Mind blown!!!!!!!!

Ambers Echo

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I don't think any true action has been taken to resolve his kissing spines since then besides some x-rays. You are still sitting on that same horse.
Im sure you’re sick of comments but I would like to just tell you Max’s story. He was sent for a poor performance workup due to rearing. Not much was found and he ended up having scintigraphy which identified inflammation in the SI joint. He had the joint injected and was carefully (professionally) rehabbed. He did not put a foot wrong during rehab. He came home and we hacked him out, started doing a bit of school work. We had our relaxed happy pony back - hurrah. Like Prince, Max showed no sign of pain. From all I can gather, your trainer hasn’t done anything really other than get on a horse who is happy - at the moment - to let him get on. But one day a friend hopped on and Max put his ears back and planted. The RI/YO said I’ll get on him for you (thank goodness!) so she hopped on and her bum wasn’t in the saddle before he was up. And up. And eventually over though RI had jumped clear to get off before he killed her. He will never ever be ridden again but I have no doubt I could drag him out the field tomorrow and ride snd he’d be fine. For a while. You know Prince has KS and you know he can rear unexpectedly vertically. I’d stick with the retirement plan unless a vet can assure you he has been successfully treated and is pain free. Because the likelihood is that he just isn’t hurting that much yet. But fundamentally as Nascius says - it’s the same horse with the same bad back and one day you will get the same behaviour unless the root cause (pain) is found and addressed.
 

CanteringCarrot

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Also another one who had a horse with KS and he would just stand up. He could he totally happy walking nicely on a hack then just rear up. He was happy when no one really asked anything of him, but the moment someone did, it was a fight and dangerous. No doubt you could just get on him some days and have a nice time, but everything was fine until it wasn't.

I do know some horses with KS that remain in some level of work though. Some have had procedures done, and perhaps some were not as "violent" or bothered by their condition. Mine had KS, but the x-ray really wasn't catastrophic/the worst case, but it was definitely painful to him. I would be very wary.
 

Ambers Echo

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Sorry - just one more thing: you CAN rehab a KS horse with Pilates style exercises as you have already been doing. So maybe there is a ridden future for you. But this trainer is not what you need. The ‘firm hand’ is the wrong direction. Actually you need to be hyper vigilant to pain and to listen to Prince not ‘ride through’. At the same time you need to not inadvertently train him to evade. That can be quite tricky. And I know the standing photo was 1 small part of a longer session but it betrays a mindset that I’d run a mile from. There is zero training benefit in it, there is unnecessary pressure through a compromised back from it. Just wrong to think of doing it.

A trainer might give me hours of excellence advice but if during 1 second she yanked the horse in the mouth or kicked it, then that 1 moment would let me know she was not a suitable match for me.
 

Keira 8888

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Damn it! I have just written a huge reply and then for some reason the system kicked me out.

Just wanted to say I have read everyone’s replies but couldn’t answer last night, thank you very much for all input, I really appreciate it.

I will just quickly say that for those wondering what I have done since the X-rays - he has had regular physio and chiro, daily work over poles (as instructed by physio) walking in hand up hills and a stretching routine after each work out.

I promise I am not taking this lightly and I have been beavering away with Prince to build and lift his back and it has started to show promising results in how he is carrying himself.

I truly do appreciate everyone’s concerns for me, and Prince of course. In the same situation, if I were reading a post like mine (and going just on that written information) I too would be questioning things.

But I have 100% confidence in this trainer and am ultimately going to go with my own gut feeling. This doesn’t mean I am ignoring concerns, I take all opinions onboard and appreciate them, I know this will frustrate many of you and I’m sorry. Especially when you have taken time to give me your opinion.

I will keep you updated on how we get on.

Keira x
 

Fluffypiglet

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I'm sorry you're going through this Keira, we all know how much you love Prince. I guess from my experience the issue here is that a) the x-ray and previous behaviour confirms Prince has something going wrong somewhere and b) 'firm handling' tends to ignore the whispers he'll be giving you and then it may escalate into a 'shout' .

My horse is good at whispering to me because I listen. Investigation has always shown a reason for his whispers despite a very experienced vet and other 'old school' types, incl professional riders just telling me to push through cos there's nothing wrong, he's 'fine'. Me and my horse have no aspirations other than having a nice time and I'm the one who can make sure that's what we have. I'm rather smug (only internally, I'm not that rude!) when I then note that I wasn't being soft or pandering to my boy but simply looking at the horse in front of me and I was right!) You have previously understood him and listened so I suspect this will get resolved. It's just tough sometimes when you have "more experienced" people telling you stuff. Believe in yourself, not them. You can probably try riding again given all the work you've been doing in hand, just listen carefully to Prince and don't let anyone push you into being 'firm' when that could be a disaster.

