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Abused horse

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  • Horse was abused need excercise program

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    03-08-2010, 12:32 AM
  #11
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani9192    
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.
If you are consistent & considerate about what you do & there's no one stuffing him up in the interim, I believe that twice a month does 'work' just as well as twice or more a week. But of course the difference is time - counting the hours you spend, you'll get there a heck of a lot quicker the more frequently you do it. If you put that to them, that it'll take so long doing only once a fortnight, they might let you do stuff in between or get there more often. Perhaps they just want to be there to begin with, to make sure you know what you're doing & not making him worse too.

I too think it sounds like he may likely just be sensitive and wary of things, but I guess it depends on your perception of 'abuse' too.... I tend to think putting novice kids on a horse with a bit is likely to lead to abuse, for one.

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.

Agree to a point Kevin(I've seen people like Parelli using a spade bit & I wouldn't knock them for that), but IMO not only the horse but the rider should be well enough trained to use whatever the equipment skillfully enough, or there is big risk of abuse. When equipment that can easily cause pain is used(like a bit for eg, not to mention a 'harsh' one) that 'ups the ante' a long way, & we are talking a boy's camp horse??
     
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    03-08-2010, 12:35 AM
  #12
Trained
Who are you to decide? I don't mean that rudely but are you taking payment for training or lessons? Are you at the point in YOUR horsemanship that you should be giving lessons to a kid? If the horse really throws his head when you put even a little pressure on the reins then he probably needs his teeth floated.
     
    03-08-2010, 01:15 AM
  #13
Started
I'm not a trainer or expert or anything, but I wanted to add a little something because the girl who retrained my horse told me something I found very helpful with my own horse. My own horse was abused. I believe this to be true because it was first told to me by a farrier who recognized my horse, then confirmed by a vet and a trainer. The thing is though, the trainer told me that I should treat him like every other horse. She told me that although, some of his fears are very justified, it doesn't help him to treat him as though they are. As soon as I act like he has reason to be afraid of something, it confirms to him that he should be. It's been 7 months and so far she was exactly right. The only thing is, I did need to spend hours and hours doing things on the ground such as hand grazing, grooming and petting to gain his trust. So what I'm saying in a long winded kind of way is that it doesn't even matter if he was abused or not when it comes to training. Besides that, it could have been the current owners that have given him his issues. The little boy didn't know what he was doing...what makes you think his parents do?
     
    03-08-2010, 05:30 PM
  #14
Foal
Quote:
Who are you to decide? I don't mean that rudely but are you taking payment for training or lessons? Are you at the point in YOUR horsemanship that you should be giving lessons to a kid? If the horse really throws his head when you put even a little pressure on the reins then he probably needs his teeth floated
Quote:
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 ;)
he had his teeth floated two months ago

Also i'm not giving him serious lessons, only basics like position, stop and go, that's about it just a little something to hold him over till he can take them from someone who is qualified. Only the basics of control so he won't get hurt imo I am qualified to teach him those things. I can do more but am certainly not qualified to teach it. And I take no offense to your comment kevin :) I see where you're coming from completely.
Quote:
& we are talking a boy's camp horse??
it was his camp horse and his mom bought it for him. He has no experience with horses :/ I honestly do not think someone should own a horse with out taking years of lessons first.. just saying and it's irritating to find someone that thinks it will be all fun and game and has not done their homework on it. I feel if that kid got hurt it would be partly my fault.
     
    03-10-2010, 02:01 AM
  #15
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy2u1    
The thing is though, the trainer told me that I should treat him like every other horse. She told me that although, some of his fears are very justified, it doesn't help him to treat him as though they are. As soon as I act like he has reason to be afraid of something, it confirms to him that he should be.
Exactly, that's just the same thing my trainer taught me. If you anticipate trouble, you'll get it, because you will be tense expecting it. Not to say you won't have trouble if you don't anticipate it, but you basically -cause- it through your posture if you expect it.

