Lunatic/stressed horse - update

PolarSkye

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So after the disaster yesterday, we took him out again today . . . to a livery yard where I used to keep him to school in their brand new school . . . he was very stressed on the lorry going (came off dripping with sweat) but didn't fidget . . . walked nicely with Z down to the school, stood nicely for her to get on, started out tense but after only about five minutes of schooling was relaxed and listening to her. After 25 minutes he had his nose on the floor, loose and stretchy.

There was a LOT for him to look at - half the yard is a functioning polo yard and polo ponies were being ponied around the canter track, others were stick and balling in the polo arena, the arena is smack bang in the middle of a bunch of turnout fields complete with unfamiliar horses and there's a fairly busy road not too far from the school too - half hidden by trees.

He was a flipping angel :).

However . . . despite walking back to the lorry beautifully and very relaxed, once he got back to the lorry he turned into a spinny, stressy, rude boy again.

So I have a funny feeling that part (at least) of his problem is with the lorry!

More to think about, but . . . very, very pleased with how he performed today.

Onwards and upwards . . . and now to get to the bottom of the whole lorry issue.

Love my boy.

P
 

SusieT

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IS there a sound in the lorry that he doesn't like?
If he is travelled in boots or bandages swap to the other type?
Sounds like lots of on and off lorry and short drives are proabbly required assuming no problems with lorry
 

PolarSkye

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What is he like if you travel him with company?

Haven't tried him with company since he started having a problem - he has been happy to travel alone all the time I have had him (until now), however we may be taking my YO's daughter and her pony XC schooling next week, so we'll see if that makes a difference.

P
 

PolarSkye

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Maybe take a short trip in the lorry yourself and see if you can identify anything.

Yes, plan to do this . . . we are going to our jump trainer's yard for a lesson on Thursday so will ride part of the way in the back with him.

P
 

PolarSkye

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IS there a sound in the lorry that he doesn't like?
If he is travelled in boots or bandages swap to the other type?
Sounds like lots of on and off lorry and short drives are proabbly required assuming no problems with lorry

Since the problem started he has travelled in boots, bandages and nothing . . . no difference (although he did manage to take a travel boot off about three or four trips ago, so perhaps that upset him). The partitions in the lorry have been moved about a bit while the mechanic has been working on it in the run-up to plating (which is tomorrow), and the jockey door has been mended . . . so it's possible that something has changed/there's a new noise . . . when the lorry is back at the yard on Thursday for us to go for a lesson at our jump trainer's, I'll take a good look inside before we load him/make sure the partitions are positioned correctly, etc. In addition, I'll spend part of the journey to Carl's in the back with Kal - just to see if I can hear anything/feel what the ride feels like.

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The Fuzzy Furry

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Pootling around......
PS, please check tyre pressures & most importantly get the wheel bearings checked & also rear axle & drive shaft on the lorry.
Sometimes you can get vibration up through the floor when a bearing is going, also get suspension of lorry checked too to be on safe side. Your mechanic can also check brakes for binding.

I know most people have their boxes serviced, but not so many have a full check of all working components.

Hope you get to the bottom of it x
 

PolarSkye

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PS, please check tyre pressures & most importantly get the wheel bearings checked & also rear axle & drive shaft on the lorry.
Sometimes you can get vibration up through the floor when a bearing is going, also get suspension of lorry checked too to be on safe side. Your mechanic can also check brakes for binding.

I know most people have their boxes serviced, but not so many have a full check of all working components.

Hope you get to the bottom of it x

Tyres have been checked, not sure about the bearings/drive shaft/axle, but will ask Z to ask her mum (it's her lorry). Knowing J (Z's mum) and how thorough she is, I'm sure she will have had the mechanic do a full check over (she's very proud of/particular about her lorry) . . . but I will certainly ask.

Thanks TFF.

P
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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Tyres have been checked, not sure about the bearings/drive shaft/axle, but will ask Z to ask her mum (it's her lorry). Knowing J (Z's mum) and how thorough she is, I'm sure she will have had the mechanic do a full check over (she's very proud of/particular about her lorry) . . . but I will certainly ask.

Thanks TFF.

P

:) and most definately have a drive with mechanically minded person in the back to listen, before you put GD back in there, just to set minds at rest x
 

cptrayes

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Has the lorry had anything welded??

It can leave a smell of burning which could upset him badly if he knows he can't get out.
 

PolarSkye

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Has the lorry had anything welded??

It can leave a smell of burning which could upset him badly if he knows he can't get out.

Great question - will ask Z when I see her later this morning. Thanks :).

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RunToEarth

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One of ours managed to unclip with grill on the window with his teeth one outing which slipped out and scared him, and since then he will behave as you describe unless he has a travelling buddy - it could have been something very simple which has altered his view of travelling.
 

PolarSkye

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One of ours managed to unclip with grill on the window with his teeth one outing which slipped out and scared him, and since then he will behave as you describe unless he has a travelling buddy - it could have been something very simple which has altered his view of travelling.

I think, narrowing it all down, that he has just had a scare - like the one you describe. Lorry is being plated today and Z's Mum will be asking for all the bearings/axles, etc. to be double-checked. We will adjust the partitions before we load him tomorrow. If he struggles tomorrow (we're going for a lesson with our jump trainer), we will take his little friend/fieldmate Roger with us on Sunday (dressage champs at Welly).

In addition, I'm going to ask Z's Mum if she will let us keep the lorry at our yard for the week Z is on holiday so that I can do some loading work with him . . .

. . . he's such a sensitive wee beastie . . . I hope we can help him get past this.

