Injuries and training problems: Want to hear your stories

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Injuries and training problems: Want to hear your stories

Post by Sydney on Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:31 pm

I am working this horse that I had started two years ago. The owner then sent him to a top of the line driving trainer for work under cart. He was dangerous but his dangerousness was not out of aggression it was out of fear. He is amazing when he is in the cross ties and being groomed. He warmed right up to me when I scratched him.
You can tack him up to ride or drive him and hes great. As soon as you either mount him or ask him to walk on to drive him his head goes up, he stiffens and is like a bullet out of a gun but after a couple minutes he relaxes and loosens up.

At first we suspected abuse. Hes a push button horse to the point where it's almost like he is afraid of the consequences of not listening. His current owner (a 78 year old man) has never done anything to intimidate or hurt the gelding so you would think if it was abuse he would have loosened up and gotten over it.
He has pulled back a couple times when tied so it got me thinking:
Maybe he hurt himself either soft tissue or skeletal. I also noticed he grinds his teeth when being worked which could indicate pain. I haven't massaged him yet (I am an equine massage therapist). When he first starts working those hurt parts are stiff and cause pain. After a couple minutes they loosen up and the pain goes away making him relax.

My question to you guys are have you ever had a horse/known a horse that you thought had a training problem but it ended up being something other like an injury or ill fitting tack? Did you find it or did your trainer find it? Could you fix it and how was it fixed.

I'm doing a journalism course in university right now and I think I am going to write about problem horses and injuries. I would love to hear your stories Smile
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Sydney

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Age : 29
Location : Harrow Ontario Canada

http://www.nurturalhorse.com

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Re: Injuries and training problems: Want to hear your stories

Post by bohohorse on Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:11 pm

Zeno himself - last year he began to pull faces when I put the leg on and became generally reluctant to go forward. I assumed it was something I was doing wrong training wise and changed several things but the problems persisted.

My trainer certainly didn't spot it; I was having lessons at the time and my instructor told me to send him forward and that he was just being lazy. No criticism intended to her - she is normally very good but I guess I just knew my horse better than her as I wasn't satisfied. He also had other symptoms such as being reluctant to eat bucket feed. I called the vet who carried out an external examination and an endoscopy and confirmed my fears; the poor little soul had stomach ulcers.

It's a mystery how he got them as he doesn't fit the model of the supposedly vulnerable horse and there are no indicators in the way he is managed. But there you go.

Traditionally, when people have 'behavioural' problems, the responsible thing to do is to encourage them to check teeth, back and saddle. Now I'd say, teeth, back, saddle and stomach. The statistics for ulcers are shocking; some even go so far as to say that all ridden horses should be assumed to have some level of ulceration.

Oh - applies to rider problems too - at one stage I though I was hopelessly lopsided as I always felt like I had the left stirrup longer than the other. My (wonderful) podiatrist said she thought he was unlevel behind from observing his hoofs. I called a recommended chiropracter, rested him for a few days and hey presto. We were both on the straight and narrow again Very Happy
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Re: Injuries and training problems: Want to hear your stories

Post by Sydney on Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:55 pm

I checked this geldings mouth today. He has one sharp canine but other than that his mouth is sound. So anyway I took out the bit and put on my nurtural driving bridle. The lady at that barn couldn't believe the amazing change.
When I asked him to WOAH and stand there wile I talked he did. He was always anxious before and hard to stop with a liverpool driving bit with rubber covering it in his mouth. He also stopped grinding his teeth. When I was all done with him he stood and put his head level with his withers and sighed. None of us EVER seen him do that, not out in the paddock not in his stall. If he has his head up and not eating hes alert and holding it high. I still think he may have his spine out of alignment from pulling back.

I found hes also almost over trained. He was push button which is what I train for but too much so. You would click or kiss to him and he would want to take off like a bullet out of a gun. I taught him the word walk on and he walks off nicely.
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Sydney

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