Something isn't right?

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Thinking on a different line here, a few weeks ago my horse presented similar. He is normally a very forward type who loves his work. He started to refuse to be caught from the field then when I was riding he was punching up, following especially in canter and backing off my leg. Turns out our saddle was the issue. I'm now not using that saddle and after a few weeks rest and some sessions riding bareback he is back to his normal self. Saddle fitter can't come out until mid October so we are bareback or jumping saddle until then
 

BBP

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Just as a note, not all horses with ulcers present the same. Mine has zero reaction to girth area, fat, shiny, ad-lib forage, fine to groom, stressed and a bit sad looking but never grumpy with me. He would occasionally grind his teeth or yawn, and would refuse to canter, either grinding to a halt or cantering but in a very backwards way. His trot became shorter striding.

He scoped as having small ulcers near the pylorus. After treatment, plus a supplement for buffering hind gut acidity, everything improved so so much.

Not saying your horse has them, but some horses hide it well.
 
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Thanks all. Bexx thank you, I really don't think its his saddle it was made to fit him and was checked only a few months ago and he hasn't lost or gained any weight but worth another visit, thank you. Will investigate that BBP and see what the vet says.

UPDATE.
I had a shared pole work lesson on the weekend with a very good dressage rider/instructor who really knows her stuff. He was shaking as he came out the box, can only assume excitement? and as we went into the arena he was trotting on the spot, ears pricked forwards. I explained everything to the instructor and she kept a close eye on him. She immediately said hes definitely not lame, he looks elastic from behind and moves nicely. He started to get hard in the mouth and strong as we progressed, she put me on a circle and gave me some tips, to release with my hands and to push him out with my inside leg which worked nicely. He went absolutely lovely, floated over poles in a elastic outline and I was really pleased with him. We didn't work on much canter and he did struggle to hold a right lead canter at first but after a bit of leg work, ended up cantering lovely over all the poles.
She actually said (to my surprise) she could imagine him doing novice dressage with his paces specially his trot. She said he'd got me into bad habits and himself into had habits, but by the end of the lesson we were completely different. I went away feeling great and thinking he was back to his normal self.

I hacked him out quietly the day after (no problem) and yesterday took him in the arena at home for some schooling work.

Mind it was dark but at the previous yard he was always ridden in the floodlights in the dark. He was completely different, hard in the mouth, not off the leg whatsoever, looking all around him. Right canter was impossible, he would harden his mouth and constantly try and break into trot as well as grunting. I put him on a circle (the same as the lesson) and rode him how she instructed (tried to imagine she was on the floor, talking to myself like a prat) but it made no difference. Even his walk and trot wasn't great. Constantly fighting the contact and I tried riding him on a loose rein so he pushed from behind. I tried a few different ways but didn't get anywhere and after 30 minutes he was sweating really badly (clipped out) I cooled him off.

This new yard arena is the same size as previous but the surface is pretty deep mind lighting much brighter, previous yard the surface was very shallow (to shallow like cantering on hard ground) and lights crap, my lesson its a nice 'perfect' surface just how it should be at a competition yard. A friend on the yard said possibly the surface? However my Welshy goes absolutely beautifully at the new yard arena (better than ever) and all the other horses have no problem apart from a late 20's gelding who struggles with the surface so is just hacked now.

A friend (lives several hours away) said maybe I'm a s**t rider out of a lesson.. lol, possibly.. but I've had this horse years, know him inside out, he use to go lovely at home before I even had a 'proper' dressage lesson a few years back. mmmm?

Could it be hes suddenly started napping for the first time ever? Never napped in 4 years, use to hack out for hours and not even hesitate leaving the yard or splitting from a group but wonder if being on his own in the arena was why as the lesson was with another (but didn't nap at any point in the lesson)

Could it be he was excited so the adrenaline took over the pain? However instructor said he wasn't that excited and don't think he had any adrenaline to cover the pain after the first 5 minutes.

