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Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)
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RnRJack
Reg. Mar 2010
Posted 2019-01-04 9:20 AM (#7418002)
Subject: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)



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I have read all the ducking posts on here and researched as to why they duck and it’s making my head spin and I know it’s probably not better posting on here Nd getting another million different opinions but at this point I’m trying to consider every option as to why.

Had the mare for 1.5 years, just started really adding speed, second barrel is her money barrel she turns 2 and 3 the fastest, first barrel is not her best turn (right turn) but her two left turns are amazing. Suddenly at an indoor pen she ducks the second.... okay no big deal unseasoned mare, next day tries to duck but I do what I can to get by it and day 3 I get by it as well, moving on to the next show - big outdoor pen she ducks the second barrel, I almost eat it. So now I’m getting skeptical and anticipating her ducking.

Give a few weeks off, call vet, do lameness exam, flex tests, chiropractor, massage, all seems well.

Go to next show, ducks second barrel. Really frustrated now. Start blaming myself because now I’m leaning and pulling on outside rein in anticipation so probably making situation worse. Concentrate on MY riding, go to next show have smokin run clean! Boom confidence back! Wait a few weeks, go to next show ducks barrel again, repeate a couple more times at shows, last show I get past the 2nd and she ducks now the 3rd barrel......

Throwing in towel, call another vet for second opinion.
Looking for a new saddle also, I have a Tammy Fischer treeless so maybe she doesn’t like it but why after a year now?

I’m at my wits end, super talented mare. She is also super nervous so is it nerves or is it pain? Is it my riding? I’m at my wits end. I have videos I don’t want to post here unless someone that has delt with this will private message me.

Suggestions?
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bbennington
Reg. Nov 2009
Posted 2019-01-04 9:37 AM (#7418004 - in reply to #7418002)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)



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I have been in this exact position. I sent you a pm. Once I had her fixed I just couldn’t fix myself to trust her.


One day at a show she ran a perfect pattern and I didn’t brace myself for her to turn since I just wasn’t sure what she was going to and about ate dirt when she dropped to turn the second. Next run I decided to just trust her and let her work, she ducked the second I was hanging off the side she cleaned me off with a pole in the warm up area, broke several ribs.

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Tilt The Kilt
Reg. Jan 2005
Posted 2019-01-04 9:53 AM (#7418005 - in reply to #7418002)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)



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I would guess pain.  How comprehensive was your exam?  In-office radiographs, ultrasounds, etc?  I'd be digging deeper there first before putting more money in a new saddle, chiro, etc.  Get to the bottom of it with money spent there with the person who can diagnose what's wrong.
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BamaCanChaser
Reg. Nov 2012
Posted 2019-01-04 10:18 AM (#7418013 - in reply to #7418002)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)



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I've had two that would duck.

First was seasoned proven winner, started doing it out of the blue. Had lameness exams from 4 different vets, all were convinced something was off in the hind end. We injected everything you could inject with no improvement. Finally found the issue in his front feet, but had to switch him to the left barrel first because it took so long to find the problem. He went back to running just fine.

Second was a young horse that had been running consistently for about 6 months at small shows. The first 2-3 years that we hauled her to big races and rodeos she ducked the second barrel probably 3-4 times each year. She was in the 1D the rest of the time. We did start to notice there were certain things she didn't like. Running at white walls or yellow banners and learned to help her more in those kinds of setups. She did eventually outgrow it.

Since you're just now adding speed it sounds to me like either of these could possibly be your situation. If no soreness whatsoever showed up in any of the vet/chiro/massage work you did then I would lean towards the second one. If something was sore, I'd dig deeper into the cause of that.
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RnRJack
Reg. Mar 2010
Posted 2019-01-04 10:21 AM (#7418016 - in reply to #7418002)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)



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I have an appointment with outlaw equine in a couple of weeks just to rule out pain again, after two other opinions. If I have to X-ray and ultrasound every orifice Of her body I will. If it comes up as nothing again I will go to the left and slow back down.

Only thing I have changed in last 6 months is gone from a Todd Slone pad to a 5 star and a feed change.
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LIVE2RUN
Reg. Oct 2005
Posted 2019-01-04 4:03 PM (#7418057 - in reply to #7418002)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)



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Ulcers or bleeding perhaps?? Adding speed does cause more stress. What about teeth?? Eyes, is she going blind?? It's so frustrating I know. Maybe slow things down for, maybe she isn't ready for the speed?? Try a different direction and see if she still ducks. Let us know what you find out. Good luck.
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treasurehunter
Reg. Sep 2007
Posted 2019-01-05 7:36 PM (#7418162 - in reply to #7418002)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)



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Do you have lots of videos of before ducking and after it started? I would sit down and slowly go thru those over and over, looking at lead changes or failure to change at last minute, tail popping, or any clues that may lead to the source. Sometimes sitting down and analyzing those videos helps to narrow it down.
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OhMax
Reg. Feb 2013
Posted 2019-01-06 7:03 AM (#7418187 - in reply to #7418002)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)


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Back xrays.

When we discovered kissing spines in one of our geldings the vets couldn’t find anything one him that was sore. He would have passed a very extensive flex exam with 110%. At the time he wasn’t reactive in his back to palpating either - but he’d not been used in a couple of weeks and I knew he could be back sore the day after work, so I asked them to do radiographs while I was there.

I was running him on barrels at the time and he wouldn’t duck the second, but on the backside he would lose his mind and run sideways back to the gate. It was really scary as I was sure I was going to fall off or he was going to trip over his own feet and fall with me since he was going sideways. At home he never did it, during exhibitions you could feel that he wanted too but hold him together, during a run you weren’t going to stop it.

