Irish_mare27

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I’ve been stuck doing only arena work for ages because my mare naps so bad. The second we start to even head out hacking she stops, rears and spins. She can do this at any point out hacking even when we are heading home with other horses on the hack too. She doesn’t care if she backs into an obstacle which is quite concerning considering there are many cattlegrids she could go onto and has even spun while a car is going past her. I feel that I have tried everything to fix her napping but nothing has worked, anyone got any ideas?
 

carthorse

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Have you had a vet check her over in respect of this? It could be pain somewhere, maybe something that shows up more on hard surfaces rather than the soft arena surface.

Is she like this with whoever rides her? How long have you had her? How much hacking has she done in the past, and in what environment? How long did you hack for when you could hack, and how long do you school for?

Sorry to just bombard you with questions, but your original post hasn't told me anywhere near enough for me to give you any suggestions other than get a vet involved before trying anything else.
 

Irish_mare27

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Jan 19, 2021
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Have you had a vet check her over in respect of this? It could be pain somewhere, maybe something that shows up more on hard surfaces rather than the soft arena surface.

Is she like this with whoever rides her? How long have you had her? How much hacking has she done in the past, and in what environment? How long did you hack for when you could hack, and how long do you school for?

Sorry to just bombard you with questions, but your original post hasn't told me anywhere near enough for me to give you any suggestions other than get a vet involved before trying anything else.
Hi thanks for the advice,
She still does this in the arena it’s just less dangerous as the ground is softer. I’ve had her for about 6 years. Yes she is like this with whoever rides her, she never hacked with her old owners because there were only busy roads apparently. She used to be fine going out with another horse or person leading her apart for being spooky and would even go for 12 mile pleasure rides. I usually school her for about an hour. I’ve had her back, feet and teeth checked but nothing was wrong and I stopped her hard feed.
 

carthorse

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As it's a behaviour that's got worse with time I would want to discuss it with a vet and get them to check her over as I would suspect pain somewhere, particularly since she's doing it wherever she's ridden and it sounds like fairly extreme behaviour. If it was straightforward napping I wouldn't expect it to be getting worse in a home that she's been in so long and has been ok in to date, and that being the case I'd be looking at something degenerative that has now reached point she can't cope with, at least not without medical intervention. Personally I'd be reluctant to carry on until she's been seen, it sounds potentially dangerous for both of you.
 

Irish_mare27

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As it's a behaviour that's got worse with time I would want to discuss it with a vet and get them to check her over as I would suspect pain somewhere, particularly since she's doing it wherever she's ridden and it sounds like fairly extreme behaviour. If it was straightforward napping I wouldn't expect it to be getting worse in a home that she's been in so long and has been ok in to date, and that being the case I'd be looking at something degenerative that has now reached point she can't cope with, at least not without medical intervention. Personally I'd be reluctant to carry on until she's been seen, it sounds potentially dangerous for both of you.
I totally agree, the one thing that is conflicting to all this info that seems to point towards it being a pain problem is that she behaves impeccably when jumping. It’s odd really because she will happily pop a course as she always has done but as soon as u ask her to do something as simple as go past a bin or out of the yard she won’t take it. She never tries to get me off she’s just avoiding it so much that she puts herself in a dangerous position, do u think it could be a loss of confidence? If so how am I meant to give her that reassurance?
 

carthorse

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Does she love her jumping so much that the thrill of it overrides the pain? Don't under estimate the buzz they can get, I once saw a horse carry on to jump three large (BE intermediate) xc fences without it's rider and a broken leg - put me off xc for life.
 

Huggy

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Welcome to the forum. Sorry, I can't add much - carthorse has put forward good advice. I can only sympathise - napping is so frustrating, I've only ever had to deal with it manifesting as slowness. Just wondered if she's picking up on you expecting it from her now? Is there an ultra confident rider you'd trust to take her out, to see if she still does it?
 

Irish_mare27

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Welcome to the forum. Sorry, I can't add much - carthorse has put forward good advice. I can only sympathise - napping is so frustrating, I've only ever had to deal with it manifesting as slowness. Just wondered if she's picking up on you expecting it from her now? Is there an ultra confident rider you'd trust to take her out, to see if she still does it?
I’ve had a very confident rider whose more harsh with her and catches her before she even does it manage to get her out and gallop her up a field a couple of years ago but I also had a lighter confident rider who couldn’t get her going at all recently
 

Irish_mare27

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Does she love her jumping so much that the thrill of it overrides the pain? Don't under estimate the buzz they can get, I once saw a horse carry on to jump three large (BE intermediate) xc fences without it's rider and a broken leg - put me off xc for life.
She’s not lame luckily and once I manage to get over the napping in the school she’s fine for the rest of the session. I do wonder whether it’s just her way of testing what she can get away with since i was a bit young for her when i got her so she’s got away with possibly too much over the years. What do you usually do with sound horses if they nap cos maybe I’m giving her confused signals?
 

carthorse

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They can be in pain without being lame, not to mention the fact that many people will miss bilateral lameness.

A horse may test a rider, but it wouldn't continue to do so nearly every ride. I've been around horses many years, seen a lot and ridden a lot and that just doesn't happen. They may, if that way inclined, take advantage if you aren't paying attention but that would be your fault not theirs. Some may be sharp and reactive by nature, but that's a different issue to yours. You may or may not have been a bit young when you got her but you could do more with her then than now so something has clearly changed.

