Shelley, I found this video, I'd say it's very useful. https://youtu.be/acFG0jA7WEc
Well the excercise I suggested isn't a short term but a long term thing sometimes. It means before every time you saddle him up, you use the rope and then pull and release with the cinch aiming for relaxation.
It might take a while depending on how bad it is but constantly confirming that it's ok by doing the excercise will slowly make it disappear.
I had a 4 yr old Arabian who would let you cinch him up without a problem but as soon as you got on, he'd take a normal step and buck you off. Same strategy. Took a month of doing it every single time I wanted to get on.
Keep it up!
P:S: it's also a great way to additionally check if a colt will buck or not. 👍🏻
Thanks, I have tried doing what you say Naomi.. and it works.. but if I stop riding him for a week, I'm always back at square one. I have raised this colt, and many others. First time for this. He is 100% good if I can ride him every day, but for the first week or two of riding I have to go very slowly. When he explodes, he just loses it. Not trying to hurt me, and hasn't because I'm very careful and watch him, but it's like a panic attack and he can't help it~
When he is cinchy does he do anything that could phisically harm you? If so make sure you immediately correct the behavior
It's a common problem and is usually caused by the initial starting of the horse where they cinched him up and made him buck it off (big mistake).
Place a rope around his chest where the girth would be and slowly tighten it by pulling upwards and downwards the ends with your hands. Increase pressure gradually, he will get very mad, stay out of the way but don't punish him at all. When he stops the behaviour let go immediately and completely of the rope and repeat again.
Do the same with the saddle.
Cinch it up without putting the bucks in the holes slowly and all the way up and hold it there with your hands and wait.
When he stops you let go completely.
Do this a couple times and when he's calm you can start buckling slowly. Also move him around on the ground and then buckle so you don't tighten any hole from the saddle.
Do this and he will improve dramatically.
I have tried different girths, pretty sure they have all had elastic .. will check into that one.. and I do pull his girth gently out from his body.. I have had his saddle fitted by a professional.. I pull his legs forward to stretch with every hole I do up.. and no.. I'm not a fast cincher! :-) I will look at more videos.. have a massage therapist coming this week.. maybe Chiro later. Thanks again for your solutions.. will also try the scarf in browband.. tonight!
What kind of girth do you use? I used to use a leather shaped girth, elastic at both ends and my ottb mare would randomly start cow hopping. I started using a friend's neoprene girth and she hasn't done it since. I also give a good tug at the side of the girth before I tighten it for the last time to make sure she doesn't have pinches.
Pattern interrupt. Are you saddling the horse in the same place, using the same routine each time? Try taking a hole as you walk alongside, or while teasing with a treat, or hanging a silk scarf in the brow band. If you associate the experience with something other than being tied and squeezed, you may find you are both happier with the the end result. Also, in my humble opinion, people tighten the cinch as if they wish to cut the horse in half. Ease up, ride, take a hole. Good luck!
And if all else fails, desensitize! :) there are so many videos on desensitizing a horse. Cinching is a common problem so I'm sure you'll find many videos of professionals explaining how to desensitize a cinchy horse :)
check your saddle fit. and be aware that saddles might fit while your horse is at a standstill but wont fit at other gates. horses that are more sensitive will react more to a saddle than less sensitive or more tolerant horses. and if it is a saddle problem and you change to one that fits, it will take time for the brain to relax when being cinched. kind of like people when they get hit or something you react when you think you might get hit again.
I sent him away for training when I blew my knee.. that could have caused stress.. that was 4 years ago? Wouldn't ulcers get better? Would be awesome to fix ulcers and fix this problem at the same time
Yep I would definitely have him looked at for ulcers that's a common sign!
If he doesn't have ulcers, have a massage therapist out, he may have some pinched nerves (when a horse is cinchy, it can actually be caused by wither isses)
My OTTB was acting the same way and he ended up having ulcers so I would get your vet to check just to be on the safe side, just a thought.