Question: I have recently bought a used english saddle for my Quarter Pony. I don’t know much about saddles and fitting them, but I have figured out that the saddle is pinching my pony’s withers. I’ve only used it two times, and I really don’t want to go sell it and then try to find a new one. The saddle fits me and my pony well, besides the pinching of the withers. I have found out that it pinches her, because when I was riding her the other day, both times she dropped down and rolled while I was riding her. I jumped off her back and got out of the way, so I’m perfectly fine, but I’m just worried about my pony’s care. The first time she did that, I thought she was just tired and she didn’t want to work anymore, so I didn’t think anything about it. But the second time she did it, I started to wonder. So I tried to stick my hand under the side of her saddle, by her withers, and it was really hard to get my hand under there. So now I know it’s pinching her.
So my main question is, is there something I could put in between the saddle blanket and the saddle so it will raise the saddle up a bit? Or do I have to get a brand new saddle? If I need to get a new one, could you please give me some tips on how to know if it’s fitting right or not? I get confused on the many different theories and I’m just hopping that yours will be easy to understand and helpful.
Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to help out a stranger. I’m so thankful for your help.
Answer from April Reeves, Horseman’s U.com: Your pony may be dropping and rolling from 2 other causes other than the saddle: 1. Wanting to roll and 2. Colic. Horses and ponies don’t usually roll from a pinched saddle. It comes out by displays of pinned ears and aggressive behavior while saddling, or the unwillingness to move forward. A pinched wither is a serious problem, and your horse or pony will show some serious signs. Having said that, she may prove me wrong. I’m just going over other reasons for the rolling.
Posted in English Riding answers, General riding answers, saddle fitting
Tagged colic, English saddle, English saddle fitting, Gel pad, Horse rolling, pony, Saddle blanket, saddle fitting, Saddle pinching
Question: We have a colt pony that is approx. 18 months old. He ran the pasture with our 2 geldings and mare for the last 10 months. He is starting to act like a stud naturally. We plan on gelding him. But in the mean time how do we keep him from getting so hot headed around the mare. We have built a wood fenced area for him because when we pasture him separately he just walks through or jumps the fence to get to the mare.
We tried to pasture him with one of the other geldings and they just constantly bite and harass each other. (they also do this when they are all together) Is this just playing or him trying to be the boss because he is a colt? They remove chunks of hair and skin.
He is becoming hard to handle, throwing his head, pawing the ground and getting pushy.
I know it comes down to training, but I don’t want to do the wrong thing and make him worse. Any advice would be very helpful.
Answer from April Reeves, Horseman’s U.com: Your attempts to alter your colt’s behavior by changing his surroundings and pasture buddies will not work in any way, shape or form.
Colts (uncastrated males) have a deeper sense of ‘being’ in this world than a gelding does, simply because he has hormones that a gelding doesn’t. It’s that simple, yet we humans still try to ‘correct’ these bad and unwanted behaviors as if the horse was able to communicate like a human. They can’t.
Question: I have a 14 year-old 14-2hh dressage pony mainly tb. We have had him since last July. Around one month ago while my daughter was having a jumping lesson with him he started hyper-extending his left fore leg, only in the trot and perhaps only 3 times that day, as if he had some rubber from my arena stuck in his boot. That week my daughter rode him 4 times and he increasingly did this extending thing with the left leg and by the end of the week was doing it in walk and trot with both front legs. I called my physio who, although could find a few issues with soreness, nothing that would cause this strange behavior. I called a vet out, checked for lameness and he is sound!, Then we lunged him, with side reins and without, no hyper extension. As soon as I got on him he started doing this thing again both in walk and trot and on both reins and with both front legs. Our Vet put the pony on bute and suggested we keep working him. The next day worked him – he was much worse, tried him on just a headcollar and he still did it. I felt it was conditioned behavior as he only did it twice with the headcollar on. But when I was finished he was breathing really heavy, which was not like him, he is very fit worked by myself 4/5 times a week. I called the vet again and he told me to perhaps rest him. That night had to call vet out on emergency as horse not breathing properly. The vet diagnosed mild pneumonia. Put him on antibiotics for two weeks and Ventapulmin. He had a further week off. Vet checked him and declared him fit to start work. He came back into work yesterday and is still doing the hyper-extension thing, only with front left at the moment. I only rode him for around 10/15 min. Today he has been coughing, no mucous. I have no idea what it could be or where to go from here any suggestions would be welcome.