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Sharing my experience with recent diagnosis of ulcers

Hello. I just got back from a vet appt for our pony (my daughter’s short stirrup pony) to scope her for ulcers. I wanted to share my experience in the hopes that it might help other owners and horses. This pony ate and loved to eat. She never colicked. She was fat and shiny and healthy. She didn’t display most of the signs of ulcers other than, for my daughter (advanced beginner, 11 yrs old), she would often not want to pick up the canter and would have what looked like a mild temper tantrum. And it was only going away from the gate. Then at shows, it would be worse. And it got worse over the last few months. We put spurs on her and it helped. Other more advanced riders could ride the pony perfectly. So why think ulcers, right? Sounds like typical pony mare behavior? Well this last show, she almost reared when she first entered the ring. I knew something was wrong. A good friend suggested I scope her. The trainer said I was crazy and that we already “spoil” the pony (chiropractor, massage, acupuncture, custom fit saddle, stretches, insist on lots of turnout, excellent supplements and feed, etc. hmmm sounds like good care to me!). Anyway, my friend was right. Grade 3-4 ulcers! We started treatment today. Anyway, I wanted to share this because it did not present as your typical ulcer behavior in so many ways, yet screamed it from the perspective of not wanting to do upward transition. Myself and other more advanced riders never had a problem because we could basically “force” her to do it due to our stronger legs. My daughter gets home from school in a few minutes and I can’t wait to tell her the “good news”…it’s good because we now have a reason for this behavior and a course of action to heal the ulcers. Although I feel horrible that we ever thought she was a “bad pony”. Happy riding everyone! Hope this helps at least one person! (Oh and thanks to my insurance with Catlin, the $1,375 bill for diagnosis and 30 days of Gastro Guard, is covered 100%. The maintenance after that is up to me, but it’s a small price to pay to see my daughter and pony happy again!).