A grumpy day for Skittles!

7-8 year old Paint cross mare, rescued off the Yakima Feedlot. Entered training on 4/26/06

A grumpy day for Skittles!

Postby Juliane on Wed May 03, 2006 9:39 pm

When I got home from taking Margie out on the trails, I pulled Skittles out. She seemed to be in a grumpy mood as I saddled her up. Previously, she's been find with me saddling her, but today, she showed signs of being "cinchy". She pinned her ears and at one point even reached out to nip Natalie who was holding her.

I checked her over to make sure the saddle wasn't bothering her, she didn't have any wounds or obvious issues that were causing her pain. She seemed fine, just grumpy and really not in the mood to work. I think this horse is VERY well trained and has been loved and doted on by her previous owners. But I also think that she is a bit spoiled. If she feels like working, her work ethic is amazing. She's a really good girl. However, if she's not in the mood to work, she gets pretty snarly.

Once I got out to the round pen, I mounted on her and asked her to walk out. Her ears were pinned and she just wasn't interested in paying attention. I couldn't find anything wrong with her so it seemed like it was all attitude. I asked her to trot, which she did with more pinned ears and swishing her tail. To her credit, it was almost dinner time, and she's very food oriented, so maybe that had her in a bad mood?! Anyhow, when I felt she was warmed up, I asked her to canter. She offered a half hearted crow-hop! At first, I didn't believe that's what she did, as the footing in my round pen is deep in areas. I figured maybe she'd actually tripped. I asked her to canter again and this time she full on bucked! Wow! This girl was in NO mood to work.

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I dismounted, got my bumper spurs (these are very mild spurs, even less severe that english bumpers), then put her on a lunge line and asked her to work. She was still snarling, but lunged properly.

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After about 10 minutes of lunging, I stopped her and got back on. This time her attitude was a bit better, but she still wasn't her normal sweet self. I was completely perplexed! I walked and trotted her for a while, then asked her to canter. She didn't offer to buck again, but really wasn't eager to do as I asked.

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Around and around we went, and as soon as I felt her softening and starting to work, I let her stop. We worked for about 30-45 minutes. I am going to pull her out tomorrow and spend some TLC time with her. Skittles is the type of mare that I think expects to be spoiled. At the same time, I'm the type of rider that expects a good work ethic ;) But if you think about it, she was at the feedlot, got sick, in quarantine for at least a month, then was brought here to my house where she's been ridden almost every day! That's quite a change in her lifestyle. I can be understanding to her grumpiness. I will love on her plenty tomorrow and let her graze in the tall grass. Maybe we'll work, maybe we won't. Depends on her attitude :)
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Postby rodeo51 on Wed May 03, 2006 10:41 pm

Maybe she is sore from being out of shape. I know when I am sore...I get grumpy... :lol:
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Postby mulesrule on Thu May 04, 2006 12:31 am

Maybe she's in heat today.
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Postby Nickie on Thu May 04, 2006 5:21 am

I have a mare that is like that every single time you ride her in the arena. The second you step in her ears go flat back. When I ask her to move out she tries to bolt out from under me, head up in the air, with the ugliest face I have ever seen. Then if you ask her to work :shock: ...heaven forbid! She'll throw bucks that will send you into the neighbor's yard down the street.

When I first rode her in the arena she was fine. I didn't ask much of her the first few times, since I was feeling her out. Then when I started asking her to work...yep. Whenever anyone new gets on her she is the same way. When they ask her to work, there go the ears, up goes the head.

She is incredible on the trails though. I can make her work there, very hard, and she doesn't mind. She is just VERY arena sour. :?
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Postby pdevlieg on Thu May 04, 2006 7:39 am

Well - I know what her problem was - it was just grumpy day for horses/ponies named Skittles yesterday! I was wondering what was going on at our house as well and now I know.

My 9 year old has a POA gelding named Skittles. He is normally a dream on the trail and less than delightful in the arena. :? Yesterday, she had her first dump. She was riding around the driveway behind us and Skittles was really giving her a hard time. He jumped sideways a bit, she screamed, and they were off to the races :shock: straight towards a huge stump. Screaming increased, Skittles went left, Jessica went straight! She was okay, just a bit of an abrasion from her helmet strap. Then Skittles ran back towards the pasture, disrupting my 7 yr old on her Arab on the way (though she did stay on :wink: )

I went and got him, lunged him, then had Jessica get back on and we worked on emergency stops!

I guess cute appy type horses should all be named Skittles!
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Postby Juliane on Thu May 04, 2006 10:15 am

Awww Peri! Your Skittles is SO cute :)

Well, after playing with Skittles this morning, it appears that her stomach has a bunch of lumps. The lump near her utters is gone, but her entire stomach is just "lumpy". It's really weird. None of it causes her pain, but the area near where the girth would go has smaller bumps, like bug bites. They actually are very itchy to her when I touch them. I just thought about it too - my saddle I use on her has a neoprene cinch - I've heard of horses having issues or reactions to these girths.. maybe that's it!

