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gelding whose penis comes out when ridden?
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roons
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 Posted: Fri Oct 19th, 2007 06:08 am
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    Hi There,
I am new to forum but do have a question. My gelding's penis comes out and hangs down when being ridden at different times and I think he is in some discomfort. He has just started again after I had the chricopractic vet to him. I have had to make the rides short as I feel his birdie isn't there but I don't know where it has gone. All his gear has been checked, teeth etc but I do not understand why this happens and if it is a mucle problem or ? I have never had a gelding do this is it common? I can't really ride him when this happens as he just doesn't feel right, any suggestions please.

thanks

Roons

Annie F
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 Posted: Fri Oct 19th, 2007 02:05 pm
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Roons,

You say you've never had a gelding before--do you know about cleaning his sheath, and removing the bean? I had no idea this had to be done until I had a gelding, but it's very important to do regularly. 


The sheath (and penis) becomes caked with dirt and oily substances (smegma), and a small deposit called "the bean" can form. It can take a few tries to learn how to clean the sheath and to become comfortable doing it, and learning to get way up there and find the bean can take some time, too. Most geldings don't mind it, though some can be more cranky (my gelding hated water splashing on his belly or legs, so he didn't like being rinsed, but the rest of the process didn't bother him much).

If they haven't been cleaned in a long time the horse can become VERY uncomfortable. That might be one explanation of his behavior.   I have a couple of spots on the web bookmarked that explain how to do this, which I'll post here later today.

Best,

Annie F

Val
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 Posted: Fri Oct 19th, 2007 03:27 pm
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There is also a thread either on this or one of the previous forums about a gelding dropping like that when ridden as a way to express tension and lack of inner 'okayness."  i'll look around and see if i can find it, but you may want to do a search too.

val

roons
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 Posted: Fri Oct 19th, 2007 11:04 pm
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val,

thanks for that will look into this never thought about it that way will try to find the information as well. Food for thought.

Roons

roons
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 Posted: Fri Oct 19th, 2007 11:06 pm
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Dear Annie F,

thanks will look into this, thanks for suggestion.

Roons

Annie F
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 Posted: Sat Oct 20th, 2007 03:40 am
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Roons,

When I first got a gelding and learned that I needed to clean the sheath, I was shocked and worried (and a little embarrased :-). 

The first time I did it, nothing got very clean, but then I started touching him "down there" when I groomed him (he used to drop down when he was relaxed and being groomed), so we both got used to it and it became no big deal. 

Even if this isn't the explanation for your horse's behavior, it's really important that you learn it and do it a couple of times a year.  The "bean" is right up inside his penis, and it could be making it difficult for him to urinate. 

I am not an expert, so I hope others from this forum who know more than I will chip in, but here are a few tips on sheath cleaning:

1) Start slowly, especially if your gelding hasn't had this done before.  You can be very vulnerable when cleaning the sheath.  You might try very gently touching and stroking your gelding's genitals and tummy with a riding crop just to make sure he doesn't kick. 

2) Use a long glove (available from your vet or at the tack store).  An old, soft sock over your hand can make a good cloth; just rinse it out as you go, the dispose of it, along with the glove.

3) Don't use an antibacterial; there is some good bacteria your boy needs to keep.

Below are a few web pages with information.  I don't think any of them gets it exactly right, but if you read through them a few times, you will get the idea of how to do it.  If you have concerns or your horse is difficult, you should ask an experienced friend to help, or get help from your vet--don't get hurt and don't hurt your horse.

Best,

Annie F

http://www.equusite.com/articles/health/healthSheathCleaning.shtml

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_care/health/grooming/eqsavvy386/

http://www.justamere.com/newsletter/sheath.asp

 

 

Last edited on Sat Oct 20th, 2007 03:47 am by Annie F

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Oct 23rd, 2007 08:20 am
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Dear People: Although the suggestion made here that the gelding may need to have his sheath cleaned is a reasonable one, it is not the reason he's dropping or partially extending the penis when ridden.

The correct answer has been given by Roons, who owns the horse and who originally posted the query: the horse's Birdie is not with him. You may thus regard this reaction as being a stereotypy of the same class as windsucking, cribbing, sulling up, or self-mutilation: it is a reaction by the horse to totally unresolved issues he has with saddling, the pressure of the girth, being ridden, and/or being guided and controlled by the will of another creature, the rider.

