New Horse and kinda new to horses

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New Horse and kinda new to horses

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    11-12-2009, 10:51 PM
New Horse and kinda new to horses

Hey everyone don't know if this is the right place to post this but Im new here so here goes. I have rode horses with a good friend of mine for over a year now maybe longer so with a little convincing from him I decided to get one of my own. I ended up with Pepper a 9 year old tenn. Walker that has been a gelding for about 8 months now. Being new to horses in general I have a few questions. First off when I rode pepper at the buyers place he was gentle and almost lazy. Suited me perfect as I am still a very green rider. After getting him home he really seems on edge. I have rode him 3 times now since he is at my home but he really seems nervous and seems to spook pretty easily. My friend acts like its no big deal as he will get use to everything and calm down. The second time riding him after getting on he crouched down on all fours and jumped up for some reason which resulted in me having to get off of him. We ended up lunging him in the round pen and then riding him in it for a while. He did a lot better after that but now I am very nervous to almost scared to death as Im just not sure what he is going to do next. This morning I was just walking him to the pasture and all of a sudden he yanked back and started backing away from me. I think he got near a dump truck I had parked in front of the barn and maybe it scared him as I had moving it around before I had taken him out to the pasture. My friend suggest this is typical behavior for a new horse and it will just take time. I try to spend as much time with him rubbing, brushing, etc... so maybe he will get use to me. Is there any advice that you may give me to help with the anxiety with me and my horse. At this point should I even be trying to ride him. I am feeding him some grain about 1/2 gal in morning and 1/2 gal at night as he has lost some weight. The grain Im feeding is 10% protein, 10% fat. Is this to much or not enough as originally we thought the grain may be pepping him up. Oh yeah we raise Angus cattle so not new to large animals or the way things happen on a farm just new to horses. And yes I've figured out they seem to be very different from cattle. Thanks for the help as you can see I need it.
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    11-12-2009, 10:57 PM
Green Broke
I'm not sure a horse that was gelded only 8 months ago is ok for a beginner. If I were you I'd give it a little bit to see if he calms down but if he doesn't you may want to look into trading him for something calmer or selling him.

The previous owner could have used a sedative to calm the horse or it could be the new environment. Sounds like you need a horse to help build your confidence, not one who may ruin it.
    11-12-2009, 11:07 PM
How long does it typically take to calm down after being cut.
    11-12-2009, 11:08 PM
I would agree that a newly gelded horse is probably not appropriate for a green rider.

MANY sellers give their horses sedatives when potential buyers come to look.

How long has he been at your home? It is true that many horses need some time to settle into their new surroundings, but if he's been there a few weeks and still acting like this, there is a chance he won't calm down.

He sounds like the type of horse who needs someone to give him direction and to assert leadership - you seem to still be building confidence with your riding, and you are not in a position to assert yourself over him just yet.

You may want to consider trading him for a more well-broke horse.

If he's only been here a few days, give him some more time to relax and settle in. Build a routine with him. Let him know that you are his friend, but also boss. Maybe even give him a few days to himself.
    11-12-2009, 11:09 PM
Originally Posted by jdt    
How long does it typically take to calm down after being cut.
If a horse is cut later in life, like your boy, there is a chance they will never be as calm as a horse who was gelded as a youngster. Every horse is different.
    11-12-2009, 11:12 PM
Green Broke
It could take months or even longer for him to get rid of that attitude. He would need guidance for it, too. If you don't want to get rid of him I suggest working with a trainer so you can understand what to do and the horse can get guided by someone with more experience.

A horse that is gelded late may never realize they are actually gelded and may for quit sometime think they are still a stud and have stud tendencies. Unless you want to invest yourself into researching the heck out of how to deal with this situation and live with the fact that the horse is going to do stupid things because he doesn't know any better then I suggest either a trainer or another horse. Something that has a hundred thousand miles on it.

Someone out there has got to be wanting to trade in their slow poke horse for something a little quicker.
    11-12-2009, 11:29 PM
He has only been on the farm for about 2 weeks. And the first 3 days I think may have traumatized him as he came to a new place one day, then to get shoes the next, and then to the vet. He came from a nice quite rural area and had pretty much stayed in the pasture and now he is is in an area where roads are near by which create much more noise and on top of that there is trucks and equipment noise around the farm on a normal basis. Don't get me wrong this may sound worse than it is. He is a good horse I have had no problems as of yet with him in his stall rubbing, brushing, checking his feet etc... He even does fine walking him from pasture to barn, barn to pasture other than today. And theres no problems catching him in the pasture. He basically comes right to me. You can just tell that he is very aware and skitish in general. 2 Days after I brought him home we took him on a trail ride with 4 other horses and he seemed to do ok. He had a few moments but overall had a good day. The 5 days after that when he had the jumping spell is what has me really on edge.
    11-13-2009, 12:44 AM
Green Broke
Well...give him some time to settle in.
    11-13-2009, 01:00 AM
Being gelded late wouldn't help the cause as he'll still be have some of that stallion behaviour running through him.

Don't go blaming the past owner saying he was doped up, this happens very rarely but it is such a common excuse when peopel get a new horse and it isn't exactly as it was when they saw it with the previous owner. Horses change depending on their environment, and they WILL be skittish to start with. Heck, I just got a 21 year old tb gelding for my dad to lease who a friend has had since he came ott. He was famous where he came from for being inanely quiet and nothing fazed him. Came to our place, and the first week he went absoltuely nuts everytime one of the mares walked away, he'd hype himself into a sweat and I couldn't touch him. Took 2 weeks and now he's completly settled, but as you can see, they Do change when you bring them somewhere different ;)
I also wouldn't be feeding him up yet, as what you have said is very typical new horse behaviour. He's been introduced to a new environment with new horses and people to adapt to, so of course he will be a bit spooky and on edge. Feeding him up with increase his energy and so you may be heating him up without meaning to. It's even good to have them a little ribby in those first few weeks while they adjust, then once they're happy with their new life, start putting that weight on.
I wouldn't be riding him until he's been with you for a good 2 weeks, letting him settle in and be a horse. When I get new horses in, I always just let them sit out in the paddock for at least the first week, only spending a small amount of time brushing and feeding them. After that 2 weeks, depending on how the horse is coping, I will start at least a week of groundwork and if that all goes well I'll start riding on the third or fourth week.
If you start riding too quickly, you're overloading the horse with new sensations and so often you will end up with a nrevous and tense horse on your hands for some time.

When you do start riding, put the horse on the lunge first. No matter how quite he was when you rode him at his old home, he will be nervy so er on the side on caution and lune first to get his brain into work mode.
Have to point out that getting off when he humped on you was a bad move, if you were terrified, someone else should have got on and ridden it out of him. If he scares you in these initial stages of owning him, he will work out very quickly that he can get away with being naughty and pulling the wool over your eyes and will start to challenge you even further until he may actually become dangerous.

As for your being nervous around him, don't ride yet. Get used to him and let him get used to you. Spend time with him on the ground, brushing is good but you also need to make sure his ground manners are up to scratch. Make him move around you, anywhere that you touch him you want him to move away until you allow him to stop. So if you push him on the shoulder, he needs to yield him shoulders until you take the pressure off. Same with his quarters. If he doesn't move, invest in a crop or dressage whip, and ask nicely with pressure from your hand/fingers, then if he doesn't react or leans into the pressure, a sharp tap where you are pressing will waken him up. You absolutely CANNOT let him walk all over you, especially as he was gelded so late in life.
Best of luck with him, would love to hear how you go with him and see some photos :)

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