I'm Frightened... By my Horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 37 Old 09-17-2012, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
I don't want to offend you and I don't mean this as harsh as it might sound, but I know no better way to word it.

After browsing your posts here, I strongly suspect that you are in way over your head with this mare. She has issues that you aren't equipped or experienced enough to deal with and I, for one, am very hesitant to suggest anything beyond "get professional help" for fear that things might go very wrong and you get hurt.

I don't know how much experience you have with horses, specifically with training them, but just from the sounds of your posts, you appear to be pretty much a novice. Is she your first horse? Your first untrained horse? If so, then you're going to need help beyond what we would be able to provide over the internet.

If you don't have the funds to find a professional to help you get to the root of the issues with your mare and help you to get them corrected, then I fear that the both of you will end your relationship even more frustrated than you are now with one or both of you injured.

My best suggestion to you if you can't afford a trainer? You need to re-home the horse. If you're afraid of her then you are just compounding the problem and your relationship with her will never fix itself without serious professional help and a lot of time and effort and gained knowledge on both your parts. You would have a much more fulfilling horse owning experience if you had a horse that was broke and you could safely handle/ride them and then save up your money for some lessons.
Yes, this is the first horse I own but I have worked with an Arab who was much worse than my mare was at the time. Colbie, the gelding, was rathe skittish and over time, he learned to warm up to me and learned to trust Me. I don't want to give up Jackie, my mare just yet because I think tha over time she will begin to learn that I am the boss. My mother suggested that I give her up, but I feel tha since i just got her, I haven't worked enough with her just yet. Only time will tell.
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post #12 of 37 Old 09-22-2012, 07:15 PM
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Im in the same boat as you are at the moment
Best advice rehome her & find another horse. I just put mine up for sale.
its not an easy decision but i did it.
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post #13 of 37 Old 09-22-2012, 07:37 PM
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Have you changed her feed over the last month?
A common cause of a horse changing character is because the feed has been changed.
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post #14 of 37 Old 09-23-2012, 12:12 AM
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How long have you had her? It sounds like you haven't had her long, but she went from calm to very reactive in a short time? I would say either she has your number, and you are way over horsed, or she has some kind of health problem and you need to address it, say, yesterday. A horse doesn't go from calm to reactive in a matter of days or weeks without a good reason; you need to figure it out, and deal with it properly.

"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 #15 of 37 Old 09-23-2012, 12:47 AM
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Yes, this is the first horse I own but I have worked with an Arab who was much worse than my mare was at the time. Colbie, the gelding, was rathe skittish and over time, he learned to warm up to me and learned to trust Me. I don't want to give up Jackie, my mare just yet because I think tha over time she will begin to learn that I am the boss. My mother suggested that I give her up, but I feel tha since I just got her, I haven't worked enough with her just yet. Only time will tell.
I don't mean to be a downer, but a skittish horse learning to trust is very different than an agressive horse learning not to try to kill you.

With a dominant horse, what starts out as trying to remind you that the horse is the boss will very quickly become trying to 'teach you a lesson' for flouting said horse, who is convinced that they are the boss. When a horse is convinced that they are the boss, unless you know EXACTLY how to deal with it (without someone having to shout it at you, because your reaction time needs to be instant), you are in a very, very dangerous situation. A dominant/agressive horse is never a good choice for an inexperienced owner.

Get help, or get out.
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post #16 of 37 Old 09-23-2012, 09:33 AM
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"I know she was neglected for a large part of her life" That sentence is what gets a lot of novices in trouble. You become a victim by thinking "poor baby" and pet her, likely at inappropriate times. She looks at you and thinks "Sucker, I've got her number". Look at it this way. There are two of you which comprise a herd of two. You have proved to her that you aren't a leader so she's taken over the roll and has dropped you down in rank. Personally I don't want a horse telling me what to do. She has got you to the point where she has basically driven you off. Save your money, work, whatever you have to do to hire a trainer for one session. You will learn how to deal with such a horse. When I work with people in trouble like this I will show them then they do hands on with numerous repetitions if need be until they feel confident.
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post #17 of 37 Old 09-23-2012, 10:34 AM
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I'm going to agree with everyone else who has posted, this horse needs an experienced leader who can teach her correctly. Either by finding a trainer or someone locally, or by selling her. It sounds to me, that for your own safety you do not have the knowledge to be working with her.

As you stated, you know she has been neglected. That is 500kg of horse which has been previously hurt by humans, that you are making excuses for. She doesn't need someone to cuddle her and love her, letting her get away with things. She needs someone who isn't afraid of her behaviour and is experienced enough to teach her what she is doing is wrong.

Please, for your own sake, seek real time advice. We cannot fix this over the internet. :) I'm sure you and the horse would be much happier that way. I personally, handled what use to be a very sweet horse who was allowed to get away with things, because he 'had a bad past'. Be soon learnt the behaviour of lunging at people with his ears back, trying to bite them, it was not safe and the habit only developed over time until it was stopped..

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post #18 of 37 Old 09-23-2012, 10:45 AM
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Where does the OP live? Is there someone with experience from this board that lives close by and might be willing to help out? Just a thought.

Can you (the op) go to some of the training barns and talk to people? Networking is your best bet here. You say you can't afford a trainer but you can't afford to not do something either. Maybe you can find an experienced person willing to help for little pay or trade something?
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post #19 of 37 Old 09-23-2012, 11:06 AM
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My opinion as well as others that have posted is to sell the horse. We dont have the same issue as you do. Our horse has very good ground manners but I think my wife wants to go further in her dressage stuff then the horse can do. But she cant bring herself to sell the horse. She browses ads all the time, sends me pics of other horses but when it comes down to selling the horse, she cant do it. My wife has a strong emotional attachment to her horse and i may be wrong but i think she thinks no one can love the horse like she does or she owes something to the horse. I understand emotional attachment to an animal but when it becomes dangerous to you or someone else, it may be time to sell.
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post #20 of 37 Old 09-23-2012, 11:22 AM
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there is some good advice on this thread.. and i have to say that i really agree with alexS. when you work with horses you, over time, learn to have a certain amount of feel and know how.. you have to learn when to be able to cue at the RIGHT time, or punish at the RIGHT time, and learn to read even the most SUBTLE of body language (and often you can figure out what your horse is gonna do before they do it), and react to it/ head it off. This is all stuff you need to learn if you are going to have a successful life with horses.

I also agree that if you REALLY cannot get proffesional help, you need to rehome that horse before she hurts you...

BUT I have to say, if its so easy for you to give up on this horse without trying its going to become a cycle and you will find that you will be rehoming alot of horses (its pretty rare when a horse wont test you at least a little).. I say find a trainer who will be willing to come to you ( they are out there and you canpay andhave a lesson as you can afford it) and help you learn to read your mare and react to her properly.. if she still scares you then, hey, you tried.
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