Introducing Toby

Ambers Echo

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IT, the issue is his anxiety when under pressure. His buckled palate, which causes him to suck back and toss his head which set the whole hind end issue off as he works hollow. The panicky sense I get from him when he is picked up into a contact. I think he will end up perfectly straight and sound and my RI think she has lots of potential. But I just feel he is happiest ambling about in the countryside having fun and that is not the kind of life my horses have. I don't mind young but he is not just young, He is young and damaged by an idiot who tied his head down when breaking him in. I could possibly help him get over that remembered pain in time. Or I could let him have a more relaxed life that does not cause him any worry. I might be wrong but that is the choice I have decided to make.
 

SEL

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I think you're making the right call. My little pony with the displaced palate can work nicely in an outline on a very good day but it can also cause her distress. We (me and vet) think it sometimes 'flops' more than others and makes it uncomfortable for her as well as making breathing tough. She's a bombproof hacking pony and that needs to be her future home

Have you ever tried Toby bitless? I'm not suggesting you change your plans but it might be interesting to see how he does if that pressure on his palate is taken away

I don't think horses care if they could event, do dressage etc etc - they just want to be happy and enjoy life. If Toby enjoys hacking then there will definitely be the right home out there for him.
 

ycbm

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I'm confused about the buckled palate, AE. Did Tom explain the mechanics of how the palate, which is (of course) up between the sides of the top jawbone/teeth, could have got buckled by rough breaking? I can't picture what a buckled palate means, can you describe what you can see or feel? I'd like to be able to check my new baby out, he's not had the most conventional of starts himself.

You plan to sell him as a happy hacker sounds spot on.
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Upthecreek

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I think you can spend/waste a lot of time trying to make a horse into what you want when sometimes the best decision for everyone is to admit that you aren’t suited, find a more suitable home for the horse and move on. Some people agonise over this stuff for years, making themselves totally miserable in the process and missing out on the activities they want to do because the horse isn’t suited to them. It’s always a risk buying something that isn’t already established in your chosen activity, particularly if it’s eventing. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. I’m sure there is a perfect new owner out there for Toby who will love him for what he is.
 

Ambers Echo

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Ycbm, Tom has the gag on and got me to feel along roof of his mouth, behind the normal ripples. He said it should be flat but there was a marked ridge. He said pressure on his mouth and his efforts to escape it were so intense it caused his palate to buckle which is now irreversible . How precisely, I don't know.
 

Ambers Echo

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I think you're making the right call. My little pony with the displaced palate can work nicely in an outline on a very good day but it can also cause her distress. We (me and vet) think it sometimes 'flops' more than others and makes it uncomfortable for her as well as making breathing tough. She's a bombproof hacking pony and that needs to be her future home

Have you ever tried Toby bitless? I'm not suggesting you change your plans but it might be interesting to see how he does if that pressure on his palate is taken away

I don't think horses care if they could event, do dressage etc etc - they just want to be happy and enjoy life. If Toby enjoys hacking then there will definitely be the right home out there for him.
That's really interesting Sel. Toby also often does lovely work but we kept ending back in that unhappy place of resistance and tension on the flat. Definitely interested in exploring bitless with him.
 

SEL

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Ycbm, Tom has the gag on and got me to feel along roof of his mouth, behind the normal ripples. He said it should be flat but there was a marked ridge. He said pressure on his mouth and his efforts to escape it were so intense it caused his palate to buckle which is now irreversible . How precisely, I don't know.
I'm guessing it's scar tissue. Even if it was some sort of natural ridge it would understandably make him uncomfortable
 

Ambers Echo

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Just a brief update. Feeling cautiously optimistic about him. He seems freer in his movement and more relaxed. Hacked him out in a bitless bridle and he seemed pretty happy with it.

I feel that my head has been all over the place though because I am getting such different advice from different people. My regular massage therapist telling me he feels great. A physio telling me he feels awful. . Tom saying he is really sore. My vet saying he can't find much soreness. And lots of poeple saying there;s nothing wrong with him.. And on other days saying 'he's lame get a vet'. The reality is that he is a different horse on different days!

So today I took a deep breath and thought ok what is 'real' and what is in my head. What is 'normal' and what is an issue needing a special approach.

