dangerously spooky TB - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-02-2008, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
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dangerously spooky TB

I was recently given a 19 year old TB gelding. I was already familiar with Calvin because he came from a stable i had worked at for about four years. I never saw anyone work with Calvin execpt for myself and that was only to lead him to his stall and pasture. I took care of 25 horses so had very little time for Calvin. He seemed to have a sweet dispositon but would somtimes spook and slightly rear when being led. My old boss/trainer said he wasn't difficult to ride but that he carried his head way to high (almost bashing you in the face while trotting).

Now, two years later Calvin was given to me because it cost to much to feed him (due to sever drought). Hay shot up to $9.50 a bale. I have had him for two weeks and at first things were fine. I knew he was a bully so we have only done ground work. He won't tie, and he leads horribly (ripping sockets out to eat grass...ect.). He started getting better until the other day i went to loung him (third time) and he went crazy on me! Buck and rearing and would not lounge at a walk for nothing. He will now spook by jumping straight into the air off all four feet. Sometimes away from you most of the time towards you. Confronting spooky things is likely to get me killed (not joking). We can't even pass spooky things at a long distance (200 ft).

His feed is 2 quarts of sweet feed in morning and evening with all the hay he wants.

What should I do?

Don't forget to laugh.
mylucalove is offline  
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-02-2008, 04:42 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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First - is there any way to remove the "sweet" from the feed and have him still keep weight well? Many horses get hight strung and spooky from sweet feeds. There are concentrate feeds out there without sweet.

Second, because he is older and probably well established in many bad behaviors, I would start him over as if I were starting a young horse. There are many ways to start horses and train out bad habits, but in your situation I would really recommend getting the level I Parelli set, and following it all the way through. If you like how it worked and you see major improvements (which I think you will - especially in your safety and the horse's confidence in you), then you might look into Level II and Level III to continue on.

Seriously though, if you can just pretend this horse has no riding/training history (assume he knows nothing - re-teach everything from step I), I think you will be much happier in even a few months.

I think you might be able to find the level I parelli on ebay for a reasonable price. Winter is a perfect time for the level I parelli activities :)
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-02-2008, 04:52 PM
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Heh, I was thinking much the same thing.

Less sugar and groundwork.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-02-2008, 05:18 PM
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I try to stay out of horse training as there are so many people on here better at it than me. I have to ask, have you had him vet checked? I just wonder if because of his age he may be having problems with his sight or hearing.
Please be careful, and take it slow.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-02-2008, 10:41 PM
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I agree, you should invest in the Parelli program. The very first level is about SAFETY. I highly recommend it.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-03-2008, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! I'll look into the Parelli program and as of now i cut his amount of feed in half....we'll see how it goes...

Don't forget to laugh.
mylucalove is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 01-06-2008, 12:24 PM
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I completely agree with everyone above. I was also going to mention as far as the leading problem (where you said he wants to rip your sockets out for grass), I would put a shank over his nose, DONT abuse him, teach him to respect you (also a rope on the gums under the upper lip works well, but this should only be done with someone with some experience. when done the correct way, it is a great pressure point that releases endorphins in the brain and naturally calms/relaxes the animal). I don't know if he raced and if so how much he was ever ridden after retiring from racing, but if that's the case, when you do start him under saddle, make sure to keep in mind, when we ride racehorses, their cue to go faster at the top of the lane, is us more or less tightening the reins. We do what's called "throwing a cross" (if you've ever watched a race closely, you'll see riders swing their arm out periodically around the turn at down the lane, this is throwing a cross) and what this does is re-loops the half cross in our reins, taking up any extra slack that may be in the reins from the first part of the race, and getting contact w/ their mouth (not pulling, just contact) and holding them together while he get in rhythm and ride them down the lane. Therefore, you'll also notice that down the backside or in the first part of the race, we have longer reins w/ looser contact, this gets them to relax. This is why most TB's are actually easier to train in the sense of less hands, more leg, great for teaching riders as well! Good luck, keep us updated, sure hope some of this helps!

"A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast"-Proverbs 12:10-
Tarvas Munkee is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 01-06-2008, 12:26 PM
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oh yea, and also I agree on the feed deal. I would not only take him off the sweet b/c of the pure sugar and energy in it, it's so bad for their digestive tracks, esp. in tb's. My TB gets purina strategy and oats (be careful w/ this, it's been known to make some horses hot, mine never have gotten, but it's one of those try-and-see type things) Another great supplement I feed that's great is beet-pulp. Make sure if you do this you feed after being soaked for multiple hours (i usually soak it over night) it's a bulk feed that'll help promote weight gain, a shiny coat, and it's also very high in fiber which obviously makes it highly digestible. Stay away from sweet feed and corn products if permittable. good luck!

"A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast"-Proverbs 12:10-
Tarvas Munkee is offline  

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