13yo Holsteiner gelding, show hunter. Bred domestically, lived on breeders farm until I acquired him two years ago. Horse has had two owners his entire life - all background and history is accessible as breeder is my trainer.
Horse was started as a 5yo. He was always a little hot and anxious, but manageable. He bucked trainer off one too many times and was just turned out after. He was turned out for about a year before he was brought back into the barn for various working students to try to get going and to be sold.
I started riding him as a 10yo. I clicked. And then acquired him.
Since he’s settled into his home with me. But he has not progressed in his jumping over the two years he’s been with me. One lesson he’s wonderful - the jumps can go up, he does the changes, no stops. Next lesson, a pole on the ground is a huge issue. He will slam on the brakes and be extremely hot.
I typically do not jump at home, only lessons at the trainers farm, or at horse shows. When I do jump at home, he rarely stops, and is an absolute blast to ride at home 85% of the time. (He can get a little fired up at times). I’m not convinced he wants to be a bad horse. This guy will follow me through fire if I ask him. I think there is something wrong. It’s just figuring out what.
Trying to push through these issues I’ve done the following:
- Custom saddle to address any discomfort in his back
- routine body work by a very reputable chiropractor
- Tested for PSSM1 - n/n. It’s possible he’s a PSSM2 horse, so he’s maintained diet and fitness wise as if he had PSSM2. (History here - he’s hard to get fit and keep fit. He has some weird fat patches on the sides of his rump and he tends to be very tense and sore)
- extensive lameness exams
- Hocks injected recently
- SI injected recently
- Stifles injected recently
- His hocks have been x-rayed, he has beautiful hock images.
Vet is coming on Wednesday. He will be scoped for ulcers.
I’m not sure where to go or what to do after this. Scoping for ulcers is a last ditch for me. Test for EPM? He passes all neuro exams. Re-address feed and fitness assuming he has PSSM2? Image his spine?
You can’t force a horse to be something they are not… If we find something that ends his career, or if we find nothing, he will just happily retire on my farm.
Would love any thoughts so I can address them with his vet on Wednesday.