Originally Posted by LisaG
God, where do those horses come from? I've never seen a horse as bad as the one in the Buck documentary, and I can't imagine one much worse. You're a brave woman. I would run the other way!
Some horses have a very dominant natures -- particularly some studs. It is not always related to inherent disposition. Horses with a dominant nature can be messed up very easily. For some, all it takes is a handler that backs away from a horse that lays his ears back and shakes his head. From that day on, the horse gets more and more bold until they decide they can attack that person (or any person for some horses). You've seen the pasture bullies that dive at other horse and take hunks out of their backs or butts? Well, just place a person in that picture and you have an attacking horse.
The first spoiled stud I took in I had signed a contract to stand at stud to the public back when I had a stallion station. He was a really good-looking gray AA - ROM son of Quick M Silver that came off of the track 2 years earlier. The guy also wanted me to ride him before and after the breeding season.
He had him hauled to me by two guys driving a big 16 foot U-Haul rented box van. [I'm sure they did not know he was going to haul a horse in it.] He was cross-tied in the front where he could not kick it. ]I found out later that he had kicked apart 2 or 3 trailers.] Of course, they arrived just before dark.
We had a loading chute so they backed up to it and the driver and his helper put a chain shank on the horse but kept his rope lead on him also. The two of them led him out and to his new stud pen and run-in stall. They kept him between them, put him in the pen and almost ran to the truck and left. They gave me a check from the owner for his first two months' board and training. Of course, the owner did not come. Of course they did not say anything about him being vicious. They acted like they were just doing the owner a favor because he could ot get away. The guy lived 300 miles away in Denver. I lived in SW Colorado on the other side of the mountains.
The next morning went in his pen with a halter and lead. I went to halter him and he jumped in the middle of me, head down, hitting me in the stomach with his head and knocked me all the way across the pen. It was a head butt like a bull would do without ears back or any warning. I just thought he dropped his head to be haltered. It caught me 100% off guard and by total surprise. I crawled out of his pen by crawling under the bottom board of the fence. I was OK but pretty shaken up. I tried to call the owner, but could not reach him.
It took one hour to make him into a 'nice horse' with respect. He turned into a different horse that quickly. I halterd him across his gate. It took a little while but I got him haltered with a big heavy custom-made mule halter. It was too big, but I know it would hold a 1300# mad horse. I got a friend to come and we led him (between us) to my square 'breaking pen' that had a 6 foot snubbing post in the middle of it. [Now I knew why two guys led him with two leads] I had a mule chain (made from heavy hardware store chain that twisted and laid flat) and had a big bull-snap in one end of it. It went over his nose but was too low because the big halter was too big. I tied him with it to the hitching post with it (keeping the other lead on him too) and slapped his nose. He attacked the post while I stepped back. He pawed it, attacked it with his teeth and finally got a front foot over the lead he was tied with. It came down over his nose and cut off his air. My friend asked if I was going to let him die as his eyes rolled back and his tongue turned blue. I waited until he passed out and fell (front foot still hung up on the rope. I took out my pocket knife and cut the rope. He fell and started breathing. I jumped on his head and went to petting him all over while he laid there. I did not know what I had or what I had accomplished. I had no idea.
But, when he got up, he thought I was god. I think he thought I had saved his life. I really do not know. All I know is it took me a long time to trust him. I soon went to riding him and I stood him at stud for 4 or 5 years until he was sold. Some of the best horses I ever rode were sired by him.
Later, I talked to his owner and he came clean. This horse had grabbed him by the chest and tore several muscles, putting him the the hospital. He had kicked completely apart more than one trailer. All of this was after an uneventful 2 years at the track. He brought him home because he could not run faster than AA and all of the spoiling took place at his place south of Denver. I was young then and lucky it came out like it did. I was probably 21 or 22 back then and he was the first vicious horse I had agreed to take. Many more followed after that and my methods to get them back on track got a lot more refined. But this horse was my first and was a real success story.
I also got him back to hauling good in a 2 horse trailer. When the owner sold him (for a lot of money), the new owner hauled him to Skiatook, OK in a 2 horse trailer, about 900 miles.