Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The more I think about it, the more I think that I really caused the problem we had yesterday by not listening to Izzy because I didn't trust what she was telling me. She does some nervous cribbing when I put her girth on. I thought that was because I used too short of a girth once and tightened it right away, but it could have been her letting me know that she didn't like the saddle. She didn't want to stand by the block because she was uncomfortable. I had to carry a whip to get her to go forward because her back wasn't comfortable?

Maybe the last one is a stretch. It's hard to say. Cathy recommended using a different pad with my saddle that lifts the front a bit. I think I'll put it on her tomorrow or Friday, and just lunge her in it. The sweat pattern should tell me if that changed the fit to something more comfortable without me sitting in it to add pressure. I'll recheck the fit of both my saddles, and probably lunge her in the wintec the next day to see the sweat pattern from that one. My friend the masseuse is going to check her back Thursday night and let me know what she finds. I'm trading her tack cleaning for that, which is wonderful.

I'm really concerned about this... if it is just a pain thing, I don't mind working through it. We'll eliminate the pain and she should go back to normal or even be better. If, on the other hand, this was largely an attitude problem, then I don't know what to do. I can deal with a lot of vices, but I don't really want to mess with a rearing horse. That's just bad news waiting to happen. In my mind, I keep making Izzy the saint and me the horrible first time owner who didn't notice all the signs, but I'm tempted to wonder if that's true. Is she too far gone? What then? I could hardly sell a horse like that. I can afford some training, but not indefinitely. I'd want to send her to a trainer before this became a major issue, but I wouldn't want her to go and be good for them, and then start up for me again.

On the bright side, Cathy seems to think I can deal with it. She's worked with me for like 11 years now, and she has a good grasp on my abilities. I do ride in the morning when she does most of her training, so I usually have some form of supervision and I can always ask her for advice. She's not at an age where she just wants to hop on a horse like this, but she's trained me long enough to trust me to do it.

If only I trusted myself as much... I'll keep you updated.


  1. Think about the possibility of ulcers - that can cause girthiness or odd behavior - or a dental problem as well - from her behavior it sounds like some sort of pain issue.

  2. I'd say address potential sources of pain first, for sure. Then, if you're sure there's no pain, deal with possible training issues. Mounting issues aren't the easiest thing to overcome but if you're patient she can get over it.

    I think ulcers is a great suggestion. To save yourself the expense of having her scoped, put her on Maylox for 3-4 days (just squirt it in her mouth with a dosing syringe). If the behavior or her appetite improves, it's most likely ulcers. To check for back problems, you can run something along her topline, like a pen cap, and see if she sinks down or flinches. Though if you have a massage therapist coming, she'll be able to check her for that.

    You're doing the right thing just by exploring all possible options. Don't be too tough on yourself -- that is a sign of a great first time horse owner!


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