disrespectful, fearful, head shy horse, need training ideas
 
 

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disrespectful, fearful, head shy horse, need training ideas

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    03-07-2011, 10:05 PM
  #1
Started
disrespectful, fearful, head shy horse, need training ideas

I got Legacy in the beginning of June, he came from a kill broker and his history is completely unknown, he's in his late teens-early 20's. I worked with him a bit in the fall and he was doing pretty well, but as my friend says he seems like he's a "time bomb" When I was ridding him he was being very gate sour and I wasn't fighting with him too much because we hadn't done much so I didn't want to push him too far, so I had my friend Lauren get on, and she made him move away from the gate and listen and he threw a buck, nothing big, but she thinks he has the potential to really have a melt down, this horse is supposed to be my moms trail horse and she's a timid rider. The last ride I took him out on the trail with my trainer riding my OTTB Bella, he did well, but he was a little hard to hold back, and wanted take off a bit. He hasn't been ridden all winter because we don't have an indoor and it's been a really icy winter, but now that the snow is finally melting I need some tips on restarting him.
In the pasture he is very disrespectful, if I try to walk up to him he will turn his butt to me and if I keep trying to catch him he will threaten to kick, when he is on the lead line he leads great. He has a lot of muscle tightness so I've been working on massaging his neck and he will randomly turn and bite me, sometimes even if i'm not doing anything, it almost always catches me off guard so I don't get to correct it before he does it or within the 4 seconds, he's terrible about anyone being around his back end, once he had a little blood on his rear leg so I wanted to check to see if there was a cut under his winter coat, I didn't even touch near the cut and the back leg was already going. He is terrified of the whip, if I try to even touch him with it he will rear, he doesn't lunge well, i'm not sure if it's a new thing for him or if he's just stubborn, but he will point his nose to the rail and race around the round pen, with the occasional buck. He is ear shy, i've been working with him on this almost every day and he is much better, when we got him if you tried to bridal him he would throw his head up as high as it could go(sometimes feet would come up too) as soon as it touched his ears, he still doesn't like it but I can bridal him and touch his ears with minimal difficulty, Overall he really is a good horse, I know I just listed all flaws, but he has a lot we need to work on...does anyone have any kind of tips and exercises to do with him once all this crap melts, we have a 60ft round pen to work in, just built that last summer.

Thanks for reading, I know it's long but I really need some ideas, i've been riding since I was 12(13 years) but I haven't really trained a horse, my trainer moved back to Michigan in November and where I live trainers are few and far between and very expensive when you can find one, my friend Lauren said she will help me with him, but i'm not sure how often that will be, so I really want to have some things in mind to do with him
     
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    03-07-2011, 10:09 PM
  #2
Trained
It sounds like he needs alot of ground work, before those under saddle issues will start resolving.

Disrespectful, fearful horses NEED to learn to be respectful willing calm partners on the ground before you start trying to tackle all the undersaddle issues effectively. Granted, I'm a little different in that way of thinking, but I think ground work is key to retraining a horse, and it sounds like this one has ALOT of holes in his groundwork, let alone his saddle work!

Too bad you're so far away from me...I would happily work with him for you
     
    03-07-2011, 10:12 PM
  #3
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2pride    
It sounds like he needs alot of ground work, before those under saddle issues will start resolving.

Disrespectful, fearful horses NEED to learn to be respectful willing calm partners on the ground before you start trying to tackle all the undersaddle issues effectively. Granted, I'm a little different in that way of thinking, but I think ground work is key to retraining a horse, and it sounds like this one has ALOT of holes in his groundwork, let alone his saddle work!
I completely agree, I should have specified, i'm looking for ground work exercises to do with him before we start any more under saddle work
     
    03-07-2011, 10:24 PM
  #4
Trained
Hmmm...where do I start? Seriously...

He really needs to learn how to lunge, as that will be a huge help getting him to 'think' through things. From lungeing, you can teach him how to send between things, over things, etc...which, again, helps him to begin "thinking" rather than reacting to things. The more you can actively move his feet, or help him move his feet, the quicker you can help him start using the thinking side of his brain.

Teach him how to yield his hips and shoulders.

You NEED to get him used to your tools...that will likely take a session in and of it self. Desensitization is key, especially for horses with unknown histories. Start with your whip, or carrot stick in one hand, and just walk away from your horse, with him on a lead rope following you. Swing the whip back and forth in front of you. When he seems to be calm about that, then stop, turn around, and start doing it on one side of him, just desensitizing the 'air' around him, by swinging the whip in the air near to him. Wait for him to stop moving, and look for a sign of relaxation (licking lips, sighing, cocking hind leg, lowering head). Gradually go from there, until you can rub him all over with the object you are using to desensitize with. Always do both sides, because horses do not 'think' with both sides of their brain at the same time; thus the 'two horses in one' type thing.

I can probably give you more detailed 'how to's' through e-mail (perhaps with pictures, if I can manage it), if you would like; sometimes it's hard to put a long description in these posts...Lol!
     
