Advice needed please on our horse

mbsports

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Need one input guys. I have a 4yr Warmblood very sensitive. As soon as you get on him he wants to buck. Once you have walked off he is fine. Everything has been checked...Only broken in earlier this year. I need one suggestions
 

Lulup

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Assuming that you have had saddle/back etc checked.. Do you lunge him first? Sounds silly but how careful are you when mounting I.e are you sure that you do not twist the saddle (by holding cantle and pommel then pulling yourself on) or dig your toe in to his side, or land heavily etc.?
 

mbsports

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Assuming that you have had saddle/back etc checked.. Do you lunge him first? Sounds silly but how careful are you when mounting I.e are you sure that you do not twist the saddle (by holding cantle and pommel then pulling yourself on) or dig your toe in to his side, or land heavily etc.?
Hi yes thought of all that and got people to check just in case I was without realising it. Lunging makes no difference, Just cannot work out what to do. He is very sensitive and we are desensitizing every day just to help..I am too old to fall off so need the help?..
 

Pigeon

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It might be worth thinking of exercises to strengthen his back, as some find it very hard to stand still while someone gets on. Pole work, hill work and lunging will all help.

Also how is he when you put the saddle on? Does having the saddle on for a while before someone gets on make any difference? It might just be a case of time, and getting on and off a lot! Would giving him a treat as soon as you get on help to calm him down?
 

Pigeon

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Another thought, is he better if you get on from a higher place (like a fence) and literally just step over the saddle, so there is no sideways pressure from the stirrup?
 

Lyle

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He sounds like he might be 'cold backed'. Have you tried lunging him before hoping on? Sometimes they can get the 'humps' out on the lunge and then are good to go. My friends Andy X was like that, but soon 'grew' out of it so to speak.

:eek: oops just read you said lunging makes no difference!
 

Bestdogdash

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Not wanting to be depressing, I had one exactly the same, a horse I bred. all back checks X-rays etc came back clear and he was labeled a 'naughty horse' by professionals. When he was 6 the X-rays finally showed arthritis in his spine - which was always the problem, but due to his age and the early onset, it wasn't picked up. Far from being naughty he was in fact exceptionally stoic and did his very best to work through what must have been terrible pain. We had to have him shot. The guilt of riding him through this, of sending him to 'professionals' to 'sort it out' still haunts me. In fact when we had him shot, I gave up completely - sold everything, heartbroken at how stupid I had been. Took me years before I bought another. There is always a reason for that type of behaviour - especially is he only does it when first mounted. There is no such thing as cold back - they buck because it hurts for some reason.
 

TarrSteps

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Has he always done this? Did you start him yourself? Are there other situations where he bucks? Have you tried a different saddle? Have you had him assessed by someone with a lot of young horse knowledge?
 

ElleJS

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I had a breaker earlier this year that would round her back and stick her head down like she was about to bronco. She did it thru the backing process when you first got on but never actually bucked just a couple of bunny hops and then was fine. Although she did let rip the first time I rode canter on her! She just grew out of it as just very sensitive horse. I worked with a very very experienced breaker through out the process so had no trouble at all. There was nothing wrong with her just very sensitive and needs a rug over her back in cold weather (We broke her in in the ice amd snow earlier this year) So possible she was slightly cold backed but also just a baby and was very sensitive. I say get the right help and make sure saddle fits.
She never does it now and is the most awesome horse!
 

cptrayes

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Not wanting to be depressing, I had one exactly the same, a horse I bred. all back checks X-rays etc came back clear and he was labeled a 'naughty horse' by professionals. When he was 6 the X-rays finally showed arthritis in his spine - which was always the problem, but due to his age and the early onset, it wasn't picked up. Far from being naughty he was in fact exceptionally stoic and did his very best to work through what must have been terrible pain. We had to have him shot. The guilt of riding him through this, of sending him to 'professionals' to 'sort it out' still haunts me. In fact when we had him shot, I gave up completely - sold everything, heartbroken at how stupid I had been. Took me years before I bought another. There is always a reason for that type of behaviour - especially is he only does it when first mounted. There is no such thing as cold back - they buck because it hurts for some reason.
Same. My now seven year old is about to have a kissing spines op, and in retrospect he's a stoic horse who has been uncomfortable for a long time. Until it got too much for him, all he did was fidget until you let him move off.

If I had your horse I would be taking back xrays simply to rule it out, especially if she is any worse in cold weather.
 

McW

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Have you thought about a saddle with a really wide channel? I have to have albions and ideals as mine has a wide spine. Could it be the channel of the saddle is too narrow?
 

budley95

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Need one input guys. I have a 4yr Warmblood very sensitive. As soon as you get on him he wants to buck. Once you have walked off he is fine. Everything has been checked...Only broken in earlier this year. I need one suggestions
I'm guessing as a 4yr old just broken warmblood he's a big gangly lad who's quite unsupple at the moment? I'd probably go with cold backed. If everything has been checked thouroughly by a professional, I'd long line to work him in before hopping on, starting with a loose girth and gradually doing it up. I'd then get on, landing very gently and sitting into the saddle VERY slowly and then give him a rub on his neck whilst he settles to your weight, and then walk him on and do lots of work that will supple him up. Lots of circles and transitions. But take everything easy because of his age. Some cold backed horses "grow out of it" when they become supple. I kmow mine did eventually. Did take 2 years though, and if I land too heavy he'll tense through his back and threaten a buck even now, everthings been checked. Just a rub as a sorry and then he's fine!
 

