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NEED ADVICE! LOOSING HOPE!

Lana.H05

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28 June 2020
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37
I've had my Pure Pre Spanish gelding for over a year now. We had some set backs last year due to him arriving with ulcers. He's been sold on a couple times for his bolting and has been doing the exact same with me. I want to give him a forever home so I am just trying to be patient and keep things positive. His schooling is very much on his terms (as most things are) but what gets me is his lack of care. Some days, when he wants, he takes me back by how beautifully he can work and others he's already had a tantrum before we have even entered the areana. We took him XC today and he was a nightmare for a horse who is usually over exited about life he didn't want to jump anything. We Took him to a different course only a few weeks ago and I had the problem of him wanting to jump everything as fast as possible. I don't understand how he manages to do a full 180° character change pretty much every time I ride him. I'm trying hard and I'm only young, has anyone got any advice on simply how to keep going because I'm loosing hope! I've given up so much for him, I can't ride out with friends, I can't really even think about competing and I can't enjoy a nice hack. I NEED HELP!!!! (it's a really good job he's gorgeous and a kind soul)
 
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I recommend lowering your expectations by a tonne! Go back to basics and make sure your results are consistent. Instead of having the expectation of jumping a full course, have a goal of maybe keeping a consistent rhythm over two jumps. It's hard to hear and very frustrating because we don't ride to deal with a difficult horse every day, we do it to enjoy the highs, so make your highs achievable. There's also no harm in taking a break or maybe riding a friend's horse for a little while. Often that makes us appreciative of what we have and inspired to get back to work. I know it's hard not having an immediate solution, like a magic pill that will solve all his problems, but the long road is rewarding in the end. Also, do you have a trainer? Sometimes a new pair of professional eyes can help us get on the right track!
 

Ambers Echo

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The vast majority of horses who jump fast are actually scared not excited. It's the flight part of the fight/flight/freeze response. And refusing to jump is the freeze part. Same problem just a different way of expressing it. I think you need to.slow right down and go right back to basics focusing on building his confidence.
 

shortstuff99

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Currently Cambridgeshire! (or where ever I fancy)!
To me he sounds as if he is very confused by what it is you (and other riders he has had) want. When PRE's don't understand what it is you are after they can react very strongly like this. I would suggest going back to basics with an instructor who is experienced in training Iberian horses, and make sure you are giving him clear instructions that he is understanding.
 

paddy555

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23 December 2010
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I'm afraid that what screams out from your post is pain.. A horse doesn't go from working perfectly one day to being a nightmare the next with no reason.. I would suggest the pain is possibly gut pain as a point to start at.

ETA this could be made worse by being a sensitive breed of horse. What some more stoic breeds will put up with some of the more sensitive ones won't.
 

Shay

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You say you are young. From my somewhat advanced age this could be anything from school age to under 40! If you are school / Uni type age can I suggest you speak to a parent or trusted adult? Your time as that sort of young rider is very short and to loose it with a horse who is going to need a lot of re-education is hard.

If you are not quite that young - you are going to have to scale your expectations back a long long way. You don't mention what vet checks you have had done so far but others are right this sounds like pain somewhere so you are going to have to go the whole hog and pretty much check everything until you find it. Not finding a reason for pain is not the same as it not being there. This has the potential to get very expensive. Then get a professional with experience of backing and / or working with very sensitive horses to work alongside you. Take him right back to basics and work slowly forward.

If you have the space and funds you might want to loan or buy another that you can just ride if you want to fullfil that other element of horsey life. I suspect it isn't going to be happeneing for this lad for a long while.
 

