Horse over stepping boundaries. Becoming almost dangerous. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 57 Old 10-10-2012, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Horse over stepping boundaries. Becoming almost dangerous.

So, this will be long and I appologize.

Some background before I get started-
I was given this mare in March in less then exceptional conditions. She was just wormy and thrown any kind of grain they decided to buy at the time.
She was 'abandoned' at the farm supposedly after she was hit by a drunk driver while in the trailer and lost an eye. Before this, she was a short stirrup pony.
After being abandoned she was left at the barn in a field for a year or two with barely any interaction let alone any work. She was still friendly with people though, just needed a new routine in life instead of just living the way she was. (Which wasn't that great)

When I first got her she was a real witch, at one point she became buddy sour with another horse she would cut me off and be pushy as all hell to get back to her friend. She would also rear if she didn't want to do something you asked of her...I put her on mare magic and slowly she seemed to get more & more mellow...

Fast forward to late spring/early summer.
Once she was up to par again I slowly started riding her and at one point was riding her 5-6 days a week and taking lessons on her once a week and she was great. Barely ever spooked besides two times. I use to put kids on her and lead them around and she was great.

In July we moved to another barn where my two horses could be pastured together, alone in there own private field. Her and my gelding have met before but were never pastured together previously at the old barn. They have grazed together in the ring and never really bothered eachother, they could have cared less. So needless to say they quickly enjoyed eachothers company together in there own field. No one was picked on or beat up.

Ever since we have moved I've had nothing but medical problems with her which I think is just a coincidence. She has arthritis in her left front which is slowly progressing into ringbone and I am/was aloud to ride w/t/c. But anyways, ever since we've moved she has slowly started to become more and more of a nightmare. Basically dangerous. When I ride her at the new place she spooks, starts crow hopping-things she NEVER did at the old place. She is a tad buddy sour with my gelding which is why she crow hops in the ring. And before someone says get a trainer- I do have one and she is also puzzled on why the dramatic change in her. My mare also has a pawing problem but at the new place she will get so wound up she furiously paws the ground so hard she puts scrapes in the brick floor.

She does have an issue with pressure on the halter..if she feels there's too much she will panic ad has been known to rear up and break cross ties even when she leans too far back and feels trapped she will snap them - I have never felt safe about this but she was never this bad until we moved barns. She has broken her halter before from pulling back on the cross ties. Even at shows I'm nervous to leave her tied to the trailer because of this.

She is a mare that knows she can hurt you. She will purposely cut corners in the round pen and just miss you. She also kicks out at you and gallops like a mad woman sometimes in the pen if you just ask for a trot.

I know she's becoming dangerous and I know it's a lack of respect for me as well. She is a horse who I need to use force on to control when she's bad or forget it. She'll just do it otherwise.

Currently we've been battling lameness issues with the hoof she has arthritis in. First vet said it was her arthritis getting worse so now she's also on previcox as well as cosequin and mare magic. But out of the blue last week she gets a quarter crack which ended up breaking off with no obvious signs of lameness or discomfort. The next day I get to the barn and she is hobbling around in pain. Called the vet who said it sounds like an abcess and to treat it like one. So I do. Suddenly the white line starts deteriorating on only the side of her hoof where the crack is. Long story short I can stick the metal part of the hoof pick all the way down into her white line. Vet was called and I'm advised to thoroughly clean it daily and apply an iodine mix then keep it clean and dry with a diaper, vet wrap, and duct tape boot.

Cleaning out the hoof at this point is the most dangerous thing for me to do with her and I'm actually nervous to do it. I have to take a needle and actually scrape out the white line which I know must hurt but it has to be clean. She figured out that of she leans back like she's going to fall that ill let go of her hoof. Most of the time I do not let go but it's getting dangerous. I have no way to remremand her.

Today we put a chain over her nose (only thing she does listen to) and my boyfriend gave her a quick shank (nothing hard) even when she started leaning back. Well she flung herself backwards and reared up on us then dropped back down to the ground shaking. I took hold of the lead and gave her a few small tugs on the chain to get her attention back to let her know she is not getting out of this. She did it twice..after the second time I wasn't so nice about it and needless to say after some words and cranks on the chain she suddenly calmed down like she use to be at the old place and actually fell asleep as I was wrapping her foot.

Idont understand why I have to use so much force--I do not enjoy it. It makes me cry because I know what she's been through but she is becoming dangerous. Her moods are so bipolar I'm actually nervous to be around her at times when I'm alone when I never was.

Today the chain actualy pinched her nose and she got two small cuts from it. Which I am SO ashamed of but how elseam I supposed to correct a horse like this? I know for a fact there's no respect towards me from her at all and I haveto use force to get it through to her. Even my trainer has to use it.

Any input? Do you think it's pain? Nothing else has changed besides her environment which I know could take its toll but its been almost 4 months already.

And please no rude comments. I would just like opinions or input. Nothing rude or hurtful!
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Last edited by SouthernTrails; 10-12-2012 at 07:17 AM.
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post #2 of 57 Old 10-10-2012, 11:05 PM
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You poor thing.

Is the grass/pasture/hay similar at the new and old barns, or is the new place richer?

I can only suggest this: take a big step back, take a deep breath, get a good vet in, and have this horse assessed as she is now and not how she used to be. She may have a neurological problem or some form of senility - these may be symptoms of some underlying issue.

Don't beat yourself up about what you've had to do to deal with this behaviour - you have got to keep yourself safe. Best of luck.

