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Backed to young? Now what..

Discussion in 'Training of the Horse and Rider' started by OneHoofBeat, May 11, 2018.

  1. OneHoofBeat

    OneHoofBeat New Member

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    In April last year, I started loaning a cob, I knew he was a three year old, rising four. So I was fine with riding him. Then in December he was kindly given to me by the owner.

    He was a rescue case so his age isn't 100% accurate. I bumped into someone who knew him as a foal, and they said he would be rising four this summer. Which now has me wondering. When was the cob backed?
    If I have been riding him a year and he's riding four now. Was he backed as a two year old?

    Now, I'm also wondering. What do I do with him!?
    I was debating on turning him away, letting him mature. But then he gets fat off air. So he would need some exercise.
    I'm also wondering, would stopping his workload do more harm than good now?
    I could hack/trail ride him for the summer, and then bring him back into schooling in the winter?
    I'm stuck on whats best for him!

    I know for sure he's now about four years old. I had him aged roughly by the dentist.
     
  2. newforest

    newforest She's not fat, she's too short :-)

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    Your willing to listen to an opinion of someone over a professional? They could well have known them as a foal, they could also be wrong on when they knew them.

    You do the same as you would any youngster, by feel and observation.
    I don't have set age milestones. I decided to back around four.

    If the dentist think they are four and you've had a year so that made them three. Some people back at that age.
    If the person you got them from loaned them out and then gave away, the chances of them doing much if anything with them is high.
    For all you know they backed him the month before and loaned as backed:p

    Is this the one with the issues with the back end?
     
    #2 newforest, May 12, 2018
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
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  3. OneHoofBeat

    OneHoofBeat New Member

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    A professional has told me he is now four years old. Just.

    The person who knew him. bought a foal from the same place. The two was stabled together, and she knew him for a year. Before she moved her horse off.

    I've had him a year, which yes, would of made him three. But he was returned as a turned three year old backed for about six months previously. Which would mean he was backed as a two y/o.

    This is the one with confo issues on the back end.
     
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  5. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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    Nothing you do will alter what has happened, well not unless you have a time machine, so move forward & don't focus on what's happened.

    What are the conformation issues? Are they permanent issues of just immaturity?
     
  6. OneHoofBeat

    OneHoofBeat New Member

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    I just don't want to cause any problems further along the line, if I continue to ride him. I have the space to just let him "sit there" as he could keep my rising 3 y/o company if need be. But don't want to stop him work load and that cause problems as well..

    It's hard to explain, one leg is longer than the other is probably the best way to explain it. He tracks up perfectly fine. He just look stiff and awkward. Vets are 90% sure it's immaturity. If no improvement by the age of 8, then the test are going to be re done and we'll go from there..
     
  7. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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    I'd be looking for something a bit more proactive than wait until he's 8 to see if there's an improvement. If it isn't immaturity then you've wasted a lot of time & his body will have matured around an incorrect pattern which will make it far harder to correct. What have they done to reach this conclusion? I'd also want an equine chiro to look at him if he was mine.

    Once you know what the problem is, and providing it doesn't come with a no riding diagnosis, I'd keep him in light work. It maybe that some correctly developed muscle will even help, but first of all I'd want a proper diagnosis.
     
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  8. OneHoofBeat

    OneHoofBeat New Member

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    He's had scans, MRI's, nerve blocks, x rays, worked on bute, then worked off bute to see if there was any pain, had a lameness test, been trotted out on concrete, sand, and grass. Flex test, Physio and chiro have both seen him..

    He has correct muscle around his back end, they recommended hill walk. As he has to use his back end to get up. And I'm still on going with that. Also his field has a hill in it. So he's constantly up and down that during the day.
     
  9. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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    With that list of tests I'm amazed they didn't find a reason, MRIs in particular tend to show up almost everything, though the cost of them means they aren't used as often as other methods of diagnosis.

    If nothing was found - and I find that unlikely - then I'd keep him in work & concentrate on getting him to use himself evenly. Given all the tests your vets have done on him did they not give you a detailed work programme for him?
     
  10. OneHoofBeat

    OneHoofBeat New Member

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    They was stumped when all the test came back, as you can he's not right, but the test says he's fine. Which is why they've put it down to an age thing, that he will hopefully "grow out" off. They said hill work would be the best thing, and raised poles, to get his back end moving correctly, Which we do. And that it's just something we have to take day by day, if it looks like he's getting worse, then the test will be redone earlier than 8. But he's already seen 6 monthly by the vet, and we do a lame test each time to see if things have changed and such.
    Not much could be given as there isn't anything showing wrong on the test.
    Last time he was getting better, you could see his back end had loosened up a lot, but it's like 1 step forward and 4 back. As one day he could look a whole lot better and then the next he could look exactly the same he did a month ago.
     
  11. newforest

    newforest She's not fat, she's too short :-)

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    Can we see a photo of what you mean. I can't visualise it.
     
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  12. chunky monkey

    chunky monkey Well-Known Member

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    I would say hill work or poles to build muscles. I would also check with the vet how long the sessions should be and how frequently. I would think light work whilst he's still young so that the body can get chance to catch up. He will still have growing possibly to do at present. If he's putting it into work it may hamper the growth. Then further down the line you could have things like Kissing Spine as the back hasnt been allowed to form properly whilst the bone structure is still soft.
     
  13. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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    Given his physical issues I'd be asking the vet about his workload given you have discovered he's younger than you thought originally, that could also play into their diagnosis of his problems so I'd def talk to the vet.
     
  14. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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    Or better yet a video clip since it sounds like it's something that shows up more when he moves.
     
  15. newforest

    newforest She's not fat, she's too short :-)

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    Also I would have thought my vet would have suggested that he is growing way before asking for all those tests in the last five months of ownership.
    If it's that bad to need all that investigation, chances are I wouldn't be riding them.
    Is your insurance going to pay out?
     
  16. Trewsers

    Trewsers Well-Known Member

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    I was going to ask about insurance too. Those sort of tests must have cost a small fortune if not.
     
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  17. Prjsmk

    Prjsmk Well-Known Member

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    A lot of cobs are backed as two year olds or brokento drive. Mine was done as a 3 year old, worked in light work as a 4 year old, hacking at nearly 5, light hacks mainly in walk and trot up untill the middle of last year when we started uping the pace and doingfaster work and now as a seven year old we do hacks for fun which are casual strolls or hacks for work which are putting him through his paces and hill work. He eould rather use his front end and forgets hes got a back end lol! I use rhythm beads which helped with his balance massively! And hill work and long lining over poles
     
  18. OneHoofBeat

    OneHoofBeat New Member

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    Sorry, things got a little bit busy, three year old pony got colic, and all my time was spent with him rather than online.

    Anyhow. I had the vets re check him over, when they came to treat my other one for the colic, and they say it has improved somewhat. And insurance did pay out, and because nothing was found, they are still happy to insure him for now. (Unless things turn drastically!). I spoke to the vets, and we did opt to take him out of work. and see what happens in a month. A month later. Vets back out, rechecked him, and said the month without work, made his legs no better or worse. It's just the same. So he's being brought back into work. Slowly.

    The vets did mention it could be with him growing, but they wasn't 100% without the test. If they said it was just him growing without the test, and then later on it turns out to be something a lot worse, me riding him could of done a whole lot more damage. Which is why the go ahead was made to have all the test done. I wouldn't of felt comfortable riding him without test since he's a vert forgiving horse. (His last owner rode him in a very badly fitted saddle and he didn't bat an eye lid!) But we're keeping an eye on him, and making sure that everything that gets set out is for his interest. I also have an early retirement plan for him, should he need retiring (He will live out with my three old, since he isn't getting broken to ride).
     
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