Check it Out!
[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]
[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index] [Subject Index]

Update to Panic Attack/Saddling Problems

Hi everyone,

I thought I'd give an update on my mare who freaks out whenever someone 
approaches with a saddle or saddle pad.  She is fine once it's on, but 
it is just approaching her, and lifting it up to her back, that scared 
her and caused her to jump to the side and dance around all over the place.

I received quite a few very informative notes from people (thank you!) 
and put several different things to use.

First, for those of you who suggested she might be in pain from 
something physically wrong, or from bad saddle fit, rest assured that I 
had already, coincidentally enough, addressed both of those issues 
recently.  I had a chiropractor out for the first time ever, because she 
seemed off at an extended trot and was pinning her ears, and she was 
also cross-cantering.  He found that she had needed an adjustment in her 
lower neck, near her withers.  I noticed no difference in her saddling 
behavior in the weeks following the session though.  I did notice a 
difference with the trotting and cantering though. :)

I also recently got a brand new Desoto saddle, which was made to fit 
her, and does indeed seem to fit her well.

So, if she was freaking out due to poor saddle fit, she must still be 
anticipating pain from her previous saddle, which was a loaner that I 
had been using for several months, ever since selling my Saare.

Anyway....geez, this is long.....  I have been feeding her grain and 
carrots right off the top of the saddle pad to show her it's not scary. 
 Just approaching her with the pad, even with the carrots on it, gets 
her all bug-eyed and snorting.  She will, however, eventually approach 
it and eat off of it.  I've been doing lots of this, whenever I get a 
chance.  It's getting better, but I still get the initial uneasy 
reaction, although the duration is lessening, and she is approaching it 
more willingly and in less time as we go along.

I have also been sacking her out more.  After she has eaten her treats 
off the pad and is calm and relaxed, I start giving her a full body rub 
down with it, to where it feels good to her.  I am now to the point 
where, after the rub-down, I can gently flap it up against her, all 
over, under her belly, across her chest, even up by her poll.  When I 
flap her butt with it, she still starts dancing around some so we're 
working on that more.

After that stuff, I have sometimes left just the pad, or sometimes will 
add the saddle, and let her munch some hay with it on, and then take it 
off and put her away.  Taking the stuff off is never a problem either. 
 Stirrups can bump her, noises can be loud, and she's fine.  It's just 
that initial "here she comes with that scary thing!" reaction I can't 
seem to get her past.

I don't know if it will ever totally go away, but we're working on it, 
and I am seeing improvement.

Just wanted to say thanks!

Jennifer and Mahriah

    Check it Out!    

Home    Events    Groups    Rider Directory    Market    RideCamp    Stuff

Back to TOC