Advice needed

Misha

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Nov 28, 2018
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Advice needed I own a 17.1hh chestnut Appaloosa gelding who's 17yo this yr, iv owned him since Novembe, b4 I bought him hed been out of work for 6/7 yr just basically a field ornament with his previous owner. I'm looking at bringing him back into work this yr. Hes got hardly any manners but thoes are a working progress ( he's started to listen) I'm wanting to go back to basics with him start with ground work lunging etc etc then build up to riding him when he's fit enough the trouble is when he's lunged he goes forward really well for so long then stops and starts going backwards if I try and get him to carry on going forwards he kicks out at me and will occasionally turn to run in at me hes the same been ridden he's a bit nappy will go forwards for so long then stops and goes backwards n will throw in the ocasional buck hes had his teeth done back checked and all ok it's really baffled me with this behavour
 

Trewsers

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When you say he's had his back checked - was this by the vet or another professional? It might be worth getting your vet to come and give him a once over if you haven't done so already. If he's been out of work for such a long time it will take time to build him back up again to being able to do what you are asking. It might not be bad manners - it could be pain related. They do try and tell us don't they?! Seventeen isn't ancient but it's not exactly spring chicken like either and to have had a long time off - ie, seven years - maybe it is just his way of trying to let you know there is something not right.
Just out of interest - why was he not ridden previously?
 
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Misha

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When you say he's had his back checked - was this by the vet or another professional? It might be worth getting your vet to come and give him a once over if you haven't done so already. If he's been out of work for such a long time it will take time to build him back up again to being able to do what you are asking. It might not be bad manners - it could be pain related. They do try and tell us don't they?! Seventeen isn't ancient but it's not exactly spring chicken like either and to have had a long time off - ie, seven years - maybe it is just his way of trying to let you know there is something not right.
Just out of interest - why was he not ridden previously?
It was by a vet but not my current vet will be ringing them and getting them to double check his back for me,yes they do so he could be trying to tell me something is wrong he hates his back feet been done more so his left foot he really kicks out ears back when I try to pick that one up. Iv not a lot of background on him really iv got all his old vet bills and nothing states old injury or anything saying he's unfit to be ridden/ worked all I know is he was just turned away for 6/7 yrs I bought him off a friend who had had him 9 month but didn't have the confidence to bring him on they got him off someone else who like I say just had him in a field as a ornimant I was told he had done dressage / cross-country/and a bit of jumping years ago but for the last 6/7 yrs just left he lets me put weight on his back i csn lean across him with my full weight and he don't flinch a muscle iv had him checked to see if he's lame and he's totally sound he's barefoot at the mo untill he's brought back into work then i may have him shod but to why hes been out of work so long I'm clueless it will take time yes and lots of patience which I've got
 

Trewsers

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It sounds like he might have some stiffness - with not wanting those back legs lifting. He could have something going on that is worse in one leg than the other (you mention his left foot). I hope you can find out - I'd definitely get your own vet to come and check him over. Glad to hear your have lots of patience too - I think we all need that:)there are so many ups and downs aren't there?
 
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Kite_Rider

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I'm with @Trewsers it does sound like he has something pain related going on, my mare sometimes struggles the pick up her back feet, especially one leg, she has arthritic hocks but she isn't lame, maybe if he has something similar he could be carrying himself differently to compensate and getting stiff and sore elsewhere in his body to compensate.
It's good that you are going to get the vet out to check him over, again as Trewsers said 7 years out of work it could be anything really.
 
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Misha

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It sounds like he might have some stiffness - with not wanting those back legs lifting. He could have something going on that is worse in one leg than the other (you mention his left foot). I hope you can find out - I'd definitely get your own vet to come and check him over. Glad to hear your have lots of patience too - I think we all need that:)there are so many ups and downs aren't there?
He rests that foot a lot and will switch to his other foot and rest that too I had the vet check and farrier as I'd watched him 3 days in a row for a couple of hours each day alternate his 2 back feet farrier said he was fine no sign of any lamness but never mentioned stiffness vet removed 3 beans from his sheaf ( had to sedate him ) he was kicking up to much for me to attempt to do it so decided safest option was vet she checked his feet and said she couldn't see a problem but again didn't suggest any stiffness so will get them to check for that too better to eliminate things then go from there that's what he needs is time and patience one day at a time thanks for your advice there sure are everyday is different we have our good and bad days as everyone does
 

domane

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I'm curious to know why he's been a field ornament for so long. Usually they are turned away like that in the prime of their life if there's a problem. Maybe his is behavioural?
 

Misha

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I'm curious to know why he's been a field ornament for so long. Usually they are turned away like that in the prime of their life if there's a problem. Maybe his is behavioural?
This is my question too but I'm drawing a blank iv checked all his old vet bills for anything that might give a clue but nothing I tried to ring the old vet but they never returned my call he's had colic a few times once was( gas colic ) the other times only mild cases but I know that wouldn't stop him working he's got sarcoids been treated for them but not in a area that would affect him working or been kept as a field ornimant there's got to be more to it I'm going to get my vet to do a full examination of him like you say there only turned away at that age if there's a problem he will walk out in hand down roads in busy traffic and doesnt bat a eye lid so he's use to been road worked at some point altho he is very strong and once barged me and knocked me over luckily I was on way back to his field n he just catered bk there iv moved him recently to a yard were thers other horses and he seems alot happier so hoping this helps his behaviour is hit and miss from one day to another he can be loving one day the next a totally different horse to were he will turn his bum on you in his stable and threaten to kick I just tap him with lead rope on his bum normally he turns bk round to face me then
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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Advice needed I own a 17.1hh chestnut Appaloosa gelding who's 17yo this yr, iv owned him since Novembe, b4 I bought him hed been out of work for 6/7 yr just basically a field ornament with his previous owner. I'm looking at bringing him back into work this yr. Hes got hardly any manners but thoes are a working progress ( he's started to listen) I'm wanting to go back to basics with him start with ground work lunging etc etc then build up to riding him when he's fit enough the trouble is when he's lunged he goes forward really well for so long then stops and starts going backwards if I try and get him to carry on going forwards he kicks out at me and will occasionally turn to run in at me hes the same been ridden he's a bit nappy will go forwards for so long then stops and goes backwards n will throw in the ocasional buck hes had his teeth done back checked and all ok it's really baffled me with this behavour
I've had a similar situation to a lesser degree. I got Hogan in June last year, after 2 years of being in a field, unworked. Similar behaviour when I tried to do stuff, though not as severe. When I first rode him with a saddle, mini bucks and rears, so assumed saddle didn't fit, and rode bareback for a while. Anyway , I think Hogans problem was just that I needed to take things slower, which riding bareback made me do. He's now under saddle, still a bit opinionated, but if we have a problem, I go back a couple of stages, and move on again slowly, with whatever was the issue. So far it's working, but probably because it suits him and me to do things this way. All I can suggest, if it's not physical, is slowing things down, and getting very basic. I've found patience I never knew I had! Good luck!
 

joosie

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Oct 28, 2004
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"No sign of lameness" does not mean an absence of pain, I would definitely do a fully comprehensive MOT before pushing him any further.
 
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newforest

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You talk about going back to basics and riding when fit enough, but then you say he naps when ridden which suggests he's been asked to do to much.

Lunging is hardwork for a fit horse, I would probably start with ten minutes of longreining. Go over the aids, give him time to get the feel again of the bit and roller etc. He's in soft condition. Build up to twenty minutes but stay in walk for at least three weeks.

You should be able to see stiffness, not sure why you would want some out to point that out.
 

Misha

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I've had a similar situation to a lesser degree. I got Hogan in June last year, after 2 years of being in a field, unworked. Similar behaviour when I tried to do stuff, though not as severe. When I first rode him with a saddle, mini bucks and rears, so assumed saddle didn't fit, and rode bareback for a while. Anyway , I think Hogans problem was just that I needed to take things slower, which riding bareback made me do. He's now under saddle, still a bit opinionated, but if we have a problem, I go back a couple of stages, and move on again slowly, with whatever was the issue. So far it's working, but probably because it suits him and me to do things this way. All I can suggest, if it's not physical, is slowing things down, and getting very basic. I've found patience I never knew I had! Good luck!
That's what I plan to do go back to the very basics with him start from scratch, he's bonded with me well he comes to call in he field and looks for me, I'm in no rush with him iv got all the time and patience he needs for as long as it takes he has tested me at times but I won't give up on him neither will I give in, it's going to take lots of time and hard work but he's worth it.iv had people say to me just get on him and ride him.( as tempted as I am) I don't want to untill he's fit enough and iv ruled out any possible probs he might have due to him been out of work for so long I won't be rushed or pressured as he's my horse and we will take things at our own pace.iv already decided that if the worst was to happen and he is unridable after trying everything he won't be sold / loaned out as a companion/ he will stay with me for the rest of his life even if that means as a field ornimant at least I'll be able to walk him out in hand / groom him and still enjoy him
 
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Misha

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You talk about going back to basics and riding when fit enough, but then you say he naps when ridden which suggests he's been asked to do to much.

