Dangerous Rearing Problem horse needs to not to move due to his foot issues - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-16-2009, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Question Dangerous Rearing Problem horse needs to not to move due to his foot issues

Hey everyone...
My horse is 8 yrs old and came from the track. He is a TB gelding and was raised by my family. When he was pulled from the track due to my protets he was given to me in 2006 when he was 4or 5. The thing is I have been an injured person for the last 5 yrs and unable to have him here in my state.
As some of you may have read the post about the Navicular cyst this is my horse.
I will have an ultrasound on Thursday.

Here is my problem. I have dealt with rearing horses before and usually can get them working and done with the unruly behavior but I have a dilema!

He has solar fractures of his coffin bone and the cyyst. He does not need to be running around and working to hard.
Right now the vet only want him hand walked 2 minutes a day.

Another thing to consider is this....
He just arrived here with me at the end of May. His feet were long I had the shoes taken off and he has been trimmed. I was thinking of going natural but he has always responded better with shoes.
So he nees the shoes off for the ultra sound this thursday

Yesterday His behavior was obnoxious! When he first arrived i had established some respect in the round pen and graduated him to some hand walking aorund his new home. He did do sme rearing which I had thought I had gotten a handle on. Well I was wrong!

You all have to also understand that I had Knee surgery in march and can not run... But I can move pretty dang fast... I am recovering way ahead of most with this issue.

Yesterday I was walking in the gras and his paddock buddy was out being ridden by a woman with another lady form a nother barn. They were coming down the road on the ohter side of a treeline along the grass. I saw them before he did.

The ladies we commenting and talking to me and out of no where my horse just exploded! Next thing I know he up on the hid legs and Since he caught the rope with his leg I let go....Not holding on to that....SSorry

He took off and galled away to be caught by one of the workers. I was so disrespected by him that despite his injuries i put him into the round pen to establish some respect.
I put him through a series of manuvers until he was litening and licking his lips with his ears towards me. I finally got him walking and cooled out the took him out an hosed him with no issues.

Now there are a few reasons for rearing and I suspect he has a few of those to check of.....fear (being in a new unfamiliar place) Pain (from his bad feet and the cyst and no shoes yet) then the obvious frisky and forgot about manors since he has not been handled like this on a regular basis for years....

I have asked some people at this barn for their assistance. No one wants to help and usually I don't need it other then I have a leg that can't move as fast as I want it to....

I have lived in the area for 13 years but have little horse contacts here. In my old state I had many mnay horse contacts and could easily have some assistance...

I never walk him without a whip ..not that I beat him with it because I too am a natural type horsmanship person but rearing...forget it!!!

I will not stand for it.!!!

So...I have my work cut out for me....I took the day off from working with him today. I had him turned out into a large round pen today by the barn staff so that he could move around and have some different things to look at. He is also not used to benig kept in such a small area. He was in a 40 x 40 at my parents home.

At this time I am tring to still figure some things out. I may have to aks the vet some things as well and I have a good shoer that does vet referrals lined up. As much as I would like to go natural I know his past experience has been much better with shoes on the fronts....but the thought of nails going in his feet just haunt me to some extent....

I am somewhat unsure what I want but the first this I want is for him to stop with the rearing.

So no I am back to the darn basics...Round pen 101....respect me and my darn space or I will ask you to ge the heck out of it.....

Really I feel as though handwalking is boreing to his mind....I think he is board with it or possibly the opposite...

If there is one issue that i hate the most to deal with ...with any horse...it is rearing...it is so dangerous and I have already had my fair shore of injuries ...not horse injuries, but there is no desire to add that to the list.

What types of suggestions do you all have for me and m horse since he has some limitation and so do I. So far at this barn I have not found anyone to assist me but I know right now he can not work hard so I have some conflicting issues....
I would like to restore him to some sense of sanity and soundness
What to do?

Half Pass
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-16-2009, 11:32 AM
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I'm a little confused on the time line...... it sounds like he was pulled off the track and has since not been handled.

First what's he being feed and how much?

Whether to shoe or not is between you and your vet. I'm sure the ultrasound will shed some light on that.

