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Extremly aggressive horse

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    06-04-2010, 05:20 AM
Kudos for taking him on.

If this were my rescue horse, the first thing I would do would be to geld him.

Do you have rope halters or are they the flat halters?

I think he has been spoiled and allowed to get away with bloody murder. He has learned that if he throws a fit, he gets his way. He doesn't want a bit? That's ok, kick and squeal and throw a fit, the bit goes away. The thing I would do would be to push his tolerance level to the edge, then back off, over and over again.

Lets say you are brushing him. If he gets antsy, stop. Wait a moment, then start again. Keep doing this over and over. Finally it will get to the point where he won't fuss because he will realize you are just going to keep brushing him, and the more he fusses the longer it will take.

It make take a year or 2, but I bet he will turn out good.
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    06-04-2010, 11:09 AM
Keeping him tied for a while won't hurt him. I wouldn't spend alot of time forcing myself on him and baby talking to him but it probably won't do much harm either. I would have him gelded and then while he was sore and stiff I would handle him extensively. Making him move will help with the swelling as well as getting him a little gentler. He doesn't seem like too bad of a horse to me. He should come around eventually.
    06-04-2010, 12:38 PM
I have seen plenty of stallions that act like that that have never had a hand raised to them. I manage a rescue barn and try to keep everyone's heads on their shoulders instead of in the clouds. Everyone assumes that if a horse is defensive or aggressive, it was because they were mistreated, everyone screams abuse. Neglect I see often, ignorance I see even more often, deliberate abuse through physical actions by a human I can honestly say I see rarely, and it is most commonly through show and track horses. I have also seen plenty of well taken care of show and track horses, but sometimes the drive to compete causes people to do inhumane things.

The best case scenario would be to geld this guy and turn him out, let him figure out how to be a horse. He obviously has no social skills. In the situation that you are in, I agree with Kevin, cut him and leave him alone. Don't give him any reasons to be aggressive, don't react with anything he does, wait until he is actually looking for you. You have to turn the tables on him. I know from experience that the worst thing for the energy of a rescue barn is the feeling of sympathy. The last thing a rescue horse needs is a weak energy from a human, they need someone to say "get over it, you are safe now" and show them leadership and boundaries. For right now, I would say don't give him the time of day besides the necessities that he needs. Sitting and reading a book in his presence is good, because it will put you there as something that he has to get used to and can't shake. Let the place go on about its routine and let him figure out that he is nothing special, just a horse. When he starts getting curious, then just maybe you will give him the luxary of interacting with you.

On another note, I have seen good hearted people take on more that their capablities could handle with horses with both behavioral and physical issues, my answer to this is that there are worse things in life than death.
    06-04-2010, 12:38 PM
I've had much worse horses here that turned out fine. He wasn't hell bent on murder, he was just trying to get the guy away from him. He stopped when the guy stopped.

I had a TB gelding here that was insane. I am serious- insane. He would beat himself to bits if he was stalled, flinging himself against walls. He broke 2x6 planks with his kicking. If you went near him he would rear and paw and strike out, or if he wasn't close enough he'd run straight at you and attempt to run you over, teeth bared.

Previously to me taking him, he had been beaten in the head with a 2x4 when he refused to pick up his foot.

After 2 months of this we had him put to sleep. The vet asked if he could necropsy his brain to see if there was something organic about his behavior- and we agreed. Turns out when he was beaten, he had a skull fracture and bone chips were broken off and went into his brain. Vet said he would have never recovered.
    06-04-2010, 12:41 PM
Flitterbug, I wholeheartedly agree. Too many times people misinterpret behavior problems for the symptoms of abuse- most "abused" horses at our rescue have been allowed to get away with bloody murder, and are just testing their limits.

