Spring has sprung, behavioural problems help please?
 
 

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Spring has sprung, behavioural problems help please?

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    09-08-2011, 03:53 AM
  #1
Started
Spring has sprung, behavioural problems help please?

I suppose I could have put this in the training category, but there's other things that don't really relate to training specifically and it all inter-relates so... (and it's long but I want to detail it as well as I can )

As the title says, spring has sprung (after a long hard winter) and Mitch is taking this change in weather and grass all too happily, and by that I mean he has created himself an alter-ego... The "evil" Mitch (he's not really evil, just a hyper 7yo)

Problem 1: I need to put weight on him, but also need to work him (long story about his problem with grass, but basically he can't eat to much or it goes straight through him, so he gets fenced off) he is being fed 1kg Maintenance mix(dunstans, just because I already had it and I may aswell use it) he is also on 1kg of Dunstans extruded barley and 1.5L of palm kernel (but it gets soaked and expands) the Palm Kernel is mainly fibre, the barley is for his weight. He also has vegetable oil put into his feeds. I try not to work him too hard but with his energy he works himself into a sweat very easily so I don't want to be feeding him that feed for nothing.

Problem 2: He has so much energy! I'm not sure if it's his feed(hope not, it's supposed to be non-heating), but I know the grass is definitely playing a part in it(probably weather too ), if I get on him without lunging first (big no-no right now) you can literally feel the energy buzzing around inside him and he doesn't know what to do with it. He has been fenced off from all long grass, and only gets a very tiny amount of it each day while the sugars are lowest (round lunchtime-ish) he lives mainly on hay and his feed right now, just till the grass sugars are lower or else I would be killed. BUT, he then decides that he doesn't want to canter under-saddle, he starts being lazy.. Now I KNOW he has that energy and I know he's not in pain, he's just being stubborn but his instinct for when he canters, is to go on the bit automatically... But at the moment he is very springy on his feet and spooky and when he puts his head down to canter my auto-reaction is uh-oh Buck coming because of the way he moves from under me too... It happened that way last time with horrific results, so I pull his head up and he goes back to trot(last owners training not mine).

My solutions so far:
1:No more winter Cover Mitchell, you got that much energy you use it. It's working, and he's not losing weight he's still gaining it (yet anyway *touch wood*)
2: He has learnt to free-lunge in a DIY arena (standards and fence reel) I did this because whenever I had him on the lunge lead and I flicked the whip he would take off in a fit of bucking/farting etc and drag me across the paddock, so I then would have a loose horse running around with a lunge rope attatched.. Not cool. Now if he wants to buck/fart take off, he's welcome to, he just has to either jump the fence or keep going in circles, no more trailing lead. (note: he's not afraid of that whip he was using it as an excuse, many times I have flicked, even cracked that whip in his direction and he hasn't batted an eyelid, just did as he was told)
-Poles, short distances, long distances, cross poles, "jump-pole-jump" etc etc, lots of changing and re-arranging different pole/jump formations to keep him thinking before I ride and release some of that energy. I try to make it fun for him so he is more willing to behave.

Bit of a rant I guess, it's a bit dissapointing that I had worked so hard with him and spring has now ruined it, but that's ok, he is a horse and a young one at that.
--Do you think my solutions so far have been right to do? If not then what would you do? Or what else could I do? I need to keep him occupied, and I'm not willing to just turn him out until spring is over, after a rideless winter from abcesses and ground being to wet to ride on safely.

Don't have to read below, just story of what happened on sunday:

I brought him out to uncover him for the day(after a chase and cornering to catch him, he normally walk sover to me quietly) and tied him up... I had to literally peel off his cover because he had been running around the paddock like someone had put gun powder and a match up his backside, it wasn't even too warm of a day yet! It was only 8AM. I hosed him off but that was a huge fight, he was pulling back and stomping the ground, pawing at it and creating a mess of everything (this guy normally LOVES the hose) he was swingin his bum at me and flicking his head, trying to run sideways and calling out to invisible horses. So I finished up and took him out the the front lawn to dry off where he decided his next game would be "try to scare the human" he was rearing full height against the leadrope, cantering 5M circles(that scared me, thought he was going to slip and fall), bucking and kicking out, crow-hoping and running sideways again.. Much to his discust though he got a huge telling off instead of scaring me. He then settled down for 10 minutes and stood around on the lawn taking in the scenery.
Then come letting him out into the paddock.. He was running in front of me and I had to keep turning him around to get him beside me again. After a 10 minute fight to walk 15metres we got back to his paddock and I couldn't even turn him loose because he tried taking off with me in tow, that didnt work, I took a quick step forwards and hauled myself backwards on the rope before he could get away, this had him whip around to face me and stand there like "what the?!" (I didnt like hauling on his face like that but I didn't wanna be taken off with again and I was getting so sick of him)
-Got him into his paddock, turned him loose and he walks away... Not quite the exit I was anticipating but after a few metres of walking he took off full flight of everything you can imagine (now I know how he won races, but not how jockeys stayed on) I don't mind at all that he took off into the paddock, he had to release that energy somehow, I was just Furious because he had been behaving so badly on the leadrope etc.