I have been recommended a great physio.. may book that up and see what she says. Even more stuck now.

Argghh.
 

ester

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I've known them show up an otherwise intermittent lameness a little bit more. Not massively but noticeable in hindsight.

Fwiw too Mum's mare was very sound on her front suspensory, still going to lessons etc, the only time she showed lame was the day after a school day when she would max out at about 2/10 lame (which didn't happen very often as we don't have one ourselves)
 

Scarlett

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The fact it's right canter you seem to have the issue with would definitely suggest a gut problem to me.

My horse has had various issues over the years. Right canter became an issue during hind gut flare up and again during ulcers. If his gut is upset at all he becomes rigid through his rib cage and hard in the contact, true bend right is hard to get and he just goes hollow.

It's certainly where I would start in your situation. maybe a good quality gut supplement?

Other option could be a muscle issue (we've had that too.... :( ) Sorry if I have missed this but have you changed grazing recently?

ETA - just saw that you moved yards 3 months ago which will make this his first autumn on this grazing I assume? I'd start there. From personal experience with several horses grazing can cause all sorts of issues, could be causing him to tie up slightly which would absolutely explain the rigid feeling in canter and the sweating after 30 min.

Maybe start with reducing grazing access and adding vitamin e and salt to see if that helps? Maybe ask vet about PSSM?

Also look up Calm Healthy Horses website - I spent thousands looking for issues in my horses, all the work ups and investigations, turns out it was the grazing they were on and after 4-5 years of chasing issues we are finally on top of it with them all.
 
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The fact it's right canter you seem to have the issue with would definitely suggest a gut problem to me.

My horse has had various issues over the years. Right canter became an issue during hind gut flare up and again during ulcers. If his gut is upset at all he becomes rigid through his rib cage and hard in the contact, true bend right is hard to get and he just goes hollow.

It's certainly where I would start in your situation. maybe a good quality gut supplement?

Other option could be a muscle issue (we've had that too.... :( ) Sorry if I have missed this but have you changed grazing recently?
Mmm could try that thank you Scarlett. I changed grazing 4 months ago and moved them home, theres a livery yard on the farm we live on. They were previously on less grazing in a herd and now in the same size field with just my 2 geldings together. Feed, everything has stayed the same, they come in at dinner time and stay in until 6pm when I ride. If it was a gut issue wouldn't he be worse after travelling? He never eats when travelling so I'd assume if it was his gut he'd be worse as he gets really tense when travelling.
 

Scarlett

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Mmm could try that thank you Scarlett. I changed grazing 4 months ago and moved them home, theres a livery yard on the farm we live on. They were previously on less grazing in a herd and now in the same size field with just my 2 geldings together. Feed, everything has stayed the same, they come in at dinner time and stay in until 6pm when I ride. If it was a gut issue wouldn't he be worse after travelling? He never eats when travelling so I'd assume if it was his gut he'd be worse as he gets really tense when travelling.
There's no hard and fast answers with gut issues, what causes problems with one horse wont with another. My horse was fat and shiny and being investigated for something else when they found glandular ulcers, yet when he had every ulcer symptom in the book he scoped clear and the found inflammation of the hind gut. It may not even be ulcers but just a sensitive belly due to the grazing.

I edited my post above to add that if this is his first autumn on that grazing then I would start there and maybe look at whether he has tied up/has pssm/mineral imbalance due to potassium levels. Tying up would explain his issues, and the change in grazing would explain the tying up.

Vit E, magnesium and salt would be a start, plus getting him off the grass if you can. Cheap and easy place to start and if it is that you'll see an improvement quickly.
 
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Thank you Scarlett.

He is on equlibria balancer and always has been getting the right recommended amounts, he also gets salt everyday and always has done in summer or after hes sweated alot. There currently is barely any grass out there so hes been having hay and more hard food the last few weeks. He isn't great being stabled, so comes in for a few hours after afternoon and hes in at night in winter. He is grazing fields now that sheep grazed previously, and hes never grazed fields sheep have been in before. Could it be related to that?