This all started after about a year of running him, just cruising through, and then starting to ask for more speed.

Mentally he’s not made it back to the barrel pen. Jam up rope horse.


After this experience it makes me really think about adding back xrays to the list on a PPE.
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cheryl makofka
Reg. Jan 2011
Posted 2019-01-06 8:30 AM (#7418191 - in reply to #7418002)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)


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If she is a nervous horse, are you loading her with a stomach soother before the event?

If she is a nervous horse, my money is on ulcers,

After they are healed, I use zesterra when I load them, and approx 1 hour out on my really nervous horse, it has been keeping the ulcers away.
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kbug
Reg. Jan 2019
Posted 2019-01-09 3:54 PM (#7418543 - in reply to #7418002)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)


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RnRJack - 2019-01-04 9:20 AM

I have read all the ducking posts on here and researched as to why they duck and it’s making my head spin and I know it’s probably not better posting on here Nd getting another million different opinions but at this point I’m trying to consider every option as to why.

Had the mare for 1.5 years, just started really adding speed, second barrel is her money barrel she turns 2 and 3 the fastest, first barrel is not her best turn (right turn) but her two left turns are amazing. Suddenly at an indoor pen she ducks the second.... okay no big deal unseasoned mare, next day tries to duck but I do what I can to get by it and day 3 I get by it as well, moving on to the next show - big outdoor pen she ducks the second barrel, I almost eat it. So now I’m getting skeptical and anticipating her ducking.

Give a few weeks off, call vet, do lameness exam, flex tests, chiropractor, massage, all seems well.

Go to next show, ducks second barrel. Really frustrated now. Start blaming myself because now I’m leaning and pulling on outside rein in anticipation so probably making situation worse. Concentrate on MY riding, go to next show have smokin run clean! Boom confidence back! Wait a few weeks, go to next show ducks barrel again, repeate a couple more times at shows, last show I get past the 2nd and she ducks now the 3rd barrel......

Throwing in towel, call another vet for second opinion.
Looking for a new saddle also, I have a Tammy Fischer treeless so maybe she doesn’t like it but why after a year now?

I’m at my wits end, super talented mare. She is also super nervous so is it nerves or is it pain? Is it my riding? I’m at my wits end. I have videos I don’t want to post here unless someone that has delt with this will private message me.

Suggestions?

Question...when she ducks does she do a full resolution like there is a barrel there and head for third or does she duck and head home? In my humble opinion they are two completely different issues. My mare would turn a full resolution and head for third. Basically if you sit to soon she was turning. She had to be ridden right up until that hip was past the barrel before you could sit. Also sometimes think indoor pens make their perception a bit "off".
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allaboutme2
Reg. Aug 2014
Posted 2019-01-10 8:59 AM (#7418618 - in reply to #7418002)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)



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 I had this exact issue, too.  I found out my mare was a bleeder but didn't bleed out until we finally ran on a 90 degree day (maybe 3 months of ducking). I give Lasix and she's never ducked since. I also feed aloe daily. Going on 3 years.
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ladyelbert
Reg. Aug 2006
Posted 2019-01-15 10:34 AM (#7419030 - in reply to #7418002)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)


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i had a mare once that would run past the first barrel (right barrel first)  she would only do this every once in a while, you just NEVER knew when it was gonna happen......FINALLY after several years of trying to figure her out...she had a cyst on her ovary...once it was taken care of she went back to being consistant in turning her first barrel but by this time my confidence was shot....but she won just about everything she was entered at here locally.... we kept her till she died at age 29
 
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geronabean
Reg. Sep 2003
Posted 2019-01-15 12:26 PM (#7419051 - in reply to #7419030)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)



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ladyelbert - 2019-01-15 11:34 AM

i had a mare once that would run past the first barrel (right barrel first)  she would only do this every once in a while, you just NEVER knew when it was gonna happen......FINALLY after several years of trying to figure her out...she had a cyst on her ovary...once it was taken care of she went back to being consistant in turning her first barrel but by this time my confidence was shot....but she won just about everything she was entered at here locally.... we kept her till she died at age 29
 

What did you do to "take care" of that cyst?
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RnRJack
Reg. Mar 2010
Posted 2019-01-17 7:15 AM (#7419263 - in reply to #7418002)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)



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So I finally had the OE (outlaw equine) vets come up from south Florida and do a very thorough lameness exam on her. They took a good hour of flexing and nerve blocking to find the issue. Immediately they found that the right hind foot was off, from ankle to coffin bone. Did an ultra sound as well and she had a lot of fluid on her tendon sheath in the ankle. Thank Goodness there were no tears. When he put the needles in for injection of a steroid to help inflammation/pain a ton of fluid came out, like a little puddle of joint fluid and they said that was not normal at all. So they ended up injected her ankle in two spots and her coffin bone. Her lumbar was very sore as well and I ride in a Tammy Fischer so he suggested getting out of the treeless saddle.

So I rode yesterday for the first time in a week and she felt awesome, def felt a difference to the right side. Bringing her back slow and have an Nbha in February. Still going to go to the left side instead of right just to help with anticipation and my nerves.

Will keep you all updated!

Thanks for replies
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Shushi
Reg. Aug 2006
Posted 2019-01-21 11:59 AM (#7419661 - in reply to #7418543)
Subject: RE: Horse starts ducking 2nd and 3rd barrel (help)



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 I didn't read all the posts but go to this one and 100% agree. My horse...if I EVEN dropped my hand to the horn, and sat down even the slightest, he was turning the second and heading for the third. He was just super sensitive and a push style type horse. I have tried to fix me for a year and can't ride a push style horse like him. I finally made the decision to sell him. It isn't fair to either one of us to continue 'failing'. 
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