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grumpiness... needs sorting out!!

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  • Horse forum barnute
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    06-17-2011, 09:41 PM
NO!! Hand feeding treats in a biter, encourages biting. I hand feed my horses, but they are not biters either. Treats in general for purposes other than just giving a horse a treat, are a bad idea. Horses are not dogs. They are horses. Give him a treat, sure. Do not use it to encourage him to do something. Horses work best on a "press and release" system- the praise being the release. You put pressure until they do what you want, and when they do that, the pressure goes away.
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    06-17-2011, 10:21 PM
Originally Posted by SarahRicoh    
okay maybe I didnt explain very well....he has a massive girth scar and many scars all over him and an indent in his head where some1 hit hin with something very solid so hr was abused, quite badly from what owner saif.
Iv watched him been tacked up and it looked defensive 2 me.... every time she touched a place he wasnt happy about-eg girth. He turned around or swung head.
I agree he's ob learnt that doing that makes people leave him alone and this needs 2 be corrected but I don't think hitting him with a whip will help! Moving him is a good idea as I use that technique when trailering... any other opinions? Anyone know anything about breed?
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Blocking, the technique I mentioned, won't hurt his mind any further, and will protect you from a bite.

But again, as someone else mentioned, horses don't readily 'choose' to live in the past; we keep them there by the way we handle when you handle him, try to look past what you know about his past and handle him like you would any other horse. Don't ***** foot around him, by any means. I also mostly work with 'problem' horses, and simply treating them like a normal horse is what helps them come around quickest; establishing respect first and foremost. Horses require a good leader, especially those who have lacked a good one from the start.

On the abuse...all I want to know is who watched the horse be beaten for an hour and did nothing about it? That sickens me to no end. If indeed he was abused, you still need to look past it, and help the horse get over it. Scars in and of themselves, also, do not mean abuse...he could just have easily have gotten in a wreck in the pasture, or in a trailer...
    06-18-2011, 03:32 AM
I didnt think that hand feeding was a good idea-its stopping straight away!!
I know ita horrible isnt it but his current owner was english living in italy. She said she tried 2 stop it but they didnt listen so she just offered foe him and they took it only she then had to get him back to england :/
Anyway, they tack up etc loose in the stable which I don't do I normally tie up outside but il defiitely be holding him like you lot said cz I thought that so nice to hear people agree. I promise I wont *****foot around him. Lesson learnt to treat him normally.
I get him wed so il get pics asap and put them up to show you. His names barnute :)
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    06-18-2011, 03:33 AM
Ps sorry for bad spelling. On phone and its hard to type
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    06-18-2011, 04:00 AM
Lol. Understood. And good look with him!!! Can't wait to see pics :)
    06-18-2011, 05:08 AM
I also agree there should be another way with out hitting him with a whip; if he's been abused then it won't make him respect her;

Good Luck!

I also want pictures! (:
    06-18-2011, 07:44 AM
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I also agree there should be another way with out hitting him with a whip; if he's been abused then it won't make him respect her;
You know this from firsthand experience? I think you are just making a statement of how YOU THINK IT WOULD BE. This seems to be what almost everyone here does. They put human or dog type reasoning and THINK horses think that same way. THEY DON'T think that way. You CAN use a whip on an abused horse. You must get them used to having it used as a aid and not a torture instrument.

Same with using a whip under saddle. A horse that has been unreasonably beaten by a rider will be extremely scared of a rider with a whip. Whan a person get this kind of horse, they absolutely need to teach that horse that they CAN be ridden with a whip and that there is no reason for them to freak out. If you don't do this, the horse will never be reasonable and solid to ride.

I have used a whip as an aid (much different from using one as a 'beating instrument) and have found that it helps a great deal in teaching a horse the difference. I am not much on whips anyway as I would rather jerk a lead-rope and make a horse back up from 'just me', but the sensible use of a whip is sure not a problem. I particularly like using a whip on a horse that was abused with a whip. It actually desensitizes them when it is used like it shoudld be and then the handler goes back and rubs and desensitizes them with it. It makes them stop the behavior without fearing the whip. It helps them figure out WHY they got the spanking or discipline.
    06-18-2011, 08:41 PM
Again, I have to agree with Cherie.

Any horse who has been abused will only associate those tools IF you use them as such. Take the time, desensitize, and retrain the horse's frame of mind.

My mare was terrified of anything resembling a whip, crop, or handystick at one point...not any more...I took the time to desensitize her to them and showed her that they are not items to be feared, nor are they items soley for the principle of discipline.

If you think there are other ways of sensitizing this horse to new stimuli, other than just 'doing it' so to speak, Society Joe, please, don't be afraid to share. But my years of training horses have shown me that ***** footing around any horse, especially a scared (and in this instance, also defensive) horse only keeps him fearful. When you yourself act 'scared' you tell the horse with your body language that there is something to be afraid of. Act normal, train normal, and leave the past will have a better horse for it.
    06-19-2011, 12:29 AM
I am sure Cherie knows what she is talking about.

I would only have two suggestions;

Let him have a bit of time out to pasture to kind of seperate the old from the new, to freshen him.

Be sure that there are no pain issue such as bad saddle fit, ulcers , raw mouth, a need for chiropractic.

My friend's horse was very grumpy on the ground during saddling, he was bucking, rearing and refusing to work. His old saddle was so bad (previous owner) that it had been riding on his wither bones, he had ulcers, his ribs were "out" of alignment, and his heels were so low that he feet were in constant pain. She addressd each of these issues and worked on getting him to respect her space (moving him briskly when he threatended her with bitin while saddling). The final thing was getting wedges under his heels.

I saw him yesterday and he is a totally changed horse. Tolerates saddling well, is a pretty nice boy on the ground and under his new saddle.
Pain will do a LOT to make a horse a sour beast.
    06-19-2011, 01:24 AM
Before you consider a discipline action, might I first suggest this:

I have worked equine lameness and orthopedics for 10 years now, the most common complaint that we had from our clients was horses that seemed "girthy" or "grumpy" during the tacking up before a ride. 9 times out of 10 the cause was a stiffness or arthritic change coming from the hocks of the horse. When a horse is uncomfortable with their hocks, be it from arthritis or soft tissue soreness, they compensate the pain in their backs. Sometimes the pain in their backs can be the cause of the grumpiness during tacking up, which lets face it, it is not exactly comfortable to put a saddle on their back and tighten a girth. So any sensitivity on that region will be seen. I had an OTTB who had the same issue, and once we put him on a joint supplement (polyglycan is my favorite!) and began doing some back stretching exercises before tacking up, things were much more peaceful, I didn't have to worry about him dancing around in the tie stall or biting or pinning his ears backs. All of a sudden he was a different horse. But before you become too caught up in the disciplinary action thing, I would check his hocks through a veterinarian (preferably with radiographs) to make sure he does not have any arthritic changes. If he is clean with his lameness exam(which 99.9% of horses will flex positive on at least one joint!!) then you can begin worrying about behavior modificaton!

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