Sunday, June 20, 2010

Back to the Beginning

So, after a stunning day yesterday, Izzy put in an equally impressive performance today.

Unfortunately, it was impressive in the opposite manner. She spooked. She bolted. She reared. She spun circles. She was awful. Sigh.

At least I stayed on, right? If I had money and ambition, I might look in to getting a western saddle that would make it easier to ride through all this garbage. At least, I keep thinking that. The truth is, I haven't even sat in a western saddle in years, so who even knows if it would be easier?

U gard, here we come.


  1. U gard is a good thing to try - if she's got bad ulcers you may have to do a 30-day treatment with Gastrogard or the generic equivalent. Then think about a calming supplement, that includes B-1 and perhaps raspberry leaves. I'd also check into the hay/grain she's being fed - are they too high carb? And is her turnout adequate? Good luck!

  2. If you can hang with an english saddle, go for it. You could try lunging her first to get some of the stupid out. I sometimes have to do that with Olly. Keep up the good work and don't get discouraged.

  3. How strange! Hang in the both physically and emotionally. I am sure the cause of all of this will show itself eventually.

  4. Her behavior does remind me of Tucker's and when I treated him for ulcers it made a huge difference. Hopefully you will discover an easy fix for it. Let me know via email if you decide to go for the Gastrogard/Ulcergard route. I may have a helpful idea.

  5. I once asked my vet about my horse's behavior, which was strikingly similar. Sometimes he was awesome, and sometimes he was a total pill. I asked about having a fecal test done to see if ulcers might be the cause.

    In turn, my vet explained that a happy, fat, sleek horse typically doesn't have ulcers. Horses that are skinny, ribby, and have dull coats probably do. Considering that I now own the world's chunkiest TB, she felt that my horse didn't have ulcers. Judging by your horse's awesome picture, she might not have them either.

    That said, trying something like Probios or Ugard might not be a bad idea. I would definitely bring it up with the vet.

    As for the saddle, I've got a sweet Martha Josey barrel racing saddle you're more than welcome to try. You'd have to try to fall out of it, although I've impaled myself on the saddle horn a few times with one of my mares who used to buck and twist at the same time. That's the big downfall with a western saddle. That, and some styles will place your leg forward on purpose, particularly barrel racing and reining saddles.

    Good job staying on!

  6. Sometimes with greenies the trick is to let them rest a day or two after a good (positive) workout, which it sounds like your lesson was. If she was sore at all, she might have just been throwing a tantrum for that, and you can avoid it by giving her her day or two off after a longer or "more demanding" work. How hard a horse works is all relative!

  7. My Tucker was sleek, fat, healthy and erratic. His outward appearance never would have said, "ulcers." But the dramatic change in his behavior after the ulcer meds said otherwise. Estimates are that some 80% or so of working horses have ulcers. Body condition does not always show anything.

  8. I agree with Jean on the ulcers. Although Promise was still recovering from an injury and had dropped a lot of weight while on stall rest, she was shiny and otherwise healthy when her personality suddenly did a 180 and we treated for ulcers. Hers were caused by 2 weeks of Bute for a horse who never got more than a single dose at a time in her life, prior to the injury -- and returning to light work to rebuild muscle after 16-20 weeks off.

    The only way to know for sure is to scope. But, it seems the consensus is, it certainly can't hurt to try an ulcer treatment and see if it helps.

    And, as Bif said, it absolutely could be soreness, too. Some horses don't know how to deal with it and are very "vocal" about being sore after working. I know Promise is one of these types, lol.

    Just as fair warning, if soreness is the issue, a western saddle may not help. I tried it on Promise as a 5 or 6 year old, thinking it might help her cold-backed behavior, and I could stick it out better *when* she crowhopped when I got on. It made the problem worse, and she turned into a rodeo bronc with the western saddle. I finally just put a bucking strap on my english saddle.


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