So here is what I think:

1) His backing process was traumatic. Evidence: how stressed he was when I first tried to ride, pick up a contact. How the viewing was handled. The physical evidence in his mouth
2) He has done some lovely relaxed work since then - for weeks/months at a time.
3) He has also had epsiodes of being right, stiff, tense and unhappy since then - usually when I have been away or sent him away and someone else has worked him.

Then my RI mentioned the possibility of hind gut ulcers.....

4) Ulcers would explain that pattern - they flare up when he is stressed and settle when he is happy
5) Maybe he had them when he arrived after a trip from Ireland and 10 days in draw reins or whatever happened to him, but they settled soon.
6) The treadmill was stressful so maybe they flared up again then
6) He could be hollow and tight because of ulcers as much as from the mouth issue. Because although the contact issue has always been there, the severity of it comes and goes.

So I have started him on Ron Fields Pre Ulc and we will see if that helps him. I spoke to Ron and he said it woud either make a big difference within a week (if he does have hindgut ulcers) or no difference at all (if he doesn't). He shows no other signs of ulcers other than not wanting to move freely forward in an arena. Shiny coat, good weight, not girthy. But seems worth a try anyway.
 

SEL

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Is that the pink powder that smells of bubblegum? It's good stuff and sorted my big mare out. I've followed up with his liquid gut stuff and I'm about to run out so I'll see how she goes without it.

A friend recommended it to me after it worked wonders with her gelding. Hope you get good results .
 

ycbm

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Just a brief update. Feeling cautiously optimistic about him. He seems freer in his movement and more relaxed. Hacked him out in a bitless bridle and he seemed pretty happy with it.

I feel that my head has been all over the place though because I am getting such different advice from different people. My regular massage therapist telling me he feels great. A physio telling me he feels awful. . Tom saying he is really sore. My vet saying he can't find much soreness. And lots of poeple saying there;s nothing wrong with him.. And on other days saying 'he's lame get a vet'. The reality is that he is a different horse on different days!

So today I took a deep breath and thought ok what is 'real' and what is in my head. What is 'normal' and what is an issue needing a special approach.

So here is what I think:

1) His backing process was traumatic. Evidence: how stressed he was when I first tried to ride, pick up a contact. How the viewing was handled. The physical evidence in his mouth
2) He has done some lovely relaxed work since then - for weeks/months at a time.
3) He has also had epsiodes of being right, stiff, tense and unhappy since then - usually when I have been away or sent him away and someone else has worked him.

Then my RI mentioned the possibility of hind gut ulcers.....

4) Ulcers would explain that pattern - they flare up when he is stressed and settle when he is happy
5) Maybe he had them when he arrived after a trip from Ireland and 10 days in draw reins or whatever happened to him, but they settled soon.
6) The treadmill was stressful so maybe they flared up again then
6) He could be hollow and tight because of ulcers as much as from the mouth issue. Because although the contact issue has always been there, the severity of it comes and goes.

So I have started him on Ron Fields Pre Ulc and we will see if that helps him. I spoke to Ron and he said it woud either make a big difference within a week (if he does have hindgut ulcers) or no difference at all (if he doesn't). He shows no other signs of ulcers other than not wanting to move freely forward in an arena. Shiny coat, good weight, not girthy. But seems worth a try anyway.

Right hind leg issues go with hind gut ulcers too, AE, I hope you are on the right lines there.
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Squeak

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I'm also interested to hear how you get on. I've got a horse that doesn't like the farrier doing her right hind and can be a bit stiff to the right and especially as she's an ex-racer have wondered if it could be ulcers (vet (rubbish one) dismissed me straight off as she's in good condition and shows no other signs). I tried her on aloe for a couple of weeks and not sure I noticed any difference tbh but maybe the Ron Fields would be worth a go.
 

SEL

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I'm also interested to hear how you get on. I've got a horse that doesn't like the farrier doing her right hind and can be a bit stiff to the right and especially as she's an ex-racer have wondered if it could be ulcers (vet (rubbish one) dismissed me straight off as she's in good condition and shows no other signs). I tried her on aloe for a couple of weeks and not sure I noticed any difference tbh but maybe the Ron Fields would be worth a go.
My mare was obese when she was diagnosed! She's a good doer, but I actually think she ate to try and relieve the pain.
 

