Hard to catch and spooky horse
 
 

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Hard to catch and spooky horse

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  • Catching a spooky horse
  • How do you catch a spooky horse

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    11-24-2013, 07:52 PM
  #1
Foal
Angry Hard to catch and spooky horse

Hey ya'll. I've posted about this horse before. He's a four year old Rocky Mountain. I thought me and my husband had gotten the worst out of him. But he has reverted horribly! You can't catch him anymore, he takes off running and bucking. He's picking on my TW gelding now too. Which he never did before. Considering my TW is soo much bigger than him. And dominate at that. I'm not sure whats going on with him. We've had him for probably about two months. Of course we had problems in the beginning. Because he was new. He settled down. And now out of the blue he's acting out. IF you can catch him he is usually okay, but he's been spooking easily, and when he's under the saddle he's being jumpy too. He has been rode frequently since we've had him. And this has just started about last week again. There is nothing wrong with the tack, or the horse. I've had him checked out. Any advice? I bought vitacalm hoping it would help him. If not I'm going to have to send him down the rode. Please keep in mind I'm pretty experienced with horses, and I've done about all I know to fix him.
     
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    11-24-2013, 08:05 PM
  #2
Yearling
Well 4 years old is still pretty young, he is still growing and maturing physically and mentally. When you say you have had him "checked out", what was checked. I would look at teeth, and have a chiropractor give him a once over. I have seen them get whacky when they are hurting, then after an adjustment go back to calm and quiet. Once pain is ruled out then your dealing with a training issue, and general lack of respect. Are you spending time desensitizing as well as sensitizing? Ground work and establishing respect would be the place I would go back to, or go to ground work if you have not.

Without knowing what you have already done it is hard to offer any specific suggestions to help. But when in doubt I always go back to groundwork.
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    11-24-2013, 08:16 PM
  #3
Foal
The vet has seen him, and said that he is fine. Besides worms and bots. But those are gone. "the place he came from wasn't the best". His teeth are just now needing to be done. I haven't changed his feed or anything either. Me and my husband both have done TONS of ground work with him. And if it was a day that we weren't going to be able to ride we would even saddle him up and just walk him around and work him with all the tack on. He's smart as a whip. He's been rode on the road and trails. I've even had several friends who own/break horses come look at him and ride him. And as soon as they get on him he's fine. Doesn't offer to do a thing. I don't ride this horse what so ever. He doesn't like me on his back. My husband is pretty much the only person that rides him. Once you catch him he's awesome. Besides being slightly spooky. He will even follow you around without a lead rope and stop when you tell him to. As long as he is not in the pasture. When he gets hot when he's under the saddle I have my husband work him in small circles. That works a little but not much. Random things spook him. From just moving your arm, to the wind barely blowing. He isn't head shy what so ever. But I do think this horse was spurred hard from his previous owner.
     
    11-24-2013, 11:23 PM
  #4
Started
Those several friends with whom he's an angel: you need to have them mentor you through this, because they have the savvy.

Please give him more of a chance; you only need to gain the savvy that your friends have.
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    11-25-2013, 02:49 AM
  #5
Green Broke
He is young. Boys will be boys. What you may think that he is picking on your other horse may be only him trying to get your other horse to play.

Young and green horses usually are spooky horses. It is normal. As you put more miles under him, he will improve. He will be more sure of you, himself and his surroundings.

You say you won't ride him because he doesn't like you. You are unsure of him, nervous or whatever. He can sense it. He doesn't want to be around someone like that because he won't feel safe. He may behave around others because they are more confident and he feels more secure.

Are there any times that you catch him but don't work him? If everytime that he is caught, he is worked or rode, of course he won't want to be caught. Being caught equals work. Once caught, he knows it and knows he is to behave.

Gssw5 brought out a good point. When training a horse, you should do equal amounts of sensitizing and desensitizing. By over teaching a horse to respond to pressure (sensitizing) and not teaching it to not react (desensitizing), you will get a jumpy or spooky horse. On the other hand, if you over desensitize, you will get a horse that is very laid back but doesn't respond at all to your cues.
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    11-25-2013, 04:52 AM
  #6
Green Broke
The horse has your number. And sending him down the road might work..but if you don't know what you are doing with horses? You will more than likely have the exact same problem with the next one.

Horses KNOW when a human doesn't have a clue as to what they are doing.

It is also not the same as fixing a car, or a faucet leak. "Fixing" a horse's problems may need constant "fixing" in that the first time you let a horse get away with something? You are right back where you started from.

Get some on the ground help would be the best thing for you. They could then assess whether it was your body language, handling or mannerisms/voice pitch that were adding to this.
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    11-25-2013, 08:19 PM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsStinson89    
But he has reverted horribly! You can't catch him anymore, he takes off running and bucking.
Then something you're doing with him is causing him not to want to come play your games. Analyse what it is you're doing wrong & what he thinks of it all.

