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thomasblue
Tenderfoot

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  3:30:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit thomasblue's Homepage Send thomasblue a Private Message
Before winter hit Minnesota, I purchased an 8yr old Pinto. I knew he didn't much care for clipping and bathing but I didn't realize what I had gotten myself into. I'm only a mediocre horseperson and I'm starting to lose my nerve.

I got rid of a "just started" horse that bucked me off and thought I got something better. By the way my tail-bone still isn't completely healed. So far my husband (not a horse person; but used to dairy cows and bulls) is helping to control the situation. Midnight is only about 14/2 hands and extremely athletic. His ground manners leave a lot to be desired and we thought we watched everything possible when we checked him out. Watched him being caught, watched him being saddled, ridden etc. We even did this twice and showed up early the second time.

The first day he almost ran my husband over trying to get out of the stall. So we started to work on that one; next we found out that he wouldn't take tube wormers so we shifted to the other methods.

The farrier came and he wouldn't stand still and the farrier used a special rope war bridle on him; that had him acting with total respect. We've been working on the feet and he's still pretty touchy.

He likes to push me around alot and my mare (alpha mare) apparently knows this and really tries to protect me. I was bringing him in from the pasture and we have a single walk through gate and when I tried to get him to wait and let me pass through first he reared; I yelled at him; he reared again(never tried to strike me) and I yelled and finally he walked nicely on a loose line to the barn.

He tends to have an excess of energy when left out in a paddock or pasture by himself, because he wheels around, flies into the air and appears to buck in mid-air. When my mare is in the area he behaves himself but if she tries to lay down and roll he likes to pester her. He also has this little "hit-and-run" game where he tears by her and pretends to bite her in the butt.

I'm beginning to wonder if I'll be able to deal with all this. Does this horse have an excess of hormones (only getting a hand full of grain and token half leaf of alfalfa once in awhile) or should I just be looking for the "old gray mare" at this time of my life.

I've ridden a green broke arabian (10 years ago) who was extremely hot but she always behaved calm on the ground. I've only ridden Midnight 4 times; once he felt a little light on the front end. SHOULD I BE WORRIED? SHOULD I CUT MY LOSSES or work through this? It's too icy and cold to do round pen work (ground or otherwise). So far my husband and I work with Midnight every other night in our little barn.

By the way, he is somewhat better everyday but; everyday something new pops up. Can a horse be too smart for his own good?

Thoughts? I tried to tell the whole story to this point; sorry if too wordy; I'm new at this forum stuff.

thomasblue

EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  4:28:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
Welcome, Thomasblue!

If the horse was okay every time you went to check him out, and has only been this way since you got him home, I am guessing that he is trying you and seeing what he can get away with. Most horses seem to go through an adjustment period when they change owners. You appear to be doing the right things with him as far as working with him on the ground. When the weather gets better, you should be able to do more with him.

As to whether you should cut your losses...that is something nobody else can really tell you! It depends...how well do you like this horse? How much time, and maybe money, are you willing to put into him to get him to where you feel comfortable with him? If you want something you can get along with right now, and that won't challenge you much, then, yes, you should look for an older, more settled horse. Reading in between the lines of your post, it does sound as though Midnight might be a bit more horse than you want!

If you ARE willing to spend some time and money on him, second thought would be to put the horse with a trainer for a month or two to get him settled down a bit, and then have the trainer work with both you and the horse until you feel reasonably confident with him.

EZ2SPOT
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  4:28:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
Welcome, Thomasblue!

If the horse was okay every time you went to check him out, and has only been this way since you got him home, I am guessing that he is trying you and seeing what he can get away with. Most horses seem to go through an adjustment period when they change owners. You appear to be doing the right things with him as far as working with him on the ground. When the weather gets better, you should be able to do more with him.

As to whether you should cut your losses...that is something nobody else can really tell you! It depends...how well do you like this horse? How much time, and maybe money, are you willing to put into him to get him to where you feel comfortable with him? If you want something you can get along with right now, and that won't challenge you much, then, yes, you should look for an older, more settled horse. Reading in between the lines of your post, it does sound as though Midnight might be a bit more horse than you want!

If you ARE willing to spend some time and money on him, second thought would be to put the horse with a trainer for a month or two to get him settled down a bit, and then have the trainer work with both you and the horse until you feel reasonably confident with him.