Has he always been one to go "up"? A horse will usually go up for one main reason, they feel it's their only option. It can be caused by pain, confusion or fear.

Since it sounds like he can't do much I would be putting him a round pen and working on the basics which is not running him around as that is only going to increase his pain issues and isn't going to help you get any respect from him. Why should he listen to you when you're causing him pain? Get up close and personal. Start moving those feet, yield all three of main body parts, shoulders, barrel and hind end. Work on leading, backing up and side passing. Work on getting him to walk quietly on a long lead, send him out and bring him back in.

He's a hot breed and you need to find ways to channel that energy into something productive.

I'm sure others will pipe in with more suggestions.................
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-16-2009, 01:41 PM
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I'm not one to ever suggest drugging your horse but if I read correctly he's explosively hot, hasn't been worked in several years, on smaller turnout then he's used to... but must be kept calm to properly heal? In a situation like this I'd recommend either a tube or daily portion of some sort of sedative: Ace, Quietex, tryptophan, etc. Yes this is a major training issue, but if at this point the most important thing is keeping him from hurting himself you need to do what it takes to keep him calm. Once he's ready for work you can take him off and really address his issues.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-16-2009, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses...
I am going to ask the vet what she would suggest when I see her on Thursday.
Today i had him tuned out into a bigger enclosure wher he can watch whats going on. He has not been a facility like this and I am sorry to say but my Parents place was not the place I idealy would have had to have him while I was recovering from my own things....
I do not feel he is acclimating well to this facility and I am not sure it it will be the right place or not....
All these things are some things I will address with the vet when I see her again.
I feel that he can do some things to stimulate his head that we do not necessarily need to be "working" Some how I will just be consistent and be persistent and keep it in a small area so as not to have this happen again. I do agree with my vet that cirrculation is so important right now...
In some ways I feel he is in some shock. Going from a place of little to no activities going on around him to all kinds of things going on.
My Dad tells me he used to watch the Big screen light up in the neighbors picture window...When I last visited there I went out at night to see and sure enough there he stood facing that window..mesmorized by the glow of the TV.

At this point I just think he is really acting out for several reasons that can not all get addressed at once...so I am going to hve to go very slow and try to keep him stimulated with some type of activity that does not jepordize his foot problems....
Lets hope the cyst is not affecting the DDFT and he will have a chance to become something he will enjoy...
At my parents place he was so different...I am shocked at his behavior but can not say I blame him...He just does not know
He has only been here since the 27th of May so first comes the health and then we shall work slowly on the rest...
I am sure having his new buddy passing him and all that did not help the fact he was already hyper that day..
He changes from day to day so I have been keeping a daily diary of his behavior and what I have doen and how he has reacted.
He is familiar with clinton andersons round pen vidieos and was worked in this way when he was with the gal my dad sent him to. I was told that she rode him 4 times a week when he was at her place but i have to say i got on him a few times at my parents and He did not rememeber anything..so basically I consider him to be totally green and a hot wire like he just came from the track but worse.
I have taken horse TB's from the track and retrained them before for 3 day eventing and dressage but not any of them were this unruly....
Of course they did not sit in a pasture for 4-5 yrs before they came to me either....they came directly from the track to me went to pasture for a month and then began working....retraining...
So I have a huge recuperation and a huge project on my hands....
Do you all feel that it would bennefit him to stay where he is or be in a less "busy" place or a place where he has a bigger area to be with a shelter because it snows here and he is not ever been where it snows. His pen now has 10 7ft pipe fence sections and one corner of that is a huge shelter. He can roll in the pen but not sure if it is a good place or not.
Usually if he is left in the round pen to do hi own thing he will meander around and then stand in one place. Same thing when I turned him out into a bigger area with grass...He looked around then stood by the gate and lawnmowered all the grass form around the gate.
Right now he is on 1 flake of alfalfa n the am and one in the evening and a grass hay flak in the evening as well. I also let him graze about 20 minutes or more usually 5 times a week or more.
I have alwyas fed alfalfa to my horses but maybe it is to hot for him rght now and can be substituted with grass hay. These are all good questions for the vet. My horses that I have had had never had these foot problems and always have been working hard so the alfalfa was alright, but now I am trying to educate myself on some differnt nutritional things...
Please be easy on me I am a bit emotional at the moment...lol Seperation anxiety....This is the first day I have not been out to see him since his arrival. My dad also would do things such as give him grain..which Is not happeneing anymore. And when the shoer/trimmer came my horse would have issues with the right rear and it would become some serious butting of heads and the bribery bowl would come out.....Sorry I do not do this as a means of getting horses to do things so that has changed and He and I have been working on the handleing of the foot without those bribery aids.
I hope that since some of the people at that barn are not being receptive to me that I can heave you all as my support through this ordeal....i feel like the new kid on the block and somehwat as if thepeople are ot that accepting of me. There a 3 different owners of the facility whch all seem really nice and one of them has a daughter who is workig with a youg horse with similar issues just minus the foot problems. I am hoping to call or see her again and see if she can add some advie or even work with him. I do not have an issue with paying for some help since I am still in the strengthening phase of things...
What do you guys think...there has to be a hppy medium somehow...I just have to derive a plan and then schedule it out and make it a routine...
thanks Half Pass
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-16-2009, 06:58 PM
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A horse that thinks UP needs to think forward and DOWN.