It does make sense almost, when hes in the arena he feels tense all over and sweats a lot which is unusual for him. Hes always been a very tense stressy horse from day one. He isn't a 'great doer' for a cob either so has always had to have hard feet in winter as well as haylage.

What do you recommend supplement wise giving him?
 

lottiepony

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A recent experience of mine was with a friends horse.
He had what can only be described as a personality transplant, went from chilled boy ideal for novice rider to something that rushed, anxious and unpredictable.
Owners did all the checks, usual vet, physio, saddler, scoped for ulcers etc etc all found nothing. Long story short came to mine to be sold as was now unsuitable for his owner (novice lady) I still had that niggle something was wrong so put him on a bute trial (naughty I know). Literally 1 day on it and original horse returned.
We got him referred to the Animal Health Trust and turns out both hind suspensories gone and sacroiliac joint pain. He's been operated on and treated and rode him for the first time last weekend, so far so good and fingers crossed as his ridden demands will be so low (light hacking) we're hopeful he will be able to cope.
I feel bad I couldn't feel it but I listened to what he was saying by his behaviour so thankfully we got there in the end.
What I've taken from it though is if you do think there is a problem go straight to the pros - vet referral places (we're very lucky as close to Newmarket so have the A.H.T and Rossdales) His owners spent lots of extra money on the local vet etc etc and probably wasted a month 'messing' around. He wasn't insured either so they taken quite the hit but their priority was for him to pain free. Sometimes it's best to go straight in at the expensive end then hopefully your money is spent well.
Of course I know everyone offers their experiences and there's probably people out there who have gone that route and it hasn't worked out but good to get a well rounded view :)

I hope you can get to the bottom of it as there is nothing worse then knowing something is up with them but not knowing what!
 

Scarlett

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Aimeetess - There's a rather long, boring complicated story about how my horses, who sound very similar to what you are seeing with yours, weren't actually lame after all and after putting ourselves in large amounts of debt and spending all our money, it was connected to the grazing. I even had joint injections, vet stays, scopes, bute trials, feet looked at, saddles looked at.... One horse was on the verge of PTS because he was so miserable and had slowly become unworkable and no reason why.

I'm currently following the advice of the Calm Healthy Horses page and they are all much better, sound infact.

I'd definitely look at magnesium, salt and vitamin E and read up on magnesium/calcium deficiency and excess potassium.

Maybe speak to your vet about doing PSSM blood test? Mine came back negative but was still tying up which helped us look else where.
 
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A recent experience of mine was with a friends horse.

I hope you can get to the bottom of it as there is nothing worse then knowing something is up with them but not knowing what!
Thank you for sharing that Lottiepony and this is my fear. He doesn't feel 'lame' but he does feel like hes bunny hoping, even though every vet and friend, and experienced instructor has said hes sound. Funnily enough he isn't unpredictable hes a very well behaved chap but I have noticed hes suddenly much more spooky now. For instance, the fields we ride in on the land run next to a main road. Hes NEVER shown any interest in traffic(ridden him previously over motorway bridge) and didn't use to even look, but suddenly he goes up those fields sideways spooking?!

I did put him on a 2 day very strong bute trial and rode him when the vet said he'd be most 'buted' up. There was only a small improvement I noticed that was he was happier to canter and cantered on voice (how he use to be) but I thought it may of been because I put the bit on a higher hole however since riding him again off bute and bit in same place, I do now think it was the bute that made him feel better? But that would make him feel better if it was PSSM or suspesories etc? He isn't keen on having his fetlocks felt specially around the area the suspensory ligament lies.
He is definitely the type of horse to keep going for me even if in severe pain, just know him to a T.

My vet has their own hospital with top class vets and is a referral unit, so I am torn wether to pay £60 for a physio to have a look or get the vet back out and ask about nerve blocking. Its hard though as he is 100% sound to trot up and it is only noticeable when I ride. I can't even notice it on the lunge really so would be hard to see if it made a difference.

