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Pony tried to roll with DD on board today-did I do the right thing?

34 replies

Mirage · 27/08/2011 13:37

We've had dpony for 5 weeks now and everything has been going well.Yesterday she wasn't ridden because of bad weather,and was rugged up.Today when we went to catch her,she'd gotten through the electric fence and was eating 'new' grass.

She was fine to be caught,but tried several times to bite me whilst tacking up and was rather uncooperative.She refused to walk to the menage and tried to bite me again when I put my hand on the reins to move her forward.DD1 got on board and started to walk her around,but she was reluctant to move and walked as slow as she possibly could-then after no more than a few paces,she dropped as if to roll.

Luckily she is 20 yrs old so slow and I was able to shout to DD1 to get off and get clear.Pony got down,but wasn't able to roll and got up after I shouted 'no' at her and smacked her hard.DD1 got back on but was shaken and wanted me to walk next to her.A few minutes later pony showed signs of trying to drop again,so I yelled 'no' at her and smacked her,which stopped her doing it.She was very bolshy and bitey,but we carried on as normal and then went out for a hack which was uneventful apart from trying to turn round and head in the opposite direction when we had a heavy shower of rain.

Could having the rug on have made her itchy or was she just trying it on because she didn't want to work and wanted to get back to the grass?She is normally very kind and good natured,so it has thrown me a bit. Did I do the right thing by shouting at her and giving her a smack? I've told the dds that she can only do it whilst standing still and to keep her moving if she looks like she might try it again,but they are quite anxious now.

Any help would really be appreciated.I might not be able to answer for a bit because MIL is due any minute.


OP posts:
BlowHole · 27/08/2011 13:40

Maybe she's not well or something. I know nothing about horses. Are you meant to smack them? Seems a bit mean.

jade80 · 27/08/2011 13:51

In the short term you did the right thing, get the children to kick on or smack if you think she is going to go down again.

Blowhole- yes it was necessary to smack. Horses/ponies are large and can hurt people if allowed to get away with bad behaviour. You don't belt them repeatedly, but a short sharp shock can stop unsafe behaviour.

You say she got onto new grass and this may be an explanation. Could she have/had mild colic? Or possibly laminitis in all 4? Either could explain wanting to lie down/roll and being grumpy, if she isn't normally.

HeidiHole · 27/08/2011 13:51

I imagine she is maybe too old to be ridden. Our pony at about the same age started being similar as if to say "look my back is sore, i'm old just leave me alone" we took that as her cue to retire her

Once she was retired she was back to being lovely.

I think that at a certain age (different for every horse) they just don't enjoy it any more and have sore joints etc.

jade80 · 27/08/2011 13:53

BTW do you have her on a yard with others or on your own land? Either way can you or someone else check her regularly today? As both colic and laminitis can be life threatening. Do you know the symptoms, or know someone who does?

jade80 · 27/08/2011 13:54

Heidi I totally disagree- the OP says the pony got onto new grass, o I would be looking at that first. 20 is not that old for many ponies. Most are better kept going in work, with supplements to stop them being so stiff. Most stiffen up and get miserable when they have nothing to do.

Booboostoo · 27/08/2011 14:10

New lush grass, plus grumpiness, plus refusing to move and trying to roll = colic.

Ideally get your vet out to check the pony over, otherwise at the very least get someone experienced to decide whether this is a mild case likely to resolve itself or whether you really do need the vet out asap.

Loshad · 27/08/2011 14:16

agree with booboo - most likely colic, would suggest vet unless you have access to an experienced peraon on your yard.
20 is def not too old for a pony.

HeidiHole · 27/08/2011 14:20

I stand corrected! maybe best to call the vet out then :(

Mirage · 27/08/2011 14:48

Thankyou all-will have to be brief as MIL now here.I went back to check on her after posting and found a small cut on her leg,so have bathed it with saline and sudocremed it.She was as good as gold whilst I treated her and seemed pleased to see me.She was rather gassy though,so could be the grass.I keep her on my horsey neighbours land and have been round to see him,but he is out atm.I know the signs of colic and will be keeping an eye on her until he returns and will ask his advice.If in any doubt,I'll call the vet out.

