Sensitive Poll ? Question for the Dressage Rider

Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by lex, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. lex

    lex Well-known Member

    Long time member, minimal poster! **)
    I am curious as to what others ride in and suggest to help with a horse that has a sensitive poll?
    I currently ride in a beautiful Kieffer Comfort Verona snaffle which has a slightly cut back padded head piece but I'd like to take things up a notch and get a bridle that is specifically designed to assist those horses that have sensitive polls. I can safely say it's his poll and not his teeth, he has had issues in the past with bad dentistry work so it's something we stay on top of every 6 months with a brilliant dentist. When he gets a massage (4 times a year) his body is great but it's always that side of the poll she notices as being a bit sore.
    I use massage on the ground (not always, really only when I remember to be honest) and always use ridden exercises to unlock his poll when I get on to warm him up, and if I notice the poll soreness in gaits other then walk I go back to these flexion exercises (Jane Savoie turning the key, so if anyone has any other exercises I'm open to this too). Part of it is me working on steadying my hands and having more of an elastic contact also - working on it! As he supples and by the end of the ride that soreness is always gone.

    Anyone use a micklem? They don't look that different in the poll though to what I have now. Or even one of the very unique looking dyon differences bridles that are REALLY cut back? they don't look traditional, the throat latches cross under the jaw and are tighter then what you would normally have them on a "regular" bridle, it's all part of how the bridle works. Unsure if you could use these in competitions here in oz though due to their design.
  2. kp

    kp Well-known Member

    What makes you think the bridle is causing the poll issues?
  3. lex

    lex Well-known Member

    It may not be causing the issue, its just a normal bridle with a slightly cut back ear & padding, but he definitely gets locked/sore in the poll so I'm looking at different options to help alleviate this other then the ridden work which we do, though if anyone has other ridden exercises I'm all ears.
  4. kp

    kp Well-known Member

    I highly doubt the bridle will be causing the issues. But, there is something that is. Without seeing your horse it is so very difficult to comment. The last horse that I had with ongoing poll issues also had a clubbed foot and ongoing lameness issues with his other foot also. The worse his feet, the worse his poll.
  5. Warren

    Warren New Member

    You're right KP, hoof problems so often show up as tightness in the poll.

    There are also many other things that can cause poll pain. I know of one horse whose poll pain went away when his owner stopped putting his hay in the hay rack and fed it in a bin on the ground. It seems that tugging hay from the rack was causing the problem.
  6. kp

    kp Well-known Member

    Twisting the head and neck to get hay can cause it also. I always feed horses from the ground unless they are tied to a float for that reason :)
  7. lex

    lex Well-known Member

    Thanks for the replies. Interesting about the hay. He is very big horse and they tend to put his hay net up very high in his stable (kinda like a giraffe eating leaves off a tree :rolleyes:) I could ask to bring it down and see if that helps.
    As for his feet they are fine, they're not amazing but they certainly aren't bad and he isn't lame or anything like that. My hands have been commented on in the past during lessons about not being even so I'm really trying to make a concious effort to keep them as even as possible, if there are any hand stability exercises out there that people recommend I am willing to give it a go. Another lesson next week so will run through the situation again with my instructor. Though I rode last night and there was no tilting or soreness shown at all.
  8. kp

    kp Well-known Member

    I would re think how he is getting his hay, and change this if you can. It is your most likely culprit :)
  9. Warren

    Warren New Member

    Yes, it definitely sounds like that's the cause of the problem.

    I don't understand why the hay net is being hung up so high ';'
  10. krayzee

    krayzee New Member

    Imho, most horses are forced to flex at the poll too early.
    Try just riding him loose and somewhere refreshing.
    Too many dressage and hack people forget about the mental stimulus in horses and only ride collected and schooling.:mad:
  11. wtf

    wtf New Member

    Sore neck

    Get dean white to look at his neck . Ridiculous to have poll issues because of where his hay is! I feed 40 of them with hay racks above feed bins and not one has poll issues !!!!!!!!
  12. Warren

    Warren New Member

    It costs nothing to move his hay to a lower position. The ridiculous thing is feeding horses in an unnatural way! Horses are grazing animals and should be fed at ground level if at all possible (which it usually is).
  13. A horse doesn't stay locked in nose up in the air when chewing hay, does it?
    How would pulling hay out be different to lifting a head up to look around?';'
  14. Warren

    Warren New Member

    With the way many stables are configured horses can find themselves in a situation where they can only access their hay from one side. This, combined with the fact that hay racks/nets are high up, means the horse is repeatedly pulling downwards and to one side. Try standing in one place for an extended period and repeatedly jerk your head downwards and sideways!

    For some horses the stretch down to pick up scraps is enough to loosen the tightened muscles but for some horses a high hay rack is enough to cause problems. It's the same for people who use repetitive movements in their job for example - some will develop muscle problems or an RSI of some sort while others suffer no ill effects.

    Why not lower the hay net and see if it helps?
  15. How big is a hay net?:confused: how long does it take to eat it?
    you don't hang up ton of hay in the corner for a horse to do damage by a repetitive action lifting its head eating it for a fortnight?:D
  16. old_mate

    old_mate Well-known Member

    What about bits of hay going in eyes and up noses? Or was it just my idiot of a pony?:D
  17. Warren

    Warren New Member

    Small holed hay nets hold around 5kgs of hay and are intended to extend the eating time for horses who are kept in artificial environments.

    And yes, horses get hay in their eyes if their hay nets are hung above head height.
  18. I would understand if a horse was pulling 10-15 kg of hay out in each bite to do some damage to the neck and head mucsles but pulling out a handfull of it can't cause enough pressure even for a repetitive action to do any damage. Jmo
  19. LisaJ

    LisaJ Well-known Member

    Tell a typist who has carpel tunnel syndrome that they shouldn't have sore wrists because they are only typing and not lifting 10 - 15 kg weights repeatedly.
  20. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    Many strains and pains are caused by a simple 'twist' of some part of the body, with no weight involved. If a person can do harm like that, I don't see why a horse cant especially if done repetitively.

    Lex, I used to have a horse that suffered poll problems. I found that chiropractic work on him was very helpful.

    If you decide you want to sell your Keiffer bridle, please PM me the details. Thanks, Deb

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