THE EXTENT PAIN OR DISCOMFORT AFFECTS YOUR HORSES BEHAVIOUR.
Ok, so the general consensus of understanding across the board is that unless a horse is majorly limping, bleeding, or has something that instantly grabs your attention as abnormal they should just suck it up and behave.
I have found this to be far from the truth.
What I have found is that about 90% of misbehaviour is caused by pain or discomfort.
I don't say this lightly. I have opportunity, with what I do to work with large numbers of horses and have found this to consistently be the case.
So before demanding good behaviour from your horse, here is a list I strongly suggest you address first.
TEETH, should be done by an equine dentist every 6 months, or every 3 months if under 5yo. Horses get razor sharp edges on the inside edges of the bottom teeth and outside edges of the top teeth over 6 months, which cut the sides of their face, and get infected, turn into ulcers and to have a halter or bridle or a persons hand even touch the sides of their face is painful.
Be creative when imagining the 'misbehaviour' caused by this:
Rearing, hanging, not listening to signals, cranky, weight loss, not eating, upset, frustrated, kicking, biting, biting fences, poor coat, unwell, lethargic, hating riding, hating people, playing up, bucking, bolting etc.
They also can have wolf teeth which come into contact often with the bit and cause a sharp sudden nerve pain when they do, causing head tossing, nervousness, spookiness all of the above etc...
They also should have bit seats put in so when you pull on the bit the edge of that tooth it touches doesn't cut the sides of the mouth as the cheeks move.
Younger horses, under 5yo, also lose baby teeth and caps which half hang on and create cuts, pain etc.
Every 4 - 6 weeks, horses do get worms and it will cause colic, and can kill.
Horses do put their backs out mucking round in the paddocks, getting cast in stables, travelling in floats and trucks, etc.
All horses should walk with the back hoof overtracking past the front, if they don't, they have twisted vertebrae, or a hip dislocated which is very common.
These being out cause:
Horse unable to round onto the bit, track up, crookedness, antsy and nervous, makes a fuss over little things when working, unbalanced, flicks head up at times, won't corner properly, frustrated, unhappy, nervous, girthy, hanging, cranky, rearing, bucking, biting, kicking etc etc.
However all chiros are not the same and can do more damage than good.
Quarterly we get our international chiro in to do all the horses in our care.
I do recommend people bring their horses to be done by him rather than any other chiro if possible. He does Shania Twain's horses, Group 1 horses and elite top sporthorses internationally.
Horses should be checked at least every 3 months by a good chiropractor... to be continued...