Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Don't touch my feet...
Alright, I'm reaching out for a little advice! I've recently taken on a new venture, one I've not quite travelled yet. I purchased a 2 year old. Despite the fact that I've been around horses all my life, I've yet to train a "partially broke" youngster that someone has already screwed around with. I trained my Arab mare from birth to now, so I never dealt with these issues since they were nipped in the bud when she was a baby. And I've done a lot of work with abused horses, but that's a very different route then a flat out obstinate animal who's learned she can get away with murder.
My issue is that Jynx has basically learned, both through lack of handling and utterly novice handling, that people were put on this earth to feed her. We've already gotten the nipping issue well underway (no more hand fed treats), and the leading is a work in progress but going well. She was actually trained to walk DIRECTLY behind a person, which has me just shaking my head in disbelief. Mostly because when she spooks every 30 seconds, she'll go right over top of whoever is in front of her. Luckily, she's smart as heck, because it only took two days to break that habit and show her where she's SUPPOSED to walk. She's also learned that she can simply stop whenever she doesn't want to go somewhere, but she's just as quickly learning that that crud doesn't fly with me.
ANYWAY. My major issue right now is her feet. She'll let me hold them long enough to pick them out (quickly), but if you persist in holding her leg, she will throw a complete and utter adult size 800 pound temper tantrum. When I bought her, I don't think her feet had EVER been trimmed they were so disgusting. My roommate does farrier work, and couldn't stand seeing her at such severe angles with a solid six extra inches of growth, so she tackled her. And well...let's say Jynx DID get her feet done. And I think I owe my roommate about six new lives. Shay-la is just as rawhide tough as I am, and will hang on to a leg until she's looking death in the eyes, and this mare got it back a few times from leaping back, rearing up, leaping forward, etc. all on three legs.
We did manage to get her feet looking decent, decent enough for me to work with those darn legs before the real farrier comes out. But I'm at a loss - almost every horse I've owned was born on our farm, so I'm completely accustomed to working with horses I've known from birth. I can't figure out WHY this mare is so ornery. She seems half-scared, half-just don't wanna do it!
Well, that was nice and long, cookies if you got through it! Any advice on teaching her blowups aren't acceptable would be fantastic. I'm open to pretty much any method known to man, I firmly believe it depends on the horse. Obviously nothing abusive such as taking whips to her, but do I handle this with a firm hand or a gentler one?
And let me tell you - this REALLY makes me appreciate the value of being able to raise my horses from birth! I just hope I can undo this damage and turn her out into a decent mannered animal! Thanks for reading.