Quote:
He's picking on my TW gelding now too. Which he never did before. Considering my TW is soo much bigger than him. And dominate at that. I'm not sure whats going on with him. We've had him for probably about two months.
Without knowing specifics, don't know whether he is actually being a 'bully' but what's more likely IME is that he's got to know your boy & gain confidence with him to play with him. Also if they're both 'dominant' types, that means more 'boy games' likely.

Quote:
And now out of the blue he's acting out. IF you can catch him he is usually okay, but he's been spooking easily, and when he's under the saddle he's being jumpy too. He has been rode frequently since we've had him.
Horses generally put up with an awful lot if they don't believe they have a choice, and young green horses are often spooky, as they don't generalise well & not solid on much, so it may not take anything big to cause a horse to 'blow up out of the blue' - but there's always something, just that we may not notice what.

But as he's only 4yo & you've been doing lots of riding & his behaviour has suddenly changed, I'd say pain is a fair bet. As his body is still immature his back & joints are easily damaged from weightbearing. He will also be changing shape so if ridden in a saddle, it needs to be evaluated very often to ensure it's still comfortable for him.

Quote:
I bought vitacalm hoping it would help him. If not I'm going to have to send him down the rode. Please keep in mind I'm pretty experienced with horses, and I've done about all I know to fix him.
Magnesium is a very important mineral which is commonly deficient/imbalanced in the diet. It is also associated with behaviour & more is needed when the horse is stressed. Whatever feed he's on may also have a bearing on his behaviour too.

Sending him 'down the road' I presume is to a trainer? Of course the more good training a horse has, the better, but I'm afraid that from what you've said, it sounds like something about whatever you & your husband are doing(can't tell because you provide no specifics) is causing or exacerbating the problems, so I think it's probably a good move if you all 'go down the road' for some training together.

Quote:
Me and my husband both have done TONS of ground work with him.
Has he enjoyed this? Has he been keen & willing? I personally think it's important to teach/play with them in such a way that they enjoy their 'work'. If that's not important to you, then of course he's not going to WANT to come to you, so you've then got to ensure that ignoring/running away from you is punished effectively enough that he sees work as 'the lesser evil'.

Quote:
I've even had several friends who own/break horses come look at him and ride him. And as soon as they get on him he's fine. Doesn't offer to do a thing. I don't ride this horse what so ever. He doesn't like me on his back.
So he's not 'fine' with your husband? Then it's likely - pain aside - that it is you & your husband that need more training, as much or more so than the horse. Especially you, if you can't ride him at all.

So... all in all, respectfully, it just sounds like you're not very experienced & this horse isn't either - he's not a beginners type horse & you could all benefit from more experienced... partners.
     
    11-25-2013, 11:26 PM
  #8
Started
With due respect, loosie, OP needs to get relationship so good with this 4 (4! He's a kid!) yr-old that he WANTS to be with her, WANTS to be haltered (not just chooses to allow himself to be caught because otherwise he gets run into the ground!)

Plus, "down the road" as OP meant it doesn't mean "to the trainer", it means get rid of the horse; correct me if I'm wrong, OP.

It makes no sense to get rid of a 4-yr old colt, when you've seen several savvy friends ride him without incident, I.e., you KNOW, therefore, that it's YOUR lack of savvy & horse isn't faulty somehow.

Please get help from your friends, to save this youngun' from lord-knows-what, if you don't.
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    11-26-2013, 01:50 AM
  #9
Trained
^Re first comment above, maybe I wasn't clear but yes, I agree absolutely with what you've said. I just added that if that wasn't something they thought was important, they'll have to take the tack of punishing his running away effectively enough to make him choose to come as the lesser evil - I just don't agree with that attitude. I want the horse to become a willing partner, not a slave.
     
    12-01-2013, 08:07 PM
  #10
Foal
This isn't my first horse, I've had horses since I was seven. And I'm 24. I've just never had a horse that has acted like this. Except a few choice mares. I'm not scared of him either. He prefers men for some reason. Not sure why. And we don't work him every time we get him out. I try as much as possible to spend time with them, and just hang out with them. Whether I'm grooming them or just spending time with them. The more I've watched my husband work with him, and watch his body language I have noticed a few things. Like he tests him to see how far he can get. He's a really good horse. You can take the lead rope off and he will follow you where ever you please, and will stop and stay when you tell him to. We have been working on desensitizing him to pretty much everything. Car's don't scare him. But quick movements do. I did get on him today for a little while and he was accepting. I have only been on him a few times. Usually with my horses saddle, which that could be why he didn't like me on him. Due to it being a big heavy saddle. And today I was on him bareback, and he was fine. So we are being patient and spending as much time as we can with him and my horse. I have gone back to doing a "release" when I try to catch him also. It has seemed to help. The only issue we have had today was when my husband went to get him he spun around and about took my husbands head off.
     

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