Squeak

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My mare was obese when she was diagnosed! She's a good doer, but I actually think she ate to try and relieve the pain.
That's really interesting. I've never seen a horse eat like this one does but she's never been overweight, I'd always put this down to being a tb though.
 

Ambers Echo

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Is that the pink powder that smells of bubblegum? It's good stuff and sorted my big mare out. I've followed up with his liquid gut stuff and I'm about to run out so I'll see how she goes without it.

A friend recommended it to me after it worked wonders with her gelding. Hope you get good results .
That's the stuff and it seems to be helping. Though as I have aso changed to bitless, done over a month of the exercises Tom told me about, changed how I ride to long and low only and done body work with him, who knows what the magic ingredient is!

Still I am happy with how he is moving, and more importantly, the 'vibe' he is giving me in which he is back to pre treadmill Toby. Willing and happy.
 

Ambers Echo

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Well I have put a very speculative ad up for him. Let's see who comes along.... I am very torn but equally I think there are many kind, loving, patient people out there who would adore a Toby. And so it's arrogant to assume only I can give him a good home. I am not really giving him that good a home as I don't really like hacking!! I have several friends out constantly on all day fun rides, picnic rides etc who he would have much more fun with. Sadly none of them are looking but he'd fit right into that little group of hacking buddies. Someone suitable will come along and I'm in no hurry and can wait till they do.
 

splashgirl45

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AE , there seem to be a few of us on here who would be suitable for him so i am sure there will be the exact match out there. if you were closer and i could afford to keep him i would be the type of home you need(maybe someone a bit younger) , hacking and pleasure rides with regular lessons to help with my own position etc...perhaps i will win the lottery tonight!!
 

Michen

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Sounds promising!! Unless selling to someone you know it may be worth thinking about loaning with a view to buy, he could so easily get pushed on and resold or whatnot especially as he’s not quite right and working through some stuff. The market is so nuts and there’s some awful people out there, on another thread there was an example of an older horse that was bought and then immediately back to for sale for another 2k on the price.

There’s some lovely loan homes out there and it would mean you can secure his future and then sell to them once they have properly gelled etc.
 

Ambers Echo

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I'm having a total nightmare. I'm driving myself totally mad. There is huge interest in him and I've got a viewing tomorrow which is PERFECT. An old friend so definitely not a lying dealer!!. My friend and his wife have been sharing a horse for over a year and want 1 each now to mainly hack and go on horsey holidays with and to the beach etc. Lovely people, perfect life. Zero interest in competing. And I just feel sick. My head is saying he is not your future event horse so just get this done and then take a break to save up and then start looking for your forever horse. And my heart is saying NOOOOOOOOOOO. I am so so so close to cancelling the viewing and taking the ad down and resigning myself to the fact that he's with me for keeps, for better or for worse.......

Arrghhh, Someone knock some sense into me. If I don't go through with it I worry I will just resent him next season for not being the horse I want him to be. He deserves to be someone's horse of a lifetime not my slightly disappointing non-eventer. On the other hand, if I sell him will I wind up with a much trickier prospect or a less genuine horse and rue the day I let a horse as easy and kind as him go?

Incidentally my RI hopped in him today for the first time in 6 weeks just to see how he felt. I am not imaging it - he is a completely different horse now from the one who came back from the treadmill. Whatever we are doing is working. Another reason I feel like I have chosen the wrong moment to sell. I put the ad up because I felt he had made enough progress to be sellable with disclosures as to what work he needs and what the issues are. But he has made so much progress that I am now thinking well maybe he IS good enough to event after all. And maybe he could accept that kind of life.

I just have no idea what to do anymore.
 

Upthecreek

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It’s tough. You love him for his temperament, but he is not the horse to do what you want to do. You have experienced a horse that excites you and makes your heart sing and Toby just doesn’t do that for you. Not his fault, not your fault. You aren’t in a mad rush to sell, so you can find him the best possible match and move on to find yours. I would certainly go ahead with the viewing and see how you feel and what they think of him.
 

CanteringCarrot

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He feels great now, but will he when you ask him to do more/event at your desired level? If he feels his best now, while in a more low-key routine, then he should be sold to someone that wants to do that. It sounds like every time he is brought back into more work/schooling/intensive exercise, something comes up. Whether if is reservations from you, or body issues for him.

Go through with the viewing. Maybe you'll get a really good feeling watching him with these other people.
 
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