Lana.H05

Active Member
Joined
28 June 2020
Messages
37
I recommend lowering your expectations by a tonne! Go back to basics and make sure your results are consistent. Instead of having the expectation of jumping a full course, have a goal of maybe keeping a consistent rhythm over two jumps. It's hard to hear and very frustrating because we don't ride to deal with a difficult horse every day, we do it to enjoy the highs, so make your highs achievable. There's also no harm in taking a break or maybe riding a friend's horse for a little while. Often that makes us appreciative of what we have and inspired to get back to work. I know it's hard not having an immediate solution, like a magic pill that will solve all his problems, but the long road is rewarding in the end. Also, do you have a trainer? Sometimes a new pair of professional eyes can help us get on the right track!
Thank you so much and yeh we have regular lessons Xx
 

Lana.H05

Active Member
Joined
28 June 2020
Messages
37
The vast majority of horses who jump fast are actually scared not excited. It's the flight part of the fight/flight/freeze response. And refusing to jump is the freeze part. Same problem just a different way of expressing it. I think you need to.slow right down and go right back to basics focusing on building his confidence.
So hard because he is such a bold horse. He is a do-er
I'm afraid that what screams out from your post is pain.. A horse doesn't go from working perfectly one day to being a nightmare the next with no reason.. I would suggest the pain is possibly gut pain as a point to start at.

ETA this could be made worse by being a sensitive breed of horse. What some more stoic breeds will put up with some of the more sensitive ones won't.
We are loosing into his Ulcers again. So definitely going to explore if it's pain.
 

be positive

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What other checks were done when the ulcers were found? to me it sounds as if they were secondary and that he is in discomfort elsewhere, rushing and jumping fast is often a sign of pain, being keen one day then not another is also a sign that on the keen day he did too much, it hurt so he downs tools for a while until it fades away then he is back to going fast again, the sensitive ones can be very complex, has PSSM been ruled out or considered?

You have just said 'he has had it all' but not what the vet actually did check.
 

Lana.H05

Active Member
Joined
28 June 2020
Messages
37
You say you are young. From my somewhat advanced age this could be anything from school age to under 40! If you are school / Uni type age can I suggest you speak to a parent or trusted adult? Your time as that sort of young rider is very short and to loose it with a horse who is going to need a lot of re-education is hard.

If you are not quite that young - you are going to have to scale your expectations back a long long way. You don't mention what vet checks you have had done so far but others are right this sounds like pain somewhere so you are going to have to go the whole hog and pretty much check everything until you find it. Not finding a reason for pain is not the same as it not being there. This has the potential to get very expensive. Then get a professional with experience of backing and / or working with very sensitive horses to work alongside you. Take him right back to basics and work slowly forward.

If you have the space and funds you might want to loan or buy another that you can just ride if you want to fullfil that other element of horsey life. I suspect it isn't going to be happeneing for this lad for a long while.
I'm 14. So 13 when we bought him. Wish we had to money to get something different but it's not a possibility.
 

Lana.H05

Active Member
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28 June 2020
Messages
37
What other checks were done when the ulcers were found? to me it sounds as if they were secondary and that he is in discomfort elsewhere, rushing and jumping fast is often a sign of pain, being keen one day then not another is also a sign that on the keen day he did too much, it hurt so he downs tools for a while until it fades away then he is back to going fast again, the sensitive ones can be very complex, has PSSM been ruled out or considered?

You have just said 'he has had it all' but not what the vet actually did check.
Because we were looking for a problem she did an all round test. We are quite experienced and I can't think of anything else. We are going to give him some ulcer treatment and see how that works. Thank you sm
 

Cortez

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Far from "having a tantrum", I think your horse is extremely anxious and worried by what you are throwing at him. Jumping is not what PRE's were bred for, although they often do enjoy it, however you are dealing with a type of horse that is used to being ridden in high collection and designed for High School movements. Do you have a trainer that is experienced with Iberian horses? Often understanding the differences between regular English horses and the rather more complex Spanish breed is key to producing happy horses, and riders.
 

ycbm

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30 January 2015
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27,396
I'm afraid that what screams out from your post is pain.. A horse doesn't go from working perfectly one day to being a nightmare the next with no reason.. I would suggest the pain is possibly gut pain as a point to start at.

ETA this could be made worse by being a sensitive breed of horse. What some more stoic breeds will put up with some of the more sensitive ones won't.

I would normally agree with this and normally be among the first to write it. And I do agree, the checks should be done to rule it out.

But I've just bought a newly backed PRE and I can see how she could be turned into a horse like this with the wrong training. Until I got one, I used to think 'yeah, yeah' when people said how different they were. But her level of emotional reaction, her desperation to understand what it is you want her to do, and her upset if she can't please you are beyond anything I've experienced before.

