Help - In Horse Training

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by GallopGirl088, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. GallopGirl088

    GallopGirl088 New Member

    I have a 5 and a half year old Thoroughbred mare - who has been of the track now for about a year - after her race career she did a few months of dressage before i got her.

    i have had her for atleast 6 months now, and she seems to be getting worse in her behaviour :
    she is underweight and has no muscles - so i have changed her feed she is getting more weight on her and is looking good, still no muscles yet though :(

    Aggressive tail swishing when riding her ,
    Mouthing Bit
    Moving her head to the side
    Tossing head
    Shying (She never use to shy)
    potential buck (but not full buck)
    reared (once)
    took of with me today (after a shy, woulda galloped but managed to stop her)

    She used to be a good horse (always had the speed problem, not very good breaks, forward going ) but never as bad as this.

    I dont know whether its the food or what but she is getting bad.

    Has any one got any suggestions on this ?

    I was thinking Fred Watkins, but does anyone know of any other trainers out there ??
     
  2. NaeNae87

    NaeNae87 Well-known Member

    Is she girthy? Her behaviour could be pain related. Have you had her saddle and teeth checked recently?
     
  3. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    She may be blameless. I think she is trying to tell you something.

    Sure, look at training, but from the description above I would investigate all other possible sources of pain or discomfort too. Teeth. Saddlefit. Bodywork. Feet. Tack. Riding methods. Housing and housekeeping practices. Vet exam and nutrition. Blah blah blah into infinity.

    Horse behavior and body condition usually doesn't disintegrate over 6 months due to them forgetting their training.
     
  4. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member

    Firstly, how good of a rider are you?

    Has she had her teeth looked at?
    Saddle fitted?
    Back checked?
     
  5. GallopGirl088

    GallopGirl088 New Member

    Thanks for your posts guys

    I would say i am intermediate rider

    She has had her teeth checked,

    She is not girthy

    In the 6 months i have had her, her saddle her been fine

    I have done a full body check on her, and she is not sore on any part of her body
    ran my hands along her back, felt around spinal area, and she has not reacted to any of my touches so ?
     
  6. sherridin

    sherridin Well-known Member

    All signs point to soreness IMO. Perhaps you're asking too much since she is lacking muscle??

    I would be getting a vet exam and if all good then looking at an exercise program to build her up slowly. And definitely lessons or eyes on the ground so they can tell you what it looks like and what is going on.

    Horses don't suddenly change behavior without a reason in my experience.

    Good luck
     
  7. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    Cool.

    After 6 months of post-racing education, she is still green and could benefit from a really good teacher helping you both install and reinforce that education. A mentor can help you understand each other better.

    At 5 1/2 she has barely got all her permanent teeth in, baby caps are still falling out. Things are changing in her mouth. When did the dentist last come and what did he say he found in there?

    'girthyness' or saddle related pain isn't always manifested by biting or bring sore to touch, they can express the expectation of pain by being hard to catch, moving around while saddling, teeth grinding/tail swishing, bolting, rearing, bucking and other attempts to escape or deal with pain.

    Body shape and therefore saddlefit can alter drastically over 6 months, especially if horse is losing/gaining weight or muscle and/or showing atrophied muscle, particularly in that TB hollow below the wither.

    Feeling for 'pain' won't always show a physical reaction if you don't know how to assess
    it. Some horses guard themselves or brace against pain inflicted on them, until it becomes unbearable then they react and escape. An experienced bodyworker will see things that us normal horseowners don't understand.

    Keep asking questions, all of us have been through mystery behavior issues and as others say, there is always a reason. It can take time to find. And the more questions you ask, the more further questions seem to arise...sigh.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  8. Leon

    Leon Well-known Member

    What and how much are you feeding her?

    Feed can be very responsible for particular behaviours.. not ruling out pain of course but something to think about.. put my TB on oaten hay- different horse, on meadow he is a lamb.. they all react very differently.
     
  9. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    Definitely sounds like you need professonal help, either by sending her away or by getting an instructor to coach you on her. The second choice would be my preferrence.

    If she is putting on weight, then that might be part of the reason for the undesirable attitude....horses stabilised at the same weight exhibit their normal behaviour, horses losing weight exhibit a lack of energy and horses gaining weight exhibit an increase in energy.

    A lot of people blame the type of feed the horse is on, but some of the time it is just that the horse is gaining weight and the rider is not experienced enough to cope with all that energy.

    What are you feeding her at the moment?
     
  10. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    This thread is doubled up in 'training horses'.

    Also, if she has put on weight since owning her-

    Skinny unfit lethargic OTTB = 'good horse'

    Healthy fitter feeling good OTTB = 'naughty problem horse'

    Common equations.
     
  11. GallopGirl088

    GallopGirl088 New Member

    Due to the weight issue i have upped her feed (she was on just chaff, lucerne and hay,

    now she is on :
    -Chaff (5-6 scoops)
    -Lucerne (1 scoop)
    -2 biscuits hay (morning / night)
    -Balance (3 cups)
    -Tru Gain (3 cups)
    -Cool Max (3cups)
    -Chamomile (1 small medicine cup container)
    -Salt (small palmful)
    -Sweet Bulk (just bought though so she has not yet had any of it) -- (3 cups )
    -Sunflower oil (poured only on night feed)

    She gets this morning and night.

    she is barely doing any work at the moment - basically just worked everyday 1once a day - walking, trotting, hardly any cantering,
    Mainly we are working on muscle building - getting her head down - and keeping her relaxed to aid in neck muscles
    (She stresses easily so its hard to get her nice and relaxed with her head down - in line with withers)

    I have started parelli lessons with her once a week
    and a riding lesson once a week

    She is definitelly not girthy - i can tack her up just fine no problems - she takes the bit nicely too,

    Dentist came out -- oops just found her last dentist work ( 5 months ago )

    so think i better get that checked - maybe that is causing the excess head shaking, head tilting and mouthing ?

