Looking for advice/suggestions/information for my haflinger.

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Looking for advice/suggestions/information for my haflinger.

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    04-18-2010, 03:11 AM
Red face Looking for advice/suggestions/information for my haflinger.

I recently became the proud owner of a 2 year old(approximated by the vet) haflinger gelding through a kill pen auction (Camelot Auction in Cranbury NJ). Jude, appropriately named for the Beatles song, was brought to the auction as one of five haffies, taken in by a farm for trade. He is said to be "green broke". Unfortunately, that is all we know of him and his past. Jude is my first haflinger, before him I often called myself a "morgan girl" and always said that I would own nothing but, as morgans were all I have known. You see how well that worked. I saw Jude's picture on a website which works to save these kill pen horses and he was home with me 3 days later. The day before he would have been loaded for slaughter, also the day before Easter.

I am completely smitten. Jude is a laid back, gentle soul. He has taken quite a liking to one of my daughters, and he is clearly drawn to her over my other children, ironically(or possibly not), this daughter has emotional disabilities. In only two weeks he has gotten to a place with her that I have never been able to reach. My daughter is a child who lacks any kind of emotional control and very little physical restraint. The second day that Jude was here, she sat in his hay pile within the paddock for well over an hour. Jude munched around her, occasionally he would attempt to groom her hair, but mostly he would only pick up his head and touch it to her, then go back to munching. A child that most times finds it impossible to sit still, sat almost completely still with him for 2 hours. He follows her around the paddock and ignores carrots to be near her. He appears to be quite sound, though he arrived with shipping fever, which I expected and have successfully treated.

The proprietor of the kill pen was quite sure that someone had loved Jude very much and our transport was very much in agreement. It is very difficult to know where to start with him though, as we are unsure of what he has seen and what he hasn't. He doesn't not appear to spook easily. On a leisurely trail walk last weekend, he only had issues with running water under a small bridge. I was unable to tell if it was the bridge or water that scared him. Though he did not rear or buck, only tossed his head about to make me aware that he was uncomfortable. He tacks fairly well for grooming, though becomes impatient to return to the mare who came with him, but is owned by a friend of mine.

Speaking of the mare, she is incredibly food aggressive, do you have any suggestions to nip this in the bud before it gets any worse? Instead of getting better with a reliable schedule of feeding, she seems to only be getting more moody about it. She is not above biting, bucking, and kicking, so I would hate to see another horse get hurt.

Jude has been walked with a pad on his back, which he excelled at. We also sat my youngest daughter on him after he allowed weight successfully, without even flinching at all. He seemed to take it all in stride, though we kept it a very brief exercise as to not push our luck. Would you have any other suggestions? He appears to be very willing to please. Our hope for him is that our children will be able to ride him in parades once he is old enough for the weight and show him at local fairs as part of 4H. He is not registered, that we know of.

I told myself not to babble and gush, but as you can see I couldn't help myself. I do apologize for taking up so much of your time, I am just so excited to share my boy. I have attached pictures, as you can see Jude has a very identifiable marking within his blaze, perhaps you have seen him before or may have some information as to where he may have come from. I will happily accept any kind of advice, feed thoughts, saddle suggestions, anything to give this sweet boy the best life he can have. Thank you so very much for your time!

Attached Images
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File Type: jpg Jude.jpg (73.4 KB, 183 views)
File Type: jpg emjude.jpg (27.2 KB, 256 views)
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    04-18-2010, 06:50 AM
I don't have much to say other than horses are incredibly therapeutic. I assume the last picture is from when your daughter was in the hay pile. You can just see that Jude cares. He looks like a sweet boy. Good luck with him!
    04-18-2010, 07:41 AM
I haven't got any advice at the moment, but was there an injury with his front leg? It looks clipped in the 2nd photo and he seems to be standing weird on it. It could just be the photo though.
    04-18-2010, 10:43 AM
Your daughter sounds like a younger version of...well...me...
I would like to recommend the book "The Tao of Equus" by Linda Kohanov. It is an INCREDIBLE read, and taps into a LOT of equine sensibility/emotional capabilities. I know it helped me a lot!
    04-18-2010, 11:33 AM
Originally Posted by Gidji    
I haven't got any advice at the moment, but was there an injury with his front leg? It looks clipped in the 2nd photo and he seems to be standing weird on it. It could just be the photo though.
He doesn't appear to have had any injuries. He does not have a limp at all, so it must have been the way he was standing. He appears to bear weight evenly.

Prior to that picture, he had found the mud hole and run through it, so he was covered. Not typical for horses, I know, but I can't keep him out of mud.
    04-18-2010, 11:36 AM
Originally Posted by TheGoldenFilly    
Your daughter sounds like a younger version of...well...me...
I would like to recommend the book "The Tao of Equus" by Linda Kohanov. It is an INCREDIBLE read, and taps into a LOT of equine sensibility/emotional capabilities. I know it helped me a lot!
Thank you for the recommendation. I would love to know more about the capabilities.
    04-18-2010, 12:19 PM
First off I want to say THANK YOU for saving Jude. I remember seeing his picture on facebook as one of the haffies saved from Camelot!

Second- it sounds like your daughter finally "clicked" with a horse. I volunteered at a therapeutic riding center and it was amazing to see these horses work miracles. Seriously- over the course of a year I saw so many people turn into completely different human beings just from the contact and touch from a horse. I know when I'm having a bad day, just hugging my horses drains my anxiety away.

That said, I would just go back to basics with him. Start slow, work your way though his paces and aids and see what he knows. Try ground driving, if he's been broke to drive you'll be able to tell. Just fool around with him, seeing how he yields to pressure, if he lunges etc. You'll eventually find a place where he gets confused, and this is where you'll know his training ended and needs to continue.

As for the mare- it sounds like he is herdbound, and I can't blame him for being dependent on her. They've been so much together, kind of like cellmates. =( I would for sure work on this though because you want to be able to have him comfortable riding out independantly.

For the food aggression- put their feed far enough apart that its too much energy for her to run around and chase the other horses away. She'll figure out eventually its more work to run around like a fool than to just sit and eat her feed. You may need to stall them while they are being fed and then turn them out to graze.
    04-18-2010, 06:04 PM
Hi im glad he found a goodowner..haflingers are great friends and have a unique personality.good luck
    04-18-2010, 06:45 PM
Green Broke
How wonderful! I'm glad your daughter has found a friend of the best kind. I hope Jude's re-training goes well! Good luck!

There are a lot of knowledgable people around here that are always willing to help. Make sure to post updates on Jude and your daughter!
    04-18-2010, 06:50 PM
Green Broke
Don't have a lot of advice, but I wanted to support GoldenFilly's suggestion of the Tao of Equus as an excellent read. It's an awesome book. My own son is autistic, and his response with horses since he was tiny is what set me on the road to getting my own therapeutic riding program going. And haffies are great horses - when the time comes to add another horse to my program, it's almost certainly the breed I will go with.

Good luck, Jude seems like a great lil guy!

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