So my suggestion, after full checks for pain, is that you need a trainer who understands PREs and you need to go back to the basics and undo everything that has been done wrong before you got him. But that would be a very tall ask for someone of your age and I really think he needs to be sold and replaced with something you can just have some fun on at 14.

.
 

ycbm

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I'm 14. So 13 when we bought him. Wish we had to money to get something different but it's not a possibility.

At the moment he is no fun, so there is no point in having him. If he is sold then you can save the money he costs to keep, possibly work a few hours and save that cash, and by the time this ridiculous buyer's market calms down, you'll have enough to buy a straightforward, if more common looking, horse you can enjoy.

.
 

Lana.H05

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28 June 2020
Messages
37
Far from "having a tantrum", I think your horse is extremely anxious and worried by what you are throwing at him. Jumping is not what PRE's were bred for, although they often do enjoy it, however you are dealing with a type of horse that is used to being ridden in high collection and designed for High School movements. Do you have a trainer that is experienced with Iberian horses? Often understanding the differences between regular English horses and the rather more complex Spanish breed is key to producing happy horses, and riders.
Unfortunately where we live we don't have a specialised instructor. By 'tantrum' I mean he can get strong and start to jog or spook and varies silly things. It's more of an over reaction maybe. Thank you
 

Pinkvboots

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It sounds like the jumping is frightening him some horses just don't get it or like it, as Cortez has said they are not bred for this and can be highly sensitive, I have Arabs which can also be sensitive and also not always suited to jumping, if I had persisted jumping one of mine he would be a wreck he just doesn't cope with it, so we don't do it apart from the odd tiny pole type log on a hack that's about his limit.
 

Lana.H05

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28 June 2020
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I would normally agree with this and normally be among the first to write it. And I do agree, the checks should be done to rule it out.

But I've just bought a newly backed PRE and I can see how she could be turned into a horse like this with the wrong training. Until I got one, I used to think 'yeah, yeah' when people said how different they were. But her level of emotional reaction, her desperation to understand what it is you want her to do, and her upset if she can't please you are beyond anything I've experienced before.

So my suggestion, after full checks for pain, is that you need a trainer who understands PREs and you need to go back to the basics and undo everything that has been done wrong before you got him. But that would be a very tall ask for someone of your age and I really think he needs to be sold and replaced with something you can just have some fun on at 14.

.
This makes so much sense but I can't trust him not to just to end up sold on again for the same reaosns. When I first bought him we were not obviously aware of the ulcers or anything but we could seen he was highly Strung and had no skill. We spent the first 2 months walking everyday and then slowly introduced trot over 4 months and finally canter. We then recognised he had ulcers and got those treated. It's hard to explain but he came to us completely messed up and it would be beyond hard to let him go after we have achieved so much even if it is so little. Thank you sm this really helped
 

Lana.H05

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28 June 2020
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At the moment he is no fun, so there is no point in having him. If he is sold then you can save the money he costs to keep, possibly work a few hours and save that cash, and by the time this ridiculous buyer's market calms down, you'll have enough to buy a straightforward, if more common looking, horse you can enjoy.

.
Honestly selling him isn't an option. If it's not his Ulcers that are causing this then I guess I'll look into it but it will be heaetbreaking.
 

ycbm

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I think you could possibly find a PRE lover who would take him on safely.

I also think you should check out Paddy555 's suggestion that he may have PSSM. It's a hair test, but to get the full story you need to send it to Germany and it costs over £200. Or you can try whacking him full of vitamin E (10000iu of natural stuff only) and see if that changes anything, which it usually does with PSSM.

.
 

Lana.H05

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28 June 2020
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It sounds like the jumping is frightening him some horses just don't get it or like it, as Cortez has said they are not bred for this and can be highly sensitive, I have Arabs which can also be sensitive and also not always suited to jumping, if I had persisted jumping one of mine he would be a wreck he just doesn't cope with it, so we don't do it apart from the odd tiny pole type log on a hack that's about his limit.
So frustrating because he seems to like it. He definitely has a height maximum but I think he enjoys it. Jumping is was I love doing and I try not to push him to anything difficult but he has talent and potential.
 

