Help with MINI!
   

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Help with MINI!

This is a discussion on Help with MINI! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Can an unhandled 2 year old horse be tamed
  • How to train a miniature stallion to respect

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  • 1 Post By minihorse927

 
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    02-11-2012, 03:24 PM
  #1
Foal
Post Help with MINI!

I need to help work with a mini to stop him from being put down. He was not socialized growing up (he's 2) and therefor lacks social skills with humans. He has severe biting behaviors and isn't afraid to kick either. I have personally decided to work with him (with permission) to get him to and adoptable state so that he can have a future. The problem is I have never done any work with horses that have biting and kicking behaviors so I don't really know where to start. My goal would be for him to be lead-able (which he is decent at already), groom-able (this is one time he really likes to bite), and have him be more friendly to humans ( I will go out to sit with him in the pasture and he will just come up and bite and kick out with this front legs at me.

His situation:
He was bought at a garage sale as a "gelding" only for the people who bought him to find out otherwise. They then abandon him and he was rescued through my areas local rescue. He was then put out at the barn where I board my horse since he wasn't "adoptable" yet. To just wait there until they do something with him. He is tied to a stake with a long rope all day and then put in a stall at night. He is solitary and does not get anytime to be with other horses.

My reasoning:
I think by the time the rescue has the ability and time (they are very busy) to start working with him it will be even more too late then it seems it is now. He is cute little guy who I know has really sweetness deep down. But he was not socialized and needs help. I don't want him to die because he wasn't given any time to be worked with. That's not his fault. So I have decided to do it. To hopefully "save" him. But, as I mentioned I have never encountered these particular behaviors before and do not know where to start. So if you could give me advice on how to start working with him I would really appreciate it! As would he <3
Thanks!
     
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    02-11-2012, 04:28 PM
  #2
Foal
Also I was wondering why my thread on the forum page is "big/bold" like the others. I couldn't find wether or not you can edit a thread once it's been posted either. I could only find info on editing posts... not threads. I have never used any type of forum before. Total newb. This is my very first post. So any help is mega appreciated. Thanks!!
     
    02-11-2012, 06:46 PM
  #3
Teen Forum Moderator
Hey there! Welcome to the forum.

Its very sweet of you to want to help this little guy out, it sounds like he really needs it. I was actually in an almost identical situation as you are, back a few years ago. The only difference is that my filly was minorly (extremely rough handling) abused as her first experience with humans, which really messed her up.

Is this beautiful little boy a gelding now, or is he still a stallion? That's going to make a big difference.

My advice to you is to a. Be persistant and b. To always be a little more stubborn than he is. It sounds to me as if he really has no respect for humans, probably because he's gotten away with pushing people around and scaring them by biting/kicking for so long. You need to win his respect in order to do anything with him.

How? Start by teaching him that he can only do what you want, when you want. This is accomplished with tons of ground work. Make him pay attention to where your personal space it and keep him out of it, teach him to bend away from you when you turn towards him, teach him to yield to pressure, make him back up when you ask, etc. You want him to learn to do something simply because you asked him to, and for no other reason. Make doing the wrong thing way harder for him than doing the right thing.

Once he respects you on a lead line, you ofcourse need to teach him to respect you otherwise, such as when you're brushing him. This was the hardest habit for me to break with my filly, who also tried to kick at me and bite when I brushed her.

I would start out just brushing his neck, or somewhere else that he doesn't mind. Just calmly brush along, and every few strokes go a little bit lower. If he gives you what I call the 'pissy face,' ignore him and continue to brush that area until he once again looks away and looses interest. You might try feeding him hay from a net at first. If he tries to nip at you, immediately make a harsh, dissaproving sound such as 'NAHK!' or 'HA!' and 'bite' him back with either a slap or forcing him to move away from you fast. Next time he goes to bite you, go 'NAHK!' before he even gets in contact with your skin. He'll eventually learn that this is a warning, and he'll loose the urge to bite you because he knows that it hurts him to hurt you.

On to the feet. I started out by touching and 'handling' my mare's feet with a lunge line, rubbing it all over him, from his shoulders to his hooves. Only when he stops fidgiting or giving you the pissy face should you stop messing with his leg. Then praise him.

It takes a lot of work and patience, but there is no reason that he can't be a good boy with time. My mare was known for her murderous disposition when I first started working with her, after never being handled then being messed up by a 'cowboy' who tried to train her by throwing her on the ground. She bucked, kicked, bit, lunged at you with bared teeth, reared, pawed, didn't lead, refused to move, etc. Everyone was to the point of being afraid of her. But I kept working with her and working with her. Now? She's training to be a buggy horse and is one of the favorites out at the barn! She's naturally a very dominant animal, so she does have her moments, but she's hundreds of times better than she used to be!