TarrSteps

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'Cold backed' really just means 'uncomfortable', it's not an actual disorder. All manner of things can cause the same symptoms, some which will resolve in the natural run of things, others that will not.

Re saddles, I rode one recently that had a professionally fitted, good quality saddle but when I sat on her I felt the problems were saddle related, despite the fact the owner had been told by a number of people the horse was being 'naughty'. We tried the various saddles at hand, the horse told us the one she preferred - a cheap old one - problem solved.

Another one that bucked when the fitter came to see it was pronounced a saddle issue when in fact the horse bucks as a first resort and work has sorted a lot of the problem.

Re x-raying the back, there are lots of things that can be going on that won't show on x-ray. Get him worked up if you think that's the issue but clean pictures don't rule out back pain.

Which is all my long winded way of saying no one on the internet can give you a diagnosis and great advice in one situation could get you turned into a lawn dart in another.

Have you had a professional with young horse experience assess the horse? Someone like the person Elle JS worked with? They should be able to narrow down the options for you.
 

IncaCola

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Toatlly agree with advice from Tarr Steps and ElleSJ, but did want to add it is not all gloom and doom if you horse is cold backed I had a 9/10 yr old I several years ago to sell who was very cold backed. he woud tense right up when you got on and felt like he was about to explode. I was told he had always been like this. Despite he age I did lots of gound work as if he was an unbacked youngster and for about a month got on with some one the end of a lunge rein walking him straight off on a circle. He improved a lot and I sold him on to someone fully aware of his little quirk and he did pass a 5 stage vetting. Rider went on the take the horse upto advanced level eventing, he has been a very sound horse and he is still going strong age 17! So don't despair yet not all cold backed are necessarily in pain or have serious spine/back end issues.
 

cptrayes

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Money aside, can anyone tell me why they would not xray the back of a horse which behaves like this, just to rule out any bone problems? I'm struggling to see any reason not to, apart from money or if the horse will be for sale, when you can't disclose what you don't know.

OP the other cold backed horse I owned had kidney failure. It's very rare in horses but if you rule out everything else and are still stumped, bear it in mind. I hope you find a simple answer.
 

Daytona

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I went through this with my 4 year old WB and he fine now

Mount him on concrete , they less likely to mess about when you get on them on a concrete surface. A trick I was told and it works.

Other thing is treats, give him a treat as you get on - well get a helper to, and slowly change it to you doing it.

My lad was really bad, no bother now.
 

TarrSteps

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The concrete advice is good advice. . . .sometimes. Having seen a horse rodeo across concrete, slip and fall on the rider with life changing consequencs, I can tell you unequivocally it's not a given that a horse won't explode just because it's on concrete. If the horse is just being a bit silly, it's a great idea. If he's genuinely determined or in a panic, not so much.

Re (again) cold backed - yes, not cause for doom and gloom at all! I had a very good jumping mare who was always funny to get on and, since she still belonged to her breeders, they could trace it to a specific incident which resulted in an injury to the muscles in her girth area and a lot of trauma. We perfected a workable system for getting on her and she got so much better it was almost a non issue and she went on to be a great amateur horse and retired sound to the breeding shed.

Re x-rays, no reason why not. But I fairly regularly seen horses who have been x-rayed and, because nothing shows up, the conclusion is nothing "serious" could be going on. In two recent cases there did turn out to be a serious back problem, it just wasn't impingement of the vertebrae. On the other hand I had one that was funny to get on and has kissing spines so dramatic you can actually see the changes from the outside! :eek: Yet, with a bit of work, he is absolutely fine to get on. True though, with a young horse such as the OP's I would be even more inclined to go the hard core vet route if I had concerns. Just be aware that if the horse is insured, you need to find out what the repercussions might be for your policy.
 

daffy44

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Lots of good advice, just one thing that i think hasnt been mentioned, the girth itself. Sometimes sensitive horses dislike certain types of girth, have you tried a wider girth, or just putting a sheepskin cover on the girth? That can be enough to set off a sensitive youngster, so worth a try.
I would still say get the horse checked out by a vet, xrays etc, but it may also be something as simple as the fit of the saddle or girth, i think its worth giving a youngster every chance, and going through all options.
 

mbsports

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Has he always done this? Did you start him yourself? Are there other situations where he bucks? Have you tried a different saddle? Have you had him assessed by someone with a lot of young horse knowledge?
Sent him to supposedly a good breaker good rep apparently asked around first. Apparently she had no probs..Shortage of who to trust now. I think it is going to be trial and error...but some good suggestions to try thanks guys
 

TarrSteps

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Sent him to supposedly a good breaker good rep apparently asked around first. Apparently she had no probs..Shortage of who to trust now. I think it is going to be trial and error...but some good suggestions to try thanks guys
Can you get the rider out to see the horse at yours or take him back there for a ride or two with you present? Ask him what tack he used, what process he followed etc and try to find out when it went off the rails a bit. On a thread about backing horses recently we discussed vaulting on as a default method of mounting initially and the potential issue if the horses is not then taught more run of the mill options. Did you see him ridden there and ride him yourself? In the tack he's using now? Everything else the same as far as management, feed etc.?
 
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