I really wish they could talk to us

J_sarahd

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17 August 2017
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Some of you may have seen that Badger and I got eliminated from our last show due to refusals. This was accompanied by him bucking in the warm up going into right canter. Let me just make one thing super clear - this pony NEVER bucks. I've had him for nearly 2 years now and even when he's fresh as a blinking daisy, he never bucks. Even when he had a bad fitting Wintec saddle, he never bucked. It's been two weeks of trying things and hoping something shows some sort of sign as to what's wrong. He's been lunged with tack, without tack, he's had the gullet changed in his saddle (as he's got porkier so my (very experienced) YM thought it might just be pinching a bit), we've borrowed a wider saddle.

Things seem to go okay for a ride or two and then he just shows me he's in pain. I haven't managed to get the saddle fitter out until Saturday and he had his back done today. He was not happy and even kicked out (again, very unlike him). Someone mentioned it might be the flocking in the saddle as it was brand new when I bought it in June. It's been checked since then. Can flocking cause a reaction like this?

I'm worried sick. I know in my mind I should wait for the saddle fit on Saturday and go from there. But my mind keeps thinking about the dreaded KS.

I just need a rant etc because my friends at the yard just tell me to stop worrying and that I'm overthinking. Which I know I probably (hopefully) am, but it's the fact it's so out of character for him to act like this.
 

Uliy

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I hope you find a solution to the problem, it is so so hard when they can’t tell you what it is that is bothering them ☹️
 

L&M

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We had our new mare develop bad back issues - saddle that came with her was supposedly made to measure and only a year old.

She also started to behave out of character in early summer. She started resenting being girthed and on 2 occasions reversed back so quickly on mounting, she backed into a fence and tipped my OH off into the hedegrow!!!

Started with vet, and like you, though the worst, possibly KS/back issues. Fortunately x rays came back clean and vet recommended a physio, who immediately identified a very sore muscle under the saddle area, caused directly by 'bespoke and very expensive' saddle being too narrow and worsened by summer weight gain.

3 sessions with the physio and a different saddle and mare has quickly returned to her normal happy self.

My advice would be to get a physio to have a look - just because you have changed the saddle, doesn't mean that any soreness will disappear........good luck and let us know how you get on.
 

PapaverFollis

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I very much understand that sickening feeling of your brain jumping to the worst case scenario and just not letting go of it. It's very hard to shake off and I'm always doing it myself. But reading what you've written I think your brain is making a fairly big leap to arrive at kissing spines already. (I'm not criticising, I'm exactly the same) Personally I would speak to your vet and get an ACPAT physio out as a first port of call. I've always found a physio visit is either great reassurance or gets to the heart of the matter pretty quickly.
 

Michen

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22 January 2014
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Honestly before you go down the vet route I’d just chuck her in a field for a few weeks and start again. It could well be a twinge from something in the field.
 

PapaverFollis

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I only say talk to vet in order to get the physio. I certainly wouldn't actually get the vet out or involved properly at this point. Just the physio will have to have the vet's permission to treat.
 

sam72431

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4 April 2008
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Hampshire
Bucking is very often linked to sacroiliac problems this could just be soft tissue so don't panic too much. Whilst ks is often bucking it's also often accompanied by other behaviourial issues like bolting or not going forward. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Start with saddler then physio/sports massage/chiropractor then vet.
 

YouKnowBest&Me

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4 May 2020
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241
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London/Kent
Some of you may have seen that Badger and I got eliminated from our last show due to refusals. This was accompanied by him bucking in the warm up going into right canter. Let me just make one thing super clear - this pony NEVER bucks. I've had him for nearly 2 years now and even when he's fresh as a blinking daisy, he never bucks. Even when he had a bad fitting Wintec saddle, he never bucked. It's been two weeks of trying things and hoping something shows some sort of sign as to what's wrong. He's been lunged with tack, without tack, he's had the gullet changed in his saddle (as he's got porkier so my (very experienced) YM thought it might just be pinching a bit), we've borrowed a wider saddle.

Things seem to go okay for a ride or two and then he just shows me he's in pain. I haven't managed to get the saddle fitter out until Saturday and he had his back done today. He was not happy and even kicked out (again, very unlike him). Someone mentioned it might be the flocking in the saddle as it was brand new when I bought it in June. It's been checked since then. Can flocking cause a reaction like this?

I'm worried sick. I know in my mind I should wait for the saddle fit on Saturday and go from there. But my mind keeps thinking about the dreaded KS.