Here is a wonderful article on gaining a horse's respect. It helped me a lot.
Four Ways to Teach Your Horse Respect

My mare, now almost 4 years old.




Feel free to message me if you have any questions, I can absolutely try to help you!
     
    02-11-2012, 09:41 PM
  #4
Weanling
Ok - I used to do a LOT of horse rescue. I have tamed done more than my fair share of wild horses.

Actually, I prefer to work with an unhandled 2 year old to one that has been spoiled and allowed to learn bad habits. My current project was halter broke at 2 1/2 - just two weeks before we took her home.

My concern is the kicking and biting issues. I will not stand for a biter or a kicker. If a horse even THINKS about biting, I make sure they know that I will beat them to death for that infraction. John Lyons says you have three seconds to beat them and convince them they they will die - every part of the horse is available to hit, other than the head - but I am not past punching a biter in the face. I have never had to do this lesson more than once on any animal that I saved. (See end for those three)

Kicking is the same issue. My filly let a back leg fly at me just yesterday... I smacked her as hard as I could with the sweat scraper in my hand and then stood back while my daughter chased her backwards down the asile way of the barn three times. I don't expect her to ever offer to kick again. She just needs to learn respect of humans - but is a total sweetheart. She will be a great horse, eventually.

All that meanness asside - I have always found that the best way to deal with any horse who needs to learn to trust and like people is with a very simple recipe.
1) comfy clothes for the weather - this could be a heavy winter jacket or a swimsuit depending on your preferences.
2) something to sit on - this coudl be a towel for sun bathing or a lawn chair.
3) a pocket/bag full of misc horse goodies - a mix of cookies, carrots, apples, etc. Depending on the preference of the horse
4) Your favorite book
5) all afternoon

The directions go like this.... go to where animal can reach you, but where you are not infringing on thier personal space. Get comfy (lawn chair or laying out to get a tan), toss a few treats several yards away from you, and start reading OUT LOUD. This gets them used to the sound of your voice in a non-threatening manner.

Eventually - it may take HOURS, they will ooch over to eat the treats. The first time they may or may not get any closer than that. That's just fine. Next time, repeat the same set up. Read out loud for at least three or four hours at a time.

I have never had a horse, no matter how abused, go longer than two days before they are sniffng my hat and nosing about for treats. Treats can be dolled out for any nice behavior - cutness counts as good behavior.

This is where I introduce halters and such - where they come to me to find out about it, under thier own terms - for treats and loves of course.

Any agressive behavior at all, chase them away, and go back to reading. They will figure it out. This has worked well for me on about 15 scared or wild horses.

That said - I have worked with three horses who I catagorize as chronic bitters. One was an expensive stallion who got me fired because I refused to work with him after he took a chunk out of his owner that needed 16 stitches.
One was a 'kids pony' who put six stitches in my then six year old daughter - he was put down.
The last was an expensive Lipizzaner mare who whould bite when she got angry or did not want to work - I sold her to someone who understood this but wanted her as a dressage horse anyway...
     
    02-12-2012, 01:43 AM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadlim    
Ok - I used to do a LOT of horse rescue. I have tamed done more than my fair share of wild horses.

Actually, I prefer to work with an unhandled 2 year old to one that has been spoiled and allowed to learn bad habits. My current project was halter broke at 2 1/2 - just two weeks before we took her home.

My concern is the kicking and biting issues. I will not stand for a biter or a kicker. If a horse even THINKS about biting, I make sure they know that I will beat them to death for that infraction. John Lyons says you have three seconds to beat them and convince them they they will die - every part of the horse is available to hit, other than the head - but I am not past punching a biter in the face. I have never had to do this lesson more than once on any animal that I saved. (See end for those three)

Kicking is the same issue. My filly let a back leg fly at me just yesterday... I smacked her as hard as I could with the sweat scraper in my hand and then stood back while my daughter chased her backwards down the asile way of the barn three times. I don't expect her to ever offer to kick again. She just needs to learn respect of humans - but is a total sweetheart. She will be a great horse, eventually.

All that meanness asside - I have always found that the best way to deal with any horse who needs to learn to trust and like people is with a very simple recipe.
1) comfy clothes for the weather - this could be a heavy winter jacket or a swimsuit depending on your preferences.
2) something to sit on - this coudl be a towel for sun bathing or a lawn chair.
3) a pocket/bag full of misc horse goodies - a mix of cookies, carrots, apples, etc. Depending on the preference of the horse
4) Your favorite book
5) all afternoon

The directions go like this.... go to where animal can reach you, but where you are not infringing on thier personal space. Get comfy (lawn chair or laying out to get a tan), toss a few treats several yards away from you, and start reading OUT LOUD. This gets them used to the sound of your voice in a non-threatening manner.

