ESI Q and A Forums Home
 Search       Members   Calendar   Help   Home 
Search by username
Not logged in - Login | Register 

Bucking pony
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
 New Topic   Reply   Print 
AuthorPost
Jacquie warren
Guest
 

Joined: 
Location:  
Posts: 
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Dec 3rd, 2007 10:23 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Hi Dr. Deb.

Its been a busy summer and I have only just had time to start looking at your site once again. You may remember I have a pony who bucks on occasion! I was helped by you and prodded to investigate the causes and I have now understood that he is, as you suspected, absenting himself and then crashing back into reality with a buck!

He is scared to death at shows - which is the only place he bucks like this - and he could not perform at shows at all because of this fear. I think it must be because he is quite small and feels threatened.

I have now tried giving him a herbal calmer before a show, which works by making him basically chill out about his fears I suppose. I know this may not be a good thing in reality, but it has proved that the 'fear theory' about his reasons for bucking was the correct one. He was fine at the show in all respects from start to finish when he had been given the calmer.

When I started discussing this pony and his bucking here, I was not convinced it was fear causing him to buck, and gradually have come to realise I was wrong. I then did not realise he was absenting himself because he did not want to be where he was, but I now understand that is exactly what he was doing. I have found a new understanding of this situation thanks to this site. I realised I had left the bucking pony thread dangling and thought that was rude of me to do that after your helpful advice - hence this message.

thanks to Dr. Deb and all who contributed

 

Jacquie

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2007 07:16 am
 Quote  Reply 
Yes, Jacquie, thanks very much for the follow-up. So now, obviously you do know that no "herbal calmer" is any more likely to work to solve a horse's real problems than looking into the bottom of a bottle is likely to solve a human's.

I have a friend who has had lifelong problems with obesity, finally resulting in a bodyweight that was pushing 300 kilos (600 lbs.). An outstanding characteristic that was noticeable with this person was that they were never 'there' for any meal. The person would take enormous amounts of food -- the plate would be piled literally a foot high with food, and the person ate the food but you could see they never actually fully saw or tasted the food.

After trying every diet known to God or man, my friend went and got stomach stapled. In submitting to this operation, the patient agrees to counseling and is told by their doctor that if they eat more than a few ounces of food at any one time, the stomach that has surgically been made small will burst. Any excess of food will rip the staples out. When that happens, there's a good chance that the patient will die.

So my friend has obeyed the doctor's advice. We can now go out to dinner, and there are no more heaped platefuls.

No -- NOW what my friend does is, if we are having lobster with drawn butter, to eat a bit of lobster and dabble at the salad and the other parts of the meal, like a normal person; but you can't help but notice that at the end of the meal, this person drinks the drawn butter! And if we are having an Italian dinner where we have olive oil to dip the bread in....my friend douses their bread with it and then drinks the remainder of the oil! And it is the same with the salad dressing or the bearnaise sauce....

There is an intelligence operating here, but it is an intelligence that is working against the person's best interests.

I expect you see the point I am making: my friend has psychological and emotional problems that cut much deeper than any diet, or any surgery, will ever be able to reach. My friend is not OK deep inside, and has learned to use food in an attempt to patch up the internal rents.

In the same way, no herbal "calmer" is really ever going to work. So, bottom line here is that, being the good person that you are, Jacquie, and with the understanding that you have gained here of what the problem is at root, I hope you will soon be ready to BEGIN working on SOLVING the pony's problem instead of insisting that you be able to go on riding the animal while merely patching it over.

And, by the way -- if you have doubted that you yourself could actually solve the problem, I want you to put that doubt right out of your mind. I wouldn't want you to use that as a reason "why not", because it isn't a good enough reason.

Best wishes -- Dr. Deb

Jacquie
Member


Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Nr. Frome, Somerset, United Kingdom
Posts: 158
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sat Dec 8th, 2007 06:55 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Hi Dr. Deb

thank you for your time once again on this. Feeling terrible today as I just lost my dear old 40 year old little pony, Muffin. I had to have him put down as his liver has been failing for some time and he was getting weak and became suddenly too confused to eat properly.  He was only not eating for one day, but I could not stand to see him suffering like that. I feel so sad. (Sorry, I am brimming full of 'poor me' at the moment and questioning all my actions in his last few hours).

I certainly do doubt my ability to solve this fear issue Sunny has. I am not at all sure where to start to help with resolving it.

He is fine at a show with someone at his head leading him, (preferably me). He is not fine at a show without someone leading him. Even if I am quite near him he is OK, but further than c10m away, he is frightened and could snap at any time when he pops back into full awareness. This is often just after we have all commented on how he looks much more relaxed - illustrating how we are all being utterly fooled by his feigned calm caused by his absenteeism.

