How to earn an abused horses trust?
 
 

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How to earn an abused horses trust?

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  • Abused horses
  • How to gain my horse's trust

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    12-12-2011, 12:38 AM
  #1
Foal
How to earn an abused horses trust?

I recently just purchased a Clydesdale/Quarter Horse cross from craigslist. The previous owners said he was abused in the past. Since being around him for the past few days he seems like he'll be a really good horse once he learns to trust again. How do I earn his trust? I'll go in the round pin (which he stays in) and Go up to him but he backs away. He'll occasionally come up to me and let me pet his nose but only for a short time. Today I hummed a song to him and my pony and that seemed to calm him down he walked up to me (me being in my ponies stall) and let me rub his nose, he stayed there until I went inside. He still backs away from me and the person who had him before me said she had him only for a week and rode him 3 times. I'm definitely a beginner when it comes to horses as he is my first horse. I don't really know a whole lot about training a horse or what to do for that matter. How can I get him to trust me so I can do simple things like put a lead on him and brush him?

I didn't choose him, He chose me!
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    12-12-2011, 12:49 AM
  #2
Banned
Well, others can probably give you better advice since I am not a trainer....but when we got epona she had severe people issues. To be blunt, she did not like them. She had rearing issues and once threw the BO against the wall....she was the barn terror....everyone was afraid of her....and as a 2,000lb Belgian draft, there was alot of horse to be afraid of. Then we ended up buying her....

To gain her trust, my son (her owner), approached her training with a quiet and calm manner, always showing her that he was a capable leader worthy of being trusted.
     
    12-12-2011, 12:51 AM
  #3
Foal
Spend time with him. Love him, love him, love him. Brush him...feed him...give him horse cookies...apples. The more time you spend with him, the more he will trust you. :)
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    12-12-2011, 12:55 AM
  #4
Showing
Treat him with respect. Don't push him but don't *****foot around him either. When you approach him, do so calmly and slowly but don't try to sneak and don't be hesitant. No jerky or sudden movements. If he starts acting cautious or backing away, try to keep the distance between you and him the same as it was when he started to move away. Don't back away or turn your back until he stands quietly. If you retreat whenever he moves away, then you are essentially teaching him to avoid you. I've found it's helpful to speak in a low pitched, quiet tone as well.

Beyond that, since you are a beginner and this is your first horse, I strongly advise you to find someone experienced (trainer, barn owner/manager, even an experienced friend) to help you learn how to handle him properly.
     
    12-12-2011, 01:00 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by MySissyGirl    
Spend time with him. Love him, love him, love him. Brush him...feed him...give him horse cookies...apples. The more time you spend with him, the more he will trust you. :)
I wish he'd let me brush him but he just won't let me come that close yet. But I don't blame him if I was abused I wouldnt want to be around people either. Its also hard for him to learn to trust me because he's not just my horse he's a "family" horse. I'll spend as much time as I can with him..heck maybe I'll just bring a book a read in the round pin with him.
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    12-12-2011, 01:03 AM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
Treat him with respect. Don't push him but don't *****foot around him either. When you approach him, do so calmly and slowly but don't try to sneak and don't be hesitant. No jerky or sudden movements. If he starts acting cautious or backing away, try to keep the distance between you and him the same as it was when he started to move away. Don't back away or turn your back until he stands quietly. If you retreat whenever he moves away, then you are essentially teaching him to avoid you. I've found it's helpful to speak in a low pitched, quiet tone as well.

Thank you! I will try that :)
Beyond that, since you are a beginner and this is your first horse, I strongly advise you to find someone experienced (trainer, barn owner/manager, even an experienced friend) to help you learn how to handle him properly.
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    12-12-2011, 07:21 AM
  #7
Green Broke
Abuse is abuse. Its not nice, but you can't treat him like a human, they don't think like we do.
As has been mentioned above, don't beat seven bells out of him if he won't stand, but don't tip toe around him.

Sounds like he needs someone to be his herd leader, is he turned out with other horses? This may help to bring him out of his shell, and time.