The whole effort in a case like this must be to keep the horse's Birdie in the Present, so that the Birdie (that is to say, the horse's spirit) stays, all the time, within his body and does not fly away to some other place. Roons, you do not need to worry about where the horse's Birdie flies away to when it flies away; what you DO need to worry about is doing what you need to do to keep it from flying away. This is where you put all of your effort.

For you to learn how to do this, you first must learn how to tell when the horse's spirit is in his body vs. when it is gone. You see his spirit present, first, in his eyes; and second, by the sort of "feel" his body sends back to you. I know that you already actually know how to do the "feel" part, because this is how you actually knew that the problem is that the horse's Birdie is habitually leaving.

You'll have more opportunity to read the horse via feel when you are on his back, but more opportunity to read him through his eyes when you are working with him on the ground.

You need to do more ground-work -- in fact, you need to PERFECT your groundwork with this horse. What "perfect" groundwork means has nothing to do with "this" particular exercise or "that" particular exercise. It almost does not matter what particular thing you do, whether it be to go through a gate, ask the horse to back up as per our "horse confidence issue" mannering discussion, groom and brush him, have him pick up his feet so you can clean them, step up on the circus drum, or teach him to step over behind. Whatever you are doing, YOU need to be 100% Present and Aware. The important part is, at first, mainly what YOU do and who YOU are, because this horse needs significant amounts of support and guidance for him to be a safe ride. He is currently a dangerous ride, just as you have been suspecting, so we need to get down to changing the whole situation -- right?

I would suggest that you take one month and not ride the horse at all, but instead, be with him all you possibly can and find reasons, make up excuses, to mess with him in every way you can think of. Keep whatever you do fairly short before you switch to something else. Do a couple of things and then just go hand-graze with him, or stand there with one arm over his back, scratching his favorite spot for a while.

All the time you're with him, you'll be watching how he feels about things. As soon as you notice that "faraway" look -- like he's gazing over your shoulder out into the infinite distance -- that's when you know you need to CHANGE SOMETHING. If you've been standing still, well then, that's your moment to ask him to step over behind -- just then -- totally "as if" by chance but it isn't by chance because you're setting this up, you're watching all the time without letting him know that you are watching. If you've been going along straight, well, the moment you see him start to get "absent" and those eyes go hollow, and he stops feeling back to you -- that's your signal that in about one more heartbeat it's going to be too late and you will have lost him again. So before that happens, turn, back him up, call his attention down to a groundpole, or even just tap him on the shoulder a couple of times with the back of your hand. ANYTHING to call his attention and keep his attention. He cannot leave his body if you keep his attention, because Attention is a main aspect of Spirit.

What you're doing, overall, during this initial month is:

(1) You're teaching him to be better buddies with you, and you're acting toward him like it's important to you to BE his good buddy.

(2) You're establishing yourself as his 100% RELIABLE guide and WISE teacher.

(3) You're INTERFERING with his HABIT of leaving his body, and thus beginning to break that habit. Every time he tries to leave -- by golly, there you are, calling his attention into the Present, so that he cannot ever quite get it done.

Now after a month of working and playing with him in this way, then we'll go on back to riding him. Among the particular things I do want you to do in this first month of ground work is to saddle and unsaddle the horse very many times. I want you to saddle and unsaddle him at least five times in every hour you spend with him.

When you saddle him, have him untied. Do the saddling in a paddock or corral where, if he gets away, he can't go far. Use a saddle that fits him but one that if he spills it, it isn't going to break your heart.

When you saddle any horse, you must pull the latigo or girths up tight enough on the first go that if he busts in half and pulls away from you, the saddle is not likely to turn and go under his belly. When taking that initial pull, you have to be smooth and gentle, even though you're going to pull it up moderately snug. You mustn't, on the other hand, pull it up so tight that you make him into a peanut. Snug is plenty -- "tight" is a mistake. There's a balance in there that you're going to have to find.

