Balancing What "Works" with Owner Concerns

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Balancing What "Works" with Owner Concerns

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  • Horse misbehaves only when owner is near

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    08-13-2012, 02:47 PM
Balancing What "Works" with Owner Concerns

I have posted before about working with a spoiled horse that I am currently leasing...

There is no question that the horse is spoiled by the owners. I have watched them work with her and it involves a lot of 'Kissee-kissees" and treats....and then she does not behave for them.

Meanwhile, the horse's behavior with me has included (attempted) biting, kicking and bucking.

I have asked the owners for tips and advice on handling their horse in the past, and have been repeatedly been assured that she's "really good". IOW - they are not really "hearing me" when I have told them about these behaviors. They just continue to insist that she is a very sweet horse.

I decided to handle her using some of CA's methods including lunging for respect. And I am happy to report that we have been making progress. The horse's ground manners have improved immensely.

In the saddle, we still need some work....but things are generally coming along.

The owners are not usually at the barn while I am working with the horse. But yesterday, they rolled up while I was there and were horrified to see that I had a lunge whip in my hand. Now I could understand if they had arrived to see me flailing away at their horse - but I was not doing anything of the sort. I was simply holding the whip in my hand.

The owners are now insisting that I am not to even have any whip of any kind anywhere NEAR this poor sweet horse, as they are sure I will frighten her. I tried to explain that I have been using the lunge whip and riding crop for MONTHS and the horse has absolutely no fear of either - but they are not hearing me and continue to insist that I am going to cause the horse to be head-shy and fearful of people.

The owners want me to work with this horse using voice commands only. If the horse misbehaves in any manner - I am simply to say "No!" in a firm voice - but no yelling, just a firm voice.


If the owners themselves were having stellar results with this training method, I might feel a little less frustrated...

Instead, I am just dumbfounded.

In response to biting, kicking etc - I am only "allowed" to say no???

And THAT is supposed to "correct" the problem???



Does anybody have anything encouraging to say that might help me feel a bit better about this situation?
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    08-13-2012, 02:52 PM
Super Moderator
I do not know how old you are - what experience you have and how desperate you are to earn money - either way I would tell them exactly where to go with their ill mannered horse and it ain't where the sun shines!
    08-13-2012, 02:54 PM
Green Broke
My response would be SEE YA!!!

There is no way I would pay good money to have my life endangered by an ill mannered horse with an idiotic owner.

Plenty of good horses available for lease (especially with the current drought) to waste my time/money on what will be a disastrous outcome.
Elizabeth Bowers likes this.
    08-13-2012, 03:05 PM
Super Moderator
Invite them to come to the 'Horse Forum' and either post here or at least read the problems encountered here and what professional trainers and experienced horse people have to say.

If they are unwilling to take a 'reality check', let them have their spoiled beast and wish them luck.

Like others have said, there is no shortage of horses around right now. You will never further your skill level practicing bad horsemanship and that is what they want you to do.

Good luck.
Elizabeth Bowers likes this.
    08-13-2012, 03:06 PM
Hm something encouraging ...

There's nicer horses to lease out there!
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    08-13-2012, 03:08 PM
Maybe you could you try to encourage the owners to watch you work with her to see how harmless the groundwork is?
Kind of a long shot though, as it sounds that they're pretty far gone into Ponies and Rainbows land.
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Elizabeth Bowers likes this.
    08-13-2012, 03:16 PM
Been there. Just walk away, don't handle the horse. Her behaviour is threatening your safety - in my world, if that behaviour is not resolved by the owner, then it is resolved by me, my way.
    08-13-2012, 03:24 PM
In my opinion I would say move on, find a horse to lease that has owners that know what they are doing and let these ones have the "butterflies and rainbows" kicked out of them by their "perfect little angel"
Sharpie likes this.
    08-13-2012, 03:49 PM
Even the people of Cavalia use a whip of sorts, especially the ones that do the liberty work. It is used for sound and signals. You never see them hit their horses but they will touch them.

Are you a No Worries Club Member? If you are, let them borrow the "Philosophy" DVD. It might help them understand.

I will PM you a lady to look up tonight when I get off of work. If you insist on keeping with this horse and these owners. It might help you.
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    08-13-2012, 07:44 PM
I would either kick off shore in search of shark free waters or have them learn some the clinton anderson stuff. You are using those methods maybe if they see where and why you are using those methods they would be more willing to use them. In the end, if you and the owner are not on the exact same page, same paragraph and same sentence all your work will be in vain. Ask yourself what makes this horse so special that its worth you risking your life.
Cintillate likes this.

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