Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
We all wish that you had bought another horse, one with proper training, even if he/she was green. Yes, I KNOW we all started our "horse crazy" with the idea that we could have a great relationship with a horse that appreciates us. The whole idea of "rescuing" an animal fills us with a hope that the horse will be grateful and become obedient "just because." Not EVER so.
The weight difference between a human and a horse is similar to the weight difference between a domestic cat and a human, except the cat has claws, flexibility and instincts for protection and we don't. Well trained and trustworthy horses are trained to never step on our feet and never to swing around in fear and slam their bodies into us. Imagine tripping and falling on a cat. If the cat doesn't get out of the way, the damage is very serious. If the human doesn't get out of the way of the "out of control" horse, the damage is very serious, or your own demise.
Yesterday, my QH, "Buster" tried to step on my foot reaching for hay in the shelter manger. I kicked him in the "shins" and backed him to the corner of the shelter. I didn't whip him or frighten him, but, instead, I re-established the herd dynamic--I am the head broodmare, and you are ALWAYS #2 in the relationship. It would take pages for me to describe to YOU the specifics to follow. Too much and he might kick me in the face if confronted bc of fear. Too little, and he might kick me in the face when I ask him to move over bc he's treating me like just another 1,000 pound horse who won't get hurt but the kick. Either way and I could be in a world of hurt.
Anybody here with years of horse training experience--I have owned horses for 27 1/2 years--is CONSTANTLY training their horses to keep the training fresh. Even the best trained horse can be trained dangerous habits, and one way to badly train is using food as a reward, as you described.
Nobody sells their best horse, but many trainers have prices on their next-to-favorite horse(s), so good horses can be had. Right now we have a ton of unwanted horses available anywhere.
To simply suggest reselling her doesn't make it happen today or tomorrow. Even if you can figure out how to re-home her you will still need to deal with her daily, for the time being. There are MANY people here that are happy to help with basic training. CHERIE is very willing to talk to people with problems like this, and could walk you through some basic training and has loads of good advice. IF you get cable or satellite, start IMMEDIATELY watching Clinton Anderson's programs, on RFD.tv. IMHO, he has a knack for communicating training methods, and he deals with many spoiled or ruined or green-and-never-disciplined animals, as well as horses with big fears.
We cannot save all of the unwanted horses, or unwanted dogs, or unwanted cats. (No problem with unwanted chickens, bc lots of us know how to butcher, ha, ha!)
Don't let your ego that "you can handle this" get you crippled. The best of us have gotten hurt--I had a broken humerous from being thrown in 2004, but most people don't ride their horses in CW battles and next to exploding cannons--not enough preparation for THAT horse, and that's why I got hurt.