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Discussion Starter #1
So my friend and I were jumping tonight, and after a warmup, I took my mare over a small vertical (2'0") and she did fine. We went over a few times and all was well. Then we went to a line set at about 2'3" and when she went over those jumps she did something strange that she has NEVER done before...she kind of threw her hind legs to the side (out to the left) instead of picking them straight up so it's like she jumped straight with her front end and crooked with her hind! :-(

We tried a couple times and same thing every time...went back to the 2'0" vertical and also did a small x and she was fine. She's not off/lame in her legs at all and is otherwise moving fine. My friend's horse went over the same line without issue, so I don't think it was the footing - plus, my mare and I went down that line yesterday without any problems!

Any idea what this could be? She has no other symptoms as far as fussiness/pinning ears, or anything like that. Just the strange new jumping position that just occurred today and only down that one line!
 

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I am sure its nothing to serious. All horses have an off day. This could have been hers. Mabe she bucked? Im not quite sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Maybe...can something like this indicate back pain? I've never had an issue with her before, but she has had this annoying bump on her back lately...although it's been there for awhile and it was fine yesterday but who knows? It's just strange that she only did it over the 2'3" line, not the 2'0" and under jumps. (she has jumped over 2'3" before by the way, just to let everyone know)
 

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I would have the vet check her out to make sure she is sound. Pain or soreness could be an issue. I would do some lunging over jumps next time you go out to see if she is still doing this strange activity with her back legs. (Or free jump)
 

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was she rushing or unbalanced ?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
She has not had chiro work done, this is the first time she's EVER done anything like this -- and she was fine the day before with those same jumps/same footing :-( Who knows, maybe she's sore from jumping the day before? The ground was kind of soft so perhaps it was harder for her to jump than normal? I'm just going to give her a few days off and not jump for awhile and see if that helps things. Maybe I'll even put some Sore No More on her back just in case!
 

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did you come into the jump straight? Did she get a good stride coming into the jump? Did she buck going over the jump?
Oscar's done that with me before if were not straight or if we've come in to close to the jump when he tries slide over it:p
 

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My horse does that too if we're not straight. Maybe it was combo of that and her being a little silly now that the weather is getting nice again.
 

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Throwing the legs to the side is something that the horse does if for whatever reason they can't tuck their hind legs up tightly enough to clear the jump otherwise. It indicates one of two things: 1.) That the horse lacks the ability or scope cleanly. You'll see Grand Prix jumpers do this over a maximum height or maximum spread or 2.) something in the horse's conformation or soundness prevents them from folding their hind legs in the normal fashion.

Since you say this happened over 2' 3"; I'm going with #2. Posting photos or a video of her jumping would be a big help.
 

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Throwing the legs to the side is something that the horse does if for whatever reason they can't tuck their hind legs up tightly enough to clear the jump otherwise. It indicates one of two things: 1.) That the horse lacks the ability or scope cleanly. You'll see Grand Prix jumpers do this over a maximum height or maximum spread or 2.) something in the horse's conformation or soundness prevents them from folding their hind legs in the normal fashion.

Since you say this happened over 2' 3"; I'm going with #2. Posting photos or a video of her jumping would be a big help.

Exactly, and going to add that rider imbalance/leaning can cause this, as well as if your jumping at an angle and/or asking the horse to turn in the air for a landing and sharp turn, or the horse is anticipating a sloping/uneven/poor footing landing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info everyone...it's just very strange, because we have jumped 2'3" MANY times and even higher as well. So I don't think that she lacks the scope or doesn't have the conformation...but the lameness possibility is what I'm worried about.

I asked someone at the barn today about it and she said her horse does that if he doesn't get a good spot, or if he doesn't feel confident about the footing. With the ground just now starting to dry up, I wonder if that was it? The area on the approach to that line is rather muddy so we had to approach at a VERY slow trot, and she did trip over the second jump in that line...so maybe it was the footing? The ground was dry over the other smaller jumps...in hindsight, I should have put one of the dry jumps up to 2'3" to see if that was it! Maybe I'll try that after a few days of giving her some R&R ;-)
 

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Sounds like a lack of straightness. And due to a higher height she copensates her lack of ability to power up through her body(because she can't hold herself straight), she throws herself to one side or the other. Does she know how to move her hind end by the use of your legs? You might try something as simple as on the approach to the jump lightly tap her hip to, over, and after the jump to encourage her to stay underneath herself.
 

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Hoofprints - look at videos of show jumping in Europe and you will notice that some of the big jumpers tuck their legs over to one side during the jump. Of their own accord they have found a way to clear their hind legs over the fence.

Of course training them to do it, if they don't already, is a bit more difficult.
 

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In all honesty, I would get that "bump' examined. It may indicate a soreness in the spine. This could result in the horse not wanting (or be able to) draw its hind legs up into a tuck underneath him.
 

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Yeha, they bump (depending where it is) could be an out of place disk in her spine. The chiro can fix that easy peasy, its happened to me before, one of them actually had 8 disks out of place :S that was when I first got him... poor thing
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey everyone, to clarify...the bump is a collagen granuloma, caused by a bug bite...I actually had it biopsied weeks ago and tested and that's what they found it to be. She hasn't really been worked hard for about the last 2 months because of it (I couldn't put a saddle on her back because of where it is located and after they biopsied, there were stitches there of course).

We just started easing her back into some jumping recently, starting with just a small flower box, then cross rails, then 2'0" - 2'3". So this height was not anything out of the ordinary for her, it's just that this particular day she was acting funny over the 2'3" line and not the 2'0" vertical in the middle of the arena.

NEW DEVELOPMENT though...may have found the actual issue! I went out to hand walk her today and was having her trot around...no issues...UNTIL we were on the hard driveway, when I noticed a very slight lameness. I had some friends watch me trot her from the front and the back and we discovered she is slightly off at a trot on a hard surface on her left rear/stifle area!

The muscle there is contracted and after we trotted her that little bit it was twitching for awhile too :-( We think she may have pulled a muscle there when she was jumping last weekend since the footing was questionable, and THAT was prob why she all of a sudden started jumping like that!

The vet is coming out tomorrow as a follow up for the bump, so I'll have him take a look at this issue while he's there...in the meantime I put some liniment on it. I'll keep everyone updated, and thanks for all the advice everyone!
 

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The bump on her bck could be a "hunter's bump." Basically it is caused by jumping your horse too often without enough conditioning it her properly first, if I remember correctly.

Solution to bump= more flatwork/trails.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok everyone, here's what the vet found...the bump is just 1 of several large ones, this big one is right under where the saddle goes...it's been biopsied and it's some sort of allergic reaction. So the vet drew some blood and is testing to see what is causing these bumps to pop up :-(

In the meantime, we're treating it with anti inflammatories and she is now on antihistamines as well, to treat the allergy systemically and stop more from popping up while we figure out what she's so allergic to.

The throwing her legs to the side is exactly what we thought, although not the stifle. She pulled a muscle in her back on the left side, so THAT'S why she was jumping like that. I'm guessing our first few days in the still semi-muddy ground caused that one. So she's on a muscle relaxant and hand walking for 10 days and she'll be good to go there.

Soooooo now I'm starting to take some guesses, what do you think she is allergic to? ;-) The big one on her back popped up last fall, and the rest of them, the smaller ones, popped up more recently -- on her side, leg, back, and even her EAR! poor girl :-( I'll let everyone know what I hear back from the vet!
 

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You might want to pick up the latest Practical Horseman. There's a good article on it that talks about a horse's back muscles and how to help keep them loose. It might speed her recovery a bit and help prevent future problems. Glad you at least figured out what the goofy jumping was about.
 
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