what is wobblers?
My horse at 6 also became resistant and uncomfortable; I tested for Vitamin E and he was horribly deficient. On daily supplements, and his levels are normal now. I also tried giving Renew (Platinum Performance) right before each ride, and he was a little better. In an effort to figure out if he was deficient in amino acids and having muscle pain, I tried the MFM Pellets (only available through KER). Brand new horse in a week. All the weird symptoms (not bending through his rib cage, unwilling to take weight behind, resistant to taking the connection, rubbing his tail) are gone.
Can you share some video?
Do you work with a trainer?
This is a growing age for Thoroughbreds. 4-6 can be particularly difficult throughout those years, different issues are known to arise and fade during the growing years.
Just wanted to add that a dentist is different than the vet. Dentist did mine this summer and she had a dead tooth which was causing instability in the bridle. Bet didn’t see it. Dentist did, she had it removed and now totally fine.
We had all ours x rayed and floated by the dentist this year and will every year going forward. Three dead teeth and some other issues found we wouldn’t have otherwise!
oh please. OP has run the gamut on veterinary diagnostics. She is reaching out for IDEAS. I gave her mine. Not one suggestion on this thread is anything other than a guess. I even came up with a simple way to test a theory. I also feel as qualified to put my theory out there just as much as anyones else does, probably more.
I’ve operated a large animal farm for decades. Hundreds of sheep and cattle. Have pulled lambs, pulled calves, extricated animals out of predicaments no one in their wildest dreams would imagine could have happened. Diagnostics based on best guess is how MOST farmers and ranchers manage their animals on a day to day basis. Even my veterinarian has had us out to consult/look at a llama at a different little ranchette.
I actually once had a sheep, a young ewe, with a splinter into her palate. Though in her particular case she displayed more definite symptoms (her head was low and she shook her head). And come to think of it, she was also not interested in food. The thorn was the end of a honey locust sapling…(the sprouting trees are sweet and are FULL of thorns for protection). Ewe’s palate was universally swollen and at first and second look, seemed fine, but when i blocked her bite and felt up around in there mm by mm, slowly, i felt the little small hard spot. Pulled it out with my fingers. It was about 3/4 an inch long! Sometimes you just have to feel.
anyway, OP, take my opinion/don’t take my opinion…that’s up to you as it is with any of the suggestions. ( and I’d have thought that would go without saying!)
My horse had almost no reaction to back palpitation (still doesn’t), but when I was finally able to get a vet to x-ray his back the vet said it was one of the worst cases he had ever seen. Being that your horse is an OTTB, I would not rule out kissing spine until his back is x-rayed.
On the head xrays, I had purchased a 13 year old horse who was having issues with head throwing, I got him really cheap. We x-rayed head, back, and feet, turned out he had blind wolf teeth under his gums, had them removed and he turned it to the steadiest horse ever.
I agree with this. Some KS horses have really severe responses to palpation, and others have none. It’s just not a reliable indicator unfortunately.
A real equine dentist can tell you so many things about your horse and their equipment. Equine dentistry is about so much more than removing hooks - the balance of the mouth and comfort makes a huge difference in how they eat, move, work, and rest.
My guesses are some sort of blind tooth, like a blind wolf tooth (mine had one), Lyme disease, or something in the neck/back.
I second this - many horses with KS don’t display soreness during back palpations and KS is fairly common in TBs (although not always the root cause of problems as many have it and are asymptomatic).
That said, if his ulcers aren’t healed (which I think you said they weren’t), I wouldn’t be chasing too many other things until those are fully addressed and the behavior persists. Some horses can be very reactive to gut pain and pyloric ulcers can be a real challenge to fully resolve.
Unfortunately horses are not as easy to palpate as sheep. X-ray and sometimes more expensive imaging is needed to find issues, due to the bone mass inherent in a horse’s head and jaw. There are just some things in the head and mouth of the horse that can’t be diagnosed by a physical exam. As many have here noted, imaging is often required to rule out mouth issues and x-ray should not be prohibitively expensive.
of course, you’re right. i don’t disagree. not at all. but you need to make a reasonable supposition to target radiographs. Any animal i’ve had to get xrays on has first gone through a veterinary exam, been physically tested somehow or another. (hence my alfalfa cube thing)
…and i wasn’t suggesting op stick her hand in her horse’s mouth like i did with my ewe. In fact, when i guessed palate/mouth problem i hadn’t even remembered that little ewe with the thorn…
If you are in an area when selenium is deficient I’d suggest getting a blood test to have that checked.
I would run the saddle fit rabbit to ground. I’ve owned two excessively sensitive to saddle fit horses and learned to let the horse decide if the saddle fits. If the horse was working over the back they will not easily start to fake it and will resist the rider’s hand as part of protecting themselves.
How often are you working him? How much turnout does he get?
I suggest getting neck x-ray at the clinic. I poured a lot of money into mine before finally finding out he had ECVM. https://thehorsesback.com/c6-c7-malformation/
I would be inclined, if this is feasible where you are, to take him to an equine hospital wheee several things could be done at the same appt if need be. One of those things should definitely be a proper dental exam. I know of several horses who had serious issues only diagnosed by a vet who specializes in dentistry, using tools most vets don’t have to hand.
If after all this is over, if nothing is found, check the rider.
A move to first may involve tensions that the rider inadvertently transmits to horse. In the attempt to keep round she may develop just enough tension in arms to create rebellion in her partner.
Scope to see if he has any breathing issues.