Abused horse
 
 

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Abused horse

This is a discussion on Abused horse within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Formerly abused horse training tips
  • Physical horse abuse

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    03-06-2010, 10:43 PM
  #1
Foal
Abused horse

Short version: so tonight I found myself helping this kid at my barn learn the basics of riding stop go etc.. horse took of on him, his fault, and he was completely helpless.. I was like 'this kid really needs help' decided to put the horse on the lounge.. horse didn't trust me enough to lounge, I didn't know so I offered to go get a whip to keep him going forward, they said he was scared of whips.. no biggie. Come to find out the horse is completely head shy FREAKED of whips (plus any thing else that resembles a whip, rope, hose, etc.) and doesn't trust anyone. I worked with him for about two hours getting him to trust me with a whip, and he did really good. That poor horse.

Wanna know where they got him from 'boy scout camp' i'm like omigosh!!!
I don't know if he was abused there but still.

Before I got to working on this I found out he knew flying changes and a lot more. I'm assuming boy scout camp didn't teach him that.. boy scouts also sent him to them in a bit that's completely too harsh, it looks like a correction bit with a weird spade thing coming off the port. Gahhh

This just completely upsets me, does anyone have any thoughts on this??

I didn't know where else to put this, so I put it here.. sorry if it's in the wrong section of the forum :\
     
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    03-06-2010, 11:46 PM
  #2
Yearling
Well, you said you worked with him and he was much better - so are you looking for advice or just opinions?

I found out my mare was terrified of whips, she would get SO tense when she'd see one. I worked with her for a looong time (so long that I'm still working with her on it, LOL) but she still has never truly gotten over it and to be honest, I don't think she ever will.

I've just tried to desensitize her to it, rubbing it all over her, swinging it over her head, etc. I can do all that now, but not with her being relaxed and I won't stop doing it until she IS relaxed. I don't like the thought of my horse thinking I'm going to whip her anytime I have a whip in my hand (I guess that is backwards thinking of some people, but...that's just not me). I need to be able to use a whip to train her for things, tricks, loading on a trailer (which she does but with a littttle hesitation, but if I used a whip she would RUN on and I don't want that), lunging, etc.

I'm just going to keep at the desensitizing until she is relaxed around the whip, though I truly don't believe she'll ever be over it 100%.
     
    03-07-2010, 06:10 AM
  #3
Green Broke
Omigosh boy scouts??
Is that normal for boy scouts to train a horse I mean I'm pretty sure I read it in a FICTION book and it actually sounded like the people didn't know what they were doing either, I'm sorry went off on a tangent but boy scouts??

Will you be able to work with the horse more? Or was it a one off thing
     
    03-07-2010, 07:38 AM
  #4
Started
I wouldn't immediately assume physical abuse, some horses are just not well desensitized to things like whips and ropes, etc. Sometimes poor starting and moving from place to place can present in the same kind of shyness and distrust that you described. Boy Scout camp probably had a different rider on him every week, so that could explain some of his trust issues as well; no "constant" as far as people go. Some horses are just warier of new things, too, that can be fairly normal. That doesn't take away from the fact that the horse seems to have pretty big holes in his foundation. Its great that you stepped in to help the owner out. My advice to you is to keep a friendly eye on the situation in case the kid needs your help again, or recommend a trainer to work with them both if the situation merits it.
     
    03-07-2010, 10:24 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Will you be able to work with the horse more? Or was it a one off thing
I will definitely be working with him more, the only thing is they want to be out there when I do it to understand what i'm doing. And they're never out there!!! He needs consistency in this and if I can only work with him two times a month it wont be a good as if I worked with him every day.
Quote:
I wouldn't immediately assume physical abuse
at first I didn't completely, I mean it was a thought but it was just in the back of my mind, then I stepped about 20' away and popped it to test his reaction, and he threw his head in the air like, spun around to face me, and snorted at me, that was when I came to the conclusion.. I don't think this was a normal reaction, however I could be wrong and my opinion may be biased, what do you think??
     
    03-07-2010, 10:41 AM
  #6
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani9192    
at first I didn't completely, I mean it was a thought but it was just in the back of my mind, then i stepped about 20' away and popped it to test his reaction, and he threw his head in the air like, spun around to face me, and snorted at me, that was when I came to the conclusion.. I don't think this was a normal reaction, however I could be wrong and my opinion may be biased, what do you think??
That to me sounds just like he'd never heard the noise, and it startled him, and he wanted to know what was going on. I wouldn't expect a true whip abuse case to spin around and face the noise, I would expect him to turn tail and get as far from the whip as possible. Having not seen the horse, your description sounds a lot more like startled confusion/curiosity than blind panic. What do you mean by "snort"? Did he drop his head a bit after he turned toward you and give one nose-clearing snort (Oh! You startled me!); keep his head up high and give one "honk" (That was scary, might have been dangerous, but it's all clear now!); or remain tense through is body and make a snort with each breath for a time (Dear God What Is That Thing! Geddit Away Before I Explode!!)?

Abuse or not, it sounds like the horse could use some judicious desensitizing, and you did good to step in and offer to lend a hand in that situation.
     
    03-07-2010, 11:19 AM
  #7
Trained
Did you see how the horse rode in the bit that was too "harsh"? You should judge a bit by the performance of the horse not on predudiced ideas about what a horse likes and what it doesn't.

As far as the possible abuse, I think there are far fewer abused horses than people think. Many peo[ple think of it as a badge of honor to say that they rescued a horse or have a horse that was formerly abused. Maybe the horse was maybe he wasn't but the way you get him over it is the same. There is no sense making excuses for bad behavior, just solve the problems.
     
    03-07-2010, 02:37 PM
  #8
Weanling
There's also a possibility he's never been lunged before, some people don't lunge their horses. We don't at the ranch where I am. It may not have been that he didn't trust you, he just didn't know what you wanted.
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    03-07-2010, 10:54 PM
  #9
Yearling
I agree that physical abuse is assumed far more often than it happens. My guy was sensitive and untrusting when I got him, threw his head at everything and acted like anyone was going to kill him. With very little work we overcame a lot of this and I have since gotten his complete history and he was actually a very well loved horse who just got forgotten about.

I wonder if you can talk to them and reach a comprimise on training-either having them come more regularly or being allowed to work with him when they're not there. You sound knowledgeable and responsible, I think if you impress upon them the importance of consistant, regular work they might come around, I'm sure they want what is best for their animal and rider, just sound a little naive is all.
     
    03-07-2010, 11:52 PM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
did you see how the horse rode in the bit that was too "harsh"? You should judge a bit by the performance of the horse not on predudiced ideas about what a horse likes and what it doesn't.

As far as the possible abuse, I think there are far fewer abused horses than people think. Many people think of it as a badge of honor to say that they rescued a horse or have a horse that was formerly abused. Maybe the horse was maybe he wasn't but the way you get him over it is the same. There is no sense making excuses for bad behavior, just solve the problems.
yes I did :) I rode him in the bit and decided it was to harsh, he was throwing his head around anytime you touched it, I put him in a softer bit (the only one of mine that I could find at the time)a medium port, he still didn't like it but was much better, i'm going to see if I can find my swivel shanked dogbone so it will move with his mouth and see if he likes that, if not I guess I will have to experiment a little, but it for certain is not a teeth issue just in case anyone brings it up ;)


And maybe I was jumping to conclusions a little ^_^ I will try to be open minded to the possibilities from now on!!
     

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