I've rung another horsey friend who says that her pony is a beggar for it if she sees a puddle,friend has to use her stick and move her on otherwise she'll roll.She reckons that the rug has made her itchy.
Thanks again,you've all been really helpful.

OP posts:
dappleton · 27/08/2011 17:52

Hi Mirage, you did the right thing, if she's going to roll just tell your dd's that she's itchy so if she slows down, stops and starts to sink they are to do everything they can to get her moving - kick, whip, shout - anything, if it all fails abandon ship and get out of the way! (and hope she's not like my first pony who when finishing his roll would then get up with ears flat back and chase me around the arena!)
As for the cause... itchy under her rugs, wet? - wet ponies love to roll, perhaps a little colic but if you know the signs and she's fine now it's unlikely.

careergirl · 27/08/2011 19:16

immediately the alarm bells were ringing for me. Certainly she is colicky.
Whilst she seems ok now keep an eye on her tonight. I would certainly check on her in the night if you can perhaps even twice just to make sure all is well.
If in doubt call the vet they can deteroriate very quickly
I would also be concerned about laminitis.

sprinkles77 · 27/08/2011 19:57

ditto. first though colic, 2nd thought laminitis. Get the vet out if any concerns. Ponies with laminitis stand funny, hocks tucked under and front legs out in front. With colic if you put your ear against their tummy you often cannot hear the normal gurgling from their digestion. Usually a pony of this age will have had these before, rather than getting it for the first time at this age. Would def keep an eye on her, but not keep her in, sometimes they will "walk through" the colic if they are out in the paddock, rather than rolling and getting cast in a box. Hope the fence is fixed! One of the horses here is already losing her summer coat and is rolling and rubbing it off, might be a factor but would want to eliminate colic and laminitis before assuming that. Not sure where you are, but unless pony is very thin coated / delicate / underweight, probably no need for rugs even if raining: the thoroughbreds here are all happy out naked and they look pathetic and shiver if they're cold.

20 is no age for a pony: I used to ride one that was definitely 31, but probably older just no one could trace him back further. Agree with Jade, keep old ones moving to stop them getting stiff and bored. Also agree with a good whack (or several) to keep them moving at the first sign of going down. And get feet out of stirrups and ready to hop off if she hits the deck.

Mirage · 27/08/2011 20:16

I've been down there twice since earlier and fixed the fence.She seems happy and healthy,no odd stance,quiet tummy or anything out of the ordinary.She has never had laminitus before and having had a laminitic pony when I was small,is something I'm very aware of and want to avoid.Sad

I saw the dds riding instructor tonight and she reckons it could be the grass,we've had no rain for months until this week and it is now shooting up again.She says that all the yearlings and foals she looks after were going crackers after tasting new grass the past few days and galloping about like loons.She is going to come down for an extra lesson before the dds go back to school.

She is a very 'itchy' pony and has been scratching herself against the fence,but she hasn't rolled again that I can tell,or she'd be plastered in mud.I probably shouldn't have rugged her yesterday in hindsight [we are in the East Midlands],but she looked so wet and miserable and all the other ponies locally were rugged.

We'll ride her again as usual tomorrow,providing she is alright,and tell the dds to keep her moving or be ready to bail out if need be.

Another thought is,I've not noticed her coming into season since we've had her [5 wks],don't know whether that could be it?

Best go,am typing whilst I make MIL coffee.
Thankyou all.

OP posts:
Booboostoo · 28/08/2011 08:52

While you are right, ponies and horses that get very sweaty and itchy may sometimes try to roll, what you describe is colic. When they have colic they have pain in their gut/tummy, so react badly to girthing, they will turn around and look at the tummy, they may try to bite you because of the pain and will certainly roll and be gassy! Being gassy is another sign of colic.

Have you checked her temperature? Has she done any droppings? Ideally with colic you want to see a normal temperature and plenty of healthy droppings to know that you are in the clear. If there are no droppings she is impacted and this is an emergency situation. An impacted colic is NOT a situation you want to leave unattended by a vet for 24 hours.

