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Discussion on Sensitive neck, holds tail up,

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Susan M. Herrick
Member
Username: Quatro

Post Number: 21
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 - 4:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I need help! The veterinarians around here do your basic stuff, but that's about it. I have had a gelding for 6 years now. I do not know the history of him, he is QH, and some say he looks like he might be standard bred xx because of the way he carrys himself. When he trots he trots like a pacer, moving legs on both sides of his body at the same time. I don't know if this is for comfort for him, or how he was trained??? He is a very good dispositioned animal, but when we go for rides, he is always jigging, snorting and sweats easily. People have tried to say it is behavioral, I just have to believe that he is experiencing pain under saddle, but no vets here have done any diagnostics to determine anything. One vet said he needed selenium, another said minerals. WE did have surgery on his back legs 5 years ago, she cut the ligaments, the clicking stopped and he did not limp any longer. But what I wonder is if it could be in his spine somehow. When I brush his left side neck up high, he gives me a look of death. He also holds his tail up all the time. Not a happy standard bred up, just up. He also will rest alot with his back leg extended back behind him. What I would like to know is what should I have my vets do, or how can I get someone to help diagnose what his problem is. I feel bad riding him, because it is always a struggle and he is not ever happy. What could we be looking at. . . arthritis? He plays with my other gelding, rearing up, running, bucking and kicking at him. When he goes down hill on trails everyone says his back end looks funny? HELP, its time to ride and I want to help my guy out.
thanks
suz
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Katrina Turner
Member
Username: Kthorse

Post Number: 202
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 - 6:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Have you checked all the web sites that have saddle fitting advise? If you check them all and there is alot. You can see for yourself if you think the saddle is a problem. My horse is wonderful with a perfect fitting saddle and turns into a bucking bronco if it hurts. I am not saying this is your problem. Knowing saddle fit will help you elimanate this as a reason for his behaviour. Its a process of elimination. I am lucky or (un) to have a horse that tells be the saddle pad is wrinkled.:-).Good luck with your search.
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Liliana Velasco Ariza
Member
Username: Liliana

Post Number: 83
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 - 8:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello,

It sounds to me like back pain, you mention that is time to ride, does it mean that he has been at rest through the winter? Many horses with back problems will act normally with no rider the problem starts when they have weight on their backs

You mention about his trot, and it reminded me of a Welsh x Arab Section A mare I bought my daughter when she was 7 yo. I almost sold the mare as she was bronco Billy, We tried more experience riders on her, heavier riders and we all went flying up in the air.

She had the same gait you mention together with a very short stride. In her case the problem started with her hooves, her feet were tiny (as she was 11.2hh) being Arab cross she almost looked like a mini, so it took a really good farrier to spot the problem so first thing was her shoes, they were custom made, then we noticed that the bridle did not quite fit and also her bit, (her mouth was tiny 2.5in) so really she had to have everything custom made. (She was soooo beautiful, dark dappled gray with white points, Arab face)

She had not walked properly for a long time so her back muscles had not developed properly Once we got the dress problem sorted , we did a lot of ground work on the lunge no rider, trotting pole work to lengthen her stride increasing the distance between the poles gradually and lunging her in circles increasing and decreasing the size, like serpentine work but on the lunge, 3m to 5m and so on up to 20m circles, first during 3 minutes each side also increasing to up to 5 minutes each side day by day as she felt fitter.

We spent a good 10 weeks with this work, but, it paid up Bluebell became champion in dressage, showjumping cross country and she cleared the horse size jumps as well up to 5ft high. It worked for us so I do hope it will work for you.

Best of luck,
Liliana
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Liliana Velasco Ariza
Member
Username: Liliana

Post Number: 84
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 - 8:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sorry I meant 15 minutes each side
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Susan M. Herrick
Member
Username: Quatro

Post Number: 22
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 31, 2004 - 9:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks everyone! I just got a new Tucker saddle, hoping he would be happier, I know I am, I love it. He never bucks, he just jiggs around, always has to be up front, those things I think are behaviors I can work on, but the way he carries his tail, just not ever relaxed, even in the pasture, he almost paddles when he runs off. He too has really small feet, we don't wear shoes, since we trail ride on dirt mostly. He has been off relaxing all winter. I just have a gut feeling that his back or neck is out. I am talking to a chiropractor about doing an adjustment on him, to see if that helps. The vets here are not much help. One vet looked at him, never touched his body, and said not to worry, he is just sore from stomping flys. This is unfortunately what we have to deal with in the area. What do you think about the brushing on the neck thing?
thanks
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 10183
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Apr 1, 2004 - 8:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I don't think the evil look when brushing is diagnostic for muscoskeletal pain but the odd way of traveling going downhill is often a significant finding with both lameness and neurological diseases. Unfortunately over the internet we would not be able to begin to diagnose your problem as there are 100's of possibilites that fit your description, including behavior.

We recommend you get a referral to someone who specializes in equine lameness problems and take your saddle with you so that you can ride the horse up and down a hill while they watch.
DrO
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Susan M. Herrick
Member
Username: Quatro

Post Number: 23
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, Apr 1, 2004 - 8:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Dr. O. I have been spreading the word around here. We do have a university about 3 hours away. I took my border collie there for a torn ligament. I was just stunned at the incredibly high cost of treatment at a teaching college. I am just not sure I can afford taking him there. It was $1600 to repair a tear in a little dog, I am terrified to imagine the cost in a large horse!
Will keep looking. There must be vets in practice in our immediate area that specialize
thanks again
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Donald W. Goddard
Member
Username: Gafarm

Post Number: 41
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Thursday, Apr 1, 2004 - 9:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Susan,
I would call and ask the university about some of thier fees before I rule that out. In the past I've found that pound for pound, Horses are much cheaper than dogs for vet care. I took my two dogs in for all their vaccine updates and worm checks and then had to call out my horse vet when my mare had a bad accident. The vet used up all the staples in two guns and had to suture her nose back on by hand. Even with sedation and the farm call the bill was exactly the same as what I'd just paid for my dogs! My point is that you really don't know if you don't ask and you may be very surprised at the difference in cost when it comes to vet care for "Farm Animals".
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