Inherited a Horse and need some help with his behaviors - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 16 Old 09-07-2013, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1
• Horses: 1
Question Inherited a Horse and need some help with his behaviors

My daughter inherited a 6 year old Percheron. It has been a weird year for him. His owner died in February and he was shipped from him home and his best friend in July. He has basically been left in the field for 4 years and hasn't had any good work done with him. We have a fantastic barn and a fantastic trainer. He has kicked a couple of times - once barely missed the trainer with both back legs during a light workout and the second time he kicked me squarely in the knee (waiting on the results of the MRI). When I asked the previous owners mom about his kicking, she said that he has kicked the owner twice when he was two and sent her to the hospital so he was put away and not worked - like he was when he kicked me. When he kicked me, we were working on ground manners and he didn't give any warning, just "cow kicked" me as I was getting him out of my space.
This week, we had an awful workout - his trainer and two other seasoned handlers worked him for 1.45 hours and at the end of the session, he kicked back twice. The second workout the next day he didn't kick out at all.
So here is my quandary. The trainer says to sell him because he is dangerous and unpredictable, or put him down. The mother of the previous owner said that the owner used to ride him all the time (saddle was a bad fit) or they put pallets behind him and he pulled them and it was fun. She stated that this behavior is unusual and usually he is sweet and gentle.
Could this behavior be because he has had so many changes in his life in such a short period of time and we are working him and he is not used to it? The previous owner had so many health issues that she couldn't work him properly at all during his 4 years with her so he is so green.
Do I give up on him and sell him or hope that with proper training he will come around? He isn't dumb and is very smart.
Any advice would be great!
Hanksmom is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 16 Old 09-07-2013, 11:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 7,440
• Horses: 1
Subbing... I'm interested to hear what other people think about this...

Personally, I wouldn't put him down... I'm sure his issues can be worked through...
2BigReds and SammysMom like this.
Zexious is offline  
post #3 of 16 Old 09-07-2013, 11:53 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 229
• Horses: 2
Before you put him down, I would see how he does with consistency. It's hard to tell what he would be like with the same person working with him on a normal basis. Part of it might be from being tossed about so much. Horses need repetition. It's hard on a horse to go from rider to rider especially when they're still learning themselves. Some of it might just be bad behavior that has built up since every time he has kicked out he's pretty much gotten away with it. Be careful, don't get yourself hurt! I would try and find him a home or a trainer who is willing to put the time and consistency into him that he needs and go from there.
SammysMom likes this.


pbeebs is offline  
post #4 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 12:15 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Who knows these days
Posts: 1,813
• Horses: 2

“Thoroughbreds are the best. They’re lighter, quicker and more
intelligent. The best of any breed is the Thoroughbred horse, the best
of that breed is better than any other breed." - George Morris
EliRose is offline  
post #5 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Cumbria, UK
Posts: 416
• Horses: 1
Im with pbeebs, consistency brings out the best in horses so give him time to settle and see how he goes before making big decisions.

With his training make sure anyone handling him is confident and doesn't let him get away with anything that could be him pushing the boundaries as to whos boss. The cow kick was him saying 'the the heck away from me, I don't want to do as you say'. He probably thinks that's neat little way to get people to stop putting pressure on him so hes testing the boundaries as to where he lies with his new 'heard'. Keep his mind busy by asking new questions of him- like inhand work over tarps, poles, bridges, under washing lines etc. and he'll learn to follow and trust you instead of trying to come up with ways to toe the line. Firm but fair leadership is the way forwards

Hope your knee is ok :)
2BigReds likes this.

We lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there too ~Kristen Martz
OwnedByAlli is offline  
post #6 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 09:22 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,280
• Horses: 4
Put him down? Really??
He has a behavioral issue. Put a kick chain on him anytime he is not being turned out or ridden. In the stall, cross tied etc.

The other move is to check him for pain. When is he kicking? Are you brushing him somewhere that hurts?

If he's just being a turd, which I suspect he is - use the kick chain and avoid walking directly behind him until the problem is solved.