ETA cross posted but I'll leave my thoughts with you.
 

Keira 8888

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Forgot to add, there is still a possibility that Princes initial behaviour (which was far more dramatic in the first months of him coming to England) was caused by a traumatic journey from Ireland, new yard, being asked to hack out alone on new roads, lack of top line, his ulcers (which I only discovered months later and treated immediately) and quite significantly, my own anxiety and his lack of trust in me as a novice owner.

I am not trying to convince myself that this is the case - I am merely keeping an open mind until I can have his back injected.

As I become more confident in him, and myself, I am beginning to realise that what I initially thought were huge reactions, were actually quite common napping tactics, and I have been reassured by many people that the behaviour they have seen in Prince - which I initially didn’t know how to handle - is really nothing more than a reluctance to go forward when he’s leaving the yard alone.

Although his X-rays do show evidence of kissing spines, I am keeping my mind open to the possibility that his past behaviour may possibly have been due to the other factors I listed above.

I am in no way trying to bury my head in the sand - I will continue this journey with the medical input of my vet, physio and chiro - I just wanted to let you know what other factors could well have been at play here.

Kx
 

Keira 8888

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I'm sorry you're going through this Keira, we all know how much you love Prince. I guess from my experience the issue here is that a) the x-ray and previous behaviour confirms Prince has something going wrong somewhere and b) 'firm handling' tends to ignore the whispers he'll be giving you and then it may escalate into a 'shout' .

My horse is good at whispering to me because I listen. Investigation has always shown a reason for his whispers despite a very experienced vet and other 'old school' types, incl professional riders just telling me to push through cos there's nothing wrong, he's 'fine'. Me and my horse have no aspirations other than having a nice time and I'm the one who can make sure that's what we have. I'm rather smug (only internally, I'm not that rude!) when I then note that I wasn't being soft or pandering to my boy but simply looking at the horse in front of me and I was right!) You have previously understood him and listened so I suspect this will get resolved. It's just tough sometimes when you have "more experienced" people telling you stuff. Believe in yourself, not them. You can probably try riding again given all the work you've been doing in hand, just listen carefully to Prince and don't let anyone push you into being 'firm' when that could be a disaster.

ETA cross posted but I'll leave my thoughts with you.
Thank you xx
 

Melody Grey

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Meant entirely sympathetically, Keira, I think you’re deluding yourself.

It’s so hard to accept that a horse’s ridden career is over, especially if it’s your only horse and you desperately want to ride.

I think you should get the veterinary situation investigated further and fully and the horse rehabbed/ treated as recommended by an expert vet if you want to go anywhere near this being a ridden horse again, and even then, I mean under EXTREME caution.

If you need to ride and can’t cope with a retired horse/ wasted potential etc. I wouldn’t blame you in the slightest for PTS and starting again in this situation. I did this with my last horse and don’t regret it for a moment.

An unpredictable vertical rearer is a ticking time bomb. My sons old pony did this completely out of the blue and fell over backwards with him (luckily someone grabbed him off). The pony was off the yard the next day. Don’t put anyone in that position, life is precious.

ETA: I know it’s such a hard situation. Take care of yourself x
 

ihatework

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Damn it! I have just written a huge reply and then for some reason the system kicked me out.

Just wanted to say I have read everyone’s replies but couldn’t answer last night, thank you very much for all input, I really appreciate it.

I will just quickly say that for those wondering what I have done since the X-rays - he has had regular physio and chiro, daily work over poles (as instructed by physio) walking in hand up hills and a stretching routine after each work out.

I promise I am not taking this lightly and I have been beavering away with Prince to build and lift his back and it has started to show promising results in how he is carrying himself.

I truly do appreciate everyone’s concerns for me, and Prince of course. In the same situation, if I were reading a post like mine (and going just on that written information) I too would be questioning things.

But I have 100% confidence in this trainer and am ultimately going to go with my own gut feeling. This doesn’t mean I am ignoring concerns, I take all opinions onboard and appreciate them, I know this will frustrate many of you and I’m sorry. Especially when you have taken time to give me your opinion.

I will keep you updated on how we get on.

Keira x
Im concerned.
Anyone that stands on a horses back like that (irrespective of how much ‘good’ work is done in a session) is not into horse training in the best interests of the horse.

