Performance Problems

As riders and owners there are times when you may ask yourself,

"Does My Horse  Have a Problem or Experiencing Discomfort?"

If in doubt get your horse checked out. If there is nothing wrong with your horse, there is no charge.

 

     TIMES WHEN YOU SHOULD GET YOUR HORSE CHECKED OUT

  • after the winter months when there is lots of mud. Due to mud, horses walk in a different way which puts strain on there body, especially the back and shoulder muscles.

  • after a period of lameness due to a stone bruise or joint pain/strain.

  • after an accident, even if the horse appears normal. In some cases it can take a few weeks before symptoms surface.

  • when your horse looses its cover in the paddock and straps are broken or is found with cover around the neck.

  • after major dental work or when the teeth are sharp or jaw has been out of alignment.

  • under a badly fitting saddle.

  • at the end of the season before you turn the horse out. Insures that the horse is pain free and can have a good holiday.

  • when the ground is hard a horse can jar up and become sore in the muscles.

      VISUAL SIGNS

  • nervous look in the eye, or a look of pain.

  • unusual behaviour.

  • suddenley difficult to catch. 

  • rub marks from the saddle

  • cannot put on weight, (pain or digestion problem)

  • loss of condition, (pain).

  • temperment change.

  • weight loss - this may be a restriction in the poll or jaw.

  • swelling on the back and withers after riding.

  • rub marks on the hair at the back of the saddle, especially in the winter,(saddle may be too wide and rocking around on the back). 

    STANDING

  • resting the same leg all the time.

  • does your horse snarl and lay back his ears when he sees you coming with your favourite saddle ?

  • standing with the feet out the front and out the back.

  • when urinating, one back leg when stretching out behind or weight on the toe not the heel.

  • biting when the girth is done up - (check the saddle fit)

  • difficulty doing a belly lift, (thoracic lift, run pen under the tummy to see if the back will lift up.

  • muscle tying up problems.

  • difficulty picking up a back leg - (also check selenium levels)

     

    IN MOTION

  • starts out stiff and frees up with movement.

  • difficulty walking up and down hills, (Check saddle fit and that gullet place is secure).

  • shaking the withers - (check the saddle and cover fit)

  • bucking, (spring grass or pain).

  • rearing or doing half rears and spinning in a circle.

  • coming behind and above the bit.

  • feeling like you are not sitting straight in the saddle.

  • stumbling in front and behind.

  • reluctant to back up or cannot back up, (check for stifle pain)

  • head tilting - (check the teeth).

  • difficulty bending in one direction or at all.

  • changing leads behind in canter especially on a circle,(pelvis or inside hindleg pain, shoeing levels out).

  • not wanting to pick up the correct canter lead.

  • wanting to go with a low head carriage most of the time.

  • going on the forehand.

  • hollowing the back when riding or a cold back.

  • not going forward, especially on one rein.

  • lameness.

  • uneven gait or shortened stride.

  • problem lengthening and shortening of stride.

  • falling in on a circle, (tight inside back muscles).

  • falling outwards on a circle.

  • jaw tension, munching on the bit - (check the teeth).

  • not rolling in the paddock or not rolling all the way over.

  • have a high head carriage or an over developed ewe neck. The head raises in order to hollow his sore back.

  • over reach or strike the heels with his hind shoes.

  • starts his ride calmly but becomes agitated as ride proceeds.

  • resists flexion to one or both sides, as the saddle panels are too close to his spine.

  • cold backed, back sinks when mounting.

  • does not want to pick up canter leads both ways.

  • stretching front legs out in front when saddled or girthed.

    JUMPING

  • jumping flat.

  • refusing or running out.

  • jumping with the head up.