South Carolina 10 year old welsh/quarter/? ridden in a broken pelham and  western, english saddles in pasture, trails, arena, paddocks by intermediate rider.

Question: Hi! My welsh/qh/? has a gaited flat foot walk that is wonderful.  The problem is not with his gait but with his aversion to being touched on the sides with legs.  Children can
ride him just fine, in fact sometimes they have to kick him to get him to trot.  When a (small) adult gets on him to train, he freaks at the slightest leg pressure.  One touch, he is off like a shot...then he jiggs the entire time, never coming back to a relaxed walk. Everything fits fine. Once he canters, he jiggs the rest of the time too.  I need to have him relax and slow down, he is a go-go machine.  Thanks in advance for your help!

From Panelist Liz

This sounds like it could be a classic case of a past history in relation to adult riders. This is also something I see often on horses that have run speed events such as barrels and poles. I would recommend for the time being sticking with one rider on this horse that can keep it calm and teach that this is the way it should be. 

Possibly start in a small area to start with and do not progress to any rider that may bring this out in the horse. Nice calm educated people that can bring the horse back under control. It will take a lot of time for this horse to get through this but it can be done with
time a patience and the right rider.


From Panelist Theresa

It sounds to me like there may be a physical situation going on that a small child is not triggering.

With his background I would evaluate EPSM or Chiropractic possibilities.

Do his hindquarters seem to appear fatty and his stride seem to short and choppy? If this is the case, is he eating COB or a high starch diet?  Horses with the fatty HQ, who are unable to extend their rear leg function, often (not always) have a condition called EPSM (not confused with EPM).  EPSM (Equine Pollysaccharide Storage Myopathy)which is the inability of the body to break down starches, causes toxins to sit in the muscles especially when the horse exerts. The horses tend to be hypersensitive especially when being worked hard, and tend to jig to prevent full HQ extension therefore alleviating pain. This is easily fixed (although it takes about 5-9 months to be complete) with a diet change.  The diet needs to be a low starch diet, and we will add Purina 12:12 (horse) to the diet.

The other possibility I would wonder about would be that  chiropractically something is awry. This can be examined and treated by a chiropractic veterinarian in your area usually with good results. 

I hope this is helpful.

From Panelist Carol


My suggestion is that you completely re-start your horse.  There are several systems out there that are good for all kinds of problems.  My favorite is the Parelli Natural  Horse-man-ship, but others are good too.  This program starts out with you tossing your lead rope auound the horse's flanks and that is where I would start, with ground work that de-sensitizes the flank area.  Then you need to be able to break up the "go-go" with lateral flexion and control of the hind quarters.

I can't give you all the information you need, but do go investigate a good natural  horsemanship system.  Some key people to look up on the net are Pat Parelli, John Lyons, ga-wa-ni pony boy and possible others.

Carol Camp Tosh

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