I thin his tension levels are improved overall, his hind leg steps are not showing anxiety and shortening - until the last minute of his 'snapping'. His breathing is hard to be sure about when I am more than 10m away, and nearer to him it is only slightly subtley shorter and deeper breaths when he is getting anxious, but very subtle and without a long period of warning. Of course, it also difficult to be sure if his breathing is altered due to the physical exertion of jumping or cantering or whatever too.

Soon the desire for him to go to shows is going to evaporate anyway as his rider is rapidly (but not quite) getting too big to compete on him now.

I could easily duck out of this and let him be a trick pony with me and do a little driving and as I have no great urge to take him to shows  I could let myself off the hook.  At home he is perfect - jumps anything, is a lovely character and is a delight to handle. He does spanish walk quite well now, bows, does obeisance, smiles, gets on his pedestal eagerly and is a lovely cheaky little boy.


Seeing the signs is hard. Knowing how to start helping him feel OK is even harder.  It is very tempting to be lazy and leave it at that, but I am very curious to learn more about how to go about solving this, both for his overall sake and because I have a feeling it may well be a handy level of understasnding to have for another horse one day, even if its not urgently needed for him.

 

I am asking you, please where do I start now on this? If you have the time to tell me, I will try to follow your instructions as well as I can.


rebecca g
Member
 

Joined: Sun Sep 2nd, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 12
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Dec 11th, 2007 12:43 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Jacque,

    I also have a horse that is "perfect" at home, especially when we are working alone.  I have also seen this change of behavior in other horses that I know well that are owned by others.  It could be attributed to "gaps" in training that only show up in more stimulating environments.  However, in my own case and the others that I am thinking of it is more related to rider/handler anxiety.  I am realizing more and more how in tune to our emotions our horses are.  Sometimes they are more aware of what we are feeling than we are.  It sounds like you have spent a lot of time interacting with your pony and so he is probably very tuned in to your mental and emotional state.  Even if you can hide your feelings  from other people (or even yourself) you cannot hide them from your horse.  All that he knows is that  you, his leader, is feeling out of sorts and that SOMETHING must be wrong.  It may not be you, it may be his young rider.  This being "tuned in" is something that can work for you as well.  At a recent exhibition I was feeling particularly well and joyful and excited to be there.  My horse picked up on this and gave me his best liberty "performance" ever.  So to help your horse you may need to look inside yourself more.  Best wishes to you and your pony--Rebecca

Jacquie
Member


Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Nr. Frome, Somerset, United Kingdom
Posts: 158
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Dec 11th, 2007 01:56 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Hi Rebecca, thanks for responding,

I am really fine at shows. I have a lot of experience with them as I have competed for years, though not so much recently. You could be right on this idea, but I don't think so actually. Flo (his rider) might be a bit anxious at shows, though she is not an anxious girl and he has in the past done it during a riding lesson at a friends yard, when she was definitely not anxious at all. He certainly was though! He is better now in those kinds of situations, but not much improved at shows.

He was broken far too young and hammered before I got him as a 4 year old. Gaps in his training are very, very likely. He had been jumped already and had actually won a show jumping class aged 2 - thats how much he was hammered! When he trotted he trotted wide behind, which indicated to me he had been damaged by the early jumping he had done.

He did very little for the first few years with me, and was not jumped at all. In those days he was often anxious under saddle all the time nd needed constant reassurance from me. He was very likely to buck at home in the paddock when ridden, but he is not like that at home now. His confidence is massively improved.

He sometimes still trots crookedly, but he carries himself evenly crooked to either side. He does not trot wide at the back now.  I think he has probably had too much fear from his early recollections of shows and it is more than he can stand even now. Perhaps he should not have to stand them - and I really don't mind that at all, but it would be so nice to get to the bottom of his problems both for his sake and for my equestrian educations sake and future horses with similar issues I may have to deal with.


Jacquie
Member


Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Nr. Frome, Somerset, United Kingdom
Posts: 158
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Dec 11th, 2007 01:58 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Oh, I forgot to say he has been checked out for back and pelvis issues by a vet and a back person. No problems there.

 

Here a pic of Sunny and Flo on the pedestal.

Attachment: sunny & florence.JPG (Downloaded 97 times)

Last edited on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 11:14 pm by Jacquie

Jacquie
Member


Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Nr. Frome, Somerset, United Kingdom
Posts: 158
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Dec 12th, 2007 11:16 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Here he is bowing. Shame I cut Flos head off in the picture!!

Attachment: sunny doing bow on 1 knee.JPG (Downloaded 97 times)


 Current time is 02:38 pm




Powered by WowBB 1.7 - Copyright © 2003-2006 Aycan Gulez