Going into winter there are definite changes in our horses: one cob I know has become very lethargic because he can’t wait to be stabled! Another has been giving me flying lessons! Even if you have strong suspicions about the reasons for behaviour changes – good or bad – it’s still worth investigating all avenues just in case because unfortunately they can’t tell us and it could be multiple reasons.
Someone I know is going through the age old process of problem finding out why their pony “isn’t quite right” so I thought it was the ideal opportunity to list the areas to research.
1. Does the saddle fit? It’s always worth getting an objective view on your saddle, when stationary and when moving as an observer may spot some movement or imbalance, which can be followed up by a visit from a saddler. A lot of people forget that flocking gets squashed over time, particularly in a new saddle, so your saddle should be checked by a proper saddler at least once a year. Additionally, horses change shape as they grow and mature or as they get fitter muscles will develop and fat will be lost. Girths and numnahs should also be checked too, as sometimes a girth can pinch and cause behavioural problems.
2. Is there any pain…
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