So, I wonder if that was part of the problem from yesterday? I have some prescription strength shampoo that I got from my vet last year for my gelding who has major allergies and itchy skin. It's called CortiSoothe. I will pull her out later and wash her entire stomach and see if that helps at all. It has 1% Cortizone in it and I'm supposed to leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Hopefully that will help.

Oh, and Mulesrule, she's not in heat, or at least she's not squirting or winking at all. Her tail does have a bunch of crud in it, but it was that way when I picked her up from Sam's. I'll wash her tail today as well, with the whitening shampoo and see if I can make it sparkle :)
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Postby Steph on Thu May 04, 2006 10:17 am

Oh my, I guess it was a "sour skittles" kind of day hehe. You have a beautiful daughter by the way Peri. (glad to hear that no one was seriously injured during the grumpiness)
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Postby pdevlieg on Thu May 04, 2006 12:06 pm

With all of her itchy bumps, she may suffer from sweet itch or bug allergies like our Skittles. :roll: I'm telling you its in the name! :wink:

We have lots of itching and sensitivity problems on the underside and the neoprene girth we used really seemed to bother him more than the string one the saddle came with. I think the neoprene makes it hotter which can really aggravate the condition. I try be really diligent with fly control, I use the Absorbine spot control with him though I heard good things about War Paint too, along with tea tree oil based creams and some MTG for good measure. If my stomach was as itchy as his is, I would react too!

She is looking great though - I loved seeing her with your daughter!
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Postby Cherie on Thu May 04, 2006 7:08 pm

Every time I look at Skittles off lot pictures I gasp - she simply does not look like the same horse.
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Postby Juliane on Thu May 04, 2006 9:14 pm

Today I pulled Skittles out to wash her stomach with an "itch relief" shampoo that contains Cortizone. Her stomach is very weird and lumpy. Not smooth like most horses stomachs I've felt. It's not painful to her, though the smaller bumps that resemble bug bites near her girth area are itchy. She was really good about her cold water bath, even though she really wasn't in the mood. The shampoo said to leave it on for 10-15 minutes after applying it, so once it was on, I proceeded to wash her tail which had alot of caked manure in it.

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Here's a pic of her stomach - you can't really tell from the pic just how lumpy it is. I don't know if it's cause for concern or not. I may hop on tomorrow bareback and work her and see if I get the same attitude as I did yesterday. If I don't, then I may saddle her up and continue to work her and see if there's a change in her attitude. Oh, and the lump that was near her utters has gone away now. So maybe it was just edema?

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When I was done washing her stomach and tail, I took her out and let her graze in a small patch of tall grass. She loved that - I think she felt like the queen as the other horses looked on enviously ;)

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Here's a pic of her nice clean tail - I washed it twice with whitening shampoo, then conditioned it. It looks better, but I'm not sure how to get the yellowness out of the lower part. Is that possible? More whitening shampooing?

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And here's just a goofy picture of Natalie giving Skittles some Goldfish crackers.. Skittles is the kind of horse that will eat anything :P She ate some, then begged for more :P

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Postby mulesrule on Thu May 04, 2006 9:41 pm

do you have her on any kind of bedding, possibly cedar shavings? It kind of looks like an allergic reaction to something she might have come in contact with.
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Postby Juliane on Thu May 04, 2006 9:48 pm

Nope, not really. She has access to a double stall for cover which just has rubber mats down. I don't put bedding down since she can go in and out and isn't locked in. I clean it out daily. The stall also has a 30' x 30' gravel and sand paddock attached. So nothing there I can think of that might irritate her...

Though, I wonder if the roll in the round pen caused an issue? It has mixed wood chips from whatever trees and branches the tree companies are chopping down. But then, she rolled all over, not much on her stomach, and there are no signs on the rest of her body?! And I'm pretty sure her stomach was like this when I got her from Sam's. I know I noticed the lump near her udders right away, and remember thinking that her stomach was pretty lumpy too.

Is there anything you'd like me to do or not do for her stomach? :)
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Postby ranger on Fri May 05, 2006 6:51 am

Does she have access to clover in either her hay or grass that she is grazing on? My cousin's horse reacts with small, insect like bumps, but they are all over his body.
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Postby Juliane on Fri May 05, 2006 6:55 am

Hmm... Her hay is Orchard Grass/Alfalfa mix, about 80/20, but there's not really any alfalfal leaves, just stems. Could that cause a problem?

When I hand graze her, there's not really much clover, just typical lawn grass :(
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Postby Parksfarm on Tue May 09, 2006 8:41 pm

It does look like hives - it will be interesting to see if it stays gone once you aren't using the neoprene cinch...

I had a grey horse that had the yellowing at the bottom of his tail also. My friend who owned him before she gave him to me used to use the "old lady" (please forgive the phrase if any of you readers use this stuff...) shampoo that had bluing in it - made his tail the whitest ever and got rid of the yellow.

She looks great, by the way!
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