How ulcers can change a horse.

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Mirage, May 7, 2015.

  1. Mirage

    Mirage Senior Member

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    Mirage is the first horse I have owned with ulcers. I'm really surprised at how much ulcers can change a horses personality. This all happened over a couple months.
    Mirage was doing really good on trails and barrel work. And then she started changing over time
    First she stopped responding to my voice commands on the lunge and under saddle.
    She started getting hot every time I rode her to the point she wouldn't walk anymore. She would prance and almost trot in place. Nothing I did got get walking.
    She stopped responding to my seat. I had to pull on the reins to even get her to turn.
    She wouldn't ride on a loose rein without trying to bolt.
    The last month was the worst. She got super pushy in the ground. Didn't want to be touched. Tried to bite when being saddled. If I tried lunging her it was like working with a new horse. I couldn't keep her mind on track and voice commands had no effect. It got to the point I wouldn't handle her without a stud chain. And I couldn't figure out why. It was really upsetting.
    The last straw was two days before we found out she has ulcers. My husband finally rode with me to his parents house. Instead of walking faster to keep up with Saphira, Mirage started trotting and got extremely mad when I asked her to walk. She grabbed the bit for the first time ever and bolted. I had to pull the bit out if her teeth and pull her to a stop. She ran under a group of trees and there was no room for a one reined stop.
    We decided to head home and she would not walk. When I growled at her to knock it off, she pinned her ears and struck out. I ended up weaving her down the shoulder because she kept trying to grab the bit.
    When we got home, I pulled the saddle off but just had her standing with the bridle. She reared up and bolted to the back. Got to the fence, stopped, looked at it, and launched herself into it. Got tangled up, flattened two T Posts and busted the wire. Somehow she only got a scratch.
    I took her back to the front and she started backing up, so I followed her. When she jumped towards me to get back to Saphira, she somehow ended up on top of my leg. I thought she broke it. I was so done with her at that point that I told my husband I was selling her. And I didn't care who got her.
    Well, took her to vet and found out she has bad ulcers. Got her the meds from Abler and didn't handle her unless necessary until meds got here. It's been 10 days now and she is a different horse!
    Well stand to be pet for as long as you want. Riding on a loose rein at all gaits again. And she's listening to seat and voice.
    I rode her on day four. We were cantering and I said whoa, but did not expect a response. She stopped dead. I was so thrilled. She's also responding to leg pressure again. I have only ridden her three times since starting the meds, but she's back to her old self again. I'm so glad I didn't sell her.

    So this is another lesson learned for me. To always look for pain first when a horse starts being difficult.
     
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  2. prairiesongks

    prairiesongks Senior Member

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    "To always look for pain first when a horse starts being difficult."

    This can't be repeated too often......glad you had the vet check her before selling her:applaud:.
     
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  3. Mirage

    Mirage Senior Member

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    Me too. I have grown to love her and all her weird quirks.
     
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  4. TLFC

    TLFC Senior Member

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    Happy to hear you found out what the problem was.

    Thank you for sharing this. We should always make sure we rule out pain before deciding it is a discipline problem especially when the horse was a good horse prior.
     
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  5. LifeIsGrand

    LifeIsGrand Senior Member

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    I am glad you found the route of the problem. Too many people think its training and the horse needs to be whipped into shape. My horse came to me with ulcers and bot eggs in his stomach... which made more ulcers. This caused serious back soreness for a long time...
     
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