horse troubles, please help. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-18-2010, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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horse troubles, please help.

Hi I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. I own a youth ranch where we pair up children with horses for an emotional healing. Our website is http://hhhryr.com/ However, I have a horse that has a problem with wanting to kick whenever his legs are agitated with something like a rope. We can walk around this horse all day, but whenever a rope or other training tool is introduced to the legs he will try to kick. Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated.
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-18-2010, 07:12 PM
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I would go back to the basics with him. Make sure that he is absolutely fine with your hands all over his legs, and then start with a lead rope, run it over his entire body until he has no issues with it, then start working it towards his legs. As soon as he starts to get uncomfortable, move back up to his comfortable spot, and do it again. Eventually he'll realize that the rope won't hurt him. A question to ask first though, is this a new horse, and if not, is this a problem he's had since you got him, or is it something that's new, and wasn't an issue before. If its a new issue that appeared suddenly, I'd have him looked at by a vet and/or chiropractor to make sure that nothing is wrong or out of place that may have caused him to start getting worried about things around his legs. It is also a possibility that someone whether intentionally or not got a bit too rough or lax about ropes and stuff around this horse's legs, and scared him, so now he's all of a sudden nervous about it. If you just got him, or he's had it since you got him I would start from the beginning, and work on him being okay with things around his legs.
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-18-2010, 07:18 PM
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I have seen things attached to legs to get them used to this. Take a coil style airhose that is about 3-6 coils and tie things to hit such as a milk jug. It can be wrapped around there hocks or pasterns. If it gets caught on something it uncoils so it doesn't catch on anything. This is usually done in a stall where they feel safe.
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-18-2010, 09:13 PM
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Don't tie anything to your horse!!! That is how tragic injuries occur. I would tie the horse up and use a buggy whip to rub the horse along the rump and down the legs. When the horse starts to kick move back up a little but keep the whip there untill the kicking stops. Work on it for 10 or 15 minutes every day and make sure you quit in a good place. If that doesn't work then get rid of the horse before it hurts a kid. There are other things to try but that is the best way to cure it. You could put a hobble on one foot and tie a rope to the horses halter so that its head gets jerked every time the horse kicks. The problem with that is some horses get pretty smart about when that rope is on and when it's not.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-18-2010, 09:27 PM
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I would desensitize the horse like Kevin says, only I do it while I'm hold the other end of the lead, that way the horse can move around, and get rid of his fear in a constructive manner, rather than pulling back on a lead rope, potentially causing harm that way. I just move in a circle with him, and keep the pressure on. Either way is acceptable, depending on how well the horse ties.

I would also work with a variety of different 'rope type objects', whips, longe lines, and softer more tickly things like polo wraps...never take the pressure off til he accepts it. I also would not use this horse for the kids until this issue is resolved. When he has been desensitized to those things on the ground, then get on him, and start doing that from the saddle, and again, don't use him with kids until you are sure he is okay with things touching him all over. A horse used in a program like yours HAS to be unflappable.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-18-2010, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mom2pride View Post
I would desensitize the horse like Kevin says, only I do it while I'm hold the other end of the lead, that way the horse can move around, and get rid of his fear in a constructive manner, rather than pulling back on a lead rope, potentially causing harm that way. I just move in a circle with him, and keep the pressure on. Either way is acceptable, depending on how well the horse ties.

I would also work with a variety of different 'rope type objects', whips, longe lines, and softer more tickly things like polo wraps...never take the pressure off til he accepts it. I also would not use this horse for the kids until this issue is resolved. When he has been desensitized to those things on the ground, then get on him, and start doing that from the saddle, and again, don't use him with kids until you are sure he is okay with things touching him all over. A horse used in a program like yours HAS to be unflappable.
Thank you for your advice, I planned on going back the the basics and desensitizing him. He is new to our program, other than the issue with his legs he seems to be a good horse, very gentle. Yes we keep him away from the kids ever since we discovered the issue with his legs.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-18-2010, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2pride View Post
I would desensitize the horse like Kevin says, only I do it while I'm hold the other end of the lead, that way the horse can move around, and get rid of his fear in a constructive manner, rather than pulling back on a lead rope, potentially causing harm that way. I just move in a circle with him, and keep the pressure on. Either way is acceptable, depending on how well the horse ties.

I would also work with a variety of different 'rope type objects', whips, longe lines, and softer more tickly things like polo wraps...never take the pressure off til he accepts it. I also would not use this horse for the kids until this issue is resolved. When he has been desensitized to those things on the ground, then get on him, and start doing that from the saddle, and again, don't use him with kids until you are sure he is okay with things touching him all over. A horse used in a program like yours HAS to be unflappable.
Thank you for your advice.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-18-2010, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
Don't tie anything to your horse!!! That is how tragic injuries occur. I would tie the horse up and use a buggy whip to rub the horse along the rump and down the legs. When the horse starts to kick move back up a little but keep the whip there untill the kicking stops. Work on it for 10 or 15 minutes every day and make sure you quit in a good place. If that doesn't work then get rid of the horse before it hurts a kid. There are other things to try but that is the best way to cure it. You could put a hobble on one foot and tie a rope to the horses halter so that its head gets jerked every time the horse kicks. The problem with that is some horses get pretty smart about when that rope is on and when it's not.
Thank you for your advice.
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-18-2010, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dressagebelle View Post
I would go back to the basics with him. Make sure that he is absolutely fine with your hands all over his legs, and then start with a lead rope, run it over his entire body until he has no issues with it, then start working it towards his legs. As soon as he starts to get uncomfortable, move back up to his comfortable spot, and do it again. Eventually he'll realize that the rope won't hurt him. A question to ask first though, is this a new horse, and if not, is this a problem he's had since you got him, or is it something that's new, and wasn't an issue before. If its a new issue that appeared suddenly, I'd have him looked at by a vet and/or chiropractor to make sure that nothing is wrong or out of place that may have caused him to start getting worried about things around his legs. It is also a possibility that someone whether intentionally or not got a bit too rough or lax about ropes and stuff around this horse's legs, and scared him, so now he's all of a sudden nervous about it. If you just got him, or he's had it since you got him I would start from the beginning, and work on him being okay with things around his legs.
Yes he is new to our program. That's what I planned on is going back to the basics. Thank you for your advice.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-18-2010, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
I have seen things attached to legs to get them used to this. Take a coil style airhose that is about 3-6 coils and tie things to hit such as a milk jug. It can be wrapped around there hocks or pasterns. If it gets caught on something it uncoils so it doesn't catch on anything. This is usually done in a stall where they feel safe.
Thank you for your advice.
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