Eventually - it may take HOURS, they will ooch over to eat the treats. The first time they may or may not get any closer than that. That's just fine. Next time, repeat the same set up. Read out loud for at least three or four hours at a time.

I have never had a horse, no matter how abused, go longer than two days before they are sniffng my hat and nosing about for treats. Treats can be dolled out for any nice behavior - cutness counts as good behavior.

This is where I introduce halters and such - where they come to me to find out about it, under thier own terms - for treats and loves of course.

Any agressive behavior at all, chase them away, and go back to reading. They will figure it out. This has worked well for me on about 15 scared or wild horses.

That said - I have worked with three horses who I catagorize as chronic bitters. One was an expensive stallion who got me fired because I refused to work with him after he took a chunk out of his owner that needed 16 stitches.
One was a 'kids pony' who put six stitches in my then six year old daughter - he was put down.
The last was an expensive Lipizzaner mare who whould bite when she got angry or did not want to work - I sold her to someone who understood this but wanted her as a dressage horse anyway...
This is actually really going to help me with my horse, thanks!
     
    02-12-2012, 09:28 PM
  #6
Weanling
I agree with what both posters have said, getting the horse use to you being around whether he likes it or not is a major part of it. If I bring one home that likes to bite, they get a good slap anywhere other than directly in the head. I have slapped them across the mouth if I can not get my hands on anything else.
I own 3 stallions right now, all stalled next to each other. Two of them would not dream of biting for the world because they 1)grew out of that stage in their teenage years and 2)know I will slap the ever loving crap out of them for doing it. My new boy hasn't fully got the hint about biting yet. Over the past month and a half of having him here he has gotten the idea that he is not suppose to be biting but also has his moments of forgetfulness and does it anyway. As soon as he does though, even before I make a move he has the look of uh oh, I screwed up major! Let that boy know if he is going to hurt you, your going to hurt him. Now I am not saying beat him to death, one good firm slap does a lot. If he pushes towards you or actually pushes you, just push him back and away from you. Be aggressive when he is aggressive and let him know your not going to put up with his crap.
Minis are the worst to get as rescues a lot of the time cause people treat them like dogs or own them and teach them no manners whatsoever. One of my mares use to also bite anyone who would come near her but over a couple months she quickly learned when I walk into her stall she walks away from me and waits to see what I am going to do, whether it be feed and water or get her halter and put her outside.
Also, as Endiku said, if he is still a stallion a vet appointment would do him wonders! A little sedative and a sharp scalpel calm down most biting stallions pretty quickly.
Main goal is spend as much time as you can and do the groundwork with him and let him know your boss, not him. If your doing a hard grueling session with him, make them short. Don't spend 3 hours with him just continually slapping him for biting, spend 15 to 30 minutes working on one thing. My horses get so much more and remember more of what I teach them if I spend 15 or 20 minutes a day rather than an hour a day repeating things over and over. Yadlim's idea works also to help get the horse use to to, especially if he is scared of you.
Endiku likes this.
     
    02-12-2012, 09:54 PM
  #7
Weanling
Wow, this sounds very similar to my mini rescue, Bellamy! Bellamy was 4 months old when I purchased him. He will be two in June. Bellamy was found abandoned in a dog lot with his dam and sire, and a local farm took them in. He was not socialized at all. I remember going in to halter him, and the little dude just running laps around me. I would just hunker down on my knees, remain still, and eventually he would always give in to curiosity and come over. He was a nipper, but I think a lot of that had to do with his young age. I would just firmly push his nose away when I saw it go into bite mode, with a loud "NO." We also struggled a lot with his hind end. He would constantly kick out his hind legs when I went to pick them up. We got through that with lots of practice. Now he likes to watch while I do his hoofs. It has taken us a long time to get to where we are today. I have definitely learned to command more respect on the ground. Most of the stuff we just learned through doing. I am not sure how much groundwork this little dude has, but I would definitely suggest first teaching him to respect your personal space. The butt pointing toward you is a NO GO. You could simply use a halter to turn his head toward you, or from a distance use pressure from a carrot stick/lunge/etc. Also, not sure if this was mentioned or not, but gelding did absolute wonders for Bellamy's personality.
     
    02-17-2012, 05:40 PM
  #8
Foal
I'm sorry I didn't mention it earlier but he is already a gelding. And all of this stuff sounds very helpful! Thanks!
     

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