P

P.S. We will also do what we can to minimize the amount of time he spends next to the lorry at shows for now . . . so tomorrow we will untack him in the arena rather than next to the lorry . . . ditto Sunday . . . and we will travel him tacked up both times (and for the foreseeable future until he is more confident).
 

MagicMelon

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Haven't tried him with company since he started having a problem - he has been happy to travel alone all the time I have had him (until now), however we may be taking my YO's daughter and her pony XC schooling next week, so we'll see if that makes a difference.

Have you tried giving him more room on the lorry? I've had 2 horses who travelled beautifully for years, then started to get sweaty and bang about etc. Then they started to hurl themselves on the floor as if they couldnt balance (one actually got to the point he'd do it as soon as we put the ramp up!). I took out the back section of our trailer partition and instantly both horses were fine. I should point out these were totally seperate horses (they didnt know each other!). We worked out the second horse started to do it because after the first 2 outings where he began banging about the trailer had been at the garage for a yearly service - they'd pumped the tyres up too much. So the journey must have been far bouncier than usual for poor horse. We were livid with the garage and told them so. Sadly even after sorting the tyres, the horse continued to get worse until we gave him more room but he travels great again like this. Worth trying (and check your tyre pressures!)?
 

PolarSkye

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Have you tried giving him more room on the lorry? I've had 2 horses who travelled beautifully for years, then started to get sweaty and bang about etc. Then they started to hurl themselves on the floor as if they couldnt balance (one actually got to the point he'd do it as soon as we put the ramp up!). I took out the back section of our trailer partition and instantly both horses were fine. I should point out these were totally seperate horses (they didnt know each other!). We worked out the second horse started to do it because after the first 2 outings where he began banging about the trailer had been at the garage for a yearly service - they'd pumped the tyres up too much. So the journey must have been far bouncier than usual for poor horse. We were livid with the garage and told them so. Sadly even after sorting the tyres, the horse continued to get worse until we gave him more room but he travels great again like this. Worth trying (and check your tyre pressures!)?

Tyres have recently been done ahead of plating, so that could indeed be part of it . . . as to partitions, we have recently gone from the partitions being nice and snug (travelled fine) to more open (mechanic moved them while he was getting the lorry ready for plating) so I suspect that what's upset him is that he HASN'T had the support from the partitions.

We'll see what happens tomorrow . . . we're taking him out for a lesson and will be putting the partitions back where they were before we go :).

P
 

TarrSteps

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Gs's suggestion was because sudden reluctance to load, problems traveling etc can be a subtle sign of discomfort. I do a lot of loading training and it's striking how often it crops up before other signs show up or after/around more obvious issues.

As MM said, even if you rectify whatever the issue is he won't necessarily tell you right away because he has built up a level of anxiety now. It may take a few trips before he's confidant again
 

Jane_Lou

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Our mare was a useless traveller when I got her and I had got her travelling brilliantly. This year she started travelling badly again, nothing like before but just unsettled and sweating. I had my mechanic check the lorry over and everything was fine. The next time we went out however we noticed when we arrived at our destination that two screws had come out of the lock on the jockey door, as a result the jockey door had become slightly loose and was banging (my truck isn't cut through, it has CCTV on the horses but obviously you couldn't see or hear that)

We replaced the screws with locking bolts and she travelled home a dream and hasn't had an issue since.
 

Goldenstar

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As TS steps said I have seen travelling and loading issues as a sign of discomfort without any lameness or signs in the ridden work .
That's why I suggested a visit from a good physio preferably the day he's travelled or the day after he's travelled .
 

PolarSkye

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Gs's suggestion was because sudden reluctance to load, problems traveling etc can be a subtle sign of discomfort. I do a lot of loading training and it's striking how often it crops up before other signs show up or after/around more obvious issues.

As MM said, even if you rectify whatever the issue is he won't necessarily tell you right away because he has built up a level of anxiety now. It may take a few trips before he's confidant again

Thanks for the clarification on GS's post . . . makes sense. Also, I know that now that he's not happy travelling/had a scare, it will take us a while for him to be confident again . . . hence borrowing the lorry to retrain loading and borrowing his field companion to give him a bit of company.

It's such a shame because he used to load himself . . . ditto coming off the lorry :(. However, I am confident we can help him get over this.

Bless him.

P

P
 

PolarSkye

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As TS steps said I have seen travelling and loading issues as a sign of discomfort without any lameness or signs in the ridden work .
That's why I suggested a visit from a good physio preferably the day he's travelled or the day after he's travelled .

Thanks for the clarification . . . he's not long had a physio session (about three weeks ago) and he didn't pick anything up, but it's always possible he's tweaked something in the field, etc.

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PolarSkye

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Our mare was a useless traveller when I got her and I had got her travelling brilliantly. This year she started travelling badly again, nothing like before but just unsettled and sweating. I had my mechanic check the lorry over and everything was fine. The next time we went out however we noticed when we arrived at our destination that two screws had come out of the lock on the jockey door, as a result the jockey door had become slightly loose and was banging (my truck isn't cut through, it has CCTV on the horses but obviously you couldn't see or hear that)

We replaced the screws with locking bolts and she travelled home a dream and hasn't had an issue since.

Interesting that you say that . . . the jockey door has recently been mended . . . before it was fixed, it wasn't in use at all - stuck - now it slides beautifully. Perhaps it is rattling and unsettling him? In any event, I will find out when I ride in the back with him tomorrow!

P
 

dianchi

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Just an extra idea, if travel buddies isn't always possible, stable mirrors work pretty well!
 
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