I have read the thread and can see you intend to continue using this chap. I can also see that at present you aren’t going to have your mind changed.

What I would therefore strongly suggest is that you do not let him work with the horse alone. Always be there watching. If you get an unsure gut feeling about how something is going then don’t be talked down by what will be a convincing explanation.
 

stangs

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I won't comment on the KS situation as others here are vastly more experienced in dealing with KS than I am, but what I will say is be very careful of the attitude that a certain horse needs firm handling.

Imo there can be situations that call for firm handling, when a horse is too anxious to hear the rider 'whisper', but it's not a long term solution. Firm handling does not solve anything. It merely controls one specific situation, but that can easily result in the problem getting worse later on. Nor will being told to handle a horse firmly make anyone more confident.

I'm sure that his early behaviour involved the other factors you mention, but he, regardless, he reared up vertically. That means, in future, if you ever step over his threshold (and it can be very difficult to tell what that threshold is, with a horse who's being told to grin and bear it - not saying that's what's happening here, but that is what firm handling can lead to), he will do the same thing. That's his go to now.

From your posts, it's clear that you've always done what's best for him, and that he's very much loved. But please do be very careful with how you proceed with a known rearer.
 

mustardsmum

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Forgot to add, there is still a possibility that Princes initial behaviour (which was far more dramatic in the first months of him coming to England) was caused by a traumatic journey from Ireland, new yard, being asked to hack out alone on new roads, lack of top line, his ulcers (which I only discovered months later and treated immediately) and quite significantly, my own anxiety and his lack of trust in me as a novice owner.

I am not trying to convince myself that this is the case - I am merely keeping an open mind until I can have his back injected.

As I become more confident in him, and myself, I am beginning to realise that what I initially thought were huge reactions, were actually quite common napping tactics, and I have been reassured by many people that the behaviour they have seen in Prince - which I initially didn’t know how to handle - is really nothing more than a reluctance to go forward when he’s leaving the yard alone.

Although his X-rays do show evidence of kissing spines, I am keeping my mind open to the possibility that his past behaviour may possibly have been due to the other factors I listed above.

I am in no way trying to bury my head in the sand - I will continue this journey with the medical input of my vet, physio and chiro - I just wanted to let you know what other factors could well have been at play here.

Kx
Keira, please don't dismiss this earlier behaviour as nothing more than nappiness, a reluctance to go forward when hes leaving the yard alone due to your inexperience. Your yard owner said he was dangerous, yet you now say many people say his behaviour is normal? He reared vertically with you, and the behaviour trigged a number of posts asking for advice on what to do etc. On x-raying, you discover he has kissing spines, and decided to retire him but you have come full circle and are back riding him with the help of a professional. I have emailed you the name of an excellent local vet who may be able to give a second opinion should you feel that would help. I am one of those who feels you may be being told by this professional to kick on and make him behave, when actually although you have started a rehab program involving physio etc, you do not know if the rehab has been successful. Unless you have had further xrays to confirm the physio has had the desired effect, you really should not be back riding him - and certainly not standing on the very area where the kissing spines are. Its horrible when our horses break - been there too many times and am currently dealing with a broken horse who is under physio and we are looking at several months before she is back in full time work. Physio isn't immediate and with kissing spines the rehab can be lengthy. But you have to take baby steps with these things, horses are a remarkably stoic and often will put up with an enormous amount of pain - they are a predated species so their natural response is to appear to everyone around them as healthy and able to flee if they need to - its the poker face effect. Its only when a situation becomes too much or too painful, they often react, and it can be explosively. Please, please rethink and get another opinion, or at the very least re-xray to see where you are with his back. He knows how to rear, and it is obviously his "go to" reaction. I would really hate to read in a weeks time that the behaviour has resurfaced because I believe you are actually really respectful of your horse and want the best for him.
 

paddi22

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Without xrays and a vets view, no-one has an idea of what's going on in your horse's back.

I can guarantee you that man you got in would not have stood on the horses back in front of a professional vet. The vet would have absolutely ripped him. Imagine a friend of yours had a serious spinal issue, and someone just came up and dumped a heavy backpack on them for a few seconds. It proves NOTHING, other than your friend can possibly stand with a heavy backpack for a few seconds. A serious intelligent professional just WOULDN'T do it, because it proves nothing and could potentially be sore for the horse. The fact this person does these kind of showboating tricks shows who they are. And telling someone to 'be firmer' with a horse who has a recorded history of pain responses makes no sense and could cause the horse to react through pain in future and potentially kill or injury you.

