Pony problems.. help please :)

Gracie21

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Morning one and all!


Hoping I can pick your brains! (please! I can offer toast and tea?!)

5 year old has suddenly started grinding the bit when ridden, will relax his jaw for a moment then start again. It sounds & looks awful and I'm not sure what's going on. He does it whether I have contact or not. Have had vet out to check, teeth done, physio could find no obvious issues, saddler has checked saddle and it's still happening. It's like he's tense, but he no other behaviour to suggest this!

Coincidently, his trot has disintegrated. He was starting to work nicely on both reins, starting to take forward the contact and working through, up until a month ago... now that's gone kaputt. He now does his very best giraffe impression, it's as if he is just not relaxing. But he is absolutely fine, if not improving, in walk and canter. No matter what I try I can't get any of 'that' trot back. I initially put this down to him having a week off whilst I had exams & assignments but alas I don't think so any more...

I'm at a complete loss. He's totally sound, works well on the lunge. Could the two issues be related? He's been in the same loose ring snaffle since he was backed, it's not too small. Should I change his bit? Could it be something more sinister? Any suggestions as to exercises I could try with him? Really need some outside opinions please! (instructor is away, have a lesson booked for next sat).
 

wattamus

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Had his trot disintegrated before the vet/physio came out? How long has it been going on for?
Could be his bit, maybe try something else see if that changes anything? Maybe it's his time of month- or he's just trying a little rebellion. :p
Sorry grasping at straws here but didn't want to read and run!
 

Deseado

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It's unlikely to be the bit, more likely he's sore somewhere. Teeth grinding is a symptom of tension. The problem in trot started at the same time as the teeth grinding?
 

Pearlsasinger

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I would try the obvious first and change the bit but keep an open mind and be ready to get a 2nd opinion on the saddle. Has the dentist been since the problems started or is it just that he is up-to-date?
 

Gracie21

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Thanks for replies! I've just changed his saddle and had it refitted, I will call another saddler, good idea :) Issue had already started when vet/physio came out. Haha It wouldn't surprise me if it was his time of the month, he's a bit of a princess ;) More or less the trot issue started the same time as the teeth grinding, he went through a phase of bucking but saddle was readjusted and has been fine since. His teeth are kept up to date, seen every 6 months, had a few sharp bits but nothing major, have left his wolf teeth in. :)
 

Pearlsasinger

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Thanks for replies! I've just changed his saddle and had it refitted, I will call another saddler, good idea :) Issue had already started when vet/physio came out. Haha It wouldn't surprise me if it was his time of the month, he's a bit of a princess ;) More or less the trot issue started the same time as the teeth grinding, he went through a phase of bucking but saddle was readjusted and has been fine since. His teeth are kept up to date, seen every 6 months, had a few sharp bits but nothing major, have left his wolf teeth in. :)


It might be worth getting your dentist to check him again, even though he isn't due.
 

Sugar_and_Spice

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Are his adult teeth coming through? Has his head grown, browband too tight maybe? Sorry cant remember if you said his age, he might be past all that.
 

Gracie21

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Windystacks-eeek haven't tried that. Might give it a go tonight!! Sugar_and_spice he's 5 :) He's got a new browband and it's super roomy, I am thinking it might be worth asking the vet about his teeth again though, and give him a full MOT, can't hurt can it!
 

WindyStacks

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Worth a shot, if it doesn't stop him grinding then try bridle on, saddle off and finally just headcollar. This should hopefully pinpoint the problem area. Good luck!
 

Sukistokes2

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Can I just suggest, he is five, therefore he could be just growing. My five year old gets sticky hocks when he is growing. They have been checked out before anyone gets worried. It could be he is growing and this is making things harder for him. It seems OP uou have done everything right and had everthing checked so that would be my guess.
 

STRIKER

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Check inside mouth for any sores, lesions, inder tongue, change bit try a straight rubber bit, remember a snaffle bit has a cracker nut which when having a contact actually causes the tongue to be squeezed together and the nit points upwards towards the roof of the mouth which can be quite painful, thats why i suggest a straigtht bit to see if there is a difference. Snaffles are not as kind as folk think
 

Gracie21

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Thanks all for the replies! I rode him in a headcollar that eve and he was much happier (although a little confused!). So I decided to splash out on a neue schule (one of these http://www.horsebitbank.com/verbindend-loose-ring-snaffle-12mm-42.phtml) thinking if this didn't solve the issue at least I would know that it's definitely NOT the bit, but well, the difference in him is amazing, super pleased! :) Long may it continue!

ETA:
Actually, might be this one... http://www.horsebitbank.com/ns-starter-bit-16mm-diameter-571.phtml
 
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