Bucking Issues

NicolaC

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4 July 2006
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I have been having a few problems with Cat My section D for a little while now. She is a very sweet girl so what she is doing is not like her at all. It all started when I changed her saddle to one that fitted. She was a good girl but when I lunged her she would violently buck the first time going into trot then settle down. She was fine being ridden so really didn't think much of it. I had the saddler come and check it and she put a little bit more flocking in as it had been sat on my saddle rack for a while and gone a bit lumpy. Rode her in it and she was fine. Next day took her to her first jumping show and that's when it all totally went wrong. She was fine warming up in walk but the moment I asked her to trot she exploded and I landed on my back very hard. Got back on and after a few minutes she was fine and did a couple of classes. Over the next week I lunged once her as my back was very sore and again bucked. Saturday and Sunday I got back on and she was fine. Tuesday came and as soon as I asked her to walk with the roller on the absolutely went mad but as soon as she had done that she settled again. As she had been good when riding her over the weekend I decided the next day to get on and how that was a big mistake! Again perfectly fine in walk but as soon as I asked her to trot she exploded. Again I came off on my back and then couldn't even sit down as it hurt too much.
I had my Chiropractor out to her and she couldn't find anything wrong but suggested to have her xrayed for Kissing spine which I have had done and it has shown she is fine. I then took her to Laura Payne ( Equine sports Therapist ) and she thinks it was her saddle and I had thought that too.
So we gave her time off and then started lunging her without a roller then with a roller, gradually building up with a saddle on. Things have been going really well so I popped on her on Wednesday for a couple of minutes in walk and she was fine ( after I lunged her ). I then lunged her last night and we had bucking again. Not as bad but feel like we have gone backwards. Lunged her this morning and after her being a little tense was fine again.

I just feel like I'm not getting anywhere and just want my Cat back to how she was. Just not sure if there is anything wrong or it is now her thinking it hurts.
 

FestiveFuzz

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It sounds like the new saddle didn't fit at all and was causing her discomfort, which she quietly tried to tell you. Unfortunately it seems you didn't listen so she felt the need to shout (by her becoming more explosive) until you did listen.

In your shoes I'd get your vet to give her a once over to confirm there's no pain anywhere and then work together with your physio to relieve any existing tension.

It's great you had the chiro and physio out to check her but you don't mention having a saddler back out to the saddle since adding more flocking? Perhaps it's worth getting a second opinion on the saddle from a different saddler just so you can be sure the saddle isn't still hurting her.

If all is well it could be an issue of learned pain whereby she's expecting it to hurt and thus getting tense and reacting. In that situation you'd be best placed taking it back to basics. Perhaps turn her out for a week or two and then just take things slowly until she realises it won't hurt.
 

FfionWinnie

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Honestly get a different saddle and a different saddler.

I lost a year with my cob mare after I started having saddle issues and was told by the specialist saddler that it was a perfect fit. Then on their advice I ordered another one custom made for her from same company. This went on and on and on and my lovely kind mare really didn't put up much of a fight until the new (narrower to supposedly correct a slipping back issue) arrived which "couldn't fit better" according to said specialist saddler. This saddle highlighted everything that had been wrong with the first one and as it was new, and not broken in by another horse, it was much, much worse. Her performance nose dived and to cut a long story a bit shorter after a huge fight with the company they had to refund me because my position under the consumer rights act was unarguable (it was not fit for purpose!). The company blamed everything on my horse (they couldn't blame my riding as I had two pros ride in it who agreed!) said she was lame (my vet disagreed!), had an unevenly muscled back (also rubbish and I had physio reports to prove it) among other things. Oh and the best bit was they tried to claim that their "well fitting saddle" had actually highlighted the fact my horse was just crocked! Reality was the horse was fine, indeed the soundest moving horse my vet had seen in a long time and the saddle was 100% the cause of the issues.

I then triallled a solution saddle and her form returned almost immediately and not only that, she is jumping better than she ever has (since the whole I had owned her she had been wearing a saddle that jammed into her shoulders preventing her from taking off without pain!). She is very stoic and put up with it. Now with the benefit of hindsight it's easy to see this.

Incidentally I had the two saddles looked at by several independent master saddlers who (independently from each other!) agreed neither sadddle could ever had fit my horse whatever was done to it. To fit her back length they had to be over the shoulder and thus jamming the tree points into her shoulder.
 
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NicolaC

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Vet has checked her over when xrayed and was fine. Problems started before the saddle was checked and got worse after it was flocked and fitted. Saddle fits fine but went better in the saddle which was too wide with a gel pad. Chrio, Vet and Sports therapist all works together.
 

be positive

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Vet has checked her over when xrayed and was fine. Problems started before the saddle was checked and got worse after it was flocked and fitted. Saddle fits fine but went better in the saddle which was too wide with a gel pad. Chrio, Vet and Sports therapist all works together.
The saddle may seem fine but she is clearly telling you something is not fine, it may be that the wide saddle with gel pad was more comfortable and allowed her to move better and the new one is restricting her in some way, you need to listen to the horse, I would try the wide one and see how that is, if she is happier then you know the saddle that should be ok is not and can do something about changing it, the horse is the best judge of whether a saddle fits in my experience.
 

hottoddy

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Vet has checked her over when xrayed and was fine. Problems started before the saddle was checked and got worse after it was flocked and fitted. Saddle fits fine but went better in the saddle which was too wide with a gel pad. Chrio, Vet and Sports therapist all works together.
But not saddler?
 

soulfull

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Poor you, it's horrid when something is wrong but you can't find it. I wonder if the back issues have caused ulcers? Ulcers can actually cause nasty back pain too
 

Meredith

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the sat-nav is wrong, go farther up the hill
I am no expert and this is just a thought and I agree with everything mentioned above but have you had the horse viewed in work with the saddle on? My saddler sorted a problem that couldn't be seen unless my big shouldered horse was being ridden. The old saddle restricted her shoulders and she showed it by bucking when going into canter. Problem solved by a wider fit half panel saddle.
 

be positive

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I am no expert and this is just a thought and I agree with everything mentioned above but have you had the horse viewed in work with the saddle on? My saddler sorted a problem that couldn't be seen unless my big shouldered horse was being ridden. The old saddle restricted her shoulders and she showed it by bucking when going into canter. Problem solved by a wider fit half panel saddle.
Part of fitting the saddle should include seeing the horse ridden, in my opinion if a saddler does not see the horse ridden in all paces and, if appropriate, over some fences, then they have not done their job properly, obviously there are times that riding is not possible but if that is the case they should factor in coming back to reassess once the horse is back in work/ been started if it had not been backed.
 

SEL

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Get a different saddler. My friends horse had a new saddle fitted & got girthy, grumpy & kept spooking. She treated for ulcers but it was only when there was a different saddler on site and she asked her to check something was it pointed out her saddle was too long. New saddle = happy horse.
 

Meredith

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the sat-nav is wrong, go farther up the hill
Part of fitting the saddle should include seeing the horse ridden, in my opinion if a saddler does not see the horse ridden in all paces and, if appropriate, over some fences, then they have not done their job properly, obviously there are times that riding is not possible but if that is the case they should factor in coming back to reassess once the horse is back in work/ been started if it had not been backed.
Exactly, that's why I trust my saddler. The old saddle was fitted without the horse being ridden. You only learn by experience.
 
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