen. I guess I don't get why it bothers you?



Anyways, draft horses are known for being laid back, but when they aren't it can be really bad... they're huge! If you are concerned about your bit, try switching to a french link snaffle, they are much easier on the mouth because they don't break directly on the roof of the mouth. It'll lay flatter to the tongue and relieve some pressure.

Good luck!

AWESOME post!!!

a good trainer will know when to recommend a good vet/chiro/etc. and be able to understand when the training issue has an underlying pain/health issue which is MOST of the time in my experience as a professional trainer. fix the health issue and you've got a horse that's much more trainable b/c they are willing to learn and perform again.
 

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Why thank you. :)
 

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Some known trainers in my area offer to ride your horse to "evaluate". You pay same amount you'd pay for the lesson. I did it once with my qh and thinking about trying my paint. It was very interesting to hear the opinion from the person who has lots of experience showing and training in dressage and jumping. I also was honest upfront and said she may not like a new rider and can throw some bucks (which actually happened), so it's OK with me if the trainer doesn't want to evaluate her for me.

It just may be something you want to try before sending horse for "big" costly training. Good trainer usually can give good ideas about what's wrong.
 

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M90% of the time the problem is caused by the rider being in over thier head and not realizing it and getting help.
I agree. Most of the time it's a training issue.

(and yes, I do complain about certain problems here too :) ).
 
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