When you girth him, stand on the left side of the horse with him haltered and the lead rope draped over the crook of your left arm. Have enough slack between his head and your arm that you've got room to work without pulling on his head. Don't have so much slack that he could pull away and kick you. If he turns his head off to the right at any time, then you must stop whatever you're doing and turn it back again so that it is either straight out the front or slightly turned left. Don't let him turn his head to the right; that's when the Attention is likely to escape and also it gives him the drop on you so that he can nail you square in the chest. We do not want that, so have enough control of the head.

Now, when you pull the girth up "snug" on this horse I will bet you blind that he stiffens or humps up, kind of gets on his toes, and he stops breathing. This is exactly why we need to girth this one without having him tied up. You have the tail of the rope DRAPED (not looped!) over the crook of your left arm. So when you pull it up snug, then you need to fix it up so that you can safely go for a little walk without having the horse bust in half, start bucking, or jump on you. Why we didn't tie him up to tack him up is that we need the whole system mobile -- you AND him. So many horses freeze their feet when they're being girthed up. Getting the feet unstuck takes a little finesse, a little timing, and you're going to have to work it out -- it can be a fine line. You need to encourage him to MOVE HIS FEET until they get moving freely.

When the feet come unstuck, you'll then hear the horse start breathing again. You'll need to be alert through this whole part because when his feet get frozen or stuck, that's exactly when the Attention and the Spirit are going to really want to leave. This is what gets it started -- the pressure of the girthing that he does not understand and he has not deeply accepted it.

So you go through this the first time, and you girth him up snug, and you get the feet unstuck and you go for a little walk and you keep walking with him (with two eyes in the back of your head all the time -- he can get a hitch in his belly at any time and go to bucking, if you don't prevent it). To prevent it, you turn a little bit sharp or ask him to step over behind and that will go a long ways toward letting the gas out.

After you've walked a while, and he's been breathing slow and quiet for a while, then stop and pet him. Walk back over to where the fence is or your saddle rack and then take the saddle off. Notice what you've done here: (1) You saddled him, which he still doesn't understand, but you SUPPORTED HIM by PREVENTING him from just busting up, and from leaving his body. As a result, you succeeded in saddling and girthing him. (2) You took the saddle OFF when he was as OK as currently possible. You did NOT do what you have previously been doing -- first saddle him, and then add insult to injury by trying to go for a ride (that he also doesn't really "get").

Now, you've done this saddling and unsaddling once; you need to rest a few minutes, go graze with him or buddy up a while, and then you need to repeat it four more times. You rest each time at least as long as you worked at getting the saddle on good, walk around, take it off. You rest as long as you worked, each time, and then after the last time you go ahead and put him up. Then the next day, you come back and do it again, and you do the whole thing at least three days a week for a month.

And of course, it won't all just be saddling. What I'd do is saddle-unsaddle once, then work on something else with him such as learning how to back into his room, or learning how to expand the circle on the longe line, or learning how to mount the drum or bow. Mix it up: some things with a fair amount of forward motion, some other things that are more "mental exercise", some more on precision, some pure playtime or grooming time.

We have not forgotten the part about the penis, but you start with this and then we'll see if he still has the problem in a month. Because there is absolutely ZERO chance that the only time the horse drops inappropriately is when he's being ridden. So we fix the things that are at the base first, and most generally, then the problem fades right out in all the other places. Best wishes -- Dr. Deb

 

 

roons
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 Posted: Tue Oct 23rd, 2007 10:11 am
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Dear Dr Deb,

Thank you so much for your reply you don't know how much I appreciate it. I will do as you say in fact in a way I have already started buy spending more time with him and I have changed where I saddled him and have just been watching him. I look forward to the challenge and hope with the time I will be the buddy he needs. You make so much sense I don't know why I didn't see it, I suppose that's why I'm hear.



Thank you

Roons

Pam
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 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2007 01:20 am
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Dr. Deb,

I hope it's ok to pay you a compliment here, being it's not my post, but this is one of the nicest pieces of advice I have seen here to date! 

Good Luck with your buddy..... Roons.

Pam

Julie
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 Posted: Wed Nov 7th, 2007 12:24 am
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Hi Dr Deb and all,

I have been observing a two week old foal also dropping his penis out when walking and pretty much most of the time. He is gentle and has had quiet handling.

Is this likely to be something similar as the older horse loosing his birdie?

Cathie


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