    03-11-2011, 07:46 PM
  #5
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2pride    
Hmmm...where do I start? Seriously...

He really needs to learn how to lunge, as that will be a huge help getting him to 'think' through things. From lungeing, you can teach him how to send between things, over things, etc...which, again, helps him to begin "thinking" rather than reacting to things. The more you can actively move his feet, or help him move his feet, the quicker you can help him start using the thinking side of his brain.

Teach him how to yield his hips and shoulders.

You NEED to get him used to your tools...that will likely take a session in and of it self. Desensitization is key, especially for horses with unknown histories. Start with your whip, or carrot stick in one hand, and just walk away from your horse, with him on a lead rope following you. Swing the whip back and forth in front of you. When he seems to be calm about that, then stop, turn around, and start doing it on one side of him, just desensitizing the 'air' around him, by swinging the whip in the air near to him. Wait for him to stop moving, and look for a sign of relaxation (licking lips, sighing, cocking hind leg, lowering head). Gradually go from there, until you can rub him all over with the object you are using to desensitize with. Always do both sides, because horses do not 'think' with both sides of their brain at the same time; thus the 'two horses in one' type thing.

I can probably give you more detailed 'how to's' through e-mail (perhaps with pictures, if I can manage it), if you would like; sometimes it's hard to put a long description in these posts...Lol!
Thanks, it's a starting point, which is what I need, now I just have to wait for the 5" of mud to dry up so I can start working with him, I'll PM you my e-mail address, I have a feeling this is going to be a long process, I need to see if I can dig out my old john lyons books, although I think my friend who moved to Montana still have my ground control manual, that would be really good to have about now lol
     
    03-11-2011, 07:55 PM
  #6
Yearling
I very strongly suggest that you read this thread and consider the advice offered.

"Playing the Hero" -- when to 'stick with it' & when to realize it's time to move on.
     
    03-11-2011, 11:35 PM
  #7
Foal
A fearful horse is a world away from a disrespectful horse, IMHO. A disrespectful horse needs to be taught discipline. A fearful horse needs to be taught trust. Once trust is learned discipline can come into effect. Lots and lots of groundwork, round penning, and more ground work. Move slowly. Don't rush this horse into anything or he may go into "fight" mode and injure someone. (This is all assuming he is "fearful and not disrespectful..)

With his tension in his neck and back he may need to see a massage therapist. If you are trying to rub out his neck and back and he just wants to bite then you might be hitting knots or adhesions-fibrous scar tissue (if you will) that forms in the muscle from tension or work. A certified massage therapist can locate these problems and work them out for you.
     
    03-12-2011, 10:02 PM
  #8
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marecare    
I very strongly suggest that you read this thread and consider the advice offered.

"Playing the Hero" -- when to 'stick with it' & when to realize it's time to move on.
I have read through that post, and at this time I am not in over my head, i'm just not not sure where to start which is why I came here, I have owned horses for 13 years(since I was 12) i'm not a beginner, and I can easily handle him, but I need to make it so that my mom can handle and ride him. If with training he doesn't improve, then he will end up being a pasture pet as I know my mom will not sell him. I have been in over my head before with a crazy bucker named Skip, I kept trying for 3 years until I finally realized I was not making and progress, trust me, if he gets worse, I will give up and he will just be a pasture pet lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by mustbemonroe    
A fearful horse is a world away from a disrespectful horse, IMHO. A disrespectful horse needs to be taught discipline. A fearful horse needs to be taught trust. Once trust is learned discipline can come into effect. Lots and lots of groundwork, round penning, and more ground work. Move slowly. Don't rush this horse into anything or he may go into "fight" mode and injure someone. (This is all assuming he is "fearful and not disrespectful..)

With his tension in his neck and back he may need to see a massage therapist. If you are trying to rub out his neck and back and he just wants to bite then you might be hitting knots or adhesions-fibrous scar tissue (if you will) that forms in the muscle from tension or work. A certified massage therapist can locate these problems and work them out for you.
When in the pasture he is very rude and disrespectful, for instance if you have treats he will not back out of your space and will just about knock you over to get them, he's pretty good with me because he knows that until he backs off he will get nothing, but he takes advantage of my mom, my husband or anyone else who doesn't have the confidence to make him back off, if you don't have treats he wants no part of you and will keep turning his butt to you if you are trying to catch him, he is worse when he is eating hay. So that's the disrespectful part, but he is also fearful, just not at the same time, if I bring out the carrot stick he gets terrified, I have had him on the lead line and while trying to work with him and as soon as I start bringing it near him he will throw his head up and then bolt, that was before I had the round pen built so we will be doing a lot of work in there this spring...
I have had a MT work on him, but she couldn't do much because he would bite at her when she was working on his neck and she couldn't work on his back or rear at all without him getting agitated, which is why I have been doing some the the techniques she showed me on his neck and slowly working my way back as he accepts it, i'm hoping to have her back out again once I get him to accept me touching him all over, at this time it wouldn't be worth it to have her out
     

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