EZ2SPOT
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Country Bumpkin
Advanced Rider



USA
168 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  6:02:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit Country Bumpkin's Homepage Send Country Bumpkin a Private Message
Hi and welcome! I agree with what EZ said.Is it worth it to you to try to work with this horse? He actually sounds a bit like April,the mare I "rescued" just over a month ago. She was almost impossible to worm and I got her so much better with that. If you still have trouble with that I can probably help.
When he tries to run you over, stop him and make him get back. If he's not respecting the rope,use a stud chain. I don't usually like using one myself but it may help in your situation.
Do you have anyone who is more experienced and can help you with him? That would be a big help to you.
It sounds like he is a hyper type of horse and with it being winter that could also make him more hyper than usual.
Do not let him get away with pushing you around,take charge.
Read all the books you can and if you get RFD-TV,watch it. It has a lot of good training shows on :)
A trick I have heard about is that when a horse rears, bop it on the head. You're suppsoed to use an egg,because the horse feels it running down and they think it's blood or something. What I do with mine sometimes is I just take the rope and whack them on the head one time.Right on the top of their head,one solid whack,while they are up or as soon as they come down. It worked for me.
It also sounds like he has no patience and maybe some tie up sessions would help. Just tie him up for several minutes at a time.
Good luck and let us know how he's coming along.
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Country Bumpkin
Advanced Rider



USA
168 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  6:02:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit Country Bumpkin's Homepage Send Country Bumpkin a Private Message
Hi and welcome! I agree with what EZ said.Is it worth it to you to try to work with this horse? He actually sounds a bit like April,the mare I "rescued" just over a month ago. She was almost impossible to worm and I got her so much better with that. If you still have trouble with that I can probably help.
When he tries to run you over, stop him and make him get back. If he's not respecting the rope,use a stud chain. I don't usually like using one myself but it may help in your situation.
Do you have anyone who is more experienced and can help you with him? That would be a big help to you.
It sounds like he is a hyper type of horse and with it being winter that could also make him more hyper than usual.
Do not let him get away with pushing you around,take charge.
Read all the books you can and if you get RFD-TV,watch it. It has a lot of good training shows on :)
A trick I have heard about is that when a horse rears, bop it on the head. You're suppsoed to use an egg,because the horse feels it running down and they think it's blood or something. What I do with mine sometimes is I just take the rope and whack them on the head one time.Right on the top of their head,one solid whack,while they are up or as soon as they come down. It worked for me.
It also sounds like he has no patience and maybe some tie up sessions would help. Just tie him up for several minutes at a time.
Good luck and let us know how he's coming along.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  6:31:44 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
CB; What you said about rearing would probably work if you were on the horse. If I read thomasblue correctly, she's on the ground when Midnight is rearing. Either situation is dangerous and should not be tolerated.

thomasblue; I am assuming that you are leading Midnight when you are bringing him in through this gate? What EZ said is excellent advice, and if a stud chain won't work to keep him back from you, I'd use a whip... first as a warning by swinging it at him and then as a disciplinary measure by making contact with him. Start lightly and then add more force as the situation calls for it. I also agree with EZ about sending this horse to a trainer and having the trainer work with you in learning how to control this horse.

Take EZ's post to heart. She gave you great advice.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  6:31:44 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
CB; What you said about rearing would probably work if you were on the horse. If I read thomasblue correctly, she's on the ground when Midnight is rearing. Either situation is dangerous and should not be tolerated.

thomasblue; I am assuming that you are leading Midnight when you are bringing him in through this gate? What EZ said is excellent advice, and if a stud chain won't work to keep him back from you, I'd use a whip... first as a warning by swinging it at him and then as a disciplinary measure by making contact with him. Start lightly and then add more force as the situation calls for it. I also agree with EZ about sending this horse to a trainer and having the trainer work with you in learning how to control this horse.

Take EZ's post to heart. She gave you great advice.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  6:39:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
He was good when you looked at him? Didn't show any of these signs at all? Have you talked to the people you bought him from? That would be the place to start. As his old owners they might have some ideas as to why he is doing this and how to handle him. Sometimes horses that like to pull stuff have done it in the past and old owners know the tricks from dealing with them before.

But another reason to talk with the old owners is because something you are or aren't doing could be setting some of it off. When horses change hands it's a huge change for them. Not only new horses and a new place but new people and new ways things are done. You said something about a stall, was he stalled before you got him? How much time does he spend in his stall? Maybe he needs more turn out time. What was he being fed before you got him and what is he being fed now? Is the hay the same you feed the cattle(if you do have them now)? If so many dairy hays are rich for horses even if they aren't alfalfa. He might be getting too much food and not enough time to run it off. What was his work before you got him? If he was use to being worked with and ridden every day or many days a week that can make a difference.