Hoover uses this all time to trick me into thinking he's hurt. Because of his legs being off, I worry all the time he's getting worse. So the booger takes advantage of me to get babied.
     
    03-10-2010, 08:05 AM
  #16
Foal
Quote:
The thing is though, the trainer told me that I should treat him like every other horse. She told me that although, some of his fears are very justified, it doesn't help him to treat him as though they are. As soon as I act like he has reason to be afraid of something, it confirms to him that he should be
yup yup I always stay calm, and just tal to them in asoothing voice
     
    03-10-2010, 11:28 AM
  #17
Weanling
You know, this makes me wonder. You said his mom bought the horse from the boyscout "camp," right?

There could be two scenarios.

One could be that the camp bought him to use as a trail horse. These are not "Your version" of a trail horse, these are pack horses, trained to be numb to kicks, and don't know the first thing about backing. This could have been a well-broke horse before going to the camp, and the camp decided that since he does respond to pressure that they can't use him for their trail program. Which could very well explain his acting up, if he hasn't ever seen a whip, rope, etc, he won't know what to think... could be too that he doesn't have a "buddy" to ride with, as most of these camp "trail horses" are nose-to-butt-to-nose-to-butt, "follow the leader" horses, and don't need much technical "training," but the basics just to get by.

And two, there is a Horsemanship Merit Badge, and there are 10 or 11 stipulations one must meet, and can be found here: Horsemanship Merit Badge for Boy Scouts BSA

Note the last stipulation is this:

On level ground, continuously do the following movements. Do them correctly, at ease, and in harmony with the horse:
  1. Mount the horse.
  2. Walk the horse in a straight line for 60 feet.
  3. Make a half circle of not more than 16 feet in radius.
  4. Trot or jog in a straight line for at least 60 feet.
  5. Make a half circle of not more than 30 feet in radius at a jog or trot.
  6. Halt straight.
  7. Back up straight four paces.
  8. Halt and dismount.
So this horse could very well have a working knowledge of the correct riding, but that doesn't mean that the boy scouts do, and he could be all flustered.

It does make me wonder though, why did the camp sell him in the first place? Was it because he was a danger to the kids there? Was he too spooky? Was there no one qualified willing to work with him on the training he needed? (Which in no way am I saying there wasn't someone knowledgeable, maybe that person decided there was another horse that was better suited and would rather not spend the time with this horse...)

But you must understand the two things this horse could have been used for, and you must understand that whatever his "job" was supposed to be, he couldn't cut it, otherwise the camp would have never offered to sell him.

Hope this helps....
     
    03-10-2010, 07:50 PM
  #18
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy2u1    
the trainer told me that I should treat him like every other horse. She told me that although, some of his fears are very justified, it doesn't help him to treat him as though they are. As soon as I act like he has reason to be afraid of something, it confirms to him that he should be.
This comment has been nagging at my brain since I read it.... I agree that horse/dog/kid..../husband behaviour, to a large degree is a bit of a self fulfilling prophesy - you tend to get what you expect due to your own attitude & (conscious or otherwise)behaviour about it. BUT....

I don't think it's the whole story by any means & I think it depends on you, your relationship with the horse, his personality & previous experiences, etc... as to whether it's a good idea to 'ignore' his fears, and how you might ignore them. I personally don't think it's a good idea to truly ignore or disregard what your horse is telling you, and depending on the details, don't think it's a good idea to just 'push past' problems that arise from their fears.

Eg. What about the horses who's fears aren't recognised? They frequently get worse, rather than better, from being 'ignored'. IME it's largely introverted type horses who don't 'shout' about their fears, but internalise them, or only 'whisper' them, who are inadvertently pushed beyond their comfort zones so far that "suddenly... for no reason.... without warning" they explode. What about horses who don't trust their owners to be worthy leaders & look after them - ignoring their fears only confirms they are right to look out for themselves, because no one else is going to.