I just need a rant etc because my friends at the yard just tell me to stop worrying and that I'm overthinking. Which I know I probably (hopefully) am, but it's the fact it's so out of character for him to act like this.
It’s never nice when your horse is in pain and you haven’t located the source yet- and I’m sure many of us automatically jump to the worst conclusions like kissing spine but if he isn’t lame and has put on weight it may be that it is badly fitting tack and even after the saddle fitting it may be that the saddle fitting incorrectly before has caused tightness or soreness that may benefit from a physio doing some trigger point release or massage treatment...I would always have the vet out as a precaution but the absence of any lameness intermittent or otherwise is a good sign. It’s hard not to worry yourself to death assuming the worst but if there is some DOMS or other causes of pain that originated from his old saddle not fitting him in his new heavier shape being seen by a vet and getting a physio referral might be a really good step and also a vet can rule out anything more serious too....Good luck I’m sure it will be fine xx
 

JanetGeorge

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He seems to be talking to you rather well, just horse-spk is a bit different! The fact that he attempted to kick without a rider in the saddle and that he has some good days in-between suggests kissing spines OR an ill fitting saddle (or both) are not his main problem. I would start with getting his poo tested for blood (hind gut ulcers), and perhaps at the same time, get a blood profile done - just to rule out an inbalance. And then a GOOD physio! As he's shown signs of pain in the stable, just turning him out is unlikely to help. Look for other signs when handling. Give him a good going over with a dandy brush or rubber curry comb - are there any areas he doesn't want you to touch. Is he relaxed and happy when grazing, or unsettled. No point getting further vet investigation without a few clues about where to start! Of course, it IS that time of year. The ups and downs in temperature and wind have MORE effect on mares and stallions, but geldings are NOT immune to being pillocks - just because it's a lousy day!
 

J_sarahd

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17 August 2017
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728
Also, to be on the safe side, get the extra weight back off. Laminitis is not what you need as an extra.
I'm trying! He's quite a chunky boy and to be fair, when Baileys came out with the weighbridge, they said his weight was ideal. I think he's just filled out a bit more. I do keep my eye on his weight and try to be really strict with everything. He's not really given treats, he has had a muzzle on in the field all through summer (it's off at the moment because the fields are bare but when he moves to his new field, it'll go back on). I try and work him 4 times a week, but obviously with him being the way he has been, I've backed off the exercise a bit.
 

J_sarahd

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17 August 2017
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728
He seems to be talking to you rather well, just horse-spk is a bit different! The fact that he attempted to kick without a rider in the saddle and that he has some good days in-between suggests kissing spines OR an ill fitting saddle (or both) are not his main problem. I would start with getting his poo tested for blood (hind gut ulcers), and perhaps at the same time, get a blood profile done - just to rule out an inbalance. And then a GOOD physio! As he's shown signs of pain in the stable, just turning him out is unlikely to help. Look for other signs when handling. Give him a good going over with a dandy brush or rubber curry comb - are there any areas he doesn't want you to touch. Is he relaxed and happy when grazing, or unsettled. No point getting further vet investigation without a few clues about where to start! Of course, it IS that time of year. The ups and downs in temperature and wind have MORE effect on mares and stallions, but geldings are NOT immune to being pillocks - just because it's a lousy day!
He's very relaxed and happy in the field. It's only been recently that he's showing a bit more aggression in the stable. I say aggression, but he's by no means the worst. He'll put his ears back, walk off if you go to saddle him and turn to look at you as if to bite when girthing him. I know there's definitely something wrong (as much as other people on the yard have told me there isn't), it's just pinpointing where and what. I've cried about it quite a bit because my brain can't just focus on what to do next, it thinks about the bigger picture and the possibilities!
 

J_sarahd

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A bit of an update - went to the saddle fitters today and he said he doesn’t think it’s the saddle. There was a bit of flocking needing to be done but that was it. We had no bucking, but he was very twitchy to tack up. Next avenue to go down is ulcers. I know they’re a side effect of something else, but the symptoms he is showing at the moment are symptoms for ulcers. I just know that scoping is very costly
 

Bellaboo18

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3 October 2018
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A bit of an update - went to the saddle fitters today and he said he doesn’t think it’s the saddle. There was a bit of flocking needing to be done but that was it. We had no bucking, but he was very twitchy to tack up. Next avenue to go down is ulcers. I know they’re a side effect of something else, but the symptoms he is showing at the moment are symptoms for ulcers. I just know that scoping is very costly
I had one scoped this year which cost £200
 

Ceriann

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28 June 2012
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You know your horse so continue to investigate. If not the saddle have you checked the pads and girth? Mine was girthy and grumpy to tack. I looked at everything and a combo of saddle check (slight re flocking), new girth, gut balancer, regular physio and stretches have settled this. I don’t know if one is more significant than another but it’s taken ages and a lot of people telling me to ignore it and crack on. She has been fully checked by vet too.
 