Lana.H05

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I think you could possibly find a PRE lover who would take him on safely.

I also think you should check out Paddy555 's suggestion that he may have PSSM. It's a hair test, but to get the full story you need to send it to Germany and it costs over £200. Or you can try whacking him full of vitamin E (10000iu of natural stuff only) and see if that changes anything, which it usually does with PSSM.

.
Done a little research doesn't quite match up. Horses with it seems to look poor with the muscles wastage. This is him : kraka.jpg
 

Cortez

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Unfortunately yours is a story that is repeated again and again with Spanish horses in the UK, they so often end up messed up, confused and frightened with riders who don't understand what they are doing wrong.If jumping is what you want to do then you really should look for a horse that is suited to do that. Selling on an unsuitable horse is not the worst thing that can happen to him if you strive to find the right home for him. Ulcers are caused by stress; stress is caused by physical and/or emotional pain.
 

Lana.H05

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Unfortunately yours is a story that is repeated again and again with Spanish horses in the UK, they so often end up messed up, confused and frightened with riders who don't understand what they are doing wrong.If jumping is what you want to do then you really should look for a horse that is suited to do that. Selling on an unsuitable horse is not the worst thing that can happen to him if you strive to find the right home for him. Ulcers are caused by stress; stress is caused by physical and/or emotional pain.
Although Spanish horses is definitely not my expertise i just want to say how genuine and lovely Kraka is. He enjoys jumping and was going well for a while and it is only recently that he has brought up some issues. Im not going to sell him because I cant.
 

paddy555

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I think you could possibly find a PRE lover who would take him on safely.

I also think you should check out Paddy555 's suggestion that he may have PSSM. It's a hair test, but to get the full story you need to send it to Germany and it costs over £200. Or you can try whacking him full of vitamin E (10000iu of natural stuff only) and see if that changes anything, which it usually does with PSSM.

.
I do appreciate the point being made about Spanish horses. I have a part bred Spanish. He has just about the same symptoms as OP's. When he is right you only have to breathe and he understands the command. However when the problems kick in (which I think is muscle pain) it puts a totally different complexion on it.

I suspect mine may have PSSM. He hasn't been tested but I know it occurs in Spanish horses and it fits a lot. I don't think there is a simple or cheap answer to the original post.
Poor handling causes stress of course but so does pain and ulcers are simply the knock one effect. So are hind gut ulcers.

If you treat the ulcers you may see better results but the cause will still be there unless you can find it. Muscle pain (PSSM or any other) causes stress with the knock on effect.

I can see you are trying your best and that is a lovely pic of both you and your horse and the vegetation.

If you put your hands on his hind quarters (standing at the side of him) and wobble them. Does his backside wobble or does it feel more solid like a board?

A physio,vet or chiro won't diagnose PSSM and most may not even know much about it.

As a very cheap suggestion I would consider sodium bicarb. (link below) After feeding that twice daily for a few days you may see improvement. That would give an indication as to where your problems lie.



If he was mine I would give 10000iu natural vit E and equishure (equishure is sodium bicarbonate that has been treated to reach the hind gut) and see if that could change him. Those supplements however are not cheap. I would also make sure he is kept warm at all times. In this current wet and windy weather (UK) I would make sure he is rugged, his back is kept dry and warm and also that he is kept moving ie not stabled but allowed to either wander around a yard or out 24/7 and given gentle exercise daily. That could be walking in hand, long reining or gentle ridden walking.

The above is all part of PSSM management.

From your last post you say he has been going well for a while and has only recently brought up some issues. Can you be a lot more precise? When he was going well did you have problems or was he OK for most of the time? When he started with issues what exactly happened? I am looking specifically at weather. Was he OK for example when it was warm and dry and when the wind and rain started problems started? Was he OK when the grass was dry but then problems happened when it grew and became richer.
(it may help if you keep a diary of exactly what his management is in detail each day, what the weather is like, how much grazing he had that day)

I don't think he is necessarily the horse for what you want but I do congratulate you for not selling him. I have been in your position several times and I wouldn't have sold them. :D





https://www.hyperdrug.co.uk/Sodium-Bicarbonate-BP-Powder-5kg/productinfo/SOD5/
 
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