Only you know if you should sell him and it's impossible to tell over the net if he is ever going to work for you. There are things to try first like talking to who you got him from, adjusting turnout and diet, looking at your actions towards him.

Most problems are best nipped before they happen. A horse that is taught to respect your space is less likely to rush out a stall door. So basic respect work needs to be done. Maybe sure that the work you are doing is working for him. Sending him a trainer is a great idea but if that it's an option then try to find someone to come to you to help you both from time to time. But everytime you are with him do basic ground work. Ask him to give his head, ask him to move his body, etc. This has to be done everytime. Since you can't get good lessons in due to weather then make everytime you are with him a lesson along with the lessons you are doing. Work on something like asking him to lower his head first in your lessons and when he gets it then you can use it at other times. In the morning when you catch him to turn him have him lower his head a number of times. Walk out of the stall and ask him to lower his head a few times. Walk out of the barn and ask him to lower his head, get to the gate and ask him again, get through the gate and ask him again. The more you do it the better he gets at it and the more time you are spending on getting him to do what you ask. It will add time to your chores and it doesn't seem like much time but that adds up. In one day you could be tacking on 10-15 minutes or more of training time daily by doing this. By the end of the week you have spent over an hour+ of training. Giving the head left and right, yeilding the hindquarters, backing up. All of these things can help with respect and contral and are simple enough that you can do them in a stall, barn alley, and other small areas. They don't use a lot of speed so even though the ground needs to be good if it's too hard for riding or speed it will still work. Also with the lowering the head it can help a lot with horses that tend to be....more hyper. When they lower the head it relaxes them so if you can lower your horse's head on cue then you can help relax them when you want. Backing up and yeilding helps to get them out of your space when you ask so they respect your space and start to view you as a leader.

Safety first. Helmets are good for when working on the ground also but safety also means the tack you use on a horse. If a flat nylon/leather halter doesn't give you enough contral of him right now there is nothing wrong with going with a rope halter, chain lead, sometime of contral halter if that is what you need to stay safe. As you get the training done you will need them less and less so as long as you do the training it is not a crutch. Same with if you need to carry a crop or whip to cue him to stay out of your space. If these things keep you safe then use them.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  6:39:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
He was good when you looked at him? Didn't show any of these signs at all? Have you talked to the people you bought him from? That would be the place to start. As his old owners they might have some ideas as to why he is doing this and how to handle him. Sometimes horses that like to pull stuff have done it in the past and old owners know the tricks from dealing with them before.

But another reason to talk with the old owners is because something you are or aren't doing could be setting some of it off. When horses change hands it's a huge change for them. Not only new horses and a new place but new people and new ways things are done. You said something about a stall, was he stalled before you got him? How much time does he spend in his stall? Maybe he needs more turn out time. What was he being fed before you got him and what is he being fed now? Is the hay the same you feed the cattle(if you do have them now)? If so many dairy hays are rich for horses even if they aren't alfalfa. He might be getting too much food and not enough time to run it off. What was his work before you got him? If he was use to being worked with and ridden every day or many days a week that can make a difference.

Only you know if you should sell him and it's impossible to tell over the net if he is ever going to work for you. There are things to try first like talking to who you got him from, adjusting turnout and diet, looking at your actions towards him.

Most problems are best nipped before they happen. A horse that is taught to respect your space is less likely to rush out a stall door. So basic respect work needs to be done. Maybe sure that the work you are doing is working for him. Sending him a trainer is a great idea but if that it's an option then try to find someone to come to you to help you both from time to time. But everytime you are with him do basic ground work. Ask him to give his head, ask him to move his body, etc. This has to be done everytime. Since you can't get good lessons in due to weather then make everytime you are with him a lesson along with the lessons you are doing. Work on something like asking him to lower his head first in your lessons and when he gets it then you can use it at other times. In the morning when you catch him to turn him have him lower his head a number of times. Walk out of the stall and ask him to lower his head a few times. Walk out of the barn and ask him to lower his head, get to the gate and ask him again, get through the gate and ask him again. The more you do it the better he gets at it and the more time you are spending on getting him to do what you ask. It will add time to your chores and it doesn't seem like much time but that adds up. In one day you could be tacking on 10-15 minutes or more of training time daily by doing this. By the end of the week you have spent over an hour+ of training. Giving the head left and right, yeilding the hindquarters, backing up. All of these things can help with respect and contral and are simple enough that you can do them in a stall, barn alley, and other small areas. They don't use a lot of speed so even though the ground needs to be good if it's too hard for riding or speed it will still work. Also with the lowering the head it can help a lot with horses that tend to be....more hyper. When they lower the head it relaxes them so if you can lower your horse's head on cue then you can help relax them when you want. Backing up and yeilding helps to get them out of your space when you ask so they respect your space and start to view you as a leader.