The rehab work you have done could potentially have strengthened your horses back and made him ridable. But you need to explore that with a vet and a good physio. Not this guy.
 

DressageCob

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KS doesn't always mean retirement, but surely if all you're doing is riding to get to the point of being able to inject the spine and see if it makes a difference, the horse doesn't need 3 riders in one session or a guy standing behind the saddle on his back.

To be honest, with what has been described I don't think you do have the horse's best interests at heart now. From what you've said the plan is, to get the horse ridden so you can see a difference after injections, then all that is needed is for the horse to be sympathetically ridden. It does not need three different riders, mounting from the ground, people standing on his back.

It sounds like you've got caught up in the excitement of riding your horse again. I completely understand that. What I don't understand is why the focus has shifted away from the horse's interests. At the forefront of the mind it should always be that the horse has a known problem. Even if he is sound and never rears again, you still have in mind that he has known KS, which is visible even in the poor quality x-rays you have.

With that mentality there is no way you'd allow some bloke to stand on the horse's back, or for people to mount from the ground, or to go straight into proper ridden work rather than a gradual re-introduction of the weight on his back.

I'm sorry to be brutal. I appreciate it is difficult. But a person who willingly stands on the back of a horse with known KS (who you're only riding with a view for treatment/diagnostics of said KS) is not someone I'd let within 10 feet of my horse.
 

Ossy2

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I’ll caveat this by saying I’m no KS expert or experienced with back X-rays but in fairness to the OP when she posted the pics of the back X-rays on another post a lot of the replies said they had seen worse and a lot stated there was hope the horse would be rideable. And it appears the OP is going down the route of seeing whether she can “rehab” this horse, which based on the replies to that other thread shouldn’t really be that surprising.
The issue appears to be whether the “rehab” approach is the right one, only the OP and her vet know that answer really. I’m not totally against the OP doing “rehab” work per say but Would I have someone stand up on my horses back like that, definitely not.
 

FestiveFuzz

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This is such a sad read. Keira I’ve always been so impressed not only by your unwavering dedication to Prince, but also how you’ve conducted yourself on here, whether asking for advice, taking on board feedback or handling criticism.

That said, I really do feel your choice of professional on this occasion is questionable and I fear continuing down this route will at best undo the hard work you’ve put in so far, and at worst could result in someone getting badly hurt or even killed. I know it’s so easy to fall for the temptation of a magical cure all fix, but having looked at the xrays you posted, and knowing the background with Prince I really don’t think this is a case of a horse that just needs a firm hand. I think you’re deluding yourself and also doing yourself and Prince a disservice to dismiss the xrays and suggest his earlier behaviour was due to the factors listed, sure in part they might have been contributing factors, but I think it’s highly unlikely that the pain from the KS wasn’t a large contributing, if not the main factor when it comes to the reactivity, anxiety and ulcers.
 
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greenbean10

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I don't understand why you don't get his back injected?

My horse had mild KS and my insurance paid for treatment. We didn't block her back. There was no need to ride.

Issue was poor performance (bucking), x-rayed back, vet diagnosed KS, insurance paid out. I don't understand why anyone has to ride the horse before treatment.

If the horse's X-rays show KS, why don't you just treat it?

Have I missed something?!
 

Upthecreek

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I am really sorry to say this, but I have been asked by someone who is very local and doesnt want any backlash, to post about this.

This guy is to be avoided at all costs. The person has seen him at close quarters working with owners and horses. He can be ok when an owner is present, but definitely isnt when they arent. He is very heavy handed and rough. Not the sort of person you want to work with any horse, but definiely not one with a potential issue.

I have sent you a PM kiera and am happy to get you any more info you need, but I cannot say this strongly enough dont allow this man to work with Prince
And you are still going to use this guy after reading this Keira? Numerous posters have pointed out that his methods during your first session were inappropriate for a horse with KS (or any horse actually) but now you have this information you are still going ahead? 🤯
 

CanteringCarrot

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I think if you treated his back (injection or other pain relieving procedure) and continued with a slow and steady rehab, the results could be ok. The horse also must work in a shape that promotes space/keeping space between the bones there. A friend with a KS horse does a lot of long and low, or forward down and out. He does alright with it.

