Last fall I was asked by my mother to bring my Grandfather's horses from his farm to mine, he and my grandmother both have serious health problems and were no longer able to stay on the farm and take care of them. I brought a mule and two draft crosses that my grandfather had broke and trained to drive and also ride. All three had basically been free ranging on several hundred acres for about three years with little work or training due to my grandfather's illness.
At first they were fairly well behaved, I let them run in a pasture about 10 acres large, We groomed them, had them checked out by the vet, had them shod and trimmed and worked with them as much as we could until winter set in, At the time I did not have a barn but I did house them in a neighbor's in extreme weather. I now have a brand new barn that was just finished a few weeks ago.
My problem is this, The mule has very little ground manners, he jumps or tears down every fence he comes across, he has a biting problem and once he is out of the pasture if you can catch him and hook a lead rope on he is impossible to move, I have already had a torn ligiment in my shoulder and two broken toes trying to get him led back into the gate . One of the cross drafts (both are geldings) has a stallion attitude, he is high strung, refuses to be caught in the feild, also has little to no ground manners and is extremely dominant over the herd, I have two AQHA Quarter geldings that he bites and kicks when the mood strikes, my neighbor has a herd and this draft cross is obessed with one of her mares and if her horses are anywhere in range of mine my gelding will also kick or tear a fence down to get to her horses, I have now put in a couple of other pastures but no matter where I put them, the mule and this gelding are always causing me grief, I do know that both have been broke, but as mentioned eariler, it had been a few years since they had been rode or worked with. I am a fairly green horse owner myself and my quarters were dead broke when I got them and have never had any problems I could not handle. I am so lost and over my head with this situation, I do not have the experience to train them and overcome their bad habits. I have talked to people about finding other homes for them but so far I have only found people who just want to take them to sale and I am terrified that they would wind up at slaughter. I want so badly to keep them and work through this because my grandfather loves to come out and sit in his wheelchair and watch them but I just don't know how to fix the behavior problems so my pastures will be in harmony, I cannot even stall these two because they can really cause alot of damage with all of the kicking and I am afraid one of them is going to get hurt. I am desperate for advice. If anyone has any words of wisdom I would so appreciate it. Thanks!