You probably need a trainer that specializes in abuse cases and has more patience if you really love this horse.
If you don't, sell him and get something more suited to you.
palogal is offline  
post #7 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 749
• Horses: 0
Put him down? That is ridiculous, he isn't unpredictable at all. He is disrespectful and knows he can get away with it.

Tons of green, unhandled horses kick when being taught how to respond to pressure. Horses will try all sorts of things so see what makes it go away and kicking is one of them.

Stand more up front and don't get in the line of fire. Why are ya'll working him so long? He is a big coldblooded unworked horse for four years. He doesn't have the fitness to be worked almost 2 hours. Again, lots of horses will get onry if you are asking for too much too soon. Bring him back into work more slowly, both for his mental and physical health. Stop riding him for now and get him used to pressure on the ground first. What is a kick on the ground at pressure can easily escalate to a buck under saddle.

Get him moving around in a round pen where you are out of the line of fire and can put some pressure on him in relative safety. You want him moving alone with no attitude and responding energetically to your resquests. From there I would get him moving his hindquarters in hand, stand up by his shoulders and put increasing pressure on him. If he kicks keep it up until he stops. Don't immediately then ask for more, just wait for him to do something less bad. Build in baby steps, first is do not kick, second may be, do not run off etc until he has run out of 'bad' answers. Then keep after him until you get him stepping over behind, making sure he crosses over in front and not behind.

You want to thoroughly get this out of him on the ground before you expect more out of him or these problems WILL pop up somewhere else. Get him safe on the ground first.
BreakableRider is offline  
post #8 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 60
• Horses: 3
Please don't put him down. I always compare putting a horse down due to behavioural issues to putting a human down because of the way they act - you wouldn't.

If you have the time, funds, and the want, there is a strong possibility either you or a trainer could work him through this; trust is a big part of it. And like other people said, consistency is key, and there's a possibility he might be in pain somewhere. I don't have much advice for the actual kicking, since I've been lucky enough to never have that problem, but someone with experience with that could give you some tips!

If you don't have the funds, the time, or the want to put your horse into training, the best thing you can possibly do is find him a trustworthy home that you know will work with him and try to get him out of his bad habits. Sometimes a horse just isn't a good fit for someone, like some people don't get along with others.

I'm sorry I don't have advice for the actual kicking problem, but that's the best advice I can give you.
SammysMom likes this.
QuarterAppy is offline  
post #9 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 6,166
• Horses: 5
If your trainer is suggesting putting him down for kicking, I'd say either your trainer is not fantastic or there is more to the storey.

The horse is not used to being dominated and doesn't like it because it's new and scary to him. Normal.

He's been ignored for years with insufficient training before that and now he's being expected to work for 2 hours. He doesn't have the mind-training for that yet. I would treat him like an unhandled 2 year old, because that's likely as developed as his attention span is for training, though he should develop must faster. Keep the sessions to 1/2 hour at a time, two or three times a day if you like and can. Make each session calm and for now you are only developing rules for him to respect you and your space and to learn ground manners. As he progresses, encourage him to think by creating obstacles for him to walk around and over in hand. Progress to doing all these things with full tack, then weight in the saddle. Get him used to feeling human hands all over his body.

I'm also curious, how did anyone look after his feet? He may be in pain especially if he was not properly cared for.
Shropshirerosie and SammysMom like this.
NorthernMama is offline  
post #10 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,193
• Horses: 0
Your "trainers" don't know what they are doing. The right person knows how to deal with horses like your's. You do need help but from some else. How are his hooves? If he's sore he may be lashing out when asked to move.
Saddlebag is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
rearing and other dangerous behaviors sharonn Horse Training 12 04-30-2012 09:33 PM
Inherited Pregnant Mare MCHorsePower Horse Breeding 8 09-27-2011 08:00 PM
Inherited a clock Lucara General Off Topic Discussion 5 05-14-2010 06:19 PM
I inherited a horse, what should I do? aloh327 Horse Talk 1 03-21-2010 05:16 PM
Dangerous behaviors in horses DarkChylde Horse Training 6 12-04-2008 08:02 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome