Major possibly abused - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-14-2009, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Major possibly abused

I hired a new farrier this week to come out and put front shoes on Major. And before I tell ya what the guy said, I should tell ya that I dont know this guy so I really dont know how truthful he is. Anyway, the first thing he said when he saw Major is that he looks familiar. Major was snorting and blowing at him the whole time and trying to bolt and take his feet back. While the guy was shoeing him, he said these feet look familiar. He proceded to say that he knew him as a 3 yr old (he is now 10 or 11). He asked me if he was broke to ride and I said yeah but he is scared to death and jumpy to the extreme. He said that he has known three different guys who owned him (and he named them off....none where the guy I got him from) and he said Major used to be crazy...reared up and bucked like a bronc....he also added that their is no telling what those guys had to do to get him broke. Ive been doing a lot of thinking about that these past couple of day...Major is terrified of men, maybe he was abused by his past owners. When Major sees a man he starts snorting and blowing. Also, if there is a man present I cannot catch him in the pasture...but if im alone a lot of times he will come to me.
Ok lets assume that what the farrier told me is true. I was planning on taking Major to Uwharrie this weekend (even though he's still hard to mount) thinking that the riding time would be really good for both of us. I knew it wasnt going to be easy...he will probably be very very jumpy...but I was hoping it would help. Now im not so sure its a good idea. I mean, will it traumatize him more? Major has come a long way in trusting me...will I break that trust by putting him in place where I know he is gonna be nervous....or will it be good for him? Can you get the fear out of a horse that has been abused?
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-14-2009, 12:19 AM
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Sometimes you can and sometimes you can't. The only way to really know is to expose him alot. My thinking is if you are comfortable handling him when he is freaked and are able to control him, then that might do him some good to go there. How often has he been exposed to men since you got him? Often, seldom, never? If you have any guy friends, it may also help to have them come over and just spend some time with him and pamper him a bit. I know that some horses can get a very bad taste in their mouths about different people from an experience with a particular person. He may just need exposure to show him that it is okay and he is safe or he may never get over it, it all depends on him. Good luck. :)

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post #3 of 7 Old 05-14-2009, 01:10 AM
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yes and no i do agree with smrobs my boy who i broke in myself used to be terrifired of males as the only experience hed had as a youngster was the 2 males that put him on the transporter to take him over here and once with a guy who was so called brilliant and whatever with training horses but i wont go into that story just to say my horse as a 2yr old at the time wouldve climbed out of the round yard trying to get away if he didn have him on a lunge
but ive found having my bf come over wen he can and just hold my horse and talk to him has made him hugely better but dont get them doing to much in your face stuff the other w.e my bf rode my horse for the first time (i was amazed at how well he took it as its only ever been me riding him EVER)
but patience and time is wat id recommend takes a while especialy since your boy is as nervous around men as he is but just maybe try getting a male friend feeding him some treats or doing something you know he enjoys
and with the going out thing all you can do is try it and see if youve never taken him out before just take it easy and see how he takes it all you can do is see if he reacts really badly start small maybe take him to a friends place (diff environment etc) and work up and again if your confident handling him wen hes a lil psyced out maybe you being relaxed about the situation will help?
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-14-2009, 01:41 AM
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Your poor boy! I really feel for him!

By SB gelding was breed and trained by my uncle... my uncle is a lovely guy, very dedicated to his horses and is not one to EVER hit them etc yet my boy is scared like hell of men?! I really dont get it! He is fine with my uncle once he realises its him but around any other male he is very jumpy, snorts, shows the whites of his eyes etc! I know for a fact he has never been abused, he just obviously dosnt like males. Its possibly the fact that a male comes across harsher to animals than a female does.

I think you should definatly consider taking him out this weekend, the more exposure the better. Also do you have a calm quiet male that could attempt to visit Major every day? Even just to be around him but not even touch him... he obviously needs to learn that not every male is out to harm him. Good luck with him and i really do hope you sort it!

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post #5 of 7 Old 05-14-2009, 03:41 AM
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that's interesting a my daughter and a freind of mine own 2 horses from the same place they are both really scared of women ,children don't scare them ,and they are ok with men ,they are both scared of having their headcollars touched athough ours is coming around faster than my freinds ,but he is younger ,my freinds can be touched elsewhere but panicks if you try to touch his head collar
must admit we had a horse whisper out a week ago to my freinds horse and he didn't manage the head collar and he's convinsed that somebody has grabbed the head collar and given him a hiding
must admit he didn't get his hands on the head collar but we where not expecting him to ,he managed to touch him in a lot of other places something children canm do but not adults ,she's building confidence slowly with him,and he is starting to repond

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Last edited by moorland; 05-14-2009 at 03:48 AM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-14-2009, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. My friends brother is a pretty quiet guy and would probably be willing to help me out with that. It sounds like what I need to do is ask him to come visit Major once I have him on a lead rope (he wont let a man approach otherwise). I feel pretty confident holding him on the ground...he has never tried to hurt me or any other person since I have owned him. He doesn't want to fight...he just wants to get away. In the saddle I'm not quite as confident. The little bit of riding I have done on him has been out in a little field behind the pasture where its calm and quiet and nothing to spook him. I do know how to use the one rein stop though. I don't want to push him in to anything, but everybody always says that wet saddle blankets is the best teacher.
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-17-2009, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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I decided not to take was just to many firsts for both of us. I ended up taking my friends very seasoned horse, General. I am glad I did....General taught me a lot. I learned how to give a horse his head and not be afraid that I don't have control. On some of that terrain, I HAD to give him his head so he can find his footing and steer himself. I also learned to feel the horse and move with him. My walking horse has nice smooth gaits and so I didn't notice how off I was. When I was trotting General I realized I better get in rhythm with him or risk not being able to sit down for a week .
Anyway, thank you all for your advice. I will continue to work with Major and maybe next time I can take him.
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