With the behaviour you describe the only advice I'm prepared to give is get her checked over by a vet who you've explained the problem to and then, if she gets the all clear, get some lessons on her. The behaviour you describe is too much to give advice on on a forum. What I would do with her, beyond a vet check is hard to say since it would depend on what I saw and felt, but as a rule I feel that a horse that rears properly as opposed to just coming up slightly is either desperate or means business and I would seriously wonder if it had a future as a ridden horse. I've seen some very bad accidents from rearing when horses have gone over - it makes no difference to the rider whether it was accidental or deliberate.
 

Irish_mare27

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They can be in pain without being lame, not to mention the fact that many people will miss bilateral lameness.

A horse may test a rider, but it wouldn't continue to do so nearly every ride. I've been around horses many years, seen a lot and ridden a lot and that just doesn't happen. They may, if that way inclined, take advantage if you aren't paying attention but that would be your fault not theirs. Some may be sharp and reactive by nature, but that's a different issue to yours. You may or may not have been a bit young when you got her but you could do more with her then than now so something has clearly changed.

With the behaviour you describe the only advice I'm prepared to give is get her checked over by a vet who you've explained the problem to and then, if she gets the all clear, get some lessons on her. The behaviour you describe is too much to give advice on on a forum. What I would do with her, beyond a vet check is hard to say since it would depend on what I saw and felt, but as a rule I feel that a horse that rears properly as opposed to just coming up slightly is either desperate or means business and I would seriously wonder if it had a future as a ridden horse. I've seen some very bad accidents from rearing when horses have gone over - it makes no difference to the rider whether it was accidental or deliberate
They can be in pain without being lame, not to mention the fact that many people will miss bilateral lameness.

A horse may test a rider, but it wouldn't continue to do so nearly every ride. I've been around horses many years, seen a lot and ridden a lot and that just doesn't happen. They may, if that way inclined, take advantage if you aren't paying attention but that would be your fault not theirs. Some may be sharp and reactive by nature, but that's a different issue to yours. You may or may not have been a bit young when you got her but you could do more with her then than now so something has clearly changed.

With the behaviour you describe the only advice I'm prepared to give is get her checked over by a vet who you've explained the problem to and then, if she gets the all clear, get some lessons on her. The behaviour you describe is too much to give advice on on a forum. What I would do with her, beyond a vet check is hard to say since it would depend on what I saw and felt, but as a rule I feel that a horse that rears properly as opposed to just coming up slightly is either desperate or means business and I would seriously wonder if it had a future as a ridden horse. I've seen some very bad accidents from rearing when horses have gone over - it makes no difference to the rider whether it was accidental or deliberate.
Oh sorry I think I may have exaggerated the rearing tbh, it’s more of a lifting in order to turn around. I do believe it could be my riding that’s at fault not the horse, do u have any ideas as to what bad riding techniques can cause napping? I’ve had a harsher rider manage to get her out a couple of times so it is very likely that I’m too quiet when riding but idk
 

Irish_mare27

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Oh sorry I think I may have exaggerated the rearing tbh, it’s more of a lifting in order to turn around. I do believe it could be my riding that’s at fault not the horse, do u have any ideas as to what bad riding techniques can cause napping? I’ve had a harsher rider manage to get her out a couple of times so it is very likely that I’m too quiet when riding but idk
Furthermore I was fell on and got stuck beneath a horse rearing back on me so I am reluctant to be too harsh with her in case the same happens again
 

Jessey

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I agree with @carthorse, the first stop in these situations is a vet check, to confirm something isn’t going on, then once you’ve got the all clear you can consider it a behavioural issue and tackle it with some good lessons with an RI there to help you out. You will need consistent help from someone there with you, so that they can assess everything about you and your horse to give you constructive instruction to overcome the problem.
Re the rearing, it is a shame to label your horse as a rearer if all she is doing is spinning, it sounds like you really need an RI to come and see what is actually going on.
 
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Mary Poppins

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I’m another who would get the vet to check her. A simple bute trial where she is given bute every day for 2 weeks would be a cheap way to rule out pain. If her behaviour improves on the bute, you can be sure she is reacting to pain somewhere. I wouldn’t advise doing this without a vet though, because ulcers could also be the cause of the behaviour you describe and bute will make these worse. It sounds like there is a problem with this horse to me.
 

carthorse

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What you've added just makes me all the more certain that if a vet check shows nothing then you need some lessons on her.
 

chunky monkey

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If shes fine being walked out in hand. Have you tried riding and having someone walking out as a foot solider at the side.

I agree with what others have said, get her vet checked and get a good instructor. The instructor may even ride the horse out to see if they experience issues and to get a feel for it. They may then be able to advise on how to proceed.
 
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Irish_mare27

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I agree with @carthorse, the first stop in these situations is a vet check, to confirm something isn’t going on, then once you’ve got the all clear you can consider it a behavioural issue and tackle it with some good lessons with an RI there to help you out. You will need consistent help from someone there with you, so that they can assess everything about you and your horse to give you constructive instruction to overcome the problem.
Re the rearing, it is a shame to label your horse as a rearer if all she is doing is spinning, it sounds like you really need an RI to come and see what is actually going on.
She is a rearer but in this situation it’s not very extreme, it’s more when she’s excited that she actually goes vertical. I’ve had 3 riding instructors look at her and nothing has helped hence why I’ve come here for advice
 

Irish_mare27

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If shes fine being walked out in hand. Have you tried riding and having someone walking out as a foot solider at the side.

I agree with what others have said, get her vet checked and get a good instructor. The instructor may even ride the horse out to see if they experience issues and to get a feel for it. They may then be able to advise on how to proceed.
She is better with someone beside her. I’ve had a few instructors help but to no avail unfortunately which is why I’ve come on here out of despair
 
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