We can't save them all. I can try, but I'll go insane myself. I can only choose a certain few at a time, and do the best I can with them.
    06-04-2010, 02:06 PM
Originally Posted by draftrider    

Lets say you are brushing him. If he gets antsy, stop. Wait a moment, then start again.
That's how you train a horse to misbehave. You should brush until he relaxes or at least stands still then quit.
    06-04-2010, 04:28 PM
draftrider : We don't have rope halters over here. They are rare to see, he has a flat halter on him and one rope halter but flat also (is made from a lot of ropes that are put togheter to form a flat halter). I know that rope halter will be better for him because it gives you more control. I will try to buy one of this for him. Thank you for the suggestion. And thank you also for the advice. I'm glad to hear that he has some chances to become more easy to handle.

kevinshorses : thank you a lot Kevin. Today we didn't interact with it all day. We interacted with him only to feed him and water him. He is very very calm in the stall, he doesn't have a problem with being tied. So I guess that he will not be stressed because of this. He will not have a way to spend his energy but for the moment we keep him only on hay. No grain or supplements. We will made an appointment those days to the doctor to come and geld him. This is the only alternative that we have to calm him down, and after this we will work him and train him as you mentioned.

I'm glad that you don't think that he is extremely aggressive. That's a great thing. I have never seen an horse so aggressive but I don't have a lot of experience with horses. I have only 2 years of working with horses so I didn't saw a lot in 2 years.

Thank you for the support and advice, really appreciate it.

draftrider : yes, Calin is not aggressive without a reason. He is aggressive only when he feels intimidated. If you go lonely to him, and treat him in a calm manner he doesn't show many signs of aggression. He only tries to bite you if you want to touch him. But if you keep a distance he doesn't really care about you being there. But if you try to punish him for a bad behavior he freaks out and tries to kill you. Because of this thing we don't know how to handle him.

But I'm really glad that he does have hope.
And the case of the TB gelding is really interesting. I'm sorry for that poor horse. I didn't knew that they can go insane. It's really great that you chose the right decision.

FlitterBug : I agree that there can be some stallions with this kind of behavior. But this one was really abused. I know that this is not an excuse to let them escape with that behavior. We really try to not do this. But in the same time we try to not trigger the fear that this horse has for a lot of things. He freaks out when he sees a stick, a crop or a group of people. So we will try to teach him that he doesn't have to be afraid anymore. After he will settle up we will begin his training. Right now when you punish him for something like biting he freaks out and tries to escape from you. That's the problem. We don't know how to put him to respect, how to show him that we don't tolerate his behavior without him freaking out and being scared and very defensive.

Thank you all for the support. I will keep you updated when he will have an improvement.
    06-04-2010, 04:53 PM
Green Broke
He is so handsome but he is aggressive, I think just because he is scared and he is a stallion so that is his way of dealing with it. I don't think he is a lost cause though, he needs to gain human trust again, he looks in poor condition and maybe associates that with humans.
    06-04-2010, 05:46 PM
That's how you train a horse to misbehave. You should brush until he relaxes or at least stands still then quit.
Very good advice. A lot of people don't understand that you should do this instead of stopping. Then they wonder why their horse bites, and flips out when pressure is put on them.
    06-04-2010, 05:47 PM
Originally Posted by ****edEvans    
He is aggressive only when he feels intimidated. If you go lonely to him, and treat him in a calm manner he doesn't show many signs of aggression. He only tries to bite you if you want to touch him. But if you keep a distance he doesn't really care about you being there. But if you try to punish him for a bad behavior he freaks out and tries to kill you. .
To me this sounds very promising.
You have something to work with - you can be near him and he doesn't lash out - you could build on this (in time).
I still think you should leave him alone for a couple of days, just doing your regular daily routine around him. Letting him get used to his new environment, people and noises. And also having someone near him but not doing anything to him. After a couple of days you could use the technique I suggested before - using a stick or something as an extension of your arm, and getting him used to just being touched. Doing everything slowly and calmly. I don't think I would push him too much or too long, keep it short and simple, then leave him alone.

Good luck, and I think you have a good chance of bringing him around.

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