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #3 of 57 Old 10-10-2012, 11:07 PM
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Some horses will rear in reaction to a chain over the nose, more so than under the chin. I would try a "Be nice" halter on her maybe? Be Nice Halter

If not, go with the chain under the chin, although some will react severely, if done properly, you got good control & respect. As for her kicking out at you while she is burning around the roundpen, let her know this will not be tolerated. Get after her like she stole your paycheck! Turn the lunge whip around & use the butt end. Worked wonders for me with a severly spoilt horse, only had to do it one time. It's not so much the swat with the whip handle as it is your voice and attitude. Be bossy & fair around this mare, don't panic or baby here but give praise & punishment when it is called for. That's how you will get her to respect & trust you.
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post #4 of 57 Old 10-10-2012, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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As of right now she will be out of commission probably until spring being half of her foots falling off :(. I feel terrible having to be forceful but I try to treat her like any other normal horse. Although I feel like some of her reactions on things are a result from her accident I still try to not let her get away with it.

I was going to go out and buy a rope halter and see how that does but I doubt she'll really give it any thought.

I can also twitch her but she just falls asleep an it doesn't even resolve the issue. I wonder if its a hormonal imbalance??

And she is on about the same acreage as the last place but with fewer horses in the pasture at the new place. (Old place had 5 horses on 2-3 acres, new place is 2 horses on the same acreage.)

Hay is the same mix but different person I buy it from. My old barn made there own hay, once I moved I was goin to buy hay from him but he decided not to sell at last minute so I buy from another source. Grain and supps are the same besides previcox, which we just started her on but she's been way worse before we even put her on it.

I even bought my two horses a mini to keep them company being I was taking my mare to shows which left my gelding alone but we won't be showing for awhile.

Is there anyway I can reprimand her without working her being I can't? I hate shanking on the halter because I'm nervous to make her head shy.

She literally drives me to want to sell em all sometimes. I cry...hard. I really don't know what it is because she brought the joys back into riding for me and as soon as we moved she makes me not even want to go to the barn some days.

Thank you for the support guys.
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post #5 of 57 Old 10-10-2012, 11:41 PM
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Just keep working on her manners, don't ask her to do anything painful unless neccessary. Remember, just because she is sore, it is not acceptable to harm human flesh, period.
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post #6 of 57 Old 10-11-2012, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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I think the same way. Either way she needs to act like a lady and not a crazy beast. Ever night I have to thoroughly clean the white line and I have to get all the dirt and grime out. I know it must be uncomfortable but I have to do it for her own good and that's when she flys backwards and started rearing yesterday.
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post #7 of 57 Old 10-11-2012, 07:53 AM
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Wow.. This reminds me of the documenery " Buck " Someone brought him a poor horse that had been injured, left on it's own. Maybe yours isn't this bad, but maybe this is one that can't be made whole either. Sounds like a tough story anyway it turns out. Best of luck... but don't beat your self up if doesn't get better. ... d

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Dixie (5yr. old QH) Cheyenne (9yr. old Paint) Uno ( 11yr old Arabian)
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post #8 of 57 Old 10-11-2012, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Is this the buck video about the colt that would attack people and they ended up putting him down? I saw that one. Was sad. I'm not sure if its just her being a witch or if she is truelly unstable- fine one minute and explosive the next....
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post #9 of 57 Old 10-11-2012, 08:24 AM
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If it helps, the colt that attacked people and had to get put down in the Buck film had some kind of neurological birth defect. It had been born not breathing, and seemed to have sustained brain damage at that time. Buck's thinking was that this colt could have been shaped into a dim-witted horse that could get along with people, but it had been handled poorly on top of everything else. So I wouldn't spend much time thinking about that happening to your mare.

+1 on getting the vet back out to make sure there isn't something else going on, something other than the white line problem that may be causing her pain. This may just be a pure behavior problem, but if it turns out later that she had something physically wrong (other than being marish or having a painful hoof) you'll be unhappy with yourself.

I use a rope halter because my boy is a little hot and prone to getting carried away with himself. I do own a webbing halter, but the rope halter works better. He gets a lot of feedback from the knots and such, and I can make it as tight as I need to.

That "be nice" halter doesn't look like it's a plain-old ordinary rope halter though - the description says it responds by getting tighter and looser as the horse pulls back/stops pulling.
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post #10 of 57 Old 10-11-2012, 09:41 AM
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Accepting that she is not just taking advantage of you all and needs firmer handling -
My first thought is something neurological going on - this could be a brain tumour as the pressure can shift in the early stages so they can seem almost OK and then have 'blue haze' attacks. As the tumor grows they eventually go totally 'out of it' A friends once lovely gentle horse that she'd had for years eventually crashed through a rail fence and attacked her.
If you live in a Lymes area you really should test for that - it can have devastating effects on a horses mind that will make them very irritable and aggressive and can also cause lamesness and other health issues. Horses with it arent essentially ill in themselves in the sense of having a temperature and being off their food. It can also subside for a while and then resurface
Mares that are so hormonal they become irrational are better on Regu-mate than the herbal type things. It does work.
She may have an ovarian cyst - they will also cause severe aggressive behavioural issues.
If the horse has some other extreme pain going on that you might not be aware of that could also cause her to be irritable and aggressive
I'll probably incur the wrath of someone now - but there are so many really nice pleasant healthy horses out there looking for good homes that might well end up on a slaughter yard if you cant solve this ones problems fairly soon it might be a good time to consider euthanasia
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