I'd work on the Clinton Anderson lunging for respect stuff. Easy. Not running him around. But getting him into the habit of:
1. listening to you because you move his feet
2. giving to pressure by way of moving forward, thinking forward to find the release of pressure

At the walk and trot and lope if you can....just moments of it...if he bolts on the line, then do more up close flexing and hip disengaging first...lots of them....talking about 20 minutes of it nonstop.....then go back to the CA lunging...if he acts up, shut him down, and then ask again.

you really don't need to exert yourself at all when you do this, and he doesn't need to either. I use a 22 ft lead line and a rope halter.

You don't need a round pen. Frankly, a horse like him, I wouldn't bother with the round pen stuff. He sounds just plain "lost"....doesn't know what is expected of him, so he reacts and he has chosen rearing up to find a release of pressure (pressure can be physical or from his fear...emotional)....

He may of been messed with before....but doesn't sound like his emotions were trained, just his body. So, he might of been ridden and all that, but when he gets nervous or scared for whatever reason....he reacts...Rears up.

So...the CA stuff...move his feet....move the shoulder away, send him out, stop by disengaging the hip, repeat. at the walk. This will teach him to follow your lead....and to respect your space, and to listen and find the release of pressure by giving not resisting.

Also...a lot of bending. Flex at the stand still and when he gives and relaxes his neck.....disengage the hip to get a cross over of the back feet. Release. repeat on the other side.

Head down cue: with halter and lead....take out the slack in the line, ask him to drop his head. soon as he does...even if it's just an inch...let go. repeat. til he drops his nose in the dirt the moment you close your hand on the lead.
then do the same exercise, but this time, toss the lead rope over his poll and stand to one side and take the slack out of both hanging sides of the line (slowly! never just yank on the line, or he will rear up)....what you're looking for is for him to feel the tension on his poll and to drop his head. to think DOWN when he feels pressure there.

I've used all of these exercises on horses that rear for whatever reason and it gets rid of the rearing.

One horse for example, a big draft I called Baby Huey...would see anyone coming toward him with a halter and rear straight up and come back down and bolt. I did a lot of approach and retreat...then rubbed him with the halter and lead, then the head down stuff like I mentioned above...then the CA stuff, and he stopped rearing altogether. He learned to relax and drop his head and give to pressure when he got nervous.

also...I'd cut out all the grain and alfalfa for this horse, at least for now. Just good quality grass, if you need to give him supplements for his hooves, then just a handful of grain if needed....but otherwise...I think you're just adding too much fuel to his energy = he gets edgy and doesn't know what to do with himself.

as for the space he should be kept in...I'm a firm believer in bigger space is better. Circulation for the feet and the mind.