    Might have to check her teeth then and see what the dentist says maybe that will help her.

    -- i am still very green to owning horses - This horse is my very first ---

    how often do horses need dental work done ??
     
  12. GallopGirl088

    GallopGirl088 New Member

    Oh Blackbat

    yes she is still green so i have been told

    I had a jockey (a lady at my agistment center ride my horse and gallop her )
    She said she is an awesome horse but it felt like she was riding a yearling with the balance - my horses legs were all over the place.

    And when i turn her sometimes, if she is going fast it will feel like we are tipping sideways and gonna fall.

    also she is not a very good leg yeilder, so maybe these are all adding up.
     
  13. Faxie

    Faxie Well-known Member

    Plus check your saddle fit!

    Seek professional help!
     
  14. GallopGirl088

    GallopGirl088 New Member

    Due to the weight issue i have upped her feed (she was on just chaff, lucerne and hay,

    now she is on :
    -Chaff (5-6 scoops)
    -Lucerne (1 scoop)
    -2 biscuits hay (morning / night)
    -Balance (3 cups)
    -Tru Gain (3 cups)
    -Cool Max (3cups)
    -Chamomile (1 small medicine cup container)
    -Salt (small palmful)
    -Sweet Bulk (just bought though so she has not yet had any of it) -- (3 cups )
    -Sunflower oil (poured only on night feed)

    She gets this morning and night.

    she is barely doing any work at the moment - basically just worked everyday 1once a day - walking, trotting, hardly any cantering,
    Mainly we are working on muscle building - getting her head down - and keeping her relaxed to aid in neck muscles
    (She stresses easily so its hard to get her nice and relaxed with her head down - in line with withers)

    I have started parelli lessons with her once a week
    and a riding lesson once a week
     
  15. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    Well GG, sounds like a rocky start, but you will get there.

    Welcome to the rollercoaster ride of emotions, the steep learning curve, the bulls?!t detection college, the bank-balance emptying joy of horse-ownership.

    Keep posting with updates.
     
  16. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    Your horse sounds disrespectful and reactive and such a change in character is very common with a new home and new human handler and it is all due to a lack of horsemanship skills.

    In fact it can take as little as 48 hours for a once respectful and obedient horse to start becoming disrespectful in inexperienced hands and the disrespectfulness accelerates with continued poor handling and riding until the horse gets more and more dangerous. Whilst some horses are more tolerant of poor handling the off the track thoroughbred needs experienced hands and no mistakes.

    People don't realise that just how you walk around a horse lets it know whether you are the boss or not or when you are riding around the arena and avoid the scary zone you are confirming to the horse there is definitely something terrifying there so you better not relax....the more you let them know you are number 2 and they are number 1 and keep installing reactive and tense behaviour things just get worse.

    The best thing is, acquiring horsemanship skills is more fun and cheaper than years of constant saddle fits, body work, calming pills and potions, constant stress about feed and the risk of getting hurt.

    I am not a Parelli fan but you will learn a foundation of horsemanship from this, in fact if you are going down this route I would recommend handing the horse over to the Parelli person so they can put it back in its box and then once this is done you can get some intensive training yourself on how to work more successfully with your horse!
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  17. GoGo

    GoGo Well-known Member

    probably a good idea to enlist the help of an educator, not for them to do it but to work with you to show you what/how is needed. While you may be an intermediate rider if you have not had experience with a young/green horse it is difficult to progress as they just dont understand what is being asked and can react badly with the confusion and become quite stressed.
    Its the old 3 steps forward and 2 back, actually with OTT's its more often 3 forward and 4 back for the first while at least. You will need a good deal of perserverance and patience.
     
  18. equislave

    equislave Well-known Member

    I agree with Retroremedy and GoGo. I have learnt that OTTB's are a different kettle of fish and their education needs to be approached a little differently. You have to remember they were in training at an age when other breeds of horses were out in the paddock being babied. I mean no disrespect to the racing industry but TB's have to grow up fast. I would get a very experienced breaker / trainer to help you go back to basics and work from the ground up. You need to be very mindful of every single thing you do with the horse and be very alert to even the smallest sign of non compliance or disrespect and act accordingly. Good luck.
     
  19. Salinero

    Salinero Well-known Member

    It is a tricky thing to answer without seeing the horse. It could be any of the already suggested reasons.

    I would either get help from an instructor/trainer who can help to determine if it is pain related or naughty/bossy behaviour or start with a vet exam to rule out pain issues.

    Do you know more of the horses history? Did you have it vet checked before you bought it? Do you know the past owner?

    What I am touching on is the possibility of past injuries you are not aware of or if there have been past behavioural problems? That could be valuable information.

    As you probably know there is a higher risk of past injuries/strains on OTTB's and some are harder to detect than simply just runing your hand over.

    I hope you get to the core of the issue. Good luck!
     
  20. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    I posted on this thread yesterday, asking what the horse was fed and suggesting instruction and its been deleted. Why would that be? I did not put anything offensive at all?????
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2012

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