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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my horse has always been a little sassy when riding, but the last couple times, shes started grabbing the lead rope that I ride in and pulling it out of my hands. (I ride bitless in a halter and lead rope.) She also has started stopping in the middle of trotting and swishing her tail like crazy. I'm so worried about her. Like I rode in a saddle the first time she started doing it, so i thought i was gonna ride bareback to see if the saddle is bothering her and she did the same thing. I think I'm gonna ride a few more times and see if her attitude doesn't change. Her back doesnt seem sore. So i think she has an ulcer or something. I really dont know. I dont like talking to the barn owner that owns the barn im boarding my horse at because she isn't the easiest to talk to, and my mother has no idea about anything about horses, i'm litterly carrying all the stress on my shoulders...
Im also currently in the process of changing vets, I litterly do not know who to talk to...
 

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Voodoo, Gypsy Vanner weanling; Malmsey, 15 yo arabxwelsh
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Heya, horse behavior can be a bit tricky sometimes, but hang in there!

If you think your horse has an ulcer, take a look at their manure. Is it clumped together like normal, or is runnier? Does your horse eat all of their hay/grain? What type of hay are they on?

Have you checked her hooves for any cracks, stones, tenderness? Try taking a hoof pick and press around (gently) on the underside of the hoof to see if there might me a tender spot. If there is, have your farrier come take a look to check for an abscess.

Another thing to keep in mind is that just because you remove the saddle, doesn't mean the pain is gone. If your horse is sore from the saddle, it could last quite a few days. Press around on their withers to see if they might be sore from saddle pinching.

The pulling of the rope sounds behavioral to me, but the swishing of the tail indicates pain/annoyance. Does your horse have any light hairs around their withers?

If you think ulcers are the culprit, you can always get your horse on an ulcer supplement. My mare was very nervous and had ulcers a lot. Redmond Equine has a wonderful and affordable ulcer supplement and I swear by it. Out of 15 years with that mare, Redmond is the only thing that worked on her.

Another thing to think about: how are you cuing your horse? Are you bouncing around all over them? Are your heels swinging into them? Are you using a lot of leg pressure to hang on that could be conflicting? Sometimes horses will just STOP because they are confused and don't know what you want. Think about someone asking you what day it is. You say Monday. They ask you again. You say Monday. They ask you again, you get frustrated and say, "I don't know!".That could possibly be going through their head as well.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, right now im trying to rule out anything that could possibly be going on. I tried some accupuncture points to see if she has ulcers and she had no response to it which means that she doesnt have them. I will continue to check her for the next few days.

So right now, I know the place i board at is trash. They feed only twice a day and their horses arent always outside. I had made a complaint to have my horse live outside 24/7 unless its truly bad weather. Anyways, i will be bringing her home at the end of the month so i will have a different feeding schedule too lol.

So right now she gets a quart of Pro horse 200 checkers and a quart of E5 and two pumps of hemp oil at night. E5 and hemp are supposed to be good for the stomach but im not so sure about how well it works. Im going to switch her to Alf-falfa soaked cubes soon once my E5 is almost gone. Im also going to feed her two flakes in the am, two flakes at 12, two flakes at 3 or 4 and then two flakes for supper which wil break her feeding times up nicely.

I am not so sure how well her saddle fits. Ever since i stopped riding with spurs, shes started stopping just because she is quite dull and stubborn, but she never used to make such a fuss before.

I let her rest today and im going to either try to ride tomorrow or wednesday after the farrier comes. It might be her shoes, an abcess, im really not sure. Shes not really showing any signs of lamness. She still acts like her normal self on the ground, its just when i ride and ask her to go faster than a walk. So im really not sure if its behaviorial issues or not.

On the lunge line she happily walks, trots, lopes. Thats what makes me think its either behaviorial or back issues. I dont bounce at all on her back, shes not a hard ride to sit to. (Shes trained more ranch work/western pleasure.)

She has been a lot more excited lately because of the cool weather, so idk, maybe its just a faze shes going through. It just makes me so stressed because i dont know whats wrong.

I am making an appointement for the vet soon anyway (my new vet) because she needs a check up anyway and maybe even her teeth floated, so ill ask him things.

Idk, i hope i figure out whats wrong so i can fix it, whether its me, the saddle, her belly, her back, her feet, anything. Im gonna try and helo her. She means the world to me so i dont want to hurt her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wait, do you think me being stressed while riding could cause her to become stress and do that? I wonder.

Because lately I have been extremely stressed and anxious. Im just a worry wort over everything that she does.
 

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Voodoo, Gypsy Vanner weanling; Malmsey, 15 yo arabxwelsh
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@sugarthehorse You being stressed could very well be it. When we stress (I am super guilty of this, as I have an anxiety disorder anyways), we carry tension in our bodies without even realizing it. Horses can also sense our heartbeat, and when we are stressed, what happens? Our blood pressure can go up, our heart rate can go up, our hearts beat harder, our breathing can be a tad bit heavier, stress is often carried in the neck and shoulders and how we carry ourselves, etc.

It's good that she will be coming home! Such a nice feeling!! And good for you getting your farrier and vet both out. At this point, I would honestly say its behavioral. But, it wouldn't hurt to try some lineament oil on her back :) I would add a bit of pressure to your mare while you are riding and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay thank you, i do think it must have something to do with my stress levels. I am a huge overthinker, so maybe she can feel what im thinking lol
 
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