PapaverFollis

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I would still get a physio at this point. They'll be able to tell you what the horse's muscles think about the saddle fit as well as anything else that might be going on.
 

CouldItBe

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21 October 2020
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80
My mare has Sacroiliac issues going on and she’s always been a bucket, but what let me know something was up was she stopped bucking and started slamming in the brakes, planting. We’ve done 10 weeks rehab and all was going well but after having a hissy fit in the field we’ve gone 1 step forward and 2 steps back, so just wanted to say i’m in the same boat and understand a bit how your feeling
 

PurBee

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23 November 2019
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A bit of an update - went to the saddle fitters today and he said he doesn’t think it’s the saddle. There was a bit of flocking needing to be done but that was it. We had no bucking, but he was very twitchy to tack up. Next avenue to go down is ulcers. I know they’re a side effect of something else, but the symptoms he is showing at the moment are symptoms for ulcers. I just know that scoping is very costly
This is a long shot i know but have you been feeding any of the feeds that got contaminated with zilpaterol?
Thread about it here:
https://forums.horseandhound.co.uk/...minated-with-zilpaterol.796399/#post-14434956

unbeknownst to me , until i saw that thread, ive been using a gain product from one of the infected batches and my horses have been acting very bitchy, antsy and restless since starting the bag. I didnt know and thought it was a sugar flush from grass, although they never act like that so continuously, even my chilled out mare napped me, and after one feed i noticed her forelegs quivering a few hours later when i gave hay. They both seemed impatient and jittery behaviourally, Intuitively i didnt do much with them while they were behaviourly different.

I actually stopped using the bag before finding the thread about contamination as id run out of speedibeet i mix the feed with, and theyve been off it for about 9 days now and have calmed right down. Apparently in horses zilpaterol causes fast heartbeat, restlessness, shaking muscles and when high dose consistently, kidney damage. Takes around 7 days to clear from the system.

I know the contamination was low in the molasses, but studies tested 0.017mg/kg dosage in horses and they reacted straight away to the drug with the above symptoms, so i think my horses were getting worse due to me daily feeding them a dose of it and it accumulating.

You’ll find that many common british horse feeds were affected too so may have that issue with your horse? I think there’s a link in that thread about the brands affected. Check your bags and batch numbers.

Like i said, a longshot but had to reply as reading through your post made me wonder if this weird behaviour is related to the contaminated feed.
 

J_sarahd

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17 August 2017
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728
This is a long shot i know but have you been feeding any of the feeds that got contaminated with zilpaterol?
Thread about it here:
https://forums.horseandhound.co.uk/...minated-with-zilpaterol.796399/#post-14434956

unbeknownst to me , until i saw that thread, ive been using a gain product from one of the infected batches and my horses have been acting very bitchy, antsy and restless since starting the bag. I didnt know and thought it was a sugar flush from grass, although they never act like that so continuously, even my chilled out mare napped me, and after one feed i noticed her forelegs quivering a few hours later when i gave hay. They both seemed impatient and jittery behaviourally, Intuitively i didnt do much with them while they were behaviourly different.

I actually stopped using the bag before finding the thread about contamination as id run out of speedibeet i mix the feed with, and theyve been off it for about 9 days now and have calmed right down. Apparently in horses zilpaterol causes fast heartbeat, restlessness, shaking muscles and when high dose consistently, kidney damage. Takes around 7 days to clear from the system.

I know the contamination was low in the molasses, but studies tested 0.017mg/kg dosage in horses and they reacted straight away to the drug with the above symptoms, so i think my horses were getting worse due to me daily feeding them a dose of it and it accumulating.

You’ll find that many common british horse feeds were affected too so may have that issue with your horse? I think there’s a link in that thread about the brands affected. Check your bags and batch numbers.

Like i said, a longshot but had to reply as reading through your post made me wonder if this weird behaviour is related to the contaminated feed.
honestly I had thought of this but he’s on Baileys lo-cal balancer. And someone said that’s not affected?
 

Squeak

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Ulcers sound a possibility from what you've described. Only additional thought was it a new saddler that checked your saddle or the one that sold it to you? If it's the one that sold it to you it might be worth getting a fresh pair of eyes.
 
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