Mirage · 28/08/2011 09:08

Horsey neighbour and I both checked on her last night at separate times and she was fine-normal amount of droppings and she was grazing happily.She was very muddy though,so guessed that she had rolled,and I could see marks on her bum where she'd been rubbing on the fence.The people who live overlooking her field are horsey to and very good,if they see anything untoward they ring me,and luckily it is only a 2 minute walk away from the house.

I've never taken a pony's temp,but will get horsey neighbour to show me how.
Am off to check on her now.It does sound like it was colic,doesn't it?

OP posts:
careergirl · 28/08/2011 10:18

Yes definitely
btw 20 is so not old for a pony. My friend's 28 year old is going strong to the degree he was so full of life the other week he bucked her off!
I hope your pony is ok but do continue to keep an eye out.
if she is prone to being itchy and uncomfy would she benefit perhaps from a Boett rug or similar?

AlpinePony · 28/08/2011 13:04

Why on earth have you got her rugged up in August? Shock

Mirage · 28/08/2011 13:13

Well,she was in another bit of the paddock when I went to check on her and in obvious discomfort,kicking out continually and swinging her head round.My lovely horsey neighbour who rents me the paddock met me on the way home and said that in his opinion something wasn't right,which is why he'd moved her-so it was easier to observe her.He'd popped over to check on her last night to and thought that she was acting out of character.

Anyway,I rang the nearest equine vet and lovely neighbour and I boxed her up and took her in to the equine hospital .They gave her a thorough check and said that it was definitely her tummy,she was full of gas and bloated,but nothing to cause her to be kept in.She has had a jab of buscopan and I've instructions to lunge her if she appears uncomfortable again,to move the gas.Bless her she was as good as gold being loaded and poked about,didn't try to bite me once.So she is back in her paddock with us keeping an eye on her.
Thankyou for all the advice-it has been invaluable.

OP posts:
Mirage · 28/08/2011 13:15

She was rugged because she was cold wet and shivery,and everyone else had rugged their ponies up-I felt mean leaving her without,but you live and learn.

OP posts:
jade80 · 28/08/2011 14:13

If she was already damp I wouldn't advise rugging on top. If you really must, then put a layer of straw between her and the rug. Honestly though, most ponies are fine with wet or cold. It's when it is cold AND wet for a long time they don't like it. Lots of people are too precious and rug up at the first sign of rain.

Glad she's better and I hope she doen't manage to escape again!

Justfeckinggoogleit · 28/08/2011 14:20

Mirage, sounds like you have it under control!

Was it C*E House vets? They're mine and best equine vets around so you would be in good hands! ( I'm in E Mids too!)

Mirage · 28/08/2011 15:05

Yes,it was C house,my parents use them for the farm and they have a good reputation for equine and large animals.[They always seem to employ very good looking male vets too]Grin I was offered a job there when I left school and turned it down-wish I hadn't now

You must be quite near me if they are your vets too.Smile

OP posts:
Justfeckinggoogleit · 28/08/2011 15:15

Oh, yes, there is always a ripple of excitement when Simon or Jonathan are called out at my yard! Wink

Booboostoo · 28/08/2011 16:36

Great, I am glad she is feeling better!

Taking a temperature is fairly simple and worth doing if you suspect a problem. Get a normal thermometre, strand to the side of the horse close to the quarters (less likely to get kicked this way), lift the tail and insert the thermometer (best to put some vaseline on the thermometer first). HOLD ONTO IT until you are done and remove it, as it can get sucked into the anus otherwise. Make sure there is no poop around the anal passage otherwise you measure the temperature of the poop rather than the horse!

careergirl · 28/08/2011 19:47

Glad she's feeling a bit better but continue to keep a watch out.
Ditto the not rugging except for flysheet maybe, its not very cold yet and a bit of rain won't harm her.
Ponies can be beggars for going through fencing (ok so can horses!) if she is prone to that trick I'd stick a grazing muzzle on to limit what she can pig out on if it happens again.

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