Most frightened horse I've ever met

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Most frightened horse I've ever met

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    12-15-2009, 12:48 PM
Most frightened horse I've ever met

So I just got a new training gig from my vet. A client called him because they found a horse stuck in the mud on their land. As far as we know, he is no ones. They drugged him hardcore to get him out of the mud and bring him to me and he still kicked a hole in the trailer.

I've got him in a roundpen right now. He charges all humans and other animals and he is perhaps the most frightened animal I've ever met.

Currently, I've been using my friend's blind horse to pony this boy. Patrick (the blind one) is awesome at getting out of the way and he doesn't take crap from anyone. Whenever the horse rears or tries to get loose, Pat will push him in the directions he wants to go.

Over the past week, the horse has been going great with Pat, but he still charges me when I'm alone. I do no it will take time, but anyone have any ideas. He's on Bach Remedy oils that have been helping. He's a big one, about 17.2, stud, and that's all we know. Drugs don't work. Can't geld him yet.

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    12-15-2009, 12:53 PM
I would say spend some time just sitting around on the edge or outside of his pen talking to him. Also be the only one to bring him food and water so that he realizes YOU are taking care of him not hurting him.
    12-15-2009, 01:28 PM
BIG project but it can be done.

It would be better to just get the gelding out of the way some you can start to mend the relationship he has with humans.
You might try a chute to tranq. Him and get it done.
I can't see his being whole helping the process either way.

Best to just get it done and move on from there.
    12-15-2009, 01:33 PM
He's got to be someones unless he's a truely wild horse. In that case it could take a long time. I would have left him alone for a little while, maybe a week. Let him get used to things, he was just in a really traumatizing situation. Not sure what you mean by drugs don't work. You mean feed through or a sedative? How about a tranquilizer gun for gelding him? BUT if he truely is someone horse they will be might peeved to find out you've gelded their stallion.
    12-15-2009, 07:10 PM
Green Broke
Tricky situation, eh? Where was he found? Have you posted fliers, newspaper ads, ect.? Have you asked around at other local vet clinics, tack and feed shops, sale barns?

I would not do ANYTHING(training wise) until you are absolutely sure he does not belong to anyone. Just leave him alone, maybe talk to him and sit around the fence to help him get used to you being around, that is it though.

Do not geld him if there is a possibility that he belongs to someone, that could get you into a world of hurt.

Only after you have exhausted all options of finding his probable owners, then you can start to gentle him. Work with him carefully and never alone. Always have an assistant or just someone to watch in case you get hurt, so they can get you out of there if you need medical attention. Work with him like he has no idea that you are his friend, that you are not going to eat him. Be gentle but firm. Don't let him get away with charging or any other aggressive behaviors. Do a lot of give and take, pressure and release. If he charges you wave your arms and scream like crazy, then when he backs off leave him be just talk to him soothingly. Make him want to be your friend. Be the only one to feed him so he begins to see you in a positive light.

I would suggest also maybe get a professional trainer to help you out, he is a big boy and will probably be a handful is he is so afraid of people.

Post us some pictures won't ya? And keep us posted as to wha's going on.
    12-15-2009, 07:22 PM
He's not wild, but no one is claiming him so far. The ASPCA has put him under my care because I work with rescues regularly. I left him for about a week, only feeding him and trying to watch his movements from afar.

He was tranqued when he was shipped and my vet said he has never seen a horse so awake after that much seditive. I'm not a huge fan of sedation because I like them trusting me on their own.

I can't geld him because he's an ASPCA horse at this point. He calms down when Patrick is around him. Pat is definitely the boss and this horse seems quite okay with that, he almost seems to be reassured by it.

I've only physically touched him twice. He has been increasingly resting his neck on Pat's while I'm riding Pat. I stroked his neck lightly a few times and then I stop. I do not want to push my luck. I'm taking my sweet time with him.

Odds are, if the person who owns him does try to claim him, they are going to have A LOT of explaining to do. This horse has all the classic signs of massive abuse. I've seen a lot of horses like this because the ASPCA around me hires me out to train the rescues so they can adopt them out later.
    12-15-2009, 07:24 PM
Well, keep us updated. It would be good to see how this turns out.
    12-15-2009, 07:37 PM
I interpret the 'drugs don't work' as he is resistant to sedatives. I know a couple horses like that. The most common sedative being ACE. It either doesn't work at all, or it causes the horse to be even more anxious and upset, as is the case with the abused Arabian I work with. Some horses for some reason are just resistant to the effects of sedatives, and you obviously don't want to overdose a horse on sedatives, so it makes it very tricky to make something work. I personally would feed him yourself, water him yourself, if possible, sit outside the stall where he can still see you, and just read a book, do some homework, or whatever you can find to do that puts you in his viewpoint, but that helps you completely ignore him. Just being around him for a while without anything happening to him will go a long way to helping him feel calmer around people. And definitely make sure that you have done all you can to find his possible owners. It may just be a case of he got loose, is scared cause he doesn't know where he is, then he got stuck in a mud puddle, then drugged, then dragged out, and then put in a strange place with strange people trying to do who knows what to him, and all he wants is one familiar face. That's what is going on with my horse right now. Moved her to my ranch, and she's been in the same place her entire 4 years of life, and she gets concerned and upset, but she settles down once she sees me or my bf, as we are the only familiar things in her world right now.
    12-15-2009, 10:25 PM
Originally Posted by dressagebelle    
I interpret the 'drugs don't work' as he is resistant to sedatives. I know a couple horses like that. The most common sedative being ACE. It either doesn't work at all, or it causes the horse to be even more anxious and upset, as is the case with the abused Arabian I work with. Some horses for some reason are just resistant to the effects of sedatives, and you obviously don't want to overdose a horse on sedatives, so it makes it very tricky to make something work.
i was going to say that. Sedatives don't work on every horse. He probably had ACE, maybe Rompun or something like that which is stronger, but still. They just don't always work. My thoughts is that sometimes the horses naturally produced adrenaline is just much stronger than TQ.
    12-15-2009, 11:39 PM
Yea, we tried ace. We're keeping him in the solid roundpen. I didn't want him to feel too confined in a stall (or kick a million holes in one). I'm able to put his buckets in from the outside. Slowly but surely he's getting more okay with me feeding. I've been leaving Pat in the roundpen with him overnight every other night. Pat is teaching him which bucket is his (I train all my horses to know which bucket is theirs by color).

My biggest worry are his cuts. He has obvious whip marks on his butt and face. They are infected so far as I can see but we're giving him some antibiotics just in case. Ill try to get a pic soon. Thanks everyone.

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