Thank you Scarlet, i'll definitely ask my vet about that.
 
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I have just red on PSSM it says, quoting "During an episode, horses seem lazy, have a shifting lameness, tense up their abdomen, and develop tremors in their flank area."

Every time he is boxed he shakes over his back end and flank area when I first get on, but has always done this and never done it at home. He is lazy at home and does feel tense to ride. I'll give my vet a call and question it.
 

lottiepony

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Thank you for sharing that Lottiepony and this is my fear. He doesn't feel 'lame' but he does feel like hes bunny hoping, even though every vet and friend, and experienced instructor has said hes sound. Funnily enough he isn't unpredictable hes a very well behaved chap but I have noticed hes suddenly much more spooky now. For instance, the fields we ride in on the land run next to a main road. Hes NEVER shown any interest in traffic(ridden him previously over motorway bridge) and didn't use to even look, but suddenly he goes up those fields sideways spooking?!

I did put him on a 2 day very strong bute trial and rode him when the vet said he'd be most 'buted' up. There was only a small improvement I noticed that was he was happier to canter and cantered on voice (how he use to be) but I thought it may of been because I put the bit on a higher hole however since riding him again off bute and bit in same place, I do now think it was the bute that made him feel better? But that would make him feel better if it was PSSM or suspesories etc? He isn't keen on having his fetlocks felt specially around the area the suspensory ligament lies.
He is definitely the type of horse to keep going for me even if in severe pain, just know him to a T.

My vet has their own hospital with top class vets and is a referral unit, so I am torn wether to pay £60 for a physio to have a look or get the vet back out and ask about nerve blocking. Its hard though as he is 100% sound to trot up and it is only noticeable when I ride. I can't even notice it on the lunge really so would be hard to see if it made a difference.

Thank you Scarlet, i'll definitely ask my vet about that.
It is so hard to know what to do! If you say he was better (even if it was small) on bute it does point to a pain related thing - now the million dollar question of where it might be coming from! The horse I dealt with actually had a stay at the AHT for 3 days so they could do the full work up. He had a full in hand assessment then I had to ride him, then their rider took him through his paces. During his stay they did the necessary blocks/scans etc to pin point the problem. The riding was the key part to him as on the ground he never looked lame. Although extra expense for the livery we had an answer 3 days later and then I think he stayed and had the surgery straight away so just seemed so quick.

I hope you get to the bottom of it and get a positive outcome.
 

ester

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It would be relatively easy to check for a muscle myopathy with pre/post exercise bloods, or you could do the DNA tests on a hair sample (but not all posibilities/types covered by that).
 

ihatework

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I think the reactions to your deep surface at home is possibly significant.

What it is highlighting I couldn’t say, but if he isn’t a historically lazy horse then I’d guess more than it just being extra effort for him. My money would be on a very low grade bilateral lameness in the hind end.

If I were going to spend money at the Vets I would probably scan the hind suspensories first.
 
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Could be.. doubt ulcers as had a mare with ulcers and he shows not really many symptoms. I now have received his hock and back x-rays from 2016 to 2017, is there any vet or experienced members on here who would mind taking a look that would know anything about them?
Ulcers can show in many forms. We effectively lost one to them (ulcerative colitis) and he was in great condition never girthy or grumpy never sore in his back always ate well etc.
 

SEL

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My mare struggled on a deep surface over the summer. Fine when I took her to the competition arena next door. She does have PSSM and arthritic hocks so I assumed it was putting extra pressure on her compromised muscles. BUT she's recently been scanned with a suspensory injury on her left hind - no idea if the deep school caused it or niggled a problem I was unaware of - but I feel awful that I didn't push harder with the vets to scan earlier.

You could have a horse with a myopathy. There's a lot in your posts above that i recognise and if you get the vet out next time you're having issues then blood testing for muscle enzymes isn't expensive.
 