--This is why I have been free-lunging before I ride, I did ride today and got a nice canter out of him(for about 10M), but anyone would have thought he was a half-dead 30yr old horse on his last legs by the way he was acting.. So lazy, I know he has that energy, I didn't lunge it all out of him, I lunge till he behaves not till he's tired.

*Sorry, long I know, but if you read even half of that then thankyou :)
     
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    09-08-2011, 06:34 AM
  #2
Started
Joys of spring. Where in NZ my grass has not started to grow yet but when it does the horse goes onto hay the night before a ride. That helps by getting rid of some of the sugar. When my horse plays up I always make her work more taking her past her behaviour issue so I leave her on a positive note with me in charge giving the final instruction.
Sounds like a hand full. Try some magnesium worked for me.
     
    09-09-2011, 01:28 AM
  #3
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan    
Joys of spring. Where in NZ my grass has not started to grow yet but when it does the horse goes onto hay the night before a ride. That helps by getting rid of some of the sugar. When my horse plays up I always make her work more taking her past her behaviour issue so I leave her on a positive note with me in charge giving the final instruction.
Sounds like a hand full. Try some magnesium worked for me.
Yes the joys of spring.. I love having the extra grass and the nice weather and all but there's always gotta be a catch right?

I'm near Palmerston North area, my grass is growing quite rapidly at the moment, i'm just thankful mitch has decided better of his fence jumping game for now. Although in saying that he did go clean through his tape reel and snapped it not long ago, darn horse galloping blind.
He is on hay, we ran out of conventional bales so he gets one slab of a big hay bale every few days, one slab lasts him around 4-5 days normally.
I do that too, and for now it's working, it's just having that extra time to work harder when he gets naughty, as my mock exams are next week so of course that means study.

Definitely a handfull only 7 and been off the track for not even a year and a half, if you know the name Fuji Extreme, that's my Mitchell. Might do that actually, hmmmm We'll see where we go
-Come to think of it, he snapped one of my leadropes last week, unfortunately for him it comes in handy at such a short length.. Means I can lead him with it and if he takes off I can make him keep running without worrying he'll trip on it silly horse.
     
    09-09-2011, 06:55 AM
  #4
Started
Hi again, I'm on the west coast Northland and the horses are eating weeds. No new grass or nothing to speak of. This area has had drought conditions for the past couple of years and it looks like another year of drought.
At pesent the two horses are walking around the house munching on what ever takes their fancy. Have to keep what grass we have to feed the lambs so they inturn can feed me.
My horse Stella (the avatar) when she arrived was very well behaved but she change, boy did she change. Wide eyed, spooky and in general very hard to ride not to mention to like. I refer to her as a tart. A friend mentioned selenium and magnesium (after some months of battling trying to figure out what had gone wrong) which I tried. After a week she calmed and two weeks I had my horse back. The change was so great on a cattle drive we were in the flight path of a top dresser, realy low. Horse had a look and ignored and when I say close we were driving the cows on a road just below the air strip take off point. Give the magnesium a go it might just take the edge off him. NZ soil lacks those two minerals.
     
    09-10-2011, 02:07 AM
  #5
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan    
Hi again, I'm on the west coast Northland and the horses are eating weeds. No new grass or nothing to speak of. This area has had drought conditions for the past couple of years and it looks like another year of drought.
At present the two horses are walking around the house munching on what ever takes their fancy. Have to keep what grass we have to feed the lambs so they inturn can feed me.
My horse Stella (the avatar) when she arrived was very well behaved but she change, boy did she change. Wide eyed, spooky and in general very hard to ride not to mention to like. I refer to her as a tart. A friend mentioned selenium and magnesium (after some months of battling trying to figure out what had gone wrong) which I tried. After a week she calmed and two weeks I had my horse back. The change was so great on a cattle drive we were in the flight path of a top dresser, realy low. Horse had a look and ignored and when I say close we were driving the cows on a road just below the air strip take off point. Give the magnesium a go it might just take the edge off him. NZ soil lacks those two minerals.
Oh blimey, our grass has grown insanely especially over the past week. It was very near non-existent but now it's nearly mid-caf length.. Crazy.
You sound like you need a good irrigator over there, how on earth do you manage to maintain your horses, must be **** expensive. It doesn't help that over here we're on dairy pasture though.. Talk about rocket fuel .
Haha yay lamb, we don't have any at our house, only cows.