Lunging is hardwork for a fit horse, I would probably start with ten minutes of longreining. Go over the aids, give him time to get the feel again of the bit and roller etc. He's in soft condition. Build up to twenty minutes but stay in walk for at least three weeks.

You should be able to see stiffness, not sure why you would want some out to point that out.
Iv not ridden him I'm going on word of mouth from what the girl said that had him b4 me iv seen a video of him been ridden and he naps and goes backwards I can see he's not stiff but I just want a 2nd opinion iv not owned him very long and know very little about him or his background iv been thinking of longreining him to see how that goes and lunging him for short periods of time I'd never ask him to do anything he wasn't capable of doing
 
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Kite_Rider

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If you got him from a friend who bought him from the owner who had him in a field for 7 years is it not worth speaking to his old owner? See if they can give you some more background? You say you have his old vet bills and they show no injury etc so his old owner was clearly happy for all that information to be passed on with him, maybe she/he would be more than happy to give you some pointers as to why he was left in a field for that long and/or what he was like prior to that? it might help.
 

Huggy

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That's what I plan to do go back to the very basics with him start from scratch, he's bonded with me well he comes to call in he field and looks for me, I'm in no rush with him iv got all the time and patience he needs for as long as it takes he has tested me at times but I won't give up on him neither will I give in, it's going to take lots of time and hard work but he's worth it.iv had people say to me just get on him and ride him.( as tempted as I am) I don't want to untill he's fit enough and iv ruled out any possible probs he might have due to him been out of work for so long I won't be rushed or pressured as he's my horse and we will take things at our own pace.iv already decided that if the worst was to happen and he is unridable after trying everything he won't be sold / loaned out as a companion/ he will stay with me for the rest of his life even if that means as a field ornimant at least I'll be able to walk him out in hand / groom him and still enjoy him
Oh I've had a lot of "aren't you this yet or aren't you that yet?" We're both happy at the pace we're going, and that's all that matters. I'm sure in a few months you'll both be loving life, whatever stage you're at!
 

Misha

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If you got him from a friend who bought him from the owner who had him in a field for 7 years is it not worth speaking to his old owner? See if they can give you some more background? You say you have his old vet bills and they show no injury etc so his old owner was clearly happy for all that information to be passed on with him, maybe she/he would be more than happy to give you some pointers as to why he was left in a field for that long and/or what he was like prior to that? it might help.
Iv tried to contact his old owner but failed she's either moved or changed her number there is 2 numbers for her on his passport iv rang both iv left messages but got no response the girl I got him off has also tried too but got the same no response all his old vet bills show nothing major so thats a positive really i asked my friend when i bought him what hed done etc b4 she took him on and she said dressage / bit of crosscountry and jumping a few poles but she couldn't tell me anymore he came with little to no tack iv bought everything hes got now besides a saddle as I need to get a saddle fitter out once I know his back is ok so basically I'm completely blank on his past there is his breeders number on his passport iv not rang that as yet because I guessed they wouldn't be able to shed any light on him
 

Misha

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Oh I've had a lot of "aren't you this yet or aren't you that yet?" We're both happy at the pace we're going, and that's all that matters. I'm sure in a few months you'll both be loving life, whatever stage you're at!
That's exactly what iv had too I just say I will when he's ready it is all that matters it's what where happy with not what others think we should or should be doing ,I really do hope so
 
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Misha

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"No sign of lameness" does not mean an absence of pain, I would definitely do a fully comprehensive MOT before pushing him any further.
That's my plan as I don't want him with any further problems or totally lame then possibly on box rest for the next few weeks/months I'd rather be cautious and get the full checks done on him before I ask him to do anything more