She also only mounts from a mounting block, uses a well fitted saddle with a mattes pad, and keeps the horse out/he lives on a hilly field. So it's not impossible, but she's very methodical and attentive. The approach you're using now, might not yield the best results in the long term.
 

onlytheponely

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My heart sank when I saw who was standing on the back of your horse, I wouldn't let 'D' anywhere near one of mine.
I know where you are and if you'd like some reliable references for sensitive rehab riders where you are once you've been given the all clear from your vet then please feel free to PM me. Some vets are significantly better than others in your area as well.
 

fankino04

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I don't understand why you don't get his back injected?

My horse had mild KS and my insurance paid for treatment. We didn't block her back. There was no need to ride.

Issue was poor performance (bucking), x-rayed back, vet diagnosed KS, insurance paid out. I don't understand why anyone has to ride the horse before treatment.

If the horse's X-rays show KS, why don't you just treat it?

Have I missed something?!
I was wondering this too, presumably the vet wants to see a pain reaction to confirm that the horse needs injecting plus the physio and rehab work but with a known vertical rearer this seems a very odd approach when x rays would show how much the physio etc has helped, I presume the vet thinks prince will simply try to stop to to tell you the pain is back, but with a firm rider who can feel him stopping before you can see it pushing him on through that I very much fear the first sign of pain you will see will be the rearing again.
 

southerncomfort

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I've been riding all my life but their isn't enough money in the world that would persuade me to sit on a horse that had reared up vertically like that, kissing spines or not. I don't want to end up in a wheelchair or leave my kids without a mum.

I also think your vet would be horrified if he knew what was happening. Apologies if I've misunderstood but I thought he asked you to have a rider available for an assessment. I'm not sure he meant for you to bring Prince back in to work.
 

eahotson

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I've been riding all my life but their isn't enough money in the world that would persuade me to sit on a horse that had reared up vertically like that, kissing spines or not. I don't want to end up in a wheelchair or leave my kids without a mum.

I also think your vet would be horrified if he knew what was happening. Apologies if I've misunderstood but I thought he asked you to have a rider available for an assessment. I'm not sure he meant for you to bring Prince back in to work.
My thoughts exactly.
 

Tihamandturkey

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And you are still going to use this guy after reading this Keira? Numerous posters have pointed out that his methods during your first session were inappropriate for a horse with KS (or any horse actually) but now you have this information you are still going ahead? 🤯
This 100% - I simply cannot cannot understand your decision to carry on with this so called "professional" at all Keira 🤨
 

TPO

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Firstly I have to admit that I haven't read every Prince thread so there's a possibility that I'm missing some key details but...

Wasn't Prince's rearing and napping episodes when he first arrived? Has it happened since?

The first thread where his behaviour was less than desirable several people jumped to the worst of conclusions about Prince.

I'm sure I did post on that thread and thought the horse needed given a chance. He'd been through a lot of changes and arrived with a novice owner to then have a "strong" rider out on him.

I think from that point things improved with his wellbeing, feed was changed and certain things were diagnosed by a vet?

So if I've got it right although Prince appeared fine doing groundwork etc Kiera got a vet to examine him resulting in x-rays of his spinal processes?

My horse is sound and fine but if he had a similar xray to Prince without further investigations we wouldn't know if thr KS was affecting him because he was sound and seemed fine.

I can see why in that situation there would need to be an assessment of "my horse" ridden now and after having a painkiller/area numbed etc.

Perhaps it's the same with Prince? If his rearing was only at the start that could have been attributed to many factors. Yes the x-ray looks far from ideal but not everything shown in an xray is causing an animal discomfort or pain. I thought Kiera chose not to ride again rather than couldn't. So I can understand having a professional ride him now, with vets permission, with a view to riding him for a vet appointment.

No idea who the guy is so can't comment on that. As much as two people on here have spoken out against him I can only assume that people that you know and trust in real life have recommended him?

Again perhaps I've missed threads where Prince was a dangerous rearer beyond the first epic thread but if his rearing is based solely on when he first arrived I wouldn't consider it such a big deal. The horse had a lot to contend with. I think there was possibly a video of a "pro" riding him along the road and it not going well? I can't say I had any confidence in that rider or their "pro" status.

The standing on the saddle, while not something I would do, is fairly common amongst "horsemanship" trainers rather than the BHS methods. I don't see how 12st standing on a horse is different from 12st going down through seat bones.
 

Tiddlypom

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don't see how 12st standing on a horse is different from 12st going down through seat bones.
The weight when standing on a horse rather than sitting in a saddle is concentrated through a smaller surface area, so the downward force per square metre is much greater.
 
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