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My horse has recently been quite girthy (tossing head and pinning ears when doing up the saddle) and I couldn't figure out why as she's never been before. At first I thought it was my tack, but I have 3 saddles and she was suddenly girthy with all of them so I wasn't sure about this. Finally I had an equine therapist come out to take a look at her and it turns out one of her ribs nearest her girth was slightly displaced (probably from getting kicked). No wonder she didn't like having the saddle done up!

So now it has been fixed, and she got some acupuncture as well. I gave her a couple days off, then I went out today to see how she was doing. I did the girth up quite slowly, but she still seemed a little sensitive (tossed her head a bit) but not nearly as much as before. Could she just be anticipating it to hurt when I do it up and therefore tossing her head? I will be keeping an eye on her to see if she grows out of it if this is the case. If she doesn't though what else might it be? My next step will probably be getting my tack looked at. Thanks!
 

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Yes, horses make instant associations, but more as a sort of emotion/picture, not a rational thought. So she could be well reacting the same because of her 'memory' of this being painful. In that situation, I'd distract her somehow - maybe have a treat in front of her when doing the girth - and then just repetition should do it. But do be aware that if there is still pain(maybe bruising around the adjusted rib, maybe ulcers...), it won't work & that should be better before you start.
 
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