Forget grooming, if you can get a halter and leadrope on him do ground work excercises. He needs to learn where to put his feet when you tell him, and that where you tell him is safe. It takes time, and no magical bonding, but you'll get there.
I wouldn't suggest feeding him treats by hand, however when its feeding time make sure you are the one to feed him- don't bite the hand that feeds sort of things. Horses live for their stomachs.

GL.
     
    12-12-2011, 07:46 AM
  #8
Banned
Time. Time. Time. Lots of time and no pressure. Let him know you are there to take care of him first - ie feeding, water, hay etc. the basics. Forget any halter work or any sort of ground work for the moment. If he has a fear of humans, you forcing him to do work will not help right now. You need the trust and the 'draw' before you get him to do stuff for you. Let him be a horse with other horses around that trust you. Try and keep him in a small paddock with other horses who will approach you. Spend time with him without asking anything of him. You need to create a 'draw' for him. Give him his basics and he'll start to enjoy your presence and start to wait for you.
Have you got a good knowledge of pressure and release? When he does the right thing, give him release or leave him alone. This can be as much as a 'look' at you when you approach and then you release by walking away.

If he walked away when you approached him, that meant you put on too much pressure on him, so he found his own release by walking away. You need to be releasing pressure before he finds his own release. It's hard to grasp and hard to explain and is usually the complete opposite to how humans think, that's why people get stuck easily with horses. Research and learn about horse behaviour to help you, but be careful what you read or are told. There is alot of BS out there with SO many different opinions.

I personally think feeding treats is fine. It will help show this horse you are no threat. A horse knows the difference between a nuzzle and a bite, and he will know the difference even more once corrected if needed to.
Good luck on your journey! (It never ends! )
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    12-12-2011, 08:41 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusciusWasAGreatTeachr    
Time. Time. Time. Lots of time and no pressure. Let him know you are there to take care of him first - ie feeding, water, hay etc. the basics. Forget any halter work or any sort of ground work for the moment. If he has a fear of humans, you forcing him to do work will not help right now. You need the trust and the 'draw' before you get him to do stuff for you. Let him be a horse with other horses around that trust you. Try and keep him in a small paddock with other horses who will approach you. Spend time with him without asking anything of him. You need to create a 'draw' for him. Give him his basics and he'll start to enjoy your presence and start to wait for you.
Have you got a good knowledge of pressure and release? When he does the right thing, give him release or leave him alone. This can be as much as a 'look' at you when you approach and then you release by walking away.

If he walked away when you approached him, that meant you put on too much pressure on him, so he found his own release by walking away. You need to be releasing pressure before he finds his own release. It's hard to grasp and hard to explain and is usually the complete opposite to how humans think, that's why people get stuck easily with horses. Research and learn about horse behaviour to help you, but be careful what you read or are told. There is alot of BS out there with SO many different opinions.

I personally think feeding treats is fine. It will help show this horse you are no threat. A horse knows the difference between a nuzzle and a bite, and he will know the difference even more once corrected if needed to.
Good luck on your journey! (It never ends! )
Agree with their being so many different opinions! You have to take what you need for your situation and apply it. Its easy for us to bounce ideas off each other to help you, but you know the situation better than anyone over the internet will.

I disagree with the feeding treats thing, but this is something I disagree with all round, with any horse. I don't want my horse to nuzzle me, I'm the owner, not another horse. A nuzzle often turns in to a friendly lip, then a nip, then a bite. I like to eliminate any chance of this happening. Each to their own though, I mean, petting zoos have those wee shetties you can feed till your hearts content!

Also, walking away when the owner approaches.. I know a few horses that would do that as they'd rather stay in a field then come in ;D
     
    12-12-2011, 09:18 AM
  #10
Green Broke
No treats , you want to establish leadership first. Horses don't apreciate treats, they think they took it from you and they are the boss. Once you and the horse are a team it seams like they change and treats are fun as long as the horse isnt pushy for them they are cool. But I am careful how I feed a new horse. Make him think you are done eating and make him wait.
I know I have mentioned this alot. But Julie Goodnights lead line leadership is a great video, especially for new comers. It is pretty basic and many experienced horse people know most of it. But I found it really helpful starting out with a similar abused, afraid of his own shadow horse.
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