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Whatever you do, if there is a problem and it doesn't improve with work, don't carry on riding!

You will make the problem worse, it will cost more to fix and may cause so many compensatory issues that the horse can't be fixed.

If no money for any investigations or anything else, turn away for six months to a year (it took two years for my mare to come sound, and she did have all the investigations and treatment!) and see what happens.

If some money, find out what is wrong (tell them you have no insurance before you start, and get them to check the X-rays from last year) and then make some choices.
 
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Whatever you do, if there is a problem and it doesn't improve with work, don't carry on riding!

You will make the problem worse, it will cost more to fix and may cause so many compensatory issues that the horse can't be fixed.

If no money for any investigations or anything else, turn away for six months to a year (it took two years for my mare to come sound, and she did have all the investigations and treatment!) and see what happens.

If some money, find out what is wrong (tell them you have no insurance before you start, and get them to check the X-rays from last year) and then make some choices.
Thanks for your comment, You're right. I am not sure if its a problem physically or mentally, it would be easier if he was 100% lame rather than trotting up completely sound and even on both hinds. He was so good in my lesson Saturday the girls in my lesson and experienced dressage instructor said if he was in pain he couldn't and wouldn't move like that which made me think it was more him mentally and my riding than something physically wrong with him as he really did feel nice and then I was back to square one after riding him at home.
When he was turned away previously it made things worse as he wasn't in any work he was hammering around the field and causing more damage than good slipping around etc so currently have been lightly hacking a couple of times a week to just keep him ticking over. This morning he was cantering around the field looking beautiful but that is different as there is no weight on his back.

I have booked a incredibility good physio for 3 weeks time who really knows her stuff and thought I could save some money and get her to look at both of mine as it works out cheaper and wait until then but that is 3 weeks away and a long time to wait. I think i'll contact my vet now and see if they'd look at him on a zone day for a second opinion and get them to check x-rays as I have copies of back and complete hind legs (and turns out fetlocks too) which are clear but would be worth a re look.
 
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View

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He was so good in my lesson Saturday the girls in my lesson and experienced dressage instructor said if he was in pain he couldn't and wouldn't move like that which made me think it was more him mentally and my riding than something physically wrong with him .
Just be aware that a horse with a physical problem may appear pain free because of flowing adrenaline.
 

ester

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The more you say the more I think it doesn't cost much to get suspensories scanned. I've known one going round BE novice tracks with good dressage scores who had issues with both. (and a more general comment one who did his 2nd BE novice going really well and 2 days later was walking crippled- turned out he had extensive kissing spine issues. Those and our own suspensory issue definitely means I now pay more attention to the small indicators, like what happens on different surfaces etc.

I don't really understand the benefit of vets looking at old xrays?
 
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Completely View, this is what I thought as he was shaking when I tacked him up which hes always done. At the start he was excited and had adrenaline running but after 10 minutes he was very chilled out so instructor didn't think he was running off adrenaline? I suppose though he could of still had adrenaline in his system..

Well, the old x-rays show clear so I wouldn't see the point of re x-raying really, hes had 3 lots of x-rays done the last lot only 12 months ago of back/legs and in 2016 twice and all show clear unless suddenly he has arthritis changes but feels more tendon, suspensory area.

I spoke to my vet today and have booked their specialist to come and have a look, hes slightly expensive but they said hes great with problems like this. Hes coming out in a week so not sure if to carry on light hacking or stop riding him altogether..
 

ester

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So what do you expect from re evaluating old xrays if you know they were clear?

Hopefully the vet will have some ideas, I'd be inclined to keep working as normal TBH or you risk his presentation not being representative as you don't have a 'go to' area to look at particularly we all just have our suspicions.
 
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I thought someone may of picked up on something that wasn’t picked up back then..
My vet had a look, different vet than who took them and said they’re nice clean x-rays.

Good idea, will light hack and then maybe take in the arena the day before or that morning.

Will report back
 
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