Canter explosions and other stories

New2this

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I have been thinking of starting this thread asking for advice, but don’t know where to start and worry it will be a long confused mess of a post. But here goes....

I rode a lot up until I was about 15, gave up, then returned about a year ago. My dream was to own my own. I rushed into this, looking back. I WISH I had taken more time. But hindsight is 20 20. Bought 8 yr old thoroughbred gelding about five months ago.

I thought I did everything I could. Horse was sold by seemingly lovely private home. Advertised as novice ride, first horse, happy hacker etc. I tried him. Great temperament. Lovely to ride etc.

Even then, I was concerned at his size (16 3) and the fact he was a thoroughbred (never raced). But convinced myself I should go for the horse not the breed and he was gentle giant. He was vetted. Vet said he had minor conformation issue that would not effect his use. Bloods taken.

Three days after delivery things started going wrong. He went lame. My own vet saw him. Said he may have dropped fetlock as both fetlocks were low, but one significantly lower than other. Asked initial vet (horse bought a couple of hours away from me) to run bloods. He said the bloods were compromised and couldn’t be run. Asked seller to take him back - they refused and turned nasty.

Since then... he has come right ish.... The lameness didn’t last. Within a week he was sound again. So I slowly returned him to work. During this time I ve had the vet multiple times. He says is not dropped fetlock, he is perfectly sound etc. I ve had dentist. Dentist said he thought his teeth had possibly never been done and definitely not in last three years. Aldo hinted he knew sellers and they were known dealers. I ve had chiro - said there was issue, but he worked on it and should be fine now. Similar with physio!!!! I ve also had saddle fitter. Reflocked saddle.

The issue - he seems fine in walk and trot. He EXPLODES when asked for canter. This used to be on right rein only. And straight away when asked. Now he will also do it on left rein, but not straight away. He bucks, bunny hops, makes a high pitched scream type noise and gallops around.

He does this on the lunge and ridden. So I ve completely lost my confidence riding in canter. Even lunging him is an ordeal. If asked for canter, madness ensues, so I ve stopped. But if for whatever reason he takes it upon himself to canter on lunge he goes do lally.

He has bucked me off twice. Lunging - yesterday he broke the lunge clip dancing around the arena. He ran at a wall. Galloping around manically and then headed for his stable. When I went to get him he has heaving and seemed frightened. I couldn’t lunge anymore (broken clip) so we did some ground work, which calmed him. I have been following the TRT method, which he seems to like.

I do have great support. The YO is lovely (though I think she is losing patience - thoroughly understandable). My niece is a v accomplished horse woman. She is going to take him one day a week to try and help.

I have cut down his hard food with ad lib hay. And ruled out pain (as much as I can in accordance w vet opinion etc). One thing that’s bothering me - where I am, they don’t do much turnout. It’s individual turnout three hrs a day. I ve asked this to be upped. The most they can give him is 5 and a half. I ensure he has exercise at least an hour 5 times a week (groundwork, lunging and riding). They also don’t have much on site hacking- just one huge open field. I do use it as I know it’s good for him. But given the problems above, I am completely tense as I think he’s going to bolt etc.

I am sorry this is such a mess. My case is probably a really good example of why a novice shouldn’t buy a horse!!!! It was a lifelong dream, but most days it’s a bit of a nightmare.
 

New2this

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Ps, some days I think... we can do this. I can help him. There’s some problem. I can find the solution (a new calmer etc). I can ‘get him right’. I can become a better more confident owner. I ll fix this.

Some days I want to sell him. I think... there’s no problem with this horse. The problem is ME. I ve over horsed myself. He would do better with someone else. But on these days I think - who would buy this beautiful but mad bucking bronco. And if they would at a dramatically decreased price, where would he end up....... the idea of him suffering for my ineptitude is hard to take.
 
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Stop riding him now before anyone gets hurt.

I would book him in for a proper lameness work up at an experienced, specialist equine vet. Something is wrong. You need a lameness expert to find it.


ETA - it might also be worth finding out where you stand legally. If there is proof that the seller was a dealer that needs investigating.
 

New2this

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Stop riding him now before anyone gets hurt.

I would book him in for a proper lameness work up at an experienced, specialist equine vet. Something is wrong. You need a lameness expert to find it.
This is what I think too! But my vet is the top equine vet in the area. The YO is very experienced ex show jumper. They say it’s me not horse. That he’s trying it on with me. It doesn’t help that after one particularly hideous episode the YO lunged and rode him to see what was up. Bizarrely (I wasn’t there) he was apparently a dream. This gives them more evidence that it’s me not Charlie.
 

New2this

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I would consider taking a claim against the vet who did the vetting for being unable to run the bloods.

