Frustrating horses at work...
   

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Frustrating horses at work...

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        11-02-2009, 04:41 PM
      #1
    Weanling
    Exclamation Frustrating horses at work...

    So I work at my college in the equine veterinary clinic. I work with research horses, and I have to lunge them on a daily basis. I have issues with two of the horses. The methods I have to use right now are harsh, but I was wondering what other people would use when dealing with this same issue.

    The veterinarian who is in charge of the project has admitted that some days they are dangerous, but we still have to use them for our lameness study. He has ended up just allowing the horse to come at him and whipping them to make them get beck. It worked in the short term, but as I feared it did nothing in the longer term. (as in 3 weeks later)

    These horses rear and strike when they want to be done, want to go back to their stall, or hear other horses going by outside of the lunging area. If they do not rear and strike they have a tendency to either try to spin away and run or spin away and kick. I know how to stay out of reach, and I have been using a chain over each of their noses, but they still are willing to try at least 3-5 times each lunging session. These horses do not have as much turnout as I would like, but I have no control over that.

    Are there any training methods or ways to cope with them that you feel might work better. I am only able to work these horses about 30 minutes per day, and I am not the only person working with them.
         
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        11-03-2009, 12:41 AM
      #2
    Trained
    Just put up with it and do the best you can. You really can't train them in the thirty minutes that they have to be lunging and then have another worker undo it when they handle them differently.
         
        11-03-2009, 09:15 AM
      #3
    Weanling
    Thanks kevinshorses, that's what I've been doing so far. Sounds like I will just have to deal with them not being so sweet...lol. They're making me pretty good at dodging, and out manuevering.
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        11-03-2009, 09:40 AM
      #4
    Trained
    You are protected by OSHA standards so if you decide it's too dangerous you can force the issue and make your boss change things. It will probably improve your horsemanship dealing with horses like these.
         
        11-03-2009, 12:16 PM
      #5
    Trained
    First of all, you do have to sympathize with the horses for a second - if they are being used for a lameness study I'm assuming it's because they are lame. So they are sore and in a stall all the time so probably miserable as well.
    Personally, I would complain and ask that the horses get turnout - boredom would be reduced and they would be less stiff and sore if they were able to move around.
    Second of all - they do have to stop being sh*ts. For some horses this is just not possible by "nice" methods. A nice 5ft ish piece of PVC and one baseball swing to the chest usually gets them to respect you (and your large stick). People I used to board with that had an untreated equally-lame-on-4-legs horse that tried to kill them a few times so they carried around PVC and it seemed to work well.

    Good luck!
         
        11-03-2009, 09:07 PM
      #6
    Weanling
    Kevinshorses: I definitely don't want to push the subject. I can deal with them as long as the other people that work them actually get them out and work them as hard as they should the day before. Hopefully it will help, it has already given me an entirely new view on how to deal with certain horses.

    Anabel: I wish it was so easy. I have no say on getting them more turn out. :( I wish that I could.

    We basically already used the big stick on one of them. It made it more manageable, but in the long run she has been trying harder to find ways around it. (including kicking) After she almost got me one day the vet whipped her every time that she charged at him. She is the most serious issue, but she is also the one that has to be hobbled (all four legs) and twitched for a simple shot. With all of that done she doesn't do anything, but without one or the other she attempts to paw your brains out. (needless to say people have wuit trying to go without it)

    The other horse is terrified of EVERYTHING. I feel like she would be better to work with if she wasn't so scared, but I have tried everything that I can in the time I have and it doesn't do very much. Hopefully after having some extra work the past couple of days she will get a little better. :(

    Thanks for the advice yall.
         
        11-03-2009, 09:32 PM
      #7
    Yearling
    Eeek. I feel your pain. I work with a lot of horses with behavioural issues too, and don't have the opportunity to correct them. They are stbds being turned out at our place being either post-stake season or post surgical. It's like a friggin horse factory/hotel. Like Kevin suggested, just try and deal as best you can, and try to do as much as you can with the time you have. It will give you lots of experience with not-so-great-to-handle horses, anyways....like you, I've learned the 3 D's. Duck. Dive. Dodge. It sucks, but what can you do really?
         
        11-03-2009, 09:38 PM
      #8
    Weanling
    Exactly...lol. I'm getting really good at the whole duck, dodge, dive. I'm glad someone else feels my pain.
         
        11-05-2009, 06:45 PM
      #9
    Weanling
    Well, I found out what waas causing the issues. There is another person working with the horses in a way that is exasperating the issue. If they act up at all he smacks them in the face with the leadrope! It explains to me why they are all getting worse when they had been getting better up until hte last couple of weeks. There is nothing I can do about the way he works them. THhey are research horses, and everytime that no one is around he does it his way to give them and "attitude adjustment." I'm figuring one of the horses will give him one soon, but until then I just have to work around the issues and be as understanding with these horses as possible. :(

    (I still have work to do on dodging...lol. One of them managed to stomp my foot and shoulder into me at the same time to knock me on my butt today. She was spooking, but I will be more aware next time)
         
        11-05-2009, 06:46 PM
      #10
    Weanling
    Well, I found out what is causing the issues. There is another person working with the horses in a way that is exasperating the issue. If they act up at all he smacks them in the face with the leadrope! It explains to me why they are all getting worse when they had been getting better up until hte last couple of weeks. There is nothing I can do about the way he works them. They are research horses, and everytime that no one is around he does it his way to give them and "attitude adjustment." I'm figuring one of the horses will give him one soon, but until then I just have to work around the issues and be as understanding with these horses as possible. :(

    (I still have work to do on dodging...lol. One of them managed to stomp my foot and shoulder into me at the same time to knock me on my butt today. She was spooking, but I will be more aware next time
         

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