Wow that sounds like quite the change... To do list: 1. Get magnesium

Tried to catch him yesterday and he outright refused and kept running off... So guess who got forced ran around the paddock for half an hour... Not me my theory is he can start running if he likes, but if he decides to start, then I decide when we finish. A few weeks ago he took off on the lung and I made him gallop for so long he was literally dripping with sweat... The next time he took off, he galloped about 20m, then stopped, turned around and walked his sorry butt right back to where I stood.
     
    09-10-2011, 03:45 AM
  #6
Started
Hollybubles.
Horse suplement is called Equilibrium B1 cool mix

It does not deaden the horse at all just seems to calm it. Stella is only given it on the weekends and I have noticed it is not often enough. She would fair better if it was given every other day once settled. The dosage if the horse is on kaikuhia grass is high, that's because kaikuhia has little goodness in it.
Today she reacted to a dog, and at the wrong time she was carrying a special needs girl and was being lead by her mother. A dog poked its head through the bush on the roadside and Stella reacted. The rider fell, she was keeping her ballance by having her arms outstretched, her mother before she realised her daughter was already on the ground tried to hold the lead. That resulted in burnt hands. Stella stood and ate grass once let go.

It all ended well except for Stella. We got the young girl to get back on, Put her mothers hand in water to ease the burn she recieved and I walked them around. At the end I gave Stella a good scrub down bubbles and all. I said it ended well except for Stella being under the hose is not her favourite pastime.

It looks like it may rain this evening or in the morning but we need rain every other day for a couple of weeks to improve the grass situation. Try the mix mentioned at the beginning of this rambling.
     
    09-10-2011, 03:59 AM
  #7
Trained
Yep, I would make sure he has enough magnesium. You could also try something like KER Equishure, helps keep the correct ph in the hindgut and prevent hindgut acidosis.
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    09-10-2011, 04:33 AM
  #8
Started
Stan, what around abouts are the doseages for Equilibrium B1 Cool Mix? If it makes any difference, Mitch is 16.1, so maybe 700kg ish? Just thinking cause I have heard equilibrium is expensive and if I have to buy it every other week I might not be able to constantly afford it, but I'm willing to give it a go atleast once.

-I also bought a new leadrope today so hopefully he won't break this one otherwise I might be forced to bring out chain leadropes..
     
    09-10-2011, 05:01 AM
  #9
Started
I brought 12 Kg bag from farm lands.
Dose I give is 60 ml mixed in with feed. No grains in the feed cold suplement. Same shop
I give it morning and night but don't worry it if you miss the odd feed.
I noticed a change very quickly, within a week and continued improvment. NO change in personality so watch that one, if like Stella who has a couple of tricks or games she likes to play they will continue Stella is 16 hands. The other horse at the bottom of the page Savannah was 17.2 and growing.

News flash I have caught 2 carrots
     
    09-10-2011, 05:20 AM
  #10
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan    
I brought 12 Kg bag from farm lands.
Dose I give is 60 ml mixed in with feed. No grains in the feed cold suplement. Same shop
I give it morning and night but don't worry it if you miss the odd feed.
I noticed a change very quickly, within a week and continued improvment. NO change in personality so watch that one, if like Stella who has a couple of tricks or games she likes to play they will continue Stella is 16 hands. The other horse at the bottom of the page Savannah was 17.2 and growing.

News flash I have caught 2 carrots
Cool thankyou I might look in to that this week.
Yay I'm definitely going to have a look at that then, my aim is for the pleasure ring in the local A&P show in November, so fingers crossed.
Haha I like Mitchs personality anyway, it's a mischevious one, just the little things like playing with hoola-hoops and untying himself but staying where he was tied up. Though I once found out he unlatched his gate and I found him standing on the neighbours front lawn.. Oops.
What sort of tricks & games does Stella play?
Woah, 17.2hh and still growing crap that's not small! My friend has a wb who is 17hh but I got used to him so he doesn't seem so big anymore
     

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