Safety first. Helmets are good for when working on the ground also but safety also means the tack you use on a horse. If a flat nylon/leather halter doesn't give you enough contral of him right now there is nothing wrong with going with a rope halter, chain lead, sometime of contral halter if that is what you need to stay safe. As you get the training done you will need them less and less so as long as you do the training it is not a crutch. Same with if you need to carry a crop or whip to cue him to stay out of your space. If these things keep you safe then use them.
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  6:46:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
Thanks, RH, though some of the suggestions you referred to were posted by Country Bumpkin.

I'd like to say something here about trainers. I know nobody likes to be told to consult one, and it sounds like a cop-out answer. But the truth is that alot of the time, an experienced trainer can do more with a horse in a month than the owner could in a year.

Of course, there's the expense...professional training (where trainer keeps the horse & rides it) averages $500-$600 a month in my area. Taking the horse to a trainer for lessons to work with both horse & rider runs about $35+ per hour. If that sounds like too much money, consider what hospital stays are costing these days...!!!! Often, a good trainer can turn out to actually be the cheapest way to go.

EZ2SPOT
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  6:46:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
Thanks, RH, though some of the suggestions you referred to were posted by Country Bumpkin.

I'd like to say something here about trainers. I know nobody likes to be told to consult one, and it sounds like a cop-out answer. But the truth is that alot of the time, an experienced trainer can do more with a horse in a month than the owner could in a year.

Of course, there's the expense...professional training (where trainer keeps the horse & rides it) averages $500-$600 a month in my area. Taking the horse to a trainer for lessons to work with both horse & rider runs about $35+ per hour. If that sounds like too much money, consider what hospital stays are costing these days...!!!! Often, a good trainer can turn out to actually be the cheapest way to go.

EZ2SPOT
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fracturedbones
Clinician



3424 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2005 :  12:30:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit fracturedbones's Homepage Send fracturedbones a Private Message
Lots of good advice on staying safe and trying to manage the situation.

Guess the decision is...spend the time to work it out and perhaps learn alot about training and horsemanship (which will require patience and maybe $$ if you hire a trainer), or cut losses and find something ready to ride.

Pros and cons to both. Decide if you are up to the task to take on the horse. May be he is testing you and will settle in. Bad ground manners can be changed, but makes me wonder since horse got away with this on the ground, what other tricks he got away with under saddle. Course, I had a horse with great ground manners that was a total jerk to try and ride!

I'd take some time getting the ground manners in order, see how things going (responsiveness in horse and how YOU feel about the whole thing) then decide. Keep your own safety as first priority and decide what you can handle. Old injuries are good reminders of safety! If you decide to sell, you've gained if taught him manners/safety both as a selling point and learning something yourself in working with horses.

Thought I'd add....don't know if you are returning to horses or level of experience. As EZ said, may be worthwhile to get an education on horsemanship/horse psych 101 (respect/control) no matter if keeping this horse or not. Even well trained horses can try you. If you don't know how to correct or when, even a well trained horse can get nasty/sour. Moving horses is traumatic, he may only be trying to find his place. Up to you to let him know the rules and who's in charge of the herd. Let us know how it goes!

Edited by - fracturedbones on 12/31/2005 1:17:07 PM
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fracturedbones
Clinician



3424 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2005 :  12:30:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit fracturedbones's Homepage Send fracturedbones a Private Message
Lots of good advice on staying safe and trying to manage the situation.

Guess the decision is...spend the time to work it out and perhaps learn alot about training and horsemanship (which will require patience and maybe $$ if you hire a trainer), or cut losses and find something ready to ride.

Pros and cons to both. Decide if you are up to the task to take on the horse. May be he is testing you and will settle in. Bad ground manners can be changed, but makes me wonder since horse got away with this on the ground, what other tricks he got away with under saddle. Course, I had a horse with great ground manners that was a total jerk to try and ride!

I'd take some time getting the ground manners in order, see how things going (responsiveness in horse and how YOU feel about the whole thing) then decide. Keep your own safety as first priority and decide what you can handle. Old injuries are good reminders of safety! If you decide to sell, you've gained if taught him manners/safety both as a selling point and learning something yourself in working with horses.