So what I'm trying to say is, as with most things, there are 2 sides to the coin. It's sometimes a balancing act, and while I agree with staying calm & being aware that your responses definitely influence the situation, I think it's important to respect and at least acknowledge their own feelings & attitudes.
     
    03-10-2010, 08:35 PM
  #19
Trained
I think it doesnt matter whether the horse was abused or whether the horse just has an irrational fear, as mentioned above, fixing the problem is still the same. The only difference is that if the horse has been abused it will take a lot longer and require more patience to get the horse through the problem.

Abuse as we know it can come in many forms. To me, abuse is doing anything that scares a horse enough to scar it (mentally or physically.) whips and other such things have a place but arent always used correctly which will give the appearance of abuse when really it is more about ignorance. Having said that there are many instances where it is abuse and I prefer to treat each case as if it were abuse. I only say this because I think its unfair on a horse to treat it as just being a little wary of something when in reality he could be scared out of his mind.

With regards to the bit, if he is showing signs of distress while it is in h is mouth I would look at something a little less harsh. In my opinion harsh bits are used when the rider/owner has no idea why there horse is 'acting out' and their way of fixing it is to chuck a harsh bit in the horses mouth. In reality there may be many reasons why a horse has mouth issues. Best thing to do is remouth the horse using a snaffle bit. But that's another story altogether :)

Good on you for helping out :)
     
    03-10-2010, 09:33 PM
  #20
Started
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy2u1
the trainer told me that I should treat him like every other horse. She told me that although, some of his fears are very justified, it doesn't help him to treat him as though they are. As soon as I act like he has reason to be afraid of something, it confirms to him that he should be.

This comment has been nagging at my brain since I read it.... I agree that horse/dog/kid..../husband behaviour, to a large degree is a bit of a self fulfilling prophesy - you tend to get what you expect due to your own attitude & (conscious or otherwise)behaviour about it. BUT....

I don't think it's the whole story by any means & I think it depends on you, your relationship with the horse, his personality & previous experiences, etc... as to whether it's a good idea to 'ignore' his fears, and how you might ignore them. I personally don't think it's a good idea to truly ignore or disregard what your horse is telling you, and depending on the details, don't think it's a good idea to just 'push past' problems that arise from their fears.

Eg. What about the horses who's fears aren't recognised? They frequently get worse, rather than better, from being 'ignored'. IME it's largely introverted type horses who don't 'shout' about their fears, but internalise them, or only 'whisper' them, who are inadvertently pushed beyond their comfort zones so far that "suddenly... for no reason.... without warning" they explode. What about horses who don't trust their owners to be worthy leaders & look after them - ignoring their fears only confirms they are right to look out for themselves, because no one else is going to.

So what I'm trying to say is, as with most things, there are 2 sides to the coin. It's sometimes a balancing act, and while I agree with staying calm & being aware that your responses definitely influence the situation, I think it's important to respect and at least acknowledge their own feelings & attitudes.


I think you misunderstood what my trainer meant. She wasn't saying to ignore your horses fears...that would be a very dangerous thing to do. I really don't know how to explain it so I will give you an example (although I really don't want to because I look bad in this story ): My horse Major didn't like things thrown around him...even harmless things like tack. If I took a saddle pad and threw it on his back, he would start snorting and blowing and acting crazy. I think it's a perfectly logical reaction from a horse that has been abused. So in order not to "traumatize" him more I decided I would start putting on him very very easy. So I would walk very very quietly over to the saddle pad and pick it up, tip toe over to him, and set it very easy and quietly on his back. I bet y'all know how that went huh My actions where making him more afraid of the saddle pad. I was sending him a message that he should be afraid of it, instead of teaching him that he has nothing to fear like I should have been doing. I used the same technique you'd use on any horse (although it took me a lot of sessions) and he got over it. Sorry for the long boring story, but I just didn't know how else to explain myself. I just wanted it clear that I don't ignore my horses fears and pretend they aren't there...I just try real hard not to say to him in my own actions that he should be afraid and teach him to overcome his fears just like any other horse.
     

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