Monday, October 5, 2009

Major Issues?

I just typed out an excellent (in my mind) post on possible causes of Izzy's issues. Then my browser somehow magically closed out the tab and ate it. I'll summarize what I said.

There are 6 possible categories of problems that could be causes our complete lack of forward problem, listed in the order that they occurred to me.

1. Saddle fit.

I absolutely cannot afford a new saddle again. I'd love to see how she'd go in one of the new ansur models, particularly the new konklusion. Alas, I don't know anyone who has one, and it's so far beyond my price range that I can't even see it. I can play around with creative padding options. The advantage to being at a boarding barn is there's lots of stuff around that people are fairly willing to lend to me to try. (Yes, I'm one of those who always asks first.) Ansur also makes a special pad that might help for about $80 and skito pads (which I have no experience with) run $110-$170 for what I want. I'll probably inquire of treeless people on this option. Ideas, Jean? I'll query the ansur group, too.

2) Chiropractic Issues

Another expensive but important option. Thanks to Nina for her updates on Sam's progress in this area. It would be easier for me to swallow if I knew Izzy had done something, tweaked something, or, you know, if she just came out and said, "I need to see a chiropractor." Cuz if she said that, she can have all the fancy crap she wants. You know how much money I'd make, exploiting a talking horse? Mooooove over Pat Parelli. Haha! Alas, her vocabulary is currently limited to horse, which makes this difficult. We'll give it a go and hope for improvement. A very expensive go. $120 for an adjustment. Oh well... Car gets an oil change, Izzy gets chiropractor, and I'll wear dog chewed shoes for another month or so. At least I bought my husband's birthday present a month ago.

3) Ulcers

Kate has some experience with ulcers in her own horses, so she's presented this as an option. We have a couple boss mares with ulcers. I don't really think this is it, but of course, it's possible. It's certainly something to keep in mind. If saddle and chiro work don't change anything, we'll try this next. I just don't want to do everything at once and then not know what worked. It's a bad research model. ;-) That's my inner nerd coming out. In the mean time, I'll do a little more research and see what I come up with for pasture-kept princesses with attitude.

4) Mental/issue or boredom

This is possible. I don't know about the likeliness. If this was it, Izzy would show improvement after going out on the trail, and since I haven't been able to ride, I haven't been able to evaluate this. I guess it's possible, but I don't think it's likely. Izzy not a hard keeper or hard to please. She's pretty happy doing what she does, until she's not, and then she lets you know in a big way.

5) Training problem

Again, this may be it. I don't want to rule it out, but I want to look at physical issues first. The rearing under saddle wasn't a training problem per se, it was her telling me that her saddle hurt and she was absolutely not going to work like that anymore. She hasn't even thought about rearing since we switched saddles. On the other hand, the rearing on the lune line was absolutely a training problem. We have worked through it and I doubt it will come up again, as she doesn't like to work that hard if it's not going to get her anything. So... this is a mixed bag. Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell.

6) Soundness/soreness problem

The problem pony is sound. She's been sound. Her feet are beautiful, or at least as beautiful as a warmblood's feet can be. She moves well on her own and on the lunge. Her back certainly isn't sore--her favorite thing in the world is a good back rub. I don't think this is an issue with us, although it would certainly explain a lack of forward, especially in a mare with a princess complex.

Any other ideas? Let me know. I'll certainly keep you updated on our progress.


  1. I think your approach of trying one thing at a time is a good one - otherwise, as you say, you won't be able to tell what is working and what isn't. I'd add dental/bitting to the list - this can often contribute to balking/rearing. The ulcer thing is an easy one to test - buy a small container of U-Gard - some people use Maalox to test - and use it for a week or 10 days. If it's ulcers, you're likely to notice pretty immediate improvement. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

  2. I agree with Kate on the ulcers. When I gave Tucker some antacid, there was a very obvious change. So then I started him on the cure--Ulcergard paste for 28 days.

    Muscle soreness and chiropractic issues do not always show up as traditional lameness. The horse can appear absolutely sound. And might even check out sound in a traditional lameness exam. This is what happened with my PJ. Acupuncture changed his attitude completely and allowed him to work for me.

    I have never used a Skito pad, but many of the people on the Ansur board swear by them. I'm still on the lookout for a used Elite for you.

    If the KK solved the rearing problem under saddle then the saddle is probably going to be OK with a little padding adjustment. If you were closer I'd come out to help, but you are far enough away that I'd have to charge and it would be silly to just waste your money on padding suggestions. (It'd be different if I had a hot little Elite in hand, however....)

    Once a horse learns to rear as an evasion, she might use it at a later date as a standard protest move. Tuck's "choice of protest" is bucking, but I can remember more than one horse who used rearing. It's my least favorite vice.

  3. Good Luck. I wish I could be more help but I am supporting you and your decisions from the other side of the world! :o) Yep try things as you can. I understand money - don't you hate it how everything costs! I think you are doing the right thing. Personally I would get chiro done first. Be aware of the change in her after her treatment - Sam was very happy with feeling good so was not afraid to show me!!!!


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