Thought I'd add....don't know if you are returning to horses or level of experience. As EZ said, may be worthwhile to get an education on horsemanship/horse psych 101 (respect/control) no matter if keeping this horse or not. Even well trained horses can try you. If you don't know how to correct or when, even a well trained horse can get nasty/sour. Moving horses is traumatic, he may only be trying to find his place. Up to you to let him know the rules and who's in charge of the herd. Let us know how it goes!

Edited by - fracturedbones on 12/31/2005 1:17:07 PM
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2006 :  05:59:22 AM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
All the above sounds like great advice. Everyone posting has more experience than I do by a long shot so I can't add anything there.

However, one thing occurred to me in reading the original post. Is it possible that the prior owners had the horse tranquilized (mildly even) on days when someone was going to come see him? I've heard of that. I know you said you came early the second time, but a tranquilizer doesn't have to be administered just prior to expected arrival, it can be done earlier.

Also, does the prior owner live near you? If so, I'm wondering if you could call them and explain the problems you're seeing, and ask if they could come over one time and do what they did when you watched... catch him, saddle him up, ride him around in the paddock. Or if riding him around is not feasible because of ice, then some other combination of "handling" like simply letting him out of his stall and not getting practically run over, making him stand for feet work, etc.

If they are big horse traders, they may not; but otherwise they may be more than happy to come over and do that since they sold you the horse and there are safety issues involved. That would sure be a place where I'd start before investing a lot of time and money in this horse.

It just seems like a very drastic difference between what you saw (catching, tacking, riding) and what you're seeing now. Even if the new environment started it, it would seem that the way he responded to a prior handler who he didn't test would carry over.

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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2006 :  05:59:22 AM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
All the above sounds like great advice. Everyone posting has more experience than I do by a long shot so I can't add anything there.

However, one thing occurred to me in reading the original post. Is it possible that the prior owners had the horse tranquilized (mildly even) on days when someone was going to come see him? I've heard of that. I know you said you came early the second time, but a tranquilizer doesn't have to be administered just prior to expected arrival, it can be done earlier.

Also, does the prior owner live near you? If so, I'm wondering if you could call them and explain the problems you're seeing, and ask if they could come over one time and do what they did when you watched... catch him, saddle him up, ride him around in the paddock. Or if riding him around is not feasible because of ice, then some other combination of "handling" like simply letting him out of his stall and not getting practically run over, making him stand for feet work, etc.

If they are big horse traders, they may not; but otherwise they may be more than happy to come over and do that since they sold you the horse and there are safety issues involved. That would sure be a place where I'd start before investing a lot of time and money in this horse.

It just seems like a very drastic difference between what you saw (catching, tacking, riding) and what you're seeing now. Even if the new environment started it, it would seem that the way he responded to a prior handler who he didn't test would carry over.

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thomasblue
Tenderfoot

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2006 :  08:46:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit thomasblue's Homepage Send thomasblue a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by thomasblue

Before winter hit Minnesota, I purchased an 8yr old Pinto. I knew he didn't much care for clipping and bathing but I didn't realize what I had gotten myself into. I'm only a mediocre horseperson and I'm starting to lose my nerve.

I got rid of a "just started" horse that bucked me off and thought I got something better. By the way my tail-bone still isn't completely healed. So far my husband (not a horse person; but used to dairy cows and bulls) is helping to control the situation. Midnight is only about 14/2 hands and extremely athletic. His ground manners leave a lot to be desired and we thought we watched everything possible when we checked him out. Watched him being caught, watched him being saddled, ridden etc. We even did this twice and showed up early the second time.

The first day he almost ran my husband over trying to get out of the stall. So we started to work on that one; next we found out that he wouldn't take tube wormers so we shifted to the other methods.

The farrier came and he wouldn't stand still and the farrier used a special rope war bridle on him; that had him acting with total respect. We've been working on the feet and he's still pretty touchy.

He likes to push me around alot and my mare (alpha mare) apparently knows this and really tries to protect me. I was bringing him in from the pasture and we have a single walk through gate and when I tried to get him to wait and let me pass through first he reared; I yelled at him; he reared again(never tried to strike me) and I yelled and finally he walked nicely on a loose line to the barn.

He tends to have an excess of energy when left out in a paddock or pasture by himself, because he wheels around, flies into the air and appears to buck in mid-air. When my mare is in the area he behaves himself but if she tries to lay down and roll he likes to pester her. He also has this little "hit-and-run" game where he tears by her and pretends to bite her in the butt.

I'm beginning to wonder if I'll be able to deal with all this. Does this horse have an excess of hormones (only getting a hand full of grain and token half leaf of alfalfa once in awhile) or should I just be looking for the "old gray mare" at this time of my life.