Last edited by Calamity Jane; 06-16-2009 at 07:02 PM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-16-2009, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jane...
I love CA and have his RP dvds...I was thinking of purchasing the lounging for respect ones but got interupted by a nap ...lol
I really love his techniques and I have been to a few of his clinics.
I think my horse is basically just "lost" not sure what is wanted oof him or expected of him right now...Poor guy! I have made a plan of some small exercises to do while he is standing and not moving other then asking him to do things like crossing over the back feet. We have already been doing that a bit. I just went and got a lounge line becaaus I can use it for that and some other things...
I feel bad for him. I am going to see what happens on thursday and if the vet says it is okay to have him in a bigger space will see if the ranch can accomodate that. I really think he is not digging his smaller space.
At least I made it throug the day without driving out there to check on him.
I willl be out there tomorrow in the morning and then the vest asistant will come out to put the soak wrap on his foot so we can do the ultrasound tomorrow.
I had to take a day to refocus and come up wth a plan that will suit his needs. I honestly think a lot of this is coming from his being in a strange place. For most of his life i think he has been at my parents place. Other then time at the track and the other ladies place...
He is just going to take some time to adjust. imake sure to go out and do something with him almost daily even if it is just to brush him and pick his feet. As for the feed i will see what the vet thinks. I really do not want to change where he is boarded but if it comes to it I will. It is a completely different lifestyle then he has ever been at. So he may need that extra space and time in different sceenery every day. Baby steps. Now that I a feeling better emotionallly I can go tomorrow and address some things. Tomorrow i will take it easy since the ultrasound will follow on Thursday.
Poor guy is the new kid on the block and i am sure his attitude and emotions have been effected as well. I bet he misses my Dad and the sceenery where he was before. Since my Dod is not in contact with the woman who worked for him anymore I am unable to find out what he was like for her. But if I remember correctly his attitude was eager to learn and nothing was ever mentioned about any bad behaviors so that is why I am so shocked about it...
We will figure it out one step at a time and deal with it all. It is just going to take time time time
Thanks again Jane...I like CA's work too.
Half Pass
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-17-2009, 12:28 AM
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Definitely give him some more time to adjust; that may be a big part of his problem, too. Try mainly bringing him in and out of the barn; mainly have him out in his paddock, so he can really get used to all the surroundings, without interferance or expectation. Honestly, a busy boarding facility is not too far off of what he would have been used to at the race track, so in time he will reaccustom himself to it.

Get his vetting and farrier work dealt with too; if you are inadvertantly causing more pain, by working him more, then that could be compounding the problems of disrespect he is already displaying.

When you have dealt with the vet and farrier work, then start looking at where you need to go first regarding his ground work; I agree with Calamity's suggestion of Clintons longing for respect...

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."

Last edited by mom2pride; 06-17-2009 at 12:30 AM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-17-2009, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Good Morning...
Well I went online to find those DVD's and they were not available so I will try another souce. Today when I go out to spend time with my horse I am not going to do much just brush him and spend time with him... I feel so bad
First his gets brought to a strange place and then has all these issues to be dealt with...I just can ot say I blame him but it is mportant for him to have cirrculation. He will follow me around inside of a round oen like a dog so if that is the way he has to get the 20 minutes of movement without rearing then so be it.
The only reason I was walking him was for cirrculation...but no more walking anywhere outside and enclosed area if he is going t oact like that.
Poor guy all confused.
So today we will just spend time with one another and I will let him eat some grass and put water on his legs...
Sitting in his shelter and just being with him is fine...he like it!
When I see him today I will leave a boot for the vet assistant so they can put a soak on the right front foot overninight. Then we have an ultrasound tomorrow..
I think they are having a big clinic at the barn this coming weekend...not sure how that will go. He did really well when they had a show there the first week.

I thank everyone for their patienc and suggestions. The last thing I want to do is hurt him more then he already is and of course myself either...
Today I may see if my local feed stores have any videos...I specifacally like CA alot and have the Round pening ones which my horse knows really well. I have seen him do two other clinics that were both great.
I lwill let you all know how My horses day off went...he got to be out in a bigger enclosure where he could watch thngs going on...
I could have him turned out in a pasture but not unless the vet okays that one!
Thanks again
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