Was the vet recommended by the sellers?
.
No. I found him. It was all a bit of a mess. I actually did start a claim, but my vet didn’t want to give report as horse had come sound so solicitor advised against proceeding. It’s all a bit of a mess really, isn’t it?!
 

ycbm

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This is what I think too! But my vet is the top equine vet in the area. The YO is very experienced ex show jumper. They say it’s me not horse. That he’s trying it on with me. It doesn’t help that after one particularly hideous episode the YO lunged and rode him to see what was up. Bizarrely (I wasn’t there) he was apparently a dream. This gives them more evidence that it’s me not Charlie.

Everyone told me it was that my horse was "just a TB and that's what they do" when he started bucking. He had neck arthritis so severe I had him PTS. Another horse, I was told "he needs a man on him" when what he needed was treatment for severe kissing spines.

I'd certainly be looking at x rays of the spine from the poll as far as you can get, and an SI/hock/stifle/PSD exploration if those are clear.

I doubt that it's you, from what you've written so far.
..
 
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If you cannot do anything legally, I would still send him to the vets for a workup for peace of mind. If nothing is found, then you could sell from the field with full vet history disclosure (give permission for the buyer to talk to the vet).

However, I would fully expect them to find something given your description. Remember that good, strong riders can make a horse work nicely even when they are in pain. This could be why he behaves for the ex-showjumper and not for you.
 

New2this

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Everyone told me it was that my horse was "just a TB and that's what they do" when he started bucking. He had neck arthritis so severe I had him PTS. Another horse, I was told "he needs a man on him" when what he needed was treatment for severe kissing spines.

I'd certainly be looking at x rays of the spine from the poll as far as you can get, and an SI/hock/stifle/PSD exploration if those are clear.

I doubt that it's you, from what you've written so far.
..
I lack confidence in myself as an owner. So I think “these people know so much more, I just have to man up”. But it’s like a gun goes off. It’s not fair to him and it’s dangerous for me and my niece. So I ll get the vet out again. Last time he mentioned doing a bute trail to see if he changed his behaviour. He didn’t mention x rays.

I have to say.... I m not insured (in Ireland people don’t really do this I don’t think). And this is all mounting up!!!! I know, I know.... don’t buy a horse if you can’t afford it. Unfortunately, to coincide with Charlie’s latest bucks and bronks my work has cut my hours significantly.
 
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No, don't spend any money on the same advice from the same set of eyes. You need a second opinion. I would want to take him to a clinic and get costs worked out before hand so you know what can be done with what budget. Let them know that they need to ask before doing anything expensive.

I'm sorry that your hours have been cut. If money for treatment/investigations is a real issue, turn him away and give yourself a bit of time to reassess all your options.
 

Goldenstar

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There’s alot to pull apart here .
Some horses are explosive in canter just because they find it madly exciting and lack of turnout is a nightmare with some horses .
However I would be prepared to bet your horses has pain .
I would send the horse for a full problems with performance work up .
I would get video of the horse on the lunge for the vet to see .
You need to ask around to find the right vet to do this, it’s a specialist area you don’t need a macho ride the horse through it type vet .
It will be expensive but it worth it you will save time and quite possibly your neck .
 

New2this

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From someone who've owned a missold TB who broke several of my bones and emotionally scarred me.... It's really, really, really not worth it.

But, if you are still determined to keep him- get him xrayed and scoped.
If I’m honest, I’m not determined. At the moment determined is the last thing I am.
 

Carrottom

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I would try to find somewhere to turn him out 24/7 for a couple of weeks and then decent turnout every day. It does sound like he is far to fresh and this will add to any other issues he may or may not have. I think the squeals on the lunge are indicative.
 

laura_nash

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I would try to find somewhere to turn him out 24/7 for a couple of weeks and then decent turnout every day. It does sound like he is far to fresh and this will add to any other issues he may or may not have. I think the squeals on the lunge are indicative.
This ^^. I wouldn't ride my sensible cob (who I've owned 15 years plus) if he'd only had 3 hours turnout a day. I also wouldn't be surprised if he went nuts on the lunge.

It might be pain, but I'd want to rule out the obvious first and have him out full time with no hard feed for a couple of weeks.
 

Regandal

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In your shoes I would find grass livery for the winter and turn him away until spring. Horse is probably going slowly insane due to lack of turnout, this will give you time to save some money for investigations. Could be any number of things, of course if you suspect acute pain, he would need to be seen now, but I’d use a different vet.
 

Mrs Jingle

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I have to say.... I m not insured (in Ireland people don’t really do this I don’t think).
Its not that we choose not to insure over here New2This - it is impossible to insure for vets fees now anywhere in Ireland unfortunately. Not sure about the North. But thats by the by.

Can you give a rough area that you are in and some of us from Ireland might be able to suggest a decent vet to do a full work up for you, the vet you are using at the moment does not sound particularly pro active to me. But of course unfortunately that will cost you, but perhaps a new credit card just to pay off the initial diagnostics might help. Even if you just get enough professional vet input to know if the poor horse desperately needs some sort of treatment or if this is a case for PTS before it he kills someone.

Do not be swayed too much by the opinion of professional riders. I have seen more than one well past its sell by date broncing horse held together by a very good professional rider, long enough to produce a very passable sales video.
 

Red-1

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As you have had the vet, and they think it is not physical, coupled with the fact that the horse was good with YO, I would explore the YO doing a schooling livery.

Sometimes a horse will do bucking etc with a less experienced rider, because they can and then they get into a habit. I have first hand knowledge of them coming right, and more importantly staying right. Even OH's Charlie Horse would buck with some riders, but was a sterling horse for us, for many years.

If schooling livery didn't make the horse come right, I would then go down a route of taking the horse to the equine hospital for a thorough performance workup. If insured, I would do this first.
 
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Lady Jane

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I had problems with my horse and blamed my riding. Eventually the RVC Osteo lead vet agrees he is not right and can't work out what is the problem. It was confused as there were real/obvious/treatable problems along the way but if I hadn't blamed my riding I may have got to where I ended up much sooner. I think you have some good advice here eg 24x7 turnout but I would like to see the YO ride him. If she is powerful enough she could force him to behave with pain - and I mean by skillful riding not beating him! Good luck, keep us posted, Just seen you live in Ireland. It may be harder to get him to a top performance horse practice than in the UK.
 

twiggy2

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Is it possible for you to turn him away for a month in a settled living out herd, keep him there and start small maybe with a different calm rider just hacking in walk, if it is as simple as he needs more turnout to be rideable then you know he has to have more turnout in a herd without spending more money.
If he is still the same then go down the route of vet investigation.
 

paddy555

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Thanks everyone. I am
Listening to what you are all saying. And thinking....
leaving aside what everyone is saying what do YOU want the outcome to be? Even if the horse was found to have something curable would you want to ride? would you feel safe doing so because from your posts I don't think you would. Yes I think you are completely overhorsed and it could well be that someone else could cope with him, OTOH it could be something like KS and, other than forcing him through pain, he is basically unrideable.

It has all gone wrong which is very sad, it could be you, could be the horse or could be the dealer who didn't tell you the problem and the vet who couldn't test the blood is inexcusable.

Before you go further I think you need to decide do you want to ride him, are you willing to sell him in the hope a pro could ride him, are you willing to PTS as it stands, are you willing to go further down the vet route and financially by how much. Do you want to keep him as a pet.

the other thing is the turnout. The lack of turn out is probably not really fair on the horse. If you were in England I would suggest you put him on either 24/7 turn out or a track system for the winter, give him a few months and ask a trainer who is not familiar with him to assess him. (warning them of course to prevent an accident) I am afraid I don''t have any idea about Ireland. Is that sort of turn out possible.

There are so many possibilities from your posts. If you can afford it can you send him to a decent trainer with a lot of turnout to assess him even if only for a few weeks. If the horse has no problems other than needing an experienced rider ask them to sell him via sales livery otherwise to get a different vet.

ETA from reading your initial posts again don't despair, it is not your ineptitude just simply now considering the possibilities as to why it is happening and the possible ways to resolve the situation..
 

mariew

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See even a very fresh horse I'd expect to calm down eventually if you lunge. Tricky if you have to fork out for it yourself. I would want to rule out kissing spine, suspensories/hind leg issues and ulcers maybe.

It's rare a horse is naughty without a reason. Especially if you can walk and trot him without issues and he doesn't feel like he is going to lose it unless you canter. - if he was that fresh I'd expect him to explode as you walk into the arena, not just when asking for canter.
 

Mrs Jingle

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It may be harder to get him to a top performance horse practice than in the UK.

That is not the case actually Lady Jane, quite the opposite. On the Curragh in Kildare and several other places here we have some world renowned vets looking after some of the most expensive TBs in the racing world. Individuals can also avail themselves of these vets. It is not unusual for a TB race horse from the UK to be sent to Ireland for a particular vet to look at.

One of my own horses went their for a lameness workup - full diagnostics and an excellent rehab plan that kept the horse sound for another 6 years until retirement for another reason. He was treated in exactly the same professional and caring way as his very expensive TB stable mates. And the cost was surprisingly reasonable in my opinion.
 
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