I've ridden a green broke arabian (10 years ago) who was extremely hot but she always behaved calm on the ground. I've only ridden Midnight 4 times; once he felt a little light on the front end. SHOULD I BE WORRIED? SHOULD I CUT MY LOSSES or work through this? It's too icy and cold to do round pen work (ground or otherwise). So far my husband and I work with Midnight every other night in our little barn.

By the way, he is somewhat better everyday but; everyday something new pops up. Can a horse be too smart for his own good?

Thoughts? I tried to tell the whole story to this point; sorry if too wordy; I'm new at this forum stuff.

thomasblue


Wow! So much info so fast! It will take me awhile to digest all of the comments. I'm still learning how to move around in this forum.

Couple things, I'm going to try to contact old owners; try to get hooked up with a local stable (this may take awhile to find one that I like) and then give it a month or two. All the tips I've received on this forum will be instrumental in keeping my husband and I safe during that time. No sense in trying to sell and buy again in this bad weather.

Last night was grooming night and it was like Midnight was a different horse. We tried a few BACK and hand gestures to get him to back off from the stall door and then waited him out. Then when we brought him out he stood perfectly quiet in cross ties, let all his feet be cleaned with NO resistance. Could he have been abused? Maybe he's too sensitive and doesn't like being pushed around and yelled at. We were very quiet, slow and methodical, with the barn door closed to eliminate distractions.

I guess only time will tell and we'll give it just a little more time. There is a big possibility that he might still be too much horse for this aging cowgirl. The bones aren't as resilient as they used to be and my reflexes aren't as quick.

Thanks for all the comments!
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thomasblue
Tenderfoot

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2006 :  08:46:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit thomasblue's Homepage Send thomasblue a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by thomasblue

Before winter hit Minnesota, I purchased an 8yr old Pinto. I knew he didn't much care for clipping and bathing but I didn't realize what I had gotten myself into. I'm only a mediocre horseperson and I'm starting to lose my nerve.

I got rid of a "just started" horse that bucked me off and thought I got something better. By the way my tail-bone still isn't completely healed. So far my husband (not a horse person; but used to dairy cows and bulls) is helping to control the situation. Midnight is only about 14/2 hands and extremely athletic. His ground manners leave a lot to be desired and we thought we watched everything possible when we checked him out. Watched him being caught, watched him being saddled, ridden etc. We even did this twice and showed up early the second time.

The first day he almost ran my husband over trying to get out of the stall. So we started to work on that one; next we found out that he wouldn't take tube wormers so we shifted to the other methods.

The farrier came and he wouldn't stand still and the farrier used a special rope war bridle on him; that had him acting with total respect. We've been working on the feet and he's still pretty touchy.

He likes to push me around alot and my mare (alpha mare) apparently knows this and really tries to protect me. I was bringing him in from the pasture and we have a single walk through gate and when I tried to get him to wait and let me pass through first he reared; I yelled at him; he reared again(never tried to strike me) and I yelled and finally he walked nicely on a loose line to the barn.

He tends to have an excess of energy when left out in a paddock or pasture by himself, because he wheels around, flies into the air and appears to buck in mid-air. When my mare is in the area he behaves himself but if she tries to lay down and roll he likes to pester her. He also has this little "hit-and-run" game where he tears by her and pretends to bite her in the butt.

I'm beginning to wonder if I'll be able to deal with all this. Does this horse have an excess of hormones (only getting a hand full of grain and token half leaf of alfalfa once in awhile) or should I just be looking for the "old gray mare" at this time of my life.

I've ridden a green broke arabian (10 years ago) who was extremely hot but she always behaved calm on the ground. I've only ridden Midnight 4 times; once he felt a little light on the front end. SHOULD I BE WORRIED? SHOULD I CUT MY LOSSES or work through this? It's too icy and cold to do round pen work (ground or otherwise). So far my husband and I work with Midnight every other night in our little barn.

By the way, he is somewhat better everyday but; everyday something new pops up. Can a horse be too smart for his own good?

Thoughts? I tried to tell the whole story to this point; sorry if too wordy; I'm new at this forum stuff.

thomasblue


Wow! So much info so fast! It will take me awhile to digest all of the comments. I'm still learning how to move around in this forum.

Couple things, I'm going to try to contact old owners; try to get hooked up with a local stable (this may take awhile to find one that I like) and then give it a month or two. All the tips I've received on this forum will be instrumental in keeping my husband and I safe during that time. No sense in trying to sell and buy again in this bad weather.

Last night was grooming night and it was like Midnight was a different horse. We tried a few BACK and hand gestures to get him to back off from the stall door and then waited him out. Then when we brought him out he stood perfectly quiet in cross ties, let all his feet be cleaned with NO resistance. Could he have been abused? Maybe he's too sensitive and doesn't like being pushed around and yelled at. We were very quiet, slow and methodical, with the barn door closed to eliminate distractions.

I guess only time will tell and we'll give it just a little more time. There is a big possibility that he might still be too much horse for this aging cowgirl. The bones aren't as resilient as they used to be and my reflexes aren't as quick.

Thanks for all the comments!
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  12:28:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Abuse could be something he lived through but I think that way to many problems are chalked up to abuse. Abused and neglected horses is an area I tend to work with, through rescue, buying outright and helping owners. More times the issues come for a lack of training or poor training then the actual abuse itself. Even when abuse is the cause, like a horse scared to death of having their head touched, the abuse should never be an excuse to allow the horse to stay that way and training is the key to fixing it.

Just the action of you making him back off the stall could have trigged him to be thinking about his place with you but I wouldn't plan on him not showing his evil side again. When you ask him to back off use a crop or the end of the lead rope instead of just your hands. You can reach farther and stay out of danger. Do you normally have the door closed? If not the open door is like trying to get a classroom of kids to do math when you have a TV on in the room. They aren't going to be doing their math!


Some people do drug horses but I think it happens less then what the stories say. Horses can go from being a sweet calm animal in one home to a total monster in another due to the change itself. Chance in the way they are kept, feed, just the stress of the move and even how the human handle them can make a change come on. Sometimes the new owners give the horse time off and when dealing with some of them that can make them get lazy, even just a week off to a horse that is use to working 2-3 hours a day 6 days a week makes them not want to go back to work, just like us humans! That doesn't mean he wasn't. Sometimes just the reaction of the old owner when you call them up and ask about the horse can clue you in about if they were.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  12:28:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Abuse could be something he lived through but I think that way to many problems are chalked up to abuse. Abused and neglected horses is an area I tend to work with, through rescue, buying outright and helping owners. More times the issues come for a lack of training or poor training then the actual abuse itself. Even when abuse is the cause, like a horse scared to death of having their head touched, the abuse should never be an excuse to allow the horse to stay that way and training is the key to fixing it.

Just the action of you making him back off the stall could have trigged him to be thinking about his place with you but I wouldn't plan on him not showing his evil side again. When you ask him to back off use a crop or the end of the lead rope instead of just your hands. You can reach farther and stay out of danger. Do you normally have the door closed? If not the open door is like trying to get a classroom of kids to do math when you have a TV on in the room. They aren't going to be doing their math!


Some people do drug horses but I think it happens less then what the stories say. Horses can go from being a sweet calm animal in one home to a total monster in another due to the change itself. Chance in the way they are kept, feed, just the stress of the move and even how the human handle them can make a change come on. Sometimes the new owners give the horse time off and when dealing with some of them that can make them get lazy, even just a week off to a horse that is use to working 2-3 hours a day 6 days a week makes them not want to go back to work, just like us humans! That doesn't mean he wasn't. Sometimes just the reaction of the old owner when you call them up and ask about the horse can clue you in about if they were.
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Live2dream
Beginning Rider

51 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2006 :  11:22:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit Live2dream's Homepage Send Live2dream a Private Message
Great advice from everyone. Yes keep trying to work with your horse without yelling when you can. However if the only way to keep yourself safe is to holler then by all means holler. Biggest thing and all of us have said do what you need to to keep yourself safe. A chain lead can be a help as well as a crop. Trainer's can be a great help when and where they are available. A trainer is only good for you if you learn what it is they are training exactly so that you can use the same in turn. I have seen horses go to a trainer's and come back as awesome horses only to turn back into nightmares because the owners were not sure of how to handle them.Not saying that this would happen with you just pointing it out as a lot of people the trainer is at fault if the horse returns to prior behavior.Also Ontheway had a good point. The horse may very well have been drugged when you went to see it. Not very likely but a possibility all the same. As was said it;s noit as common as a lot og people believe but it does still happen. Biggest thing do not let him get away with the actions he takes towards you. When he does well he's turning into the boss and my guess after your last post is that he is trying you out to se what he can get away with and even the best trained horses will do this at some point maybe bot to the extent he is doing it but they will. It's up to you to decide if he is worth keeping or not. When he does actions that you dislike try using uhuh or some other sound to distinguish it from the actions you want him to do when he does a little thing you like tell him good boy sounds silly but horses are smarter than we give em credit for something as simple as that can help. It won't fix the problem but using uhuh along with the correction for on misbehaving will help distinguish quickly the difference. I doubt I have helped much since unlike the other posters I am a nightmare at explaining stuff and haven't really explained much. Have used the uhuh thing on other horses in the past and it got to where if they started to act out that was all that was required for them to stop doing whatever it was that i disliked. Have a good one and best of luck with Midnight.
~Ree

~ A good farrier who is reliable,cheap, and good at their job is a mythical creature liken to a unicorn... I have never seen it and probably never will.
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Live2dream
Beginning Rider

51 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2006 :  11:24:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit Live2dream's Homepage Send Live2dream a Private Message
messed up on that last post this line " a lot of people the trainer is at fault " should read"a lot of people think the trainer is at fault " and usually they aren't

~ A good farrier who is reliable,cheap, and good at their job is a mythical creature liken to a unicorn... I have never seen it and probably never will.
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FLOOPER
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2006 :  11:43:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit FLOOPER's Homepage Send FLOOPER a Private Message
Thomasblue,

Lots of great advice here. To me, it comes down to three things that you can almost answer yes/no to.

1. Do I really LIKE this horse?
2. Do I feel safe/comfortable riding this horse?
3. Would I rather have a horse I can just get on and ride without a having to do a lot of training, groundwork, etc myself?

If you answered no-no-yes, I'd sell and get an older, well-broke, been-there/done that horse. If you answered yes-no-yes...I'd keep the horse and send it to a trainer. If you answered yes-no-no...I'd keep the horse and train it myself.

Then again, sometimes you just have to go with your gut!!!!!!!

Flooper

"I'm a man. I can change. If I have to. I guess."
The Man's Prayer from the Red Green Show
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2006 :  12:13:59 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
L2D; What horses understand is your tone of voice more than anything. They can tell by your body language and your voice tone whether you are upset with them or pleased more so than what you say. After all, that's the way they communicate with each other... body language.

Also, horse can understand a small vocabulary once they connect the word to the action desired... such as walk, whoa, back, trot, reverse, etc. The two commands I want all my horses to know more than any others is no & whoa. "No" makes them stop doing whatever they're doing right now, and "whoa", of course, means 100% complete stop with no further movement. Naturally, when they know I'm not close enough to stop them from doing whatever it is they're doing, I sometimes get ignored. It just depends on the circumstances.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2006 :  1:29:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
One thing I haven't seen yet on this board is the 3(or 5) second rule. Basicly what it means is that you have 3-5 seconds after the horse does something wrong to get after them about it. Really I guess it could be 3-5 seconds to correct him also but what most trainers mean with it is that you have 3-5 seconds to make the horse thing that you are geint rip them to pieces. This is NOT done with abuse but your tone of voice and body actions.

Say a horse bites at you. You have 3-5 seconds to make him think you are a boss mare that is going to skin him alive. For 3-5 seconds you can yell at him, wave your hands, make him back off. It doesn't matter what you say to him, they don't understand that anyway. You could sing Happy birthday to him and as long as you sound mean and evil he gets the point. After the 3-5 seconds you stop totally, relax your body, loose any anger you had and act as if nothing happened. I thin Lyons was the first to put them into the main stream but it works as long as you follow the 3-5 seconds, don't abuse the animal and don't over use it. The first time you use it on a young horse is just rolling on the ground funny because they get this "O my god what just happened" big eyed look to them. Then they sneak looks at you like "Are you ok, do you need your drugs or something."

This method really gets your point across but allows you to go on with what you where doing. There is no real rule that you can't hit a horse. Some are dead set against it(I'm not if that is what is needed) but really I think that the 3 second rule is not the place for it, at least not as a normal part of it. Your voice and body is more then enough for most of them. Yelling is not a bad thing. In fact it is a great way to get a point across without flapping your hands or hitting. Yelling in anger and fear is not the best since that does come into the sound of it. If it's what it takes to get away from a horse that is trying to hurt you then yes but the 3 second I'm going to kill you rule should ideal be done when you are relaxed but are trying to tell the horse you are mad.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2006 :  2:04:17 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
Stormie; It's probably been since you've started posing here, but you wouldn't believe how many times I've explained that on DE. But you've explained it better than I think anyone else has.

Thank you.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2006 :  6:10:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
I figured it had come up just I hadn't seen it in some places it could have helped. I think it's one of my favorite tools and I use it for the dogs and cattle too. I can get this drill sergeant voice going and everyone just stops and looks to see who the goof ball was that is